The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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  • "The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them." - Ida B. Wells (1862-1931) 

    Ida B. Wells was an African American journalist, abolitionist, and feminist who led an anti-lynching crusade in the US in the 1890s. Her autobiography, Crusade for Justice: the Autobiography of Ida B. Wells (1970), was published nearly forty years after her death. In May 2020, Wells was honored with a Pulitzer Prize awarded posthumously.

  • Literary Studies

    Comparative Literature involves the study of literary texts, including graphic novels and comics, film and different forms of translation. Students engage in close reading of contemporary and historical texts in translation from around the world. Our faculty specialize in Africa, the Caribbean, West, East and Central Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. Our program is continuously developing and enlarging its scope through creative and innovative research and teaching. See Academics -> Course Descriptions 

  • Comics and Graphic Novels

    Professor Chris Couch teaches courses on the graphic novel, animation and comics including, Comic Art in North America. International Graphic Novel and International History of Animation. He served as senior editor at Kitchen Sink Press (Northampton) and editor in chief at CPM Manga (New York). His edited publications have won or were nominated for 17 Eisner and Harvey Awards. Current publications include the edited volume Conversations with Harvey Kurtzman, and a book on Batman artist and editorial cartoonist Jerry Robinson.

  • Film Concentration

    Comparative Literature film courses explore multiple cultures, language and genres, with an emphasis on film theory and analysis. Current courses include Introduction to Film Analysis: Cinematic Time Travel, International Film, Self-Reflective Avant-Garde Film, Cinema and Psyche, Narrative Avant-Garde Film, International Science Fiction, and Dystopian Futures in Film and Fiction. In addition to fulfilling requirements in the Comp Lit major tracks, our film courses fulfill Gen Ed requirements and count towards the Film Studies Certificate.

  • Translation and Interpreting Studies

    Our program in Translation and Interpreting Studies provides a grounding in translation and interpreting theory and research; practical expertise in translation and interpreting; an intorduction to translation and interpreting technologies; and experience in creating and analyzing written and spoken translations. We offer Certificates in Translation and Interpreting Studies at both the undergraduate and graduate level. For more information about our undergraduate and graduate courses and certificates, see Translation and Interpreting Studies. 

  • Who We Are

    Our faculty have expertise in research and teaching in literary studies (colonial, post-colonial, medieval and modern, the global south and eastern and western traditions), film and digital media, and translation and interpreting studies. For more information see Faculty and Faculty CVs.

News

Maryam Ghodrati Successfully Defends Dissertation Friday August 28 2020

August 30, 2020

On Friday August 28 2020 Maryam Ghodrati successfully defended her dissertation “Between the Visual and the Verbal: an Aesthetic of Open Wounds in Post-Traumatic Experience of the Iran-Iraq War ...

Shastri Akella Successfully Defends Dissertation Wednesday August 12 2020

August 20, 2020

On Wednesday August 12 2020 Shastri Akella sucessfully defended his dissertation entitled "Community of Pathos: Resistance through Representation in Migrant Art."...

Daniel Armenti Successfully Defends Dissertation Friday August 14 2020

August 20, 2020

On Friday August 14 2020 Daniel Armenti successfully defended his dissertation entitled "Moralizing the Rape of Philomela in Late Medieval Commentary."...

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Why Comparative Literature?

  • Flexibility in shaping a course of study to fit students' own intellectual goals
  • Excellent student-faculty ratio
  • Intellectual diversity and a global curriculum
  • Lively in-class discussions
  • Regular advising sessions and a supportive environment
  • Strong general education in the humanities

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES:

Career opportunities with a degree in Comparative Literature are diverse and may include advertising, branding, copy editing, corporate communications, consulting, education, the film and television industry, graduate school, human resources, interpreter, IT journalism, law librarian, literary agent, marketing, medicine, multi-media production, online market research, proofreader, paralegal, publishing, public health, translator, theater, freelance writing, or speech.

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