Me escribe un joven académico iraní, interesado en la narratología, y que ya es doctor en literatura persa, por saber si puede hacer un máster o un doctorado conmigo en esta materia. Con el panorama que tengo por el postgrado de aquí, me parece más prudente desanimarlo que animarlo. Esto le contesto:
Thanks for contacting me, and thanks for the publication you enclose as well. I feel honoured by your interest in my work on narratology, and I find your willingness to study abroad in Europe is courageous and praiseworthy. I think that narrative theory is a fascinating field in which to develop an expertise, with a high interdisciplinary potential, and your expert background in Persian literature and your previous publications in narratology will no doubt provide more than a foothold for further work in this area.
However, if you are planning to get a second doctorate I would advise that you should study carefully the need to do so; it is such a time-consuming endeavour that one in a lifetime is usually enough. But I understand that you do wish to study abroad; only I advise that you should consider the whole range of options. As to myself, perhaps you know I work at the English Department at the University of Zaragoza, Spain---Here is a link to the postgraduate programme there:
If you are further interested, we could go into the admission requirements for students with a foreign degree. In principle, as your university degree is not in English, you would need some kind of certificate in English (TOEFL, Cambridge, or some internationally recognized certificate if possible) for admission, as the seminars, coursework, thesis etc. are in English. Anyway, I am afraid I cannot guarantee I will be one of the faculty members in that programme, and due to internal problems too lengthy to go into here, it would be quite complicated to begin a Ph.D. in narratology here with me. Also, although there is some narratological emphasis in several courses, the program as such is not narratologically oriented. So, all in all, I don't think my university is your best option at present---certainly not if your main interest is either study with me, or narratology! However, this programme is eager to admit foreign students provided they fulfil the entrance requirements, and there is even some provision for financial aid, not really much to speak of.
Maybe I should suggest that you have a look at the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture, at the University of Giessen:
I understand that they've got a good programme in financial aid and a well-organised system of postgraduate work and study---and that they actively welcome foreign students. Furthermore, and that is why I mention it, there is a group of teachers with strong narratological connections there.
Same for Hamburg University, which is the hub of the European Narratology Network:
But if you wish to specialise in narratology or narrative theory, really "the" place to go would be Ohio State University: there's a world-leading research group in narrative theory there. Maybe you can have a look at their courses and activities on their website:
And there are several other places with a strong narratological interest. I am afraid I can't be more encouraging as regards study at my own university. But if you are interested in pursuing the issue further, and you think the programme at Zaragoza is convenient for your career projects, please do contact me again, and we'll try to sort things out.
I wish you much success in your plans for future study in narratology. And many thanks, again, for your interest in my work, and for taking the trouble to contact me.
All best wishes,
José Angel García Landa
¿Estudiar en Zaragoza, conmigo? Ufff...