The Comparative Literature Program at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies is a pioneering program in the region, aiming uniquely to engage with the emergent approaches of the New Comparative Literature and key recent debates in the discipline. In this respect, the Program focuses on recent crucial reflections on the discipline's historical formations, and the methodological challenges of working across languages and traditions. Expertise and perspectives from non-European literary, aesthetic and critical traditions are integral to this approach.

With its critical humanist and interdisciplinary thrust, and through its uniquely designed core and elective courses, the Program aims to train a new generation of comparative literature scholars, who will be able to situate themselves in the discipline at large as a new type of Arabist and comparative literary theorist.

The course offerings are conceived and designed at an advanced level to offer training in comparative literary theories and interpretive modes of reading, while offering new modalities for crossing linguistic, cultural, literary and historical borders. They also seek to re-conceptualize the current debates, introducing specially designed courses on Arabic literature as an exemplary to approaches to non-European literatures. Other offerings will focus on the questions of production, reception and circulation as textual phenomena, and on close reading as necessary tool for analytic engaging with texts.

All these components contribute to the Program's distinctiveness as an ambitious project, combining cutting edge theoretical explorations and engagement with current international debates, with a unique Arab and regional perspective on comparative literature. 


A. Program Requirements - 24 credits: 

1 - Core Courses:

  • - COMP 611 Theories of Comparative Literature (3 Credits)

  • - COMP 612 Readings in World Literatures (3 Credits)

  • - COMP 613 The Worlds of Arabic Literature (3 Credits)

  • - COMP 614 The Arabic Literary: Periodicities, Temporalities and Cartographic Imaginaries (3 Credits)

  • - COMP 615 Texts and Textualities in Comparative Literary Thought (3 Credits)

  • - COMP 616 Comparative Theory: Untranslatability as Comparative Critical Method (3 Credits)


2- Program Electives 6 Credits: 

The Program offers several elective courses, of which students must take either COMP621 or COMP 622 and one more from among a list of offerings. The list may vary year to year, including the addition of new titles and subjects, depending on availability of colleagues.

  • - COMP 621 Close Reading I: Theory, Practice, Allegory: Aesthetics of Resistance (3 Credit)


  • - COMP 622 Close Reading II: Theory, Practice, Allegory: Regimes of Representation (3 Credits)

  • - COMP 623 Arab Literatures in the Diaspora (3 Credits)

  • - COMP 624 Orality and Literary Thought (3 Credits)

  • - COMP 625 Surrealism in Literature and Art (3 Credits)

  • - COMP 626 Slavery in Literature, Film and Museology (3 Credits)

  • - COMP 627 Concepts in the Critical Humanities (3 Credits)


3- Specialized English Language Course (Non- Credit Course): 

The School may offer a number of non-credit bearing courses, which must be taken as a condition for graduation when required by the relevant program. Students must successfully pass the assignment for each course as a condition for graduation. These courses will also appear on the student's transcript but will not contribute to the student's GPA. 

  • - COMP 00 1Readings in Literary and Critical Theory (0 Credits)


B. School requirements - 12 credits: 

1- Cross - Disciplinary Course - 3 credits: 

  • - SOSH 601  Issues in the Study of Social Sciences and Humanities (3 Credits)

All SOSH students must successfully complete one non-credit core compulsory course offered at the School level as a cross-disciplinary introduction to the study of the social sciences and humanities. 

Please visit the "Interdisciplinarity at SOSH" page for more details about this course and its description.

2- Two Interdisciplinary Courses - 6 Credits

Each program allows students to enroll in courses of special interest, and of a cross-disciplinary nature, which are offered jointly with one or more other programs. Courses offered as interdisciplinary courses may vary and are dependent on faculty availability, student demand and registration capacity.

All students will choose two courses of 3 credits each from the list of interdisciplinary courses. Please visit the "Interdisciplinarity at SOSH" page for more details about these courses and their descriptions.

3- Non-restricted Elective - 3 credits

Students may choose one course of 3 credits from any program in any of the Schools/Centers in the DI (including SPADE and CHS). Students may choose their free elective from the courses offered by the Comparative Literature Program, which are offered on a rotating basis.


C. MA Thesis - 6 Credits:

In consultation with an academic supervisor, the student will choose a thesis topic and program of research. The student will submit a thesis of 12,000 – 18,000 words at the end of the second academic year, but discussions about the topic begin during the first year. The coordinator of the course will organize regular sessions for students to discuss research methodologies and choose a research topic. Students will be expected to write a summary research proposal, incorporating the main assumptions to be tested, choose a research methodology or theoretical frame and write a summary on potential contribution to current scholarship, based on a critical view of existing writings on the subject. The coordinator will then choose a supervisor who follows up with the student until completing the thesis.

The thesis examination consists of two parts: a marked assessment of the dissertation by two examiners and an oral defense in front of an examination panel comprised of the same two examiners.