Associate Professors Livingston, Merkel, Sokolsky
Assistant Professor Raizen
The Comparative Literature Department is a cross-cultural and cross-temporal study of literatures written originally in languages other than English and offers a major and minor in Comparative Literature. Courses are taught by faculty trained in languages and literatures from around the world including Russian, German, Latin, Italian, French, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, and Hebrew. Courses cover a variety of themes (myth, love, gender, rites of passage, freedom, tragedy, cosmopolitanism, and sense of place) as well as periods (Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Modern, and Post-Modern). Students learn about the extraordinary wealth of pre-modern and modern works of literature from Europe, Russia, Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. Courses are therefore structured to encourage students to compare the values and literary strategies of different traditions and to observe numerous formulations from around the world of enduring questions regarding freedom and constraint, love and sexuality, social duty versus personal desire, the transition from childhood to adulthood, and the sense of space and place. We also combine the study of literature with comparative literary and cultural theory written by writers from around the world. Finally, because we study foreign literatures in English translation, we discuss the art of translation and the various issues that arise when one reads a story not in the original language.
ProgramsBachelor of Arts