Master of Arts in English and American Literature

Who We Are and What We Do

As an M.A. student in English and American Literature, you will be part of the lively research culture of the largest English Department in Switzerland and have access to the biggest English literature library in the country. You will discuss literature alongside other forms of cultural production, analyze a range of cultural phenomena through the lens of literary theory and cultural philosophy and examine personal, political and global identities through literature and the arts. Additionally, workshops and conferences will give you the opportunity to enter into conversation with renowned international scholars and leading researchers in the field of English and American literature.

Research at the department specializes in four main areas:

  1. Inter/Mediality
  2. Literature and Popular Culture
  3. Literary and Cultural Transformations of History
  4. The Dynamics of Space

Your engagement with these exciting and diverse fields will enable you to read the literature of a particular period or, for example, study Shakespeare in dialogue with American philosophy. Your studies will also open doors for networking with other M.A. and Ph.D. students.

Brochure on the Master Program in English and American Literature

1. Inter/Mediality

This research area focuses on cultural products as mediatized forms and examines the intermedial relations structuring works of art. Topics range from historical (inter)medialities to the contemporary intersection of old and new media. As visual culture plays an increasingly important role in current culture, a special emphasis is placed on the pervasive role of visuality across media from the Renaissance to the present day. 

  • Multimediality
  • Literature and Its Cinematic Transformations
  • Literature and the Visual Arts

2. Literary and Cultural Transformations of History

The emphasis in this area is on the various links between literature, culture and history. Research and teaching focus on texts in their historical contexts as well as on the multiple ways in which works of art bring the past into the present. In addition, specific genres, modes and representations are examined in relation to particular literary periods. The aim is to achieve a nuanced understanding of how literature and the arts shape historical consciousness.

  • Identities and Cultural Memory
  • History of Representations and Representations of History
  • Historical Transformations Through Different Media

3. Literature and Popular Culture

Courses engage with the “high art/low art” debate and discuss popular forms of literature and cultural production. This includes a focus on the serial dimensions of literary texts and other works of art. Topics range from nineteenth-century serialized fiction to questions of adaptation, rewriting, and recycling, as well as contemporary television series.   

  • Serialization
  • Entertainment and Celebrity Culture
  • Materialities and Medialities of Popular Forms

4. The Dynamics of Space

This research area examines the spatial dimension of literature and other cultural productions. It analyzes the dynamic ways in which literary texts and other works of art create and represent spaces and landscapes. Special attention is paid to the circulation of ideas, people, goods and texts across national and political borders, with topics ranging from early modern spatial practices to contemporary postcolonial, transnational and global networks.

  • Theories of Space and Place
  • Transnational Networks
  • Movement and Cultural Identities