Literatures and cultures from across the world in dialogue
The Department of Comparative Literature brings into sharper focus literatures and cultures from around the world by holding them under a comparative light. It expands the boundaries of national traditions and bring them in dialogue with each other.
Our curriculum seeks to prepare students for reading and research in the languages and histories of different societies and periods. It also emphasized cultural and critical analysis, literary theory and interdisciplinarity. Literary theory in all its forms helps to break down the borders between national literary fields, as well as between literary studies and other disciplines. Indeed, the discipline of Comparative Literature asks, often, just what "literature" is, and how it functions as a product of (and response to) our imaginations, our languages, and our social and economic lives. Students in our courses, majors in the department, and graduate students in the Ph.D. program all interact to shape debates about the place of the verbal and visual arts (and the methods of their study) in past times and our own.
Statement on Sexual Harassment and Retaliation
Comparative Literature condemns sexual harassment and sexual violence unequivocally. Such behavior is inimical to a productive learning environment and incompatible with the values of our department and discipline. We pledge to oppose such behavior, just as we promise to work with appropriate university offices to accommodate, support, and protect any student who is a survivor of sexual harassment or sexual violence or has been a victim of retaliation.
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Iris Murdoch famously extolled the role of art—particularly literature—in breaking the individual out of the prison of the self, allowing them to properly attend to the social…