Comparative Literature



Comparative Literature focuses on the study of literature from different cultures, nations, and genres, and explores relationships between literature and other forms of cultural expression. Comparative Literature poses such questions as, What is the place of literature in society? How does literature as a form change over time, and in relation to other forms of making art? How does literature shape and respond to values, social movements, or political contexts?

If you have interests in literature, and have or can achieve command of one language in addition to English, comparative literature will be a rewarding course of study for you.  Focused study of two literary traditions and advanced skills in a second language are required for the concentration. As a student of comparative literature, you will have the opportunity to study texts from a range of cultural contexts, historical periods, or literary movements. You will also engage more complex questions of comparison, translation, and transmission across cultural, linguistic, and national boundaries, and study literature in relation to other disciplines (e.g., religious studies, philosophy, ethnic studies) and to other forms of art and cultural production (e.g., film, digital culture, performance). Further, comparative literature includes study of historical and contemporary literary theory and criticism. Like all other concentrations in Comparative Studies, this concentration allows students, with the help of their advisers, to design a course of study that suits their particular interests.