Graduate Division

European Thought and Culture MA

Section 1


The M.A. in European Thought and Culture (ETC) provides students with a rigorous course of study in the foundational philosophical texts and cultural products in literature and the arts produced in Europe from the Middle Ages to the present (including responses in non-European contexts).

The program has two tracks:

  1. Students with a B.A. degree can apply to the “stand-alone” program and pursue a one-year degree.
  2. As a 4+1 M.A. program, UC Irvine undergraduates can begin the three Core Seminars during their senior year and spend a fifth year at UCI completing the program requirements.

What Sets Us Apart?

The objective of this program is to train students in interpreting and writing about cultural products (literature and the arts) and philosophical texts (broadly speaking, including works in political theory, the history of science, and theology) from the European tradition.

This training has three goals:

  1. attentiveness to the formal structures and languages in which ideas are expressed;
  2. location of ideas in larger historical contexts, be they social, economic, or political institutions, cultural developments, or in conversation with other ideas;
  3. exploration of ideas and texts that are crucial for understanding the formation of modern critical theory.

A broad field of “theory” has emerged in the humanities and social sciences that attempts take a holistic perspective on human meaning rather than the reduction to a specific disciplinary perspective that characterizes the sciences. A major aim of this program is to provide students with a historical foundation in the cultural developments out of which critical theory itself emerged in Europe.

Moreover, and just as significantly, the program includes an emphasis in the non- European legacies of the European tradition, i.e., how it framed and intersected with other major civilizations (the Ottoman Empire, the Persian Empire, and the indigenous civilizations of the New World), on the one hand, and was translated and transformed by colonial and postcolonial writers (the likes of Césaire, Senghor, Fanon, etc.) as well as by African American writers and theorists on the other.

Quick Facts

Program Type

Academic Master's Program

Normative Time to Degree

1 year

Capstone Type

Thesis or Comprehensive Exam

Accordion Section

Admissions Requirements

The M.A. program in European Thought and Culture has two tracks for admission, the UCI 4+1 B.A./M.A. and the stand-alone M.A. Standards of admissibility are specific to each track and are as follows:

4+1 B.A./M.A. Track

  •     Completed graduate application
  •     Official transcript
  •     One letter of recommendation from an ETC faculty member or faculty member in a related field
  •     Writing sample
  •     Current UCI undergraduate student status
  •     Cumulative 3.0 GPA
  •     Cumulative 3.3 GPA in major
  •     Completion of EURO ST 200A, EURO ST 200B, and EURO ST 200C with a grade of B or higher
  •     Completion of two additional European Studies courses as defined by the European Studies Generally Approved Courses and/or the Quarterly Approved Courses list.
  •     Demonstrated reading knowledge in one European language other than English. See Language Requirement.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis during the final year of undergraduate study.

Stand-Alone M.A. Track

  •     Completed graduate application
  •     Official transcript
  •     Three letters of recommendation from faculty in related fields
  •     Writing sample
  •     Cumulative 3.0 GPA
  •     Cumulative 3.3 GPA in B.A. major
  •     GRE scores

Completion of one European language other than English. See Language Requirement.

Applications are accepted for fall admission only.

Financial Support

Because this is a terminal M.A. program, there is unfortunately no guaranteed graduate student support, though we will support applicants in securing any forms of funding possible.

Tuition & Fees

Graduate/Credential Student Fees 2018-19

  Fall 2018 Winter 2019 Spring 2019 Annual
Student Services Fee 376.00 376.00 376.00 1,128.00
Tuition 3,814.00 3,814.00 3,814.00 11,442.00
Assoc. Grad Students Fee 9.00 9.00 9.00 27.00
Student Center Fee 137.88 137.88 137.87 413.63
Bren Events Center Fee 23.00 23.00 23.00 69.00
Recreation Center Fee 88.00 88.00 88.00 264.00
eTech Fee * 60.00 60.00 60.00 180.00
Document Fee † 80.00 0.00 0.00 80.00
Student Health Insurance 1,348.00 1,347.00 1,347.00 4,042.00
Total California Resident $5,795.88 $5,794.88 $5,794.87 $17,385.63
Nonresident Supplemental Tuition 5,034.00 5,034.00 5,034.00 15,102.00
Total Nonresident $10,829.88 $10,828.88 $10,828.87 $32,487.63

Posted 10 August 2018 at

The tuition, fees, and charges posted to your billing statement or account are estimates based on currently approved amounts. These figures may not be final. Actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California and could be affected by increases or reductions in State funding, or other developments. Accordingly, final approved levels (and thus your final balance due) may differ from the amounts shown.

The non-refundable eTech Fee is required of all students and is used to support the maintenance and improvement of existing education technology, and new services and capabilities. The eTech fee is listed separately as the charged amount varies based on the amount of undergraduate units the student is enrolled in and is assessed later in the term than the other fees listed. The fee is $4 per unit of undergraduate lecture course, up to a maximum amount of $60 (or 15 units) per quarter. It will be assessed after the third week of instruction. The $60 eTech Fee included on this chart reflects the maximum possible fee.

† The Document Fee provides lifetime access to official transcripts and academic verifications without a fee for in-person pickup or delivery by USPS. In addition, there is no fee for mailing the initial diploma. Effective Fall 2018, new undergraduate, professional, and graduate students are assessed the one-time document fee. Eligible students are able to use financial aid to cover the Document Fee.

Core Faculty

Interdisciplinary Core Teaching Faculty

From the Department of European Languages and Studies

Anke Biendarra, Ph.D. Cultural Studies, Film, GDR Culture, German Lit & Culture of the 20th/21st Century, Literary Sociology, Literature of unification, New Media, Pop Culture

Kai Evers, Ph.D. Catastrophic Imagination and Rep. of War, European Studies, Film, Modernist Literature, Risk, Violence

Peter Frei, Ph.D. Sixteenth-century and modern French literature and philosophy

Glenn Levine, Ph.D. Applied Linguistics, Foreign Language Pedagogy, German-Jewish Literature, Theoretical Linguistics, Yiddish Language and Literature

Christophe Litwin, Ph.D. Modern French literature, philosophy, and political theory

Catherine Malabou, Ph.D. German Idealism, Contemporary French Philosophy, Critical Theory, Neurobiology, Epigenetics

Carrie Noland, Ph.D. Avant-Garde, Critical Theory, Dance and Performance Studies, Poetry and Poetics, Twentieth-Century French Literature

David T. Pan, Ph.D. 18th and 19th Century German Literature, Intellectual History

Deanna Shemek, Ph.D. Archives, Archival Practices; Digital Humanities; Italian; Italian Studies; Literature; Renaissance Studies; Gender Studies

John H. Smith, Ph.D. 18th- to 20th-century European Literature, Intellectual History, Literary Theory, Philosophy

Jim T. Chiampi, Ph.D. Italian Renaissance literature, Dante

From the Department of History

Vinayak Chaturvedi, Ph.D. History .Modern South Asia, Social and Intellectual History

Ian Coller, Ph.D. History. Modern French and Mediterranean history

Sarah Farmer, Ph.D. History. Modern French history, twentieth-century Europe, social and cultural history

Douglas Haynes, Ph.D. History. British history, race theory, history of medical sciences

Nancy McLoughlin, Ph.D. History. Late Medieval Intellectual and Gender History

Susan Morrissey, Ph.D. History .Modern Russian History

Renee Raphael, Ph.D. History. Early modern history of science, early modern European intellectual and cultural history, history of the book and its readers,
science and visual culture.

From African American Studies

Nahum Chandler, Ph.D. Modern Philosophy, Intellectual History, History of the Human Sciences, W. E. B. Du Bois

From Art History

James D. Herbert, Ph.D. Art History. Modern European Art and Intellectual History

From the Department of Music

David Brodbeck, Ph.D. Central European music and musical culture in the long nineteenth century and Anglo-American popular music of the past fifty years

Nicole Grimes, Ph. D. Music history, German music of the nineteenth century

From Spanish and Portuguese

Luis Avilés, Ph.D. Spanish. Golden Age Literature

Horacio Legras, Ph.D. Spanish. Latin American Literature; European Literary Theory and Intellectual History

Santiago Morales-Rivera, Ph.D. Spanish. Contemporary Spanish Intellectual History, Literature, and Culture

From English

Elizabeth Allen, Ph.D. Chaucer, Gower, fifteenth-century poetry; exemplary literature, romance, chronicle, episodic form; intersections between ethics and politics, politics and religion; hospitality, sovereignty, legal and constitutional history of England

Martin Harries, Ph.D. Modern European drama, performance theory, and avant- garde.

Rebeca Helfer. Ph.D. Renaissance literature and Culture; Memory; Spenser

Jayne Lewis, Ph.D. Literature and medicine, restoration and 18th-century British literature; literature of the supernatural and gothic fiction; history and/of fiction; atmosphere as literary concept and construct within natural philosophy

Victoria Silver, Ph.D. English. Early Modern Literature and Culture; Religious Studies; History and Theory of Rhetoric; Literature and Philosophy

James Steintrager, Ph.D. English. 18th-century Comparative Literature; Aesthetics; Ethical Philosophy and Literature; Systems Theory; Amatory and Erotic Fiction

From Comparative Literature

Herschel Farbman, Ph.D. Transnational modernism and its aftermath, Film and Media Studies, Literary and Political Theory

Jane O. Newman, Ph.D. Comparative Renaissance and Baroque Studies, History and Theories of Rhetoric, Cultural Studies and Criticism, History and Theories of Comparative Literature, Walter Benjamin and the Baroque

Nasrin Rahimieh. Ph.D. Modern Persian Literature and Culture, Translation, Exile, and Diaspora; European/Iranian cultural connections

Beryl Schlossman, Ph.D. French and Francophone studies, literature, cinema, and the arts in society

Georges van den Abbeele, Ph.D. Travel narrative, critical theory, and Renaissance literature; member of the European Academy of Sciences

From Film and Media Studies

Peter Krapp, Ph.D. Digital culture and media history, secret communications and cultural memory, history & theory of gadgets, games and simulations

Catherine Liu, Ph.D. Hou Hsiao-Hsien, psychoanalysis, U.S. intellectual history and educational/cultural/media policy, culture wars, Frankfurt School

From Philosophy

Sean Greenberg, Ph.D. History of early modern philosophy, and secondary interests in moral psychology

From Classics

Zina Giannopoulou, Ph.D. Ancient Greek Philosophy, esp. Plato, Reception of Classical Antiquity in Modern and Contemporary Prose Literature; Greek Tragedy and Epic

Andromache Karanika, Ph.D. Greek epic poetry, Greek Lyric, Folklore

Andrew Zissos, Ph.D. Latin epic, Imperial Roman Culture, Classical Reception

From Political Science

Daniel Brunstetter, Ph.D. Political Science. Just war, early modern thought, otherness/identity, new world discovery, Montaigne, Rousseau, French immigration

Simone Chambers, Ph.D. Political Science. Democratic theory, ethics, secularism, rhetoric, civility and the public sphere

Kevin Olson, Ph.D. Political Theory. Political theory, history of political thought, legal theory, philosophy of the social sciences

Keith Topper, Ph.D. Political theory

Academic Data

Data is not yet available, as this is a new program.

Career Outcomes

Data is not yet available, as this is a new program.

Students & Alumni

Coming soon.