American Univesity of Beirut

Graduate Studies

​The requirements for an MA degree in English
consist of 21 credit hours in courses numbered 300 or above, successful completion of a comprehensive examination, and a thesis along with any additional prerequisite courses determined by the department to make up for deficiencies in undergraduate preparation.

Students working for an MA degree in English Language must take English 301, 327, 341 or 342, and 345.  Two additional elective English Language graduate courses from among those offered in the department must be taken. Students must take a further graduate course, which may be from outside the English language course offerings, subject to departmental approval. 

Students working for the degree of MA i​n the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) should refer to the Department of Education catalogue section. Students working for the degree of MA in the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) should refer to the Department of Education catalogue section.

Students working for an MA degree in English Literature must complete English 301. In addition, they must take one course from each of the following three categories: Literary History, Comparative Literature, and Literary and Cultural Studies. Of the remaining three courses, two may be taken outside the Literature program, subject to departmental approval. 

For more information about graduate studies at AUB, check out the the AUB graduate catalogue and the following links: Online Graduate Application​; Graduate Council​.


For more information about the MA program in English Language and Literature, click here​. Also check out the MA Graduate flyer​.

Draft description of the graduate courses for Spring 2020 - 2021

ENGL 301A - Int. to Bibliog&Research Method
Professor Sonja Mejcher-Atassi

Why do literary studies matter and what do we do in literary studies? What are our objects and methods of inquiry? What are our resources? What kind of material do we work with?
This course accompanies you through your first steps in our graduate program in English literature, as we set out to explore these questions. Its aim is twofold: First, to familiarize you with the resources available in the field of literary studies and with key components of a research project, such as finding a research topic and narrowing it down, drafting research questions and framing them theoretically, writing an annotated bibliography and a literature review, and formulating an argument with which you enter a scholarly conversation. Second, to explore the very material we work with in literary studies: texts, books, and libraries, which can take various forms. In this context, we critically reflect on our very reading and writing practices and changing notions of text and author. Like all of our graduate courses, this is a reading and writing intensive course. The required reading, both literary and theoretical texts listed in the weekly schedule below, is subject to change, depending on your input and course progress. Updates are posted on Moodle. As part of the requirements you will be asked to write a ‘mock’ research project proposal – I say ‘mock’ because I do not expect you to have decided on a research project yet but want you to think about potential projects. You might come back to this research proposal, when you have completed your 2  course work and have to submit your MA thesis proposal, but I expect it to have undergone significant changes. We will work on the research project in stages – see course requirements and grading. This course does not replace a literary theory class. If you have not taken a theory course in your undergraduate studies or feel that you would like to revise and further explore literary theory, you are welcome to audit ENGL 221: Introduction to Literary Theory and/or ENGL 261: Advanced Literary Theory.


ENGL 309E World Literature, Comparative Melodrama & the Sources of Dissent
Professor Joshua D. Gonsalves

This course will trace how texts, contents, and contexts from different global-locales are transposed in film. Beau Travail, for example, a French film in which the experience of African Colonialism speaks back to the Center, transposes Melville's Billy Budd, a 19th-century American novella, into diverse, contradictory and dissent-rich contexts. What, we will want to ask, are the consequences for reading-interpretation that follow from this displacement, as well as from the other specific conjunctures that we will be tracking? While this course will operate on a"meta"-level that will help students inter-process history, theory and text in terms of their own projected projects, it will also focus on something specific: the international travails of the melodrama—focusing, in particular, on the globalization of its film noir manifestations.

ENGL 314A: Special Topics in Literature / ENGL 346AB: Special Topics in Applied Linguistics Professor David Landes

Rhetoric, the study of appeal and effectiveness, has been called many things, including the “today’s secret master-discipline” (McClosky), “the proto-discipline from which many others derive” (Poulakos), and “the method of the humanities” (Raymond). Rhetoric’s 3000-year tradition contains a storehouse of diverse tools and wisdom that scholars in nearly all fields keep returning to, finding in it much utility, history, and adaptability to their own disciplines. Literature and linguistics, fields only two centuries young, are rooted in this rhetorical tradition and continue to cross-inform each other.
To learn rhetorical theory is to undergo a transformation in your thinking, feeling, and being in the world, especially regarding that which is human-made, socially-constructed, and linguistically-mediated. This course fosters in you a rhetorical worldview, seeing the process-nature of all communication as variable and strategically designed to achieve effects in the world. Rhetoric thus encompass the whole of human experience, whose fluid indeterminacy urges us to be intellectually generative, perceptually broadening, and joyously explorative. You will develop this to the degree to you learn rhetorical concepts, apply them, and integrate the outcomes.

ENGL 327: Sociolinguistics
Professor Kassim Shaaban​

This course is intended to give students the opportunity to explore and study in depth the literature on issues related to the interaction between language and society. More specifically, students will examine how social structure affects the way people communicate. Thus, the course will focus on the various sociolinguistic approaches and the methods used for collecting representative data for the study of language in society. Furthermore, students will learn about dialectal and stylistic variation and how such variation affects language attitudes and social stereotypes. Finally, students will learn about the interaction between language and social factors such as age, gender, socio-economic status, ethnicity, political orientation, and social trends. Needless to say, students are expected to apply what they learn in the research they conduct for their midterm presentation and final research paper.
The course covers such topics as geographical and social dialects, ethnography of speaking, discourse analysis, ethnolinguistic vitality, bilingualism and bidialectism, intercultural communication, pragmatics, language planning and language policy, and motivation to learn language. More specifically, the course addresses the following topics: language and gender, language in education, conversational analysis, multilingualism and multiculturalism, styles, registers, lingua franca, code switching and code mixing, pidgins and creoles, non-standard language varieties, variationist sociolinguistics, language and identity, language attitudes, and language and culture.

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