Understand what literature reveals about societies across the world and across time.
Comparative literature is the study of the cultural, national, and global context of literature through time. We examine literary works from multiple traditions and explore their meaning in different contexts to understand what literature can tell us about our society and human society more broadly.
Comparative literature draws not just from literature, but also from philosophy, history, linguistics, sociology, and the media. Students engage in close readings of contemporary and historical texts in translation from many national traditions, including graphic novels, comics, and film, and they study the relationships between literature and the other arts. Additionally, our students may focus on the impact of translation, comparative literature theory and media, or the future of national literature in the era of globalization.
Intercultural experience and knowledge of multiple languages give comparative literature graduates an edge in nearly every field. Graduates pursue careers in translation, media, law, public service, the nonprofit sector, international business and diplomacy, education, academia, and any field requiring critical thought and effective communication.