2.928: grad schools, cont. (39)

Wed, 3 May 89 20:09:33 EDT

Humanist Mailing List, Vol. 2, No. 928. Wednesday, 3 May 1989.

Date: Wednesday, 3 May 1989 0039-EST
Subject: Notes on Grad Program Discussions

If noone has mentioned it, the University of Pennsylvania has
a Comparative Literature Graduate Program worth a close look.
It has been getting some excellent students, and draws on
the faculties of a number of humanities departments here.

On those older teachers who "only" had MA degrees, my impression
is that many (most/all) of them did not forgo getting PhDs for
the reason suggested in the HUMANIST communique (to get on with
significant writing, etc.), but rather, that the PhD is a relative
innovation in (especially British) higher educational systems,
and that it simply was not an option. In the English speaking
world, the PhD was basically an American (US ?) degree in the
early part of this century, but gradually made its inroads into
the British system(s). I never did get clear about how this all
developed on the continent; did the US PhD development come from
Germany? When? (And without the privilege of the Habilitationsschrift!)

I don't remember if anyone already mentioned it, but choosing a
school for a program such as Comparative Literature should
probably also involve questions of the school's Library facilities.
It may be easier to survive inadequate teaching and even advising
than to do without the wider range of desirable sources for
enlightenment and research. (Penn's Library is good, on the whole,
and very accessible [open stacks, etc.].)

Bob Kraft (Religious Studies)