Comparative Literature

Comparative literature is an interdisciplinary field that approaches important literary works in the context of history, politics, genre, art and other disciplines. Continue reading to learn about relevant education and career options.

Inside Comparative Literature

Comparative literature encompasses the study of international works of literature through various modes of inquiry, such as through literary movements, history, theory and genre. Students investigate the relationships of literary works to other aspects of the culture in which they emerged, including music, philosophy, politics and religion. They often study literature from different periods and places to critique work from varying perspectives in terms of ethnic traditions, gender and class. Students of comparative literature are expected to read copious books, so a love of reading and writing are compulsory. In addition, they often develop strong analytical, writing and language skills that can be applied to diverse careers.

Education Information

Comparative literature is offered through bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. Specific courses include feminist literature, literary criticism, translation, cultural studies, poetics and literary themes, as well as modernist, baroque, European and Renaissance literature. Students also study the lives and seminal works of well-known authors and poets. They are encouraged to study literature in its original language, so most programs also have foreign language requirements. Some schools further offer international study opportunities to facilitate integration of learning materials. Use the following articles to learn more about degree programs available in this field.

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