Comparative Literary Studies

Degree Types: PhD

Graduates of Comparative Literary Studies leave with the historical knowledge, linguistic skills, and interpretive methodologies necessary to undertake scholarly research on and to teach literature in at least two languages.

The graduate faculty (drawn from all of Weinberg College’s literature departments, as well as art history and the School of Communication's Department of Radio/Television/Film), offer courses and mentoring in a wide array of literary fields, including African, Middle Eastern, and Latin American as well as European and English-language literature. The program’s methodological areas of strength include classical traditions, critical theory, modernism, poetry and poetics, and visual culture and media.

In addition to their studies within the program, students also take coursework in their “home departments,” which provides training comparable to that of a PhD in a national literary field, qualifying graduates to work in national language and literature departments. Students’ teaching and research assistantship opportunities are coordinated with their specific goals. Current home departments can be found on the Comparative Literary Studies Graduate page.

Many of our students participate in TGS’s Interdisciplinary Cluster Initiative program, which provides an additional interdisciplinary intellectual “home.” Please visit the Interdisciplinary Cluster Initiative page.

Additional resources:

Comparative Literary Studies Courses

COMP_LIT 311-0 Theory and Practice of Translation (1 Unit)  

Introduction to theoretical approaches to literary translation and to the practice of poetry translation.

COMP_LIT 410-0 Theories of Literature (1 Unit)  

The aim of this sequence (COMP_LIT 410-0; COMP_LIT 411-0; COMP_LIT 412-0), respectively taught in the Fall, Winter and Spring quarters of the first year by different instructors, is to offer an intensive analysis of several major philosophical and literary texts in order to prepare the students for their first-year examination. Content varies and each year the focus changes. It will be possible for students to retake the class.

COMP_LIT 411-0 Critical Practices (1 Unit)  

The aim of this sequence (COMP_LIT 410-0; COMP_LIT 411-0; COMP_LIT 412-0), respectively taught in the Fall, Winter and Spring quarters of the first year by different instructors, is to offer an intensive analysis of several major philosophical and literary texts in order to prepare the students for their first-year examination. Content varies and each year the focus changes. It will be possible for students to retake the class.

COMP_LIT 412-0 Literary Studies Colloquium (1 Unit)  

The aim of this sequence (COMP_LIT 410-0; COMP_LIT 411-0; COMP_LIT 412-0), respectively taught in the Fall, Winter and Spring quarters of the first year by different instructors, is to offer an intensive analysis of several major philosophical and literary texts in order to prepare the students for their first-year examination. Content varies and each year the focus changes. It will be possible for students to retake the class.

COMP_LIT 413-0 Comparative Studies in Theme (1 Unit)  

Use and variation of a literary theme (such as the journey) or technique (such as symbolism and allegory) in various times and cultures.

COMP_LIT 414-0 Comparative Studies in Genre (1 Unit)  

Theory and practice of a literary genre (such as epic, tragedy, or the novel) in various times and cultures.

COMP_LIT 481-0 Studies in Literary Theory (1 Unit)  

Central issues of criticism, exemplified by the writings of major theorists.

COMP_LIT 486-0 Studies in Literature & the Disciplines (1 Unit)  

Topics in the encounter between literary studies and other culturally oriented disciplines (e.g., philosophy, history, and anthropology) with an emphasis on problems of theory and method. Content varies.

COMP_LIT 487-0 Studies in Literature and the Arts (1 Unit)  

The relation between literature and the visual arts and/or music. Content varies.

COMP_LIT 488-0 Special Topics in Comparative Literature (1 Unit)  

Doctoral-level course offered on a one-time basis dealing with a special topic in the field of comparative literature. Addresses a specific need within the program¿s curriculum and/or a trend in the field.

COMP_LIT 490-0 Independent Reading (1 Unit)  

This course is used for teaching experience.

COMP_LIT 499-0 Independent Study (1 Unit)  

Permission of instructor and department required. May be repeated for credit.

COMP_LIT 590-0 Research (1-3 Units)  

Independent investigation of selected problems pertaining to thesis or dissertation.

COMP_LIT 596-0 Phd Thesis Tutorial (1 Unit)  

Production of a dissertation prospectus, including a statement of purpose and critical method, an outline, and bibliography. May only be taken in the third year in the quarter prior to admission to candidacy.