Comparative Literature at Barnard College is the study of literary and closely related cultural expressions across linguistic and cultural boundaries. It is distinct in its onviction that our encounters with literary and cultural manifestations must be international in character.

Undergraduate students in Comparative Literature acquire proficiency in a great variety of foreign languages, providing them the opportunity to study literature in world contexts and examine the connections between languages, cultures, and literary traditions. It is an interdisciplinary enterprise geared toward exploring boundaries and therefore routinely crosses borders and investigates literary, cultural and social relations between communities of readers, writers, and speakers. For this reason, majors are encouraged to read widely from different literatures and to develop a comprehensive view of important cultural issues.