For more details about the Comparative Literature major and minor, the list of our courses, and descriptions of courses currently being offered, click on the appropriate links. And you are always welcome to visit the department or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comparative Literature is the study of literary works across linguistic, national and historical boundaries. It thus takes up a comparative perspective on different literary traditions. It also compares literature with other arts, such as painting, photography, film, and music.
Comparative Literature is not based on one national language tradition. Comparatists study the nature of literature across and between different language cultures. Our undergraduate classes may be organized around themes, topics, problems, historical periods, or genres. The works studied within these frames are selected from several different language traditions, for example, English or French, but also Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Greek, Latin, Portuguese, Polish, or still many others. The list is almost endless.
It’s good for life skills. As a discipline, Comparative Literature seeks out and encourages multicultural, hybrid cultural experiences. As a result of their comparative study of literature, the other arts, but also different cultures, graduates with this degree tend to see the world differently. It becomes a larger place than it was before, more varied, less uniform, with many histories rather than just one. Our students are trained to ask broader and better questions about the many forms of cultural production surrounding them. And they know they have to look at cultures comparatively because they’ve learned that no one language culture has all the answers.
It’s also good for career skills. Comparative Literature students are well prepared for just about any career or profession that requires strong critical thinkers, readers, and writers.
There are two different tracks for the major/minor. Between them, they offer a lot of flexibility and accommodate different interests or goals. Both tracks also combine well with a second major/minor and with study-abroad programs.
The above reflects the major/minor requirements for students whose catalogue year is 2007-2008 or later. Students on earlier catalogue years should consult their catalogues for their major/minor requirements. Past catalogues can be found here.
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