Graduate Student Profile: James Martell, Ph.D. in Literature


I knew always that I wanted to do
comparative literature or something that will allow me to mix philosophy and
literature. I started questioning the idea of what does art and what does
literature give to philosophy at the same time as what does philosophy give to the
arts. My dissertation is an analysis of two main writers one is Samuel Beckett
and the other one is Jack Derrida. They are taken as an example of what is to think literature and philosophy is after the second half of the 20th century. It’s
a research on how the different, let’s say, problems of knowledge and problems of of experience, and credential knowledge get put into questions of
literature, literary works, and philosophical works. I chose the PhD
in Literature at Notre Dame because the focus on it was real international and
it was a little more broad than your regular comparative literature program.
We can incorporate not only the relation between different national languages
but also the relation between different disciplines and different traditions. I
was really thrilled by all the interdisciplinary approach that I could
get into and also by all the opportunities with different Institute’s
to travel and to learn languages and to just keep enriching my whole
experience. Being able to design my own course in PhD in Literature was one
of the best experiences that I had because not only was that great for my
own research and for especially preparing for my dissertation but also I
was able to have like one of the most direct teaching experiences of my own
interest and I think that is one of the biggest strengths in the PhD in Literature.

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