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    The Comparative Literature Major

    Applicable for the 2020-2021 academic year.

    Comparative Literature is the study of literature across languages, cultures, time periods, and genres as well as the study of the relationship between literature and other fields of knowledge. An essential feature of such study is the reading of texts in their original language(s) of composition. The study of Comparative Literature promotes an understanding of intercultural or cross-cultural relations and helps to foster a more international or cosmopolitan perspective of both literature and the world and, in turn, of one's own literature and culture. 

    A vital component of Comparative Literature today is the study of World Literature, specifically, the examination of how great works of literature uncover understudied relations and transnational connections between various cultures, languages, and artistic traditions across the globe. Such work often relies on translations. The study of World Literature promotes an understanding of the deep roots of today's intertwined global cultures and supports a critical position that aims to dismantle the presumed centrality and dominance of certain cultural views and perspectives over others.

    Major

    New Major Requirements beginning in Academic Year 2020-2021:

    11 units (in addition to language courses below level 306, and in addition to senior thesis work other than 430 and 431) required.

    1. 120: Literature, Power and Identities or 121: Literature, Place, and the World – 1 unit.
    2. 130: Literature and Contemporary Issues or 131: Literature, Texts, and Media – 1 unit.
    3. 250: Introduction to Literary Theory or EN250: Introduction to Literary Theory – 1 unit.
    4. 255: World Literature/Comparative Literature – 1 unit.
    5. Four courses above the 300 level in literature, including one course in a language other than English at level 306 or above and one course that examines literature in a comparative context. – 4 units.
    6. 391: Advanced Literary Theory or 390: Translation: Theory and Practice – 1 unit.
    7. 430: Thesis Preparation – 1 unit.
    8. 431: Senior Thesis (Prerequisite: 255 and 430) – 1 unit.

    Note: As a rule, the senior thesis demands more than one block of preparation and one block of writing and research. Students are encouraged to take one independent study block of preparation with either their departmental or their external reader (usually during the block preceding the thesis block).

    Download a PDF of the major requirements and checklist.

    For Majors declared prior to Academic Year 2020-2021:

    11 units (in addition to language courses below level 306, and in addition to senior thesis work other than 431) required.

    1. 100: Introduction to Comparative Literature – 2 units.
    2. 2 units in courses listed (or cross-listed) as Comparative Literature 200, 220, 351 or 352 – 2 units.
    3. 210: Introduction to Literary Theoryor EN250: Critical Practices – 1 unit.
    4. 300: Practice in Comparison – 1 unit.
    5. 310: Junior Seminar – 1 unit.
    6. Two courses above 300 level in literature, including one course in a foreign language at level 306 or above and either a second such course in a foreign language or an advanced English course – 2 units
    7. 391: Advanced literary theory or 390: Theory and Practice of Translation – 1 unit.
    8. 431: Senior Thesis (Prerequisite: 310) – 1 unit.  Senior students will be permitted to do a creative writing project or a translation project as a thesis under certain conditions and with approval of the program advisor.

    Note: As a rule, the senior thesis demands more than one block of writing and research. Students are encouraged to take one independent study block of preparation with their primary thesis reader (usually during the block preceding the thesis block).

    Download a PDF of the major requirements and checklist.

    Literature and Other Disciplines Track

    Comparative literature majors who have a special interest in the study of literature and other disciplines may elect this program.  They must fulfill all the requirements of the comparative literature major AND

    1. A minimum of three units in the other discipline appropriate to their program of study including an introductory or methodological course (1 or 2 units) in the other discipline;
    2. Students are strongly encouraged to take topics courses listed as CO220 or CO352;
    3. The thesis must reflect the course of study; and
    4. All of the above courses and the thesis topic must be approved by the program advisor

    Minor

    World Literature Minor — 6 units required.

    1. 120: Literature, Power, and Identities or 121: Literature, Place, and the World – 1 unit.
    2. 130: Literature and Contemporary Issues or 131: Literature, Texts, and Media – 1 unit.
    3. 250: Introduction to Literary Theory or EN250: Introduction to Literary Theory – 1 unit.
    4. 255: World Literature/Comparative Literature – 1 unit.
    5. Two courses above the 100 level in literature, one of which examines literature in a comparative context – 2 units.