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 teaching them to write clearly, responsibly, and insightfully about literature. Meanwhile, students meet with advisors to put together a program of study that best suits their interests and goals.

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.

Hub: Courses taken for the Comparative Literature minor will ordinarily also satisfy BU Hub requirements in Philosophical, Aesthetic and Historical Interpretation; Diversity, Civic Engagement and Global Citizenship; and Communication, along with requirements in the Intellectual Toolkit.

Six courses with a grade of C or higher are required. Unless otherwise noted, all courses are 4 credit hours.

    1. Two introductory 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
      • Any literature course taught in WLL, Romance Studies, Classical Studies, or at the African Studies Center.
    3. Two more advanced courses

      • Two comparative literature courses numbered CAS XL 300 or higher (CAS CC 201 and 202 together may be substituted for one XL 300-level course), including the “Cities” courses, LG 388, LJ 388, and LT 388.
      • 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 non-English-language literature, read in the original language or in English translation.
      • One course in another literature and CAS XL 479 Techniques of Literary Interpretation (senior seminar)