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What is Comp Lit?

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As an interdisciplinary field of research and teaching, Comparative Literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst draws on a variety of faculty and programs outside of Comparative Literature proper. The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures houses four programs besides Comparative Literature, each of which contributes in important ways to Comparative Literature scholarship: Spanish and Portuguese, French and Italian, German and Scandinavian, and East Asian Languages and Cultures.

Faculty in a number of other academic programs also enhance and broaden the scope of Comparative Literature: faculty in English and American Studies, Communication, Anthropology, Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies, Afro-American Studies, History, Judaic and Near Eastern Studies, Classics, Art History and Music have played important roles in the development of our majors and graduate students.

A number of Comp Lit graduate students have earned the Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies offered through Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies. Our undergraduate and graduate students take film courses through the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies and attend the annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival. The Certificate Program in Latin American Studies and the Program in Russian and East European Studies both point our attention to cultural spheres that are sometimes neglected in the academic compartmentalisation of disciplines. The UMass Translation Center serves as a hub for students interested in the practice of interpretation and translation. Comparative Literature faculty member Jim Hicks is the editor of the Massachusetts Review.