Harry Potter Library

English Literature and Linguistics

Why this program?

With four chairs (i.e. professors) in English Literature and four chairs in English Linguistics (incl. Switzerland's only full professorship in English Historical Linguistics), the UZH English Department offers the broadest range of courses among Swiss universities. The UZH Master program in English Literature and/or Linguistics is designed to offer a great deal of flexibility to advanced students wishing to pursue courses in one or both areas:

  • In English Literature, students will deepen their understanding of theoretical debates (incl. their historical development). Key areas include intermediality and audiovisual culture; the relation between literary history, identity, and collective memory; and the politics of literary representation – e.g. in relation to gender or (post-)colonial power structures.
  • In English Linguistics, students will learn how to develop their own research design in specialized areas. Students will debate and contribute to state-of-the-art research in historical linguistics (incl. medieval literature and culture), English as a world language, and the field of pragmatics, from both a synchronic and a diachronic perspective.

What can I do with it later?

The Master programs in English Literature and/or Linguistics prepare students for later employment in a wide range of areas. Moreover, graduates with a strong academic record will have the option of pursuing a PhD and thus lay the basis for a possible career in higher education.

Many of our Alumni/Alumnae work at Swiss Maturitätsschulen. In addition, former students of English have been employed by:

  • multinational banks
  • Switzerland’s largest TV station
  • local as well as national newspapers
  • various types of NGOs
  • cultural institutions (such as museums or foundations for the arts)
  • in other sectors of the economy (e.g. in high-tech companies: responsible for PR materials and user manuals)

What will I learn?

In English Literature, students will develop their ability to describe aesthetic phenomena with great precision and increasing nuance, contextualizing works of literature in the broader cultural field and situating their own interpretations within specific critical debates.

In English Linguistics, students will learn how to reflect critically on their own choice of method and theory, and continue to hone their skills in preparing, analyzing, and interpreting increasingly complex sets of linguistic data.

In addition, the UZH Master program in English Literature and/or Linguistics includes advanced writing and media studies modules. By the end of their studies, students will thus have acquired all the necessary skills to conduct independent scholarly work.

Current seminar topics

Examples of current Research Seminars

Linguistics

  • Applied Sociolinguistics
  • Evolutionary Linguistics
  • Legal Old English and Its Communities

Literature

  • Two Cultures? Science and the Humanities
  • Borderlines – US/Mexico
  • Making and Breaking Images in 17th-Century Literature