Major

Major Requirements

Students majoring in Comparative Literature must choose one of four options:

  1. Comparative Literary Studies (CLS)
  2. Colonial and Postcolonial Studies (CPS)
  3. Cultural Theories and Practices (CTP)
  4. Advanced Studies in Comparative Literature (ASCL)

1) Option in Comparative Literary Studies (CLS):

The option in Comparative Literary Studies requires 34 credits:

Core Courses

Three courses constitute the foundation of the option in Comparative Literary Studies. In them, students learn the fundamentals of comparative methodologies and engage in sophisticated analyses of literary production in multiple cultures.

  • 01:195:201  Literature across Borders (3)
  • 01:195:301  Introduction to Literary Theory (3)
  • 01:195:497  Capstone Senior Workshop (1)

Foreign Literature

Prospective majors who plan to opt for Comparative Literary Studies are strongly advised to begin the advanced study of a foreign language as early as possible in their academic careers, as all majors are required to demonstrate a sufficient level of proficiency in a language other than English, and are strongly urged to continue the study of at least one foreign language throughout their four years of work.

This option requires students to choose two courses (6 credits) in literature (broadly defined) at the 200 level or above in a department other than English, in consultation with the undergraduate director. Since course offerings in foreign languages and literature vary widely from department to department, students should refer to the Comparative Literature website for courses that fulfill the foreign literature requirement.

This option also requires students to take one additional course (3 credits) on a literature from outside the West European and Anglo-American literary traditions.

Major Focus

Students are required to select an area of concentration and, in consultation with the undergraduate director, a group of at least six courses (18 credits) at the 200 level or above, including two Comparative Literature courses at the 300 level or above, in this area.  With the approval of the director, students can take up to 4 courses (12 credits) in other disciplines or departments relevant to their area of concentration.


2) Option in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies (CPS):

The Option in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies (CPS) requires 34 credits:

Core Courses

Six courses constitute the foundation of the option in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies. In them students learn the fundamentals of comparative methodologies, and engage in sophisticated analyses of literary production in multiple cultures with particular emphasis on the study of the effects of colonialism around the globe. 

  • 01:195:201    Literature Across Borders (3)
  • 01:195:203    Masterworks of Western Literature (3)
  • 01:195:301    Literary Theory (3)
  • 01:195:306    Literature and Cultural Conquest (3)
  • 01:195:307    Introduction to Postcolonial Literatures and Theories (3)
  • 01:195:497    Capstone Senior Workshop (1)

Comparative Literature Electives

Three courses (9 credits) to be chosen, in consultation with the advisor, from the following list of approved courses, with at least 6 credits on the 300-level and above:

  • 01:195:216    Introduction to World Literatures in English (3)
  • 01:195:237    Arabic Classical Literatures    (3) (3)    
  • 01:195:242    The Portuguese-Speaking World: A literary Introduction
                          for English Speakers  (3)
  • 01:195:243    Introduction to the Literatures of South Asia  (3)
  • 01:195:249    Modern Literatures of South Asia  (3)
  • 01:195:250    Comparative Approaches to African Literatures (3)
  • 01:195:257    The Postcolonial City (3)
  • 01:195:268    Cuban Literature (3)
  • 01:195:269    Dominican Literature (3)
  • 01:195:308    Gender, Race, and Textual Imagination (3)
  • 01:195:324    Twentieth-Century Literature in a Global Context (3)
  • 01:195:329    Modern Japanese Novel and the West
  • 01:195:335    Minority Literatures (3)
  • 01:195:336    Literatures of Migration, Immigration, and Diaspora (3)
  • 01:195:362    Contemporary Caribbean Writers (3)
  • 01:195:363    African Women Writers (3)
  • 01:195:395,396,397, 398    Issues in Comparative Literature (3,3,3,3), depending on topic and with permission of advisor.
  • 01:195:437, 438     Twentieth-Century Arabic Literature
  • 01:195:480    Special Topics in Comparative Literature (3), depending on topic and with permission of  advisor
  • 01:195:495,496    Honors in Comparative Literature (3,3)

Other Electives

Three courses (9 credits) to be chosen from an on-going list of approved courses drawn from language/literature/culture departments as well as departments such as History, Anthropology and Political Sciences.

Foreign Language/Literature Requirement:

All students who chose the CPS option are required to take, in addition to the 34 credits required for the major, two semesters of a foreign language course (at least 6 credits), or two foreign literature (broadly defined) courses (6 credits) not in translation. Prospective majors who plan to opt for CPS are strongly advised to begin the study of a foreign language as early as possible in their academic careers and are strongly urged to continue the study of at least one foreign language throughout their four years of work.

Read more about the Foreign Language/Literature Requirement here.


3) Option in Cultural Theories and Practices (CTP)

The Option in Cultural Theories and Practices  requires 34 credits:

Core Courses

Four courses constitute the foundation of the option in Critical Theory and Cultural Studies. In them students learn the fundamentals of comparative methodologies, engage in sophisticated analyses of cultural production in multiple contexts, with particular emphasis on the study of critical theories and philosophy, as well as on the cross-cultural and interdisciplinary aspects of the discipline.

  • 01:195:201    Literature Across Borders (3)
  • 01:195:203    Masterworks of Western Literature (3)
  • 01:195:301    Literary Theory (3)
  • 01:195:497    Capstone Senior Workshop (1)

Comparative Literature Electives

Two courses (6 credits) to be chosen, in consultation with the advisor, from the following list of approved courses:

  • 01:195:280    Textual Transformations (3)
  • 01:195:304    Fiction and Ideology (3)
  • 01:195:307    Introduction to Postcolonial Literatures and Theories
  • 01:195:310    Literary Institutions (3)
  • 01:195:312    Literature and Psychoanalytical Theory (3)
  • 01:195:316    Politics, Literature, and the Arts (3)
  • 01:195:350    Theory of Narrative (3)
  • 01:195:387    Hybrid Western Modernity in Literature and the Arts
  • 01:195:395,396,397,398    Issues in Comparative Literature (3,3,3,3)
  • 01:195:419    History of Criticism (3)
  • 01:195:420    History of Criticism (3)
  • 01:195:495,496    Honors in Comparative Literature (3,3)
  • OR one other Comparative Literature course at the 300-level or above

Other Electives

Three courses (9 credits) on Critical/Cultural Theory and/or Philosophy, to be chosen from an on-going list of approved courses drawn from language/literature/culture departments as well as departments such as Philosophy and Women’s and Gender Studies. With permission of the advisor, up to one course can be replaced by an advanced literature course (300-level or above) from outside of the Comparative Literature Program.

Three courses (9 credits) on cultural forms other than literature, to be chosen from the an on-going list of approved courses drawn from language/literature/culture departments and other departments.

Foreign Language/Literature Requirement:

All students who chose the CTP option are required to take, in addition to the 34 credits required for the major, two semesters of a foreign language course (at least 6 credits) or two foreign literature (broadly defined) courses  (6 credits) not in translation. Prospective majors who plan to opt for CTP are strongly advised to begin the study of a foreign language as early as possible in their academic careers and are strongly urged to continue the study of at least one foreign language throughout their four years of work.


4)  Option In Advanced Studies in Comparative Literature

Majors who choose this option do not need to declare a minor in another discipline

The Advanced Studies in Comparative Literature option requires at least 52 credits. It is designed for students who want to achieve a wide knowledge of World Literatures and Cultural Theories. This option is particularly recommended for students who seek preparation for graduate program in literature and cultural studies.

Core courses (13 credits):

Five courses constitute the foundation of the option in Advance Studies  in Comparative Literature. In them students learn the fundamentals of comparative methodologies, and engage in sophisticated analyses of literary production in multiple cultures.

  • 01:195:201    Literature Across Borders (3)
  • 01:195:203    Masterworks of Western Literature (3)
  • 01:195:301    Introduction to Literary Theory (3)
  • 01:195:307    Introduction to Postcolonial Literatures and Theories (3)
  • 01:195:497    Capstone Senior Workshop (1)

Foreign Languages and Literature Requirement (at least 18 credits)

All students who are eligible for and choose this option must take:

  • Four literature courses (12 credits) from the same department/ literary tradition. At least two of these courses must be taught in the original language.
  • Two semesters (or at least 6 credits) of either (1) a classical language; or (2) a non-European language. In case a student chooses a classical or non-European language  for the primary language/literature (in A above), he or she may choose two semesters of any other language to fulfill this requirement.

Major Focus (15 credits)

Students are required to select an area of concentration (such as gender, region, period, genre, theme, theoretical approach, etc) and, in consultation with the undergraduate director, a group of at least five semester courses (15 credits), including two comparative literature courses at the 300 level or above, in this area (i.e., up to three  courses may be chosen from other departments in the humanities or social sciences).

Senior Thesis (6 credits)

Students are required to write a final thesis related to the area of concentration and enroll in 01:195:495,496 - Honors in Comparative Literature (6)