Comparative Literature, LLC



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Some useful resources at UMass, the Four Colleges, and in the Valley.


W.E.B. Du Bois Library

Du Bois is part of the UMass Amherst Library System, which includes also the Integrated Sciences and Engineering Library (located in the Lederle Graduate Research Center), and the Music Reserve Lab (located in the Fine Arts Center). The library holds over 5 million items, as well as thousands of digital resources. It is open 24/5 when UMass is in session. Online access to most of the library's electronic resources, including databases and the library catalog, are available at all times both on and off campus.

Often referred to as "the tower library," Du Bois is the tallest and most easily identifiable building on the UMass Amherst campus. The building itself is somewhat difficult to navigate, since none its five elevators services all the available 28 floors. However, it has become more welcoming recently, with the introduction of the Learning Commons and the Procrastination Station café.

In addition to its already impressive collection, the library grants easy access to the other Five College libraries. UMass students and faculty may check out books directly from the other libraries, or request them for delivery to Du Bois. Delivery takes between one and three business days from the time of the request. Books, films, and articles available at other libraries in the US can be requested through the Interlibrary Loan Service. Depending on availability, these requests may take between several days and a month to arrive.

The library hosts the so-called Academic Liaison Program, through which librarians with extensive background in a specific academic discipline are available to teach library research classes and assist students and faculty with inquiries particular to their field. The Comparative Literature Liaison Librarian, Liz Fitzpatrick, has compiled a Comparative Literature Research Guide, and is available for consultations at (413) 545-5963 and

Jones Library

The Jones Library is conveniently located in downtown Amherst, and is one of the three branches of the Amherst Public Library, together with the Munson Memorial Library in South Amherst and the North Amherst Library in North Amherst.

The Jones Library is free and open to Amherst residents (a photo id and proof of current address are needed to obtain membership). In addition to its vast fiction and non-fiction collection, the Library holds a large section of children's literature, as well as up-do-date magazine subscriptions, films, and other media. A full list of the Library's special collections, as well as a list of resources are available online.

The Jones Library is also the home of the Burnett Gallery which exhibits the work of artists from Amherst and the surrounding area.

DEFA film library

The DEFA film library is an invaluable resource for the study of East German film. Founded in 1990, the library offers a variety of services to interested researchers, including but not limited to film rentals and sales, access to research materials, and the coordination of film series, summer institutes, conferences, and seminars. For additional information, please visit the library's website.

Research Centers and Programs

Five College Center for East Asian Studies

The Five College Center for East Asian Studies (FCCEAS) is a program available through Five Colleges, Incorporated. The Center is committed to teaching and promoting East Asian culture at the university level, as well as in elementary and secondary schools. The Center's Resource library is available to scholars and educators working on East Asian topics. FCCEAS regularly conducts seminars and workshops for educators, and publishes a quarterly newsletter.

Amherst Center for Russian Culture

The Amherst Center for Russian Culture was established in 1991, and holds what is believed to be "the world's largest private holding of Russian books, manuscripts, newspapers, and periodicals." The materials cover in depth the achievements of Russian culture in modern times, with an emphasis on emigration. Comprised of tens of thousands of volumes, and a vast archive, the collection is available to researchers and students on request.

Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies

The Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies is devoted to the study of the culture and achievements of the Renaissance period. Located on the grounds of the former 28-acre estate of Winthrop Saltonstall Dakin, the Center features a variety of seminars, workshops, and conferences, as well as an outreach program for the Amherst community. The Center's library holds over 25,000 items, as well as a large collection of books printed in the Northeast between 1500 and 1700.

Crossroads in the Study of the Americas (CISA)

Founded in 1997 as a "center dedicated to new teaching and scholarship on the Americas," CISA serves as a forum that brings together faculty and researchers from the Five-College area. In an attempt to distance itself from the traditional North-South dichotomy, the Center offers a unique approach to current issues in the Americas by adopting a triangular model of work, involving the Old World, the New World, and the indigenous peoples of the Americas. CISA sponsors and organizes a number of activities and events every semester, including student symposia and guest lecture series.

Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS)

CLACLS is a program that "promotes interdisciplinary research and education on Latin America and the Caribbean and on Latino culture throughout the Americas." The Center consistently organizes conferences, guest speaker series, workshops, and other activities related to the study and dissemination of Latin American and Caribbean culture. Interested students may enroll in the interdisciplinary Latin American Studies program that offers both graduate and undergraduate certificates.

Language Learning

Five College Center for the Study of World Languages

Originally founded as the Five College Foreign Language Resource Center in 1987, the Five College Center for the Study of World Languages is the home of the supervised independent language program (FCSILP). The Center offers mentored and independent studies in languages not commonly taught through the Five-College Consortium, as well as various resources for language study.

Language Media Resource

The Language Media Resource provides online visual, audio, and text resources for the study of languages and dialects not commonly offered as courses in the United States. Featured languages include Bulgarian, Norwegian, Wolof, and Kiswahili among others. Access to the Language Media Resource is free to educators and private users.


Five College Women's Studies Research Center

The Five College Women's Studies Research Center was founded in 1991 with the purpose of encouraging "engaged, critical feminist scholarship from diverse perspectives." Each year the Center hosts a number of researchers from various countries. Visiting scholars have full access to resources in the Five-College Consortium, and are encouraged to present their work to the local community.

Everywoman's Center

Established in 1972, Everywoman's Center sponsors five different programs "designed to serve the needs of the diverse cultural and linguistic populations of the University and surrounding community." The Center offers counseling, resource referrals, support groups, and workshops on a wide variety of issues aimed at preventing and dealing with violence against women.

The Stonewall Center

The Stonewall Center organizes numerous formal and informal activities and events in an attempt to provide "support, advocacy, and programming for LGBT students, staff, and faculty at UMass Amherst." Various employment and volunteer work opportunities are available at the Center. Please visit their website for more information.

Professional Development

Center for Teaching (CFT)

Formally established in 1989, the CFT offers consultation services, workshops, resources, and individual grants in order "to provide support for teaching and learning at the University of Massachusetts Amherst." All of the Center's activities are organized with the aim not only to improve teaching, but also to "encourage collegiality and the intellectual growth of faculty and graduate students as teachers both within and between departments and colleges."

Career Services

The Career Services office, located in 511 Goodell Building, offers a wide variety of support programs and other assistance on all career-related issues, including job searches, job applications, interview preparation, etc. Graduating students can facilitate the job search process by opening a file with Career Services. Individual Career Service representatives can be invited to speak to undergraduate classes.


Technology Resources at UMass

UMass supports and operates state-of-the-art technology resources, including computer labs, web course tools, and telecommunications services. Students are strongly encouraged to become acquainted with and to take full advantage of the available resources.

Academic Instructional Media Services (AIMS)

AIMS provides video services, equipment delivery, and other audio-visual technical support. TAs and faculty can request DVD/VHS players, data projectors, and other equipment for use in the classroom. AIMS also offers VHS, DVD, and CD duplication services, as well as media transfers and international format conversions.


Note: This is a limited list of some of the resources relevant to the study of Comparative Literature and available at UMass, the Five College Consortium, and in the Amherst area. The research page of the UMass website offers a more exhaustive list.


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