Modern Languages & Comparative Literature
Students and faculty in Boston University’s Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature pursue the study of ten world languages, literatures and cultures and of Comparative Literature, which is the study of literature across linguistic boundaries. (More than a dozen additional languages are taught elsewhere on campus: see “Other Languages” link, below right.) MLCL boasts an internationally distinguished faculty who publish scholarly research on a wide array of topics ranging from female impersonators in China, to German translations of the Hebrew Bible, to Arabic rewritings of Shakespeare, to sexuality and gender in recent Japanese fiction, to comparisons of how ancient Rome and early Japan each worked to found a literary tradition in the footprints of a neighboring culture, and a great many other topics. Our faculty have won many distinctions for scholarship and teaching, including the Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Peter Paul professorship for the “very best young faculty” university-wide, the US-Japan Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature (known as the Donald Keene Prize), and grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the German National Research Society, the Fulbright Commission, the National Security Education Program for critical-language instruction, and dozens more.
MLCL is unique in BU’s College of Arts and Sciences in that its teaching and advising are oriented entirely to undergraduates (although graduate students from other programs are always welcome in our classes). Our courses enroll more than 2500 students per year. Students major in Chinese, Comparative Literature, German, Japanese, and Russian (many students pursue double majors) and minor in Arabic, Chinese, Comparative Literature, German, Hebrew, Japanese, and Russian. We invite you to explore our website and become familiar with our rich offerings.