Comparative Literature

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.

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, November 7, 2023, 4:30pm - 6:00pm
Lathrop Library
518 Memorial Way, Stanford, CA 94305

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…


2023 DLCL Commencement Address by Dominick Lawton, Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures.
Here are the forms to submit papers to the DLCL Undergraduate Academic Prizes for Academic Year 2022-2023.
Congratulations to Cintia Santana whose poem, “The sentinel speaks to me on the post-apocalyptic dance floor” was selected by final judge Jane Wong for inclusion in the 2023 Best of the Net Anthology .