PhD in Philology, Literature and Linguistics

Course partially running (all years except the first)



The research field of the doctoral programme brings together the areas of LINGUISTIC, TEXTUAL and LITERARY studies within an interdisciplinary context of mutual interaction, including a wide range of approaches (i.e. diachronic and synchronic, written and oral, theoretical and practical). The different areas of research converge on a common overall methodological perspective rooted in a long-standing tradition of humanistic dialogue between different textual approaches.
The doctoral programme wishes to stimulate intellectual curiosity and critical competence thanks to the acquisition of both theoretically and methodologically advanced and innovative tools and techniques. In particular, it offers the opportunity to compare and use critical instruments pertaining to linguistic analysis, philology, and literary hermeneutics in order to develop an all-round critical competence with reference to on the concept of language, textual typologies (in their literary and non-literary variants), and the relation between text and discourse.
The aim of the doctoral programme is to train both young researchers in view of an internationally-oriented academic career open to scientific challenges, and experts for intellectual professions, by strengthening competences and vocations already developed at BA and MA level, with particular reference to the LM 14, 19, 37 and 39 degree programmes. Fields of prospective employment are: the book industry, journalism, mass communication; librarianship, archive-keeping, and more generally conservation of manuscripts and printed texts; other public and private sectors requiring a high profile of humanistic and cultural competence in handling written
communication and oral information. In line with the three main areas belonging to the research field, the programme comprises three curricula - philological, literary, and linguistic - which share the above-mentioned common theoretical-methodological approaches and aims.
The philological curriculum explores the literary text from the point of view of its tradition through the centuries and its critical reconstruction, with specific reference to the literary areas belonging to the doctoral course. Thus, it provides training in Greek, Latin, Romance, Germanic, and Italian philology. As an historically aware science concerned with restoring the cultural, literary and linguistic contexts in which texts are produced, philology supplies an invaluable whole set of methodologies and techniques for the analysis of literary texts and linguistic corpora. It thus shows a substantial complementarity with the literary and linguistic sciences and offers a unique opportunity for dialogue with the other curricula of the doctoral programme (literary and linguistic). Thanks to important networks connected with international academic institutions on a global scale such as TEI and MENOTA, philology is today leading the way in the diffusion of computer-assisted methodologies, and the processing and spreading of standardised applications by which texts can be digitalised (in line with the aims of the 2020 Horizon programme). Ali this entails theoretical, methodological and practical skills in many areas as specified in the paragraph on topics below.
The literary curriculum studies the historical and cultural tradition of ancient, medieval and modern texts, with specific reference to the literary areas comprised within the doctoral programme. Ancient Greek, Latin, Medieval Latin, Medieval and Modern Romance, Italian; Comparative Literature and other European modern and medieval literatures. The literary curriculum thus promotes the acquisition of highly specialised research skills thanks to the state of art methods and tools of literary criticism, philology, historical linguistics, al so in a comparative and international perspective. With it specific attention to poetical structures and styles and their dynamic dimension, the literary curriculum highlights the artistic value of texts, their linguistic structure and form, foregrounding the texture of their correspondences in a historical perspective that takes into account poetics, genres and literary movements. It also investigates, issues of genre and periodization, as well as questions raised by contemporary interlinguistic, intercultural, and interdisciplinary research. Following thematic lines of investigation, conceived of as longue durée structural constants, it explores the ideological transformations of themes and the metamorphoses of myths.
The linguistic curriculum focuses on man's ability to use language considered as a cognitive faculty, a cultural and historical expression, and as a means of communication. Research activities will concentrate both on language in general (in its oral, written, ancient, modern, standard, dialect and pathology-related varieties) and on individual languages, analysed as manifestations of specific cognitive skills and as expressions of cultural and historical aspects.
Following these lines of definition, the study of language envisages the adoption of different analytical perspectives, both theoretical and applied, in order to clarify the biological, cognitive, cultural, and communicative factors that underlie man's ability to produce and understand language. On the whole, this research programme is characterised by a strong interdisciplinary approach and is based on a systematic interaction with adjacent research fields such as cognitive psychology, neurosciences, philosophy of language, and the social sciences). The methods of investigation are inspired by both theoretical analysis and experimental research, and imply the crucial employment of the most modern electronic research tools for gathering and processing linguistic data.

Course details

Degree type
3 years
Degree class
DOTTORATI - PHD – PhD programmes (university)
Supervisory body
Collegio dei Docenti del Dottorato in Filologia, Letteratura e Scienze dello Spettacolo
Teaching and course administration
Operational unit PhD Unit
Graduate School
PhD Schools Web Page
Main Department
Cultures and Civilizations
Macro area
Subject area
Literature, Arts and Communication Studies