Comparative Literature is an interdisciplinary program designed for students who want to pursue the study of literature unrestricted by national boundaries and conventional demarcations of culture. Comparative Literature recognizes that all literary texts exist within the framework of world cultures and emphasizes the importance of bringing a multicultural perspective to the understanding of literary traditions. It includes reading literature in the original language as well as in translation.

Completion of this program will be indicated on the student’s transcript with the notation “Minor in Comparative Literature.”

Students interested in a Comparative Literature minor should contact the Chair of the Committee, who will assign a faculty adviser to the student.

Students considering going on to graduate work in comparative literature are strongly encouraged to start studying one or more foreign languages (classical and/or modern) as soon as possible and to continue throughout their undergraduate career. 

Comparative Literature (CMLT)

CMLT-1300 Introduction to Comparative Literature
Description
Examines with a cross-cultural perspective texts from around the world. The course provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of comparative literatures.
Credits
3 credits
Level
Lower Division
Pathways Curriculum
Approaches to Creation and Analysis, The Core Capacities, The Interdisciplinary Clusters
CMLT-1317 Classical Traditions in Science Fiction
Description
In this course we explore how science fiction (SF), the genre perhaps most characteristic of the modern world, draws on and departs from ancient Greek and Roman literature, philosophy, myth, history, and art: in other words, how SF forms part of 'classical traditions' and constitutes a rich site for 'classical receptions,' both transmitting and transmuting ancient materials. Beginning with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818), evoking antiquity in its subtitle, The Modern Prometheus, we consider a wide range of materials--mainly literature and film--from several theoretical perspectives in the fields of SF studies and Classics. Readings from modern authors including Kafka, Borges, Herbert, Le Guin, and Dick; ancient authors including Homer, Aeschylus, Lucretius, Ovid, and Lucian; and screenings from directors including Wilcox, Tarkovsky, Kubrick, Cronenberg, and Scott. (Also listed as CLAS 1317.)
Credits
3 credits
Level
Lower Division
Pathways Curriculum
Approaches to Creation and Analysis
CMLT-2301 World Literature and the Environment
Description
This course examines literary texts from around the world with an emphasis on environmental issues and a global perspective. The emphasis on literary and cultural perspectives develops similar themes to those explored through a scientific lens in its partner course, BIOL 2305. Corequisite: BIOL 2305.
Credits
3 credits
Level
Lower Division
Pathways Curriculum
Approaches to Creation and Analysis, The Core Capacities, The Interdisciplinary Clusters, The Interdisciplinary Clusters, The Interdisciplinary Clusters
CMLT-2350 Science Fiction and the Environment
Description
An introduction to science fiction with an emphasis on the literary exploration of environmental issues.
Credits
3 credits
Level
Lower Division
Pathways Curriculum
Approaches to Creation and Analysis, The Interdisciplinary Clusters, The Interdisciplinary Clusters
CMLT-3190 Reading and Conference
Description
Individual work under faculty supervision not covered by other courses. May be repeated up to six hours. Prerequisites: Completion of CMLT 1300 and approval of program chair.
Credits
1 credit
Level
Upper Division
CMLT-3290 Reading and Conference
Description
Individual work under faculty supervision not covered by other courses. May be repeated up to six hours. Prerequisites: Completion of CMLT 1300 and approval of program chair.
Credits
2 credits
Level
Upper Division
CMLT-3390 Reading and Conference
Description
Individual work under faculty supervision not covered by other courses. May be repeated up to six hours. Prerequisites: Completion of CMLT 1300 and approval of program chair.
Credits
3 credits
Level
Upper Division
CMLT-3409 Epic Journeys
Description
A comparative study of epic traditions in literature and film. In the first half of the course, we focus on traditional epics, such as Gilgamesh, Homer's Odyssey, the Intuit tradition of the Fast Runner, and the Korean song tradition of Chunhyang, focusing especially on themes such as the heroic journey, exile and homecoming. In the second half of the course, we examine the reception of traditional epic in the modern Western literacy tradition and films. (Also listed as CLAS 3409.) Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or consent of instructor.
Credits
4 credits
Level
Upper Division
Pathways Curriculum
The Core Capacities
CMLT-3416 Topics in Horror
Description
This seminar will critically and creatively explore the horror genre (literature, film, and other forms of popular culture) from a thematic, interdisciplinary methodology. Through close analysis of primary texts and engagement with scholarly materials, students will examine how the horror genre uses both narrative structure and textual form to present and construct cultural and individual fears and anxieties about issues including identity, place, gender, race, class, and death. The production and performance of creative projects will feature as an integral part of the course analysis and discussion. Students are required to attend both the seminar portion and the accompanying lab (for film screenings and creative workshops). Specific topics (such as the home in horror, zombies, and crossed genres and remakes in horror) will be offered on a rotating basis. May be taken more than once, provided topics vary. (Offered every other year.)
Credits
4 credits
Level
Upper Division
Pathways Curriculum
Approaches to Creation and Analysis, The Interdisciplinary Clusters
Faculty Headshot for Heather Sullivan
Heather Sullivan, Ph.D.
Program Director
Professor, Modern Languages and Literatures
Headshot of Erwin Cook
Erwin Cook, Ph.D.
Murchison Distinguished Professor, Classical Studies
Ruben R Dupertuis
Ruben R. Dupertuis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Religion
Stephen Lee Field
Stephen Lee Field, Ph.D.
J.K. and Ingrid Lee Endowed Professor of Chinese Language & Literature, Modern Languages and Literatures
" "
Jinli He, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Modern Languages and Literatures
Thomas E. Jenkins
Thomas E. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Professor, Classical Studies
Headshot of faculty member Tim O'Sullivan
Timothy O'Sullivan, Ph.D.
Professor, Classical Studies
" "
Corinne Pache, Ph.D.
Professor, Classical Studies
Michael Soto
Michael Soto, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs: Student Academic Issues and Retention, English
Headshot of Michael Ward
Michael Ward, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Modern Languages and Literatures

We're here to help!

Our team of expert academic advisors are ready to provide guidance and support.

Visit the Advising Office