The Master of Arts in World Literatures and Cultures is the first and only program of its kind in Canada. This one-year MA brings together areas of study such as literature, film, media, sociolinguistics, gender, diasporas and minorities.

The program explores the comparative and interdisciplinary nature of world cultures and arts, both past and present. It draws upon the combined expertise of professors from the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and from other departments in both the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences.

Discover how identities are shaped by cultural expressions in a national and transnational context. Explore the nature of representation and cultural diversity. Expand your intercultural knowledge in the dynamic setting of the nation’s capital.

The program is offered both full- and part-time. The two compulsory courses in the program are offered bilingually and the others are offered in rotation in French and in English. In accordance with the University of Ottawa regulation, students have the right to produce their work, their research papers or theses, and to answer examination questions in French or in English. The program is governed by the general framework of the general regulations in effect for graduate studies.

For the most accurate and up to date information on application deadlines, language tests and other admission requirements, please visit the specific requirements webpage.

To be considered for admission, applicants must:

  • Have a BA with honours or major in languages, literature, linguistics, translation, film studies, communication, international studies, intercultural studies, or in another related discipline;
  • Have achieved a minimum average of 70% (B), calculated in accordance with guidelines in effect for graduate studies;
  • Have an active knowledge (proficiency in understanding, speaking and writing) of one of the two official languages (either English or French) and have at least a passive knowledge (ability to understand and read) of the other language.

Knowledge of a third language is strongly recommended. Applicants whose bachelor’s degree was obtained outside Canada from a university where the language of instruction was other than English or French must provide proof of their language proficiency. The list of acceptable proofs is indicated in the “Admission” section of the general regulations in effect for graduate studies

MA with Research Paper 

Compulsory Courses:
LCM 5901Methodologies of Literary and Intercultural Research3 Units
LCM 5902Research Seminar3 Units
12 optional course units in world literatures and cultures (LCM) at the graduate level
Research Paper:
LCM 6999Research Paper6 Units
One graduate course (3 units) from another program may be permitted provided it is relevant to the research paper topic and approved by the program director.

Duration of the Program

Full-time students are expected to fulfill all requirements within one year. Part-time students can complete the program within two years. The maximum time permitted is four years from the date of initial enrollment in the program.

Minimum Standards

The passing grade in all courses is C+. Students who fail two courses (equivalent to 6 units) must withdraw from the program.

Research Fields & Facilities

Located in the heart of Canada’s capital, a few steps away from Parliament Hill, the University of Ottawa is among Canada’s top 10 research universities.

uOttawa focuses research strengths and efforts in four Strategic Areas of Development in Research (SADRs):

  • Canada and the World
  • Health
  • e-Society
  • Molecular and Environmental Sciences

With cutting-edge research, our graduate students, researchers and educators strongly influence national and international priorities.

Research at the Faculty of Arts

The Faculty of Arts is proud of the state of the art research conducted by its professors. In the spirit of showcasing its research to the university community as well as to the general public, the Faculty has created three activities: Dean's Lecture Series, Treasures of the Library, and Excellence Lectures.

Facilities, Research Centres and Institutes at the Faculty of Arts

Centre de recherche en civilisation canadienne-française, Institute of Canadian and Aboriginal Studies, Institute for Science, Society and Policy, Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI) and Morisset Library.

For more information, refer to the list of faculty members and their research fields on Uniweb

IMPORTANT: Candidates and students looking for professors to supervise their thesis or research project can also consult the website of the faculty or department of their program of choice. Uniweb does not list all professors authorized to supervise research projects at the University of Ottawa.

Not all of the courses listed are given each year. The course is offered in the language in which it is described.

LCM 5100 Intertextuality: Literature and the Arts (3 units)

Study of common discourses, threads and motives that occur in the literatures and arts of various countries, regions and across various historical periods. Comparative methodological approach to world cultures beyond the limitations of disciplinary, historical and national configurations.

Course Component: Seminar

LCM 5101 Lesser-Used and Minority Languages and Literatures (3 units)

Study of the situation (e.g. acculturation and assimilation issues; language as the expression of cultural identity), the relevance and the cultural impact of lesser-used and minority languages and literatures in an international context, in the present and the past.

Course Component: Seminar

LCM 5102 Europe and Its Others (3 units)

European culture and its encounters with the Other, both within and outside of Europe. Study of the creation of cultural, racial and gender stereotypes and hybridity in literature, film, the arts and the media in various geographic and historical contexts, including Canada.

Course Component: Seminar

LCM 5103 Orientalism in Literature, Cinema and the Media (3 units)

Study of Orientalist discourses through post-colonial theories. Representations of the Orient and the Occident in literary and cinematic productions and the media.

Course Component: Seminar

LCM 5104 Topics in World Literatures (3 units)

Definitions and theories of world literature (Goethe's Weltliteratur) as developed and applied in various cultures and during different historical periods. Study, in a comparative context, of major topics in world literatures from various countries and continents.

Course Component: Seminar

LCM 5105 Topics in International Cinema (3 units)

Study of film as a vehicle of national and transnational cultural identity; cinematographic representation, language, themes, topics and motives in an intercultural and comparative context.

Course Component: Seminar

LCM 5106 Languages in Contact (3 units)

Study of a contact situation between two or more languages and of its social, historical and cultural impact.

Course Component: Seminar

LCM 5107 Cultures in the Diaspora (3 units)

The situation of linguistic and cultural survival, identity, production and interaction (literary, cinematic and other) in various diasporas, in Canada and/or selected regions in the world.

Course Component: Seminar

LCM 5301 Special Topics in World Literatures and Cultures I (3 units)

Comparative study of selected topics pertaining to at least two different cultures, literatures, and/or cinematographic and artistic traditions.

Course Component: Seminar

LCM 5302 Special Topics in World Literatures and Cultures II (3 units)

Comparative study of selected topics pertaining to at least two different cultures, literatures, and/or cinematographic and artistic traditions.

Course Component: Seminar

LCM 5500 L'intertextualité : Littérature et les Arts (3 crédits)

Étude des discours et des motifs communs aux littératures et aux arts de différents pays et régions et à travers différentes périodes historiques. Approche méthodologique comparative aux cultures du monde au-delà des limites des configurations disciplinaires, historiques et nationales.

Volet : Séminaire

LCM 5501 Les langues et littératures moins répandues et minoritaires (3 crédits)

Étude de la situation (ex. les problèmes de l'acculturation et de l'assimilation; la langue en tant qu'expression de l'identité culturelle), de l'importance et de l'influence sur le plan culturel des langues et littératures moins répandues ou minoritaires. Étude dans un contexte international, au présent ainsi qu'au passé.

Volet : Séminaire

LCM 5502 L'Europe et ses autres (3 crédits)

La culture européenne et ses rencontres avec l'Autre à l'intérieur et à l'extérieur de l'Europe. L'étude de différentes formes de l'hybridité ainsi que des stéréotypes culturels, raciaux et sexuels dans la littérature, le cinéma, les arts et les médias dans différents contextes géographiques et historiques, incluant le Canada.

Volet : Séminaire

LCM 5503 L'orientalisme dans la littérature, le cinéma et les médias (3 crédits)

Étude des discours orientalistes dans la perspective des théories post-coloniales. Représentations de l'Orient et de l'Occident dans des oeuvres littéraires et cinématographiques ainsi que dans les médias.

Volet : Séminaire

LCM 5504 Thèmes dans les littératures du monde (3 crédits)

Définitions et théories de la littérature mondiale (littérature universelle d'après Goethe) tel que développées et appliquées dans des cultures et périodes historiques variées. Études comparatives de thèmes majeurs dans les littératures du monde provenant de divers pays et continents.

Volet : Séminaire

LCM 5505 Thèmes dans le cinéma international (3 crédits)

Étude du cinéma en tant que véhicule de l'identité culturelle nationale ainsi que transnationale, de la représentation, du langage, des thèmes et des motifs cinématographiques dans un contexte interculturel et comparatif.

Volet : Séminaire

LCM 5506 Les langues en contact (3 crédits)

Étude du contact entre au moins deux langues et de son impact social, historique et culturel.

Volet : Séminaire

LCM 5507 Les cultures dans la diaspora (3 crédits)

La situation de la survie linguistique et de l'identité, production et interaction culturelles (littéraire, cinématographique et autre) dans des diasporas variés, au Canada et/ou dans des régions choisies ailleurs dans le monde.

Volet : Séminaire

LCM 5701 Thèmes spéciaux en littératures et cultures du monde I (3 crédits)

Étude comparative de thèmes choisis appartenant à au moins deux cultures, littératures et/ou traditions cinématographiques et artistiques différentes.

Volet : Séminaire

LCM 5702 Thèmes spéciaux en littératures et cultures du monde II (3 crédits)

Étude comparative de thèmes choisis appartenant à au moins deux cultures, littératures et/ou traditions cinématographiques et artistiques différentes.

Volet : Séminaire

LCM 5901 Méthodologies de la recherche littéraire et interculturelle / Methodologies of Literary and Intercultural Research (3 crédits / 3 units)

Survol des fondements théoriques nécessaires pour mener des recherches en littératures et cultures. Les cours LCM 5901, ESP 5901 ne peuvent être combinés pour l'obtention de crédits. / Overview of the theoretical basis required for conducting research in the fields of literatures and cultures. Courses LCM 5901, ESP 5901 cannot be combined for units.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

LCM 5902 Séminaire de recherche / Research Seminar (3 crédits / 3 units)

Techniques avancées de rédaction. Développement et présentation du projet de mémoire. / Advanced essay writing techniques. Development and presentation of the research paper proposal.

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

Préalable : connaissance passive de l'anglais. / Prerequisite: passive knowledge of French.

LCM 5909 Lectures dirigées en littératures et cultures du monde / Directed Readings in World Literatures and Culture (3 crédits / 3 units)

Cours individuel ayant pour objectif d'approfondir les connaissances de l'étudiant dans un domaine particulier ou de lui permettre de se familiariser avec un nouveau domaine. Le sujet est déterminé et développé en consultation avec le professeur responsable et en conformité avec les directives du département. Le travail remis dans ce cours doit être différent de ce qui a pu être soumis dans d'autres cours, y compris le mémoire. On permet un maximum d'un cours de lectures dirigées par étudiant. / Individual course aimed at deepening a student's knowledge of a particular area or at gaining knowledge of a new area. The topic is selected and developed in consultation with the supervising professor in accordance with departmental guidelines. The work submitted for this course must be different from that submitted for other courses, including the research paper. Maximum of one directed readings course per student and permission granted only under exceptional circumstances.

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

LCM 6999 Mémoire / Research Paper (6 crédits / 6 units)

Mémoire entre 40 et 50 pages préparé sous la direction d'un ou deux membres du corps professoral choisis en accord avec le directeur du programme. / Paper (40-50 pages) completed under the supervision of one or two professors selected in consultation with the program director. The research paper will be evaluated by the supervisor (and co-supervisor) and one other professor.

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

Préalable : LCM 5901, LCM 5902 / Prerequisites : LCM 5901, LCM 5902