Program in Early Cultures

Graduate Certificate in Early Cultures

The Graduate Certificate in Early Cultures can provide valuable training for Brown doctoral students from various fields.

For students already working in a particular field of pre-modern study, it allows focused training in comparative study of a significantly contrasting geographical area, time period, and/ or academic discipline. For students working in contemporary fields, it allows basic, foundational comparative training in ancient cultures.

We offer courses and programming focused on the ancient Mediterranean, the ancient Americas, South and/or East Asia, and a wide variety of disciplinary orientations.

For more information, please contact the Director of the Program in Early Cultures.

  • Familiarity with an historical culture other than the primary area of the student’s doctoral program;
  • Familiarity with disciplinary skills outside their primary program;
  • Critical engagement with methodologies of comparison.

Four courses at the 1000 or 2000-level directly and predominantly focused on pre-modern cultures:

  • Two PEC-designated seminars (2000-level). These seminars will present comparison as a primary methodology for the course material, and may be team-taught by faculty from two different PEC-affiliated departments (e.g., Anthropology and History of Art and Architecture).
  • Two seminars in PEC departments outside the student’s primary area. In these seminars, the responsibility for comparative methodology will be the student’s, with support from the faculty instructor and/or other PEC faculty as appropriate.
  • All offerings at the 1000 or 2000-level in PEC affiliated units can count towards the Certificate, if the material directly and predominantly focuses on pre-modern cultures, and if there are no new language requirements for the certificate students. PEC will  designate one graduate seminar per semester from these units as the “PEC Seminar” for that given semester; that seminar will have a strong comparative component.

Two additional learning components:

  • Cross-departmental TA assignment;
  • Full time participation in season/summer field work or archival project (other than their primary area);
  • Season/summer project under faculty or staff supervision (outside primary area): for example, museum or library-based archival work, exhibition planning and design, digital humanities work, or cataloging of special collections, e.g., at the Rockefeller Library, John Hay Library, John Carter Brown Library, Haffenreffer Museum, or RISD Museum;
  • Co-organization of PEC event series (lectures, workshops, event series), that includes gaining familiarity with the scholarly records of invited or presenting specialists, such that the student can help design intellectually coherent and compelling events;
  • Participation in five PEC events: workshops, conferences, public lectures, with 2-pp written critical response on methodologies for each event (submitted to PEC Director).

Coursework may be graded or, if mandatory for a given course, taken S/NC;  learning components will be non-graded, completed/not completed. Either may be undertaken at any time during a student’s Ph.D. program, and in any order.

The PEC Director will serve as the primary academic advisor.

Please apply to the Graduate Certificate in Early Cultures using UFunds. You will need to supply these items:

  • a (short) statement of application
  • letter of support from faculty advisor or DGS
  • internal transcript from Brown

To access the application, log in to UFunds. After log in, please select Doctoral Certificates, and then select Early Cultures.

This program is open only to Ph.D. students currently enrolled at Brown University.