Literature and Culture Comprehensive Examination

As of the 2002-2003 academic year, all students majoring in American Studies must take two comprehensive examinations (szigorlat) at the end of their third academic year in order to complete Academic Phase II (második képzési szakasz). The first one consists of two parts: (1) Academic English 2, which aims at assessing the students’ knowledge in linguistics along with their language and study skills;  and (2) an oral examination called the Literature and Culture Comprehensive Examination (LCCE), administered by a committee of three. The second comprehensive exam is the major paper (MP).

Students majoring in both American Studies and English Studies must take both the LCCE (in American Studies) and the LCCT (in English Studies).

I. Structure, topics

1. Core areas: During the LCCE, students must answer questions which cover topics included in three core courses/areas of American Studies in Academic Phase II.  These are: (1) American and British literary history; (2) American and British history; and (3) American intellectual history.

  • students whose MP is devoted to American literature, must take the exam in (1) American and British history and (2) American intellectual history;
  • students whose MP is devoted to American history, must take the exam in (1) American and British literary history and (2) American intellectual history;
  • iii. students whose MP is devoted to American intellectual history, must take the exam in (1) American and British literary history and (2) American and British history; and
  • iv. students whose MP is devoted to linguistics, may select two out of the three core areas for the examination.

Each student is to submit the core areas s/he will be examined on (see format below) along with the MP contract at the end of the second academic year.  Regardless of the core areas selected, each student must meet all the requirements regarding course work as described in Út a diplomához.

2. Topics: Once the core areas are defined, each student is to submit ten topics for each core area. These are the topics which the student should be prepared to discuss on the exam.  The various topics may be selected from the list below.  Each third-year student must submit the list of total 20 topics specified by core area via the LCCE form (available soon). Online registration is due Friday noon on the penultimate week of the term. Those who fail to register by this time will take the exam from the entire range of topics enlisted from the chosen fields. Lists submitted late will not be accepted!

3. Material: students are advised to prepare for the examination from the books listed below.

4. Method of examination: students are to draw one examination topic for each core area they have submitted and elaborate on each before a committee of three.

II. Grading

Students will receive two final grades for their comprehensive examination (szigorlat) at the end of the examination period.  One of these is the grade they will have received for their major paper, the other the one they will have earned at the oral examination.

If a student fails either part of the comprehensive examination (szigorlat), general procedures (resits included) will be in accordance with the relevant regulations (Tanulmányi és Vizsgaszabályzat, szigorlatok). (Attention! If one submits one’s major paper only in August, the LCCE may be taken only afterwards, and is then automatically considered as a resit.)

III. Topics and reading material

1. Core area 1

American literary history

M. Bradbury-R. Ruland, From Puritanism to Postmodernism. A History of American Literature. London: Penguin, 1992.


  1. The Puritan legacy
  2. Awakening and Enlightenment
  3. Revolution and (in)dependence
  4. American naissance
  5. Yea-saying and nay-saying
  6. Secession and loyalty
  7. Muckrackers and early Moderns
  8. Outland darts and homemade worldsrlds
  9. The second flowering
  10. Radical reassessments
  11. Strange realities, adequate fictions

British literary history

A. Sanders, The Short Oxford History of English Literature


  1. Renaissance and Reformation literature, 1510-1620
  2. Eighteenth century literature, 1690-1780
  3. The literature of the Romantic period, 1780-1830
  4. High Victorian literature, 1830-1880
  5. Late Victorian and Edwardian literature, 1880-1920
  6. Modernism and its alterations, 1920-1945
  7. Post-war and post-modern literature

2. Core area 2

American history

Handouts for US History. A Study Guide and Workbook. Budapest: Panem-McGraw-Hill, 1995.


  1. Discoveries, early settlements and the American colonies in the British Empire
  2. Colonial society, material culture and mind
  3. The road to revolution and the War of Independence and the building of a new nation (from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution)
  4. The early years of the republic and foreign affairs to the Civil War
  5. Slavery in North America and the Civil War
  6. Reconstruction and the Gilded Age (incl. immigration)
  7. US foreign affairs at the turn of the century and the US in World War I
  8. Normalcy and Depression (the 1920s) and the New Deal
  9. The US in World War II
  10. Postwar society and the Cold War in the US
  11. Toward a “Great Society” (from the Civil Rights Movement to the rise of radicalism) and testing the superpower (the Vietnam War and US-Soviet rivalry)
  12. The rise of neoconservatism (from Nixon) and the US in the 1980s

British history

K. O. Morgan, The Oxford History of Britain. Oxford: OUP, 1996.


  1. The Tudor age
  2. The Stuarts
  3. The eighteenth century
  4. Revolution and the rule of law
  5. The liberal age
  6. The twentieth century

3. Core area 3

p))). American intellectual history

Reading packets for the lecture


  1. Puritans in Colonial America
  2. The New England Way: political, legal, and church institutions
  3. Puritanism in American historiography in the 19th and 20th centuries
  4. The emergence of national identity in the 18th c.
  5. Independence and the pursuit of happiness
  6. Federalism and republicanism
  7. Transcendentalism
  8. Feminism in the 19th c.
  9. Manifest destiny and territorial expansion
  10. The West and the frontier
  11. Pragmatism
  12. Progress in terms of economy and life styles in the late 19th c.

Should you have any questions, please contact obfuscate email=”” text=”Réka M. Cristian” subject=”LCCE question” />._