Minor in Comparative Literature

The minor in Comparative Literature is designed for students whose interest in literature extends beyond the borders of a single national literary tradition or language. Minors learn to read literature in one or more foreign languages and to trace the transformations and travels of literary genres and texts across time and space. They explore the connections of literature with history, philosophy, politics, and literary theory, and learn how literature intersects with other cultural forms such as film, drama, the visual arts, music, and new media. The practice and theory of translation are also an important part of the comparative approach to literature.

At the core of the minor in Comparative Literature are courses introducing Western, East Asian, South Asian, and Middle Eastern literary traditions in the context of world literature and from a comparative perspective. These courses introduce students to the global diversity of literary forms and genres while acquainting them with the methods of comparative literary study. Meanwhile, students meet with advisors to put together a program of study that best suits their interests and goals.

In addition to the two introductory courses required for the minor (selected from CAS XL 100, XL 222, XL 223, XL 224, and XL 225), students minoring in Comparative Literature take two interrelated courses in a single non-English literary tradition. They also either take two courses in comparative literature (XL) beyond the introductory series, or two courses in another literary tradition. In the spring of the senior year, all students come together in the Senior Seminar (CAS XL 479).

A minor in Comparative Literature prepares students to work in any field that calls for critical thinking, strong writing skills, competence in a foreign language, and a sophisticated understanding of cultural difference and diversity.

Seven courses with a grade of C or higher are required. Internships taken on Study Abroad programs may not be credited toward a minor in Comparative Literature. Unless otherwise noted, all courses are 4 credit hours.

  1. Two “Introduction to Comparative Literature” courses chosen from:
    • CAS XL 100 Explorations in World Literature: Leaving Home
    • CAS XL 222 Introduction to Comparative Literature: Western Literature (in English translation)
    • CAS XL 223 Introduction to Comparative Literature: Middle Eastern Literature (in English translation)
    • CAS XL 224 Introduction to Comparative Literature: East Asian Literature (in English translation)
    • CAS XL 225 Introduction to Comparative Literature: South Asian Literature (in English translation)

    These may be taken in any order. CAS CC 101 and 102 together may be substituted for CAS XL 222.

  2. Two courses in a single non-English literature
  3. Either:
    • two comparative literature courses numbered CAS XL 300 or higher (XL 401 and 402 are excluded; CAS CC 201 and 202 together may be substituted for one XL 300-level course); or
    • two courses in another literature, chosen from one of the following: two courses in English-language literature numbered CAS EN 300 or above; or two courses in a single literature in modern languages or romance studies, read in the original language or in English translation; or two courses in either Latin or ancient Greek literature (courses principally on history, religion, or other mostly nonliterary aspects of ancient culture do not qualify) numbered CAS CL 212 or higher, read in the original language or in English translation. If a student’s first literature (under item 2, above) is Latin, the second may not be Greek, and vice versa.
  4. CAS XL 479 Techniques of Literary Interpretation, the senior seminar or equivalent course chosen in consultation with the advisor