Graduate Studies in Comparative Literature

The Progam in Comparative Literature at UMass Amherst offers graduate students the opporunity to pursue the MA or PhD in Comparative Literature or the MA in Translation. Students across these different tracks form an exceptionally diverse and supportive community, taking courses together, sharing teaching materials and strategies, and enhancing the breadth of each other’s research interests. Our students have considerable freedom in designing their course of study, and explore such broad-ranging issues as the relationships between translation and transnationalism, theory and media, the future of national literatures in the era of globalization, problems of representation, the intersections among race, class, and gender, performance studies, literature and human rights, postcolonial and diaspora studies, music and word relations, and film studies. The Program admits a small cohort of doctoral students and masters students each year, and thus offers an intimate intellectual setting in which students work closely with core faculty while drawing on the considerable resources of the University and the Five College Consortium (Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College). 

Graduate students play a particularly vital role in the Program of Comparative Literature as students, scholars and teachers. Our students have won research awards, earned distinguished teaching prizes, and secured tenure-track positions as well as non-academic jobs in translation and international diplomacy. They contribute actively to national and international conferences, and regularly organize their own international Graduate Student Conferences on our campus: the biennial Crossroads Conference and Translation Studies Conference attract Graduate students from around the world. Faculty work closely together with students as mentors through each stage of the graduate degree. For further information on the requirements for admission and the different degree programs offered within the Program, please contact Kathryn Lachman, Graduate Program Director, at For information on the MA in Translation, please contact Moira Inghilleri, Director of Translation and Interpreting Studies, at