Department Information - Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies

The Department of Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies integrates the efforts of a number of humanities programs centering on comparative literature, language, and culture. In addition to the major in Comparative Literature, described below, the Department offers major programs in Cinema and Cultural Studies as well as Humanities. Requirements for these programs appear under each program title elsewhere in the alphabetical listings of Approved Majors, Minors, and Programs. Further information is available in the Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies Office.

The Major in Comparative Literature

The Comparative Literature major allows students to study literature across national, linguistic, and disciplinary boundaries, focusing on the global movement of people, ideas and cultures and stressing the ability to read literature in a language other than English. Students have the opportunity to examine literature’s relation to more recent forms of communication, such as cinema, digital media, and new media, and to cultural and intellectual phenomena including colonialism, postcolonialism, diaspora, migration, urbanization, feminism, and queer studies. The goal of interdisciplinary and comparative approach is to equip students with cultural literacy so that they may exercise global citizenship within a broad historical perspective. The program of study is organized around core courses in Comparative Literature, which students supplement with courses relevant to their interests in the Department of Cultural Analysis and Theory’s majors in Cinema and Cultural Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies, as well as in relevant outside programs and departments. This major is ideal for students seeking a flexible, yet focused program of study that will allow them to explore literature’s relation to pressing social, cultural, and historical issues.