The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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  • 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.


Meet the New Graduate Students in Comp Lit (Fall, 2022)

June 29, 2022

The Comp Lit program welcomes four new graduate students who will contribute to the global and intercultural richness of our program. ...

Esther Cuestra Santana receives Revolutionary Spirit Award

June 22, 2022

Esther Cuesta Santana (Spanish BA ’02, Comp Lit MA & PhD ’09 & ’15) is the recipient of this year’s Alumni Association’s Revolutionary Spirit Award. She will be visiting campus during...

Professor Jessica Barr receives promotion; awarded FRG/ Healey Grant

June 16, 2022

Jessica Barr, along with three colleagues in LLC, has been promoted to the rank of Full Professor. In addition, she has been awarded a Healey Endowment Grant through the university to support her...

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May 2, 2022 - 5:00pm

Martín Espada has published more than twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His latest book of poems is called Floaters (2021), winner of the National Book Award and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. 

May 5, 2022 - 7:00pm

Tabish Khair will lecture on “Literature and Fundamentalism: Initial Thoughts from Ongoing Research” at 7:00 pm, on May 5, in South College E470.

Khair's work is an excellent example of how literature, and fiction in particular, gives us access to lived history and politics in a way that nothing else can. His new novel, The Body by the Shore, is his first venture into sci-fi and eco-literature, and it’s also a real thriller.