Comparative literature is dedicated to the study of literature in an international and interdisciplinary context.  Majors read widely across periods, genres, and national traditions. They study literature and culture from various parts of the world to develop knowledge and critical understanding of how cultures differ from as well as connect and interact with one another through the medium of artistic expression. They study theoretical approaches - traditional and contemporary, ancient and modern - to literature and other media and examine the relationship of literature to other fields and disciplines in the arts and sciences.  The program offers majors the opportunity to design individual programs of study across languages, cultures, and media in keeping with their particular linguistic capabilities and intellectual goals.

Courses in translation and the minor in Translation Studies allow students to develop the ability to work with and across languages and to reflect critically on the theory and history of translation and the role of translation in bridging literary traditions and connecting cultural worlds.



CPLS BC3124: Utopian Literature
Professor Ronald Briggs
M/W 10:10-11:25am
Oscar Wilde wrote that “a map of the world that does not include Utopia is not even worth glancing at.” This course reads the concept from Christopher Columbus and Thomas More to the advent of modern socialism. Readings by Campanella, Cavendish, Engels, Bellamy, Gilman, and Portal.
CPLS BC3143: Literature and Violence
Professor Brian O'Keeffe
T/TH 11:40-12:55
This course examines the ways in which literary works engage with the matter of violence. The texts have been chosen for the intensity with which they confront the ethical and political dilemmas relation the act of violence, and indeed, the justification of violence. Topics to be considered include terrorism and revolutionary militancy, arguments for and against the death penalty, acts of vengeance, cruelty, and torture. Texts are drawn from a wide variety of cultural, linguistic, and historical contexts - classical Greek tragedy, European literature of the 19th century, works set in Franco-phone Algeria, and in early 20th century China, among others. The course also addresses different genres, including theater, narrative prose, and poetry, as well as photography. Further aspects of the topic will be developed in connection with recent philosophical writing on violence.

National Tsing Hua University will offer summer courses in 2017 in Chinese and Sinophone literature and literary translation geared towards eligible university students from the U.S., Europe, and other areas.  These courses are transferrable for Barnard College credit and would help students working on Chinese as one of their languages fulfill major requirements for comparative literature. For more information, please visit: http://my.nthu.edu.tw/~yuehanxuetang