Fresh perspectives on French literature and culture

Despite the program's name, students pursuing a graduate degree in French Literature are restricted to neither French nor literature, but rather are encouraged to engage freely in wide-ranging research on many different subjects. Although the focus of the program is on literature written in French, we seek to transcend conventional academic categories and instead emphasize contemporary ideas, perspectives, and methods for attaining a comprehensive understanding of literature, the arts, and culture. The purpose of this approach is to nurture individuals with the knowledge, sensibilities, and creativity to play a proactive role in the 21st century. The Textuality concentration engages a variety of literary works from the Middle Ages through the present, rejecting a positivist approach and instead focusing on the texts themselves from multiple angles, including content and form as well as the context of creation, the production of meaning, and  intertextuality. In the Modernity concentration, students focus on  new forms of literature, art, and philosophy that spread from France to other parts of the world in the twentieth century. Because their study is not limited to French literature, but rather encompases current perspectives on a wide range of cultural phenomena,  students may find themselves questioning their own ways of living in contemporary society. In both concentrations, close interaction between faculty and students (both current and former) is emphasized. Opportunities for study abroad are also available, as is a credit transfer program with seven other univerisities. It is our hope that students will build on their experiences in this rich learning environment to forge diverse paths into the future.

Admission Policy


Long-Term Study Abroad Program

One-year study abroad programs are available at Université de Rennes 2, Université Nice Sophia-Antipolis, and Institut d'Études Politiques d'Aix-en-Provence. Participants take regular university classes alongside French students.

Inter-University Credit Transfer Program

This program enables students at the graduate schools of participating universities to receive credit for completion of classes taken at other member graduate schools, provided they comply with certain rules. Students in the French Literature program may receive up to ten credits for completion of classes taken at the following universities: Aoyama Gakuin University, Gakushuin University, Shirayuri University, Sophia University, Dokkyo University, Musashi University, and Meiji University. Credits are counted toward requirements for degree completion. To attain the greatest academic benefit from this program, we recommend that students consult with their advisor regarding their plans.

Scholarships and Grants

In principle, six students (primarily doctoral students) in the Graduate School of Arts and Letters are awarded scholarships of 100,000 or 200,000 yen each year to support overseas research and presentations. In addition, grants of up to 30,000 yen are available for travel to academic conferences within Japan.