Doctor of Letters


Doctor of Letters
Mark Twain, wearing the full-dress gown of an Oxford DLitt.

Doctor of Letters (Latin: Litterarum doctor; D.Litt.; or Litt. D.) is a university academic degree.

In the United Kingdom, Australia, India and certain other countries, the degree is a higher doctorate, above the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), and is issued on the basis of a long record of research and publication. The degree D.Litt. is awarded to candidates whose record of published work and research shows conspicuous ability and originality and constitutes a distinguished and sustained achievement. University committee and board approval is required, and candidates must provide documented mastery of a particular area or field. The degree may also be awarded honoris causa to such people the university in question deems worthy.

In the United States, the degree is often an honorary degree conferred on those who have contributed to the humanities and/or society. There are, however, a number of earned "D.Litt." programs, the best known being Drew University on the basis of 30 graduate credit hours post-Master's and a dissertation.[1]

In France the Doctor of Letters degree (doctorat ès lettres also called doctorat d'État) was an higher doctorate in the humanities superseded in 1984 by the habilitation.

Recipients

Notable recipients of a Doctor of Letters as an honorary degree, include the former leader of the Liberal Party of Canada Michael Ignatieff,[2] former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Gordon Brown,[3]musicians K. J. Yesudas,[4] Enya,[5] Sami Yusuf,[6] former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice,[7] writers Mark Twain, Ezra Pound [8], Malcolm Gladwell, O. N. V. Kurup,[9] Rik Mayall,[10] J. K. Rowling,[11] J.R.R. Tolkien,[12] Clive Cussler, Elmo Scott Watson from Illinois Wesleyan University, James May,[13] Robert Frost,[14] John Updike, actor Mohanlal,[15] J. Jayalalithaa,Chief-minister of Tamilnadu, India, sound recordist Resul Pookutty[16] V.T.Chellam, Tamil History Researcher, Kanyakumari, Tamilnadu, India, Canadian comedian and TV personality Rick Mercer, etc.

References

  1. ^ "Arts & Letters Academic Program", Drew University
  2. ^ "Michael Ignatieff conferred honorary degree by McGill". 2002. http://www.mcgill.ca/reporter/34/17/honorary/. 
  3. ^ "Gordon Brown conferred honorary degree by DU". indiainfo.com. 2008. http://news.indiainfo.com/2008/01/21/0801211613_brown-ld_degree.html. 
  4. ^ "D. Litt for Yesudas by Kerala University". 2003. http://www.hinduonnet.com/2003/03/29/stories/2003032903810400.htm. 
  5. ^ "UU Honours Musician Enya". University of Ulster press release. 2007. http://news.ulster.ac.uk/releases/2007/3306.html. 
  6. ^ "Sami Yusuf - Doctor of Letters Graduation Ceremony". http://www.vimeo.com/13996275. 
  7. ^ "Secretary of state receives honorary Air University degree". Air Force Link. 2008. http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123094414. 
  8. ^ by Hamilton College in 1939
  9. ^ "ONV Kurup is now Dr. ONV Kurup". http://newshopper.sulekha.com/kurup-honoured-with-d-litt_news_883518.htm. 
  10. ^ http://www.exeter.ac.uk/honorarygraduates/2009/prev_hongrads.shtml
  11. ^ Sally Pook (2000-07-15). "J K Rowling given honorary degree at her alma mater". Daily Telegraph (London). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1348603/J-K-Rowling-given-honorary-degree-at-her-alma-mater.html. Retrieved 2010-05-01. 
  12. ^ Shropshire County Council (2002). "J.R.R. Tolkien". Literary Heritage, West Midlands. http://www3.shropshire-cc.gov.uk/tolkien.htm. 
  13. ^ BBC News (2010-07-15). "Top Gear presenter James May awarded honorary doctorate". BBC News (UK). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-10649036. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  14. ^ "Robert Frost Award Chronology". http://www.frostfriends.org/chronology.html. 
  15. ^ "D. Litt conferred on Mohanlal". 2010. http://www.asianetindia.com/news/mohanlal-conferred-dlit_137413.html. 
  16. ^ "D. Litt for Resul Pookutty". 2010. http://entertainment.oneindia.in/malayalam/top-stories/2010/mohanlal-resul-d-litt-190310.html. 

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