The Department of Comparative Literature in USC College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences has been growing steadily for the last few years. Our core faculty have joint appointments with many of the humanities departments in the College as well as with the School of Cinematic Arts. Our undergraduate classes draw students from across the University, and Comparative Literature majors are among the most intellectually curious and the highest achievers in the College. Our small entering graduate class is selected every year from the best students in the U.S. and abroad to begin a rigorous Ph.D. program that prepares them well for teaching and research careers in today's university.
Our undergraduate program is more broadly conceived than at many other universities. While we offer traditional Comparative Literature courses that cross the boundaries of national literatures and study literary periods, movements, and genres, our courses also allow students to explore literature's social and political contexts and to discover its relation to other arts. And a strong non-Western component in the undergraduate program encourages our students to learn more about Asian literary traditions and cultures.
The graduate program develops the student's research interests in three literary/cultural traditions (e.g., British and American, French and Francophone, Spanish and Latin American, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, Russian, or Classics). There is also an important component of training in theory, which is one of the major strengths of the Department's faculty. In the course of their study, graduate students gain wide teaching experience, receive many grants in support of travel for research, summer programs, or study abroad, and are helped in other ways to begin their career as university or college professors.
Many changes have taken place in the Department of Comparative Literature at USC in the last few years. And finally we now have a new Web site! We hope you will find here the information you need. Some of the site's pages are still being revised, so please visit us again soon. In the meantime, you're welcome to contact us with any questions.