Students who major in Comparative Literature will, no later than their senior year, be able:
- to analyze and interpret literary texts through close, comparative reading
- to situate primary texts comparatively within their cultural and historical contexts, including literary tradition and literary history
- to exercise analytical and critical thinking and research skills on secondary scholarship, criticism, and theory
- to cultivate adeptness with disciplinary norms, including the ability to construct interpretive arguments in essay form
- to demonstrate advanced proficiency in at least one national literature or literary tradition other than English
Students in lower-division courses, such as COM 1-4 and COM 5-7, learn to analyze and interpret literary texts through close, comparative reading. They are also introduced to the process of situating texts within their cultural and historical contexts through lectures and secondary sources, and to constructing interpretive arguments in essay form.
Students in upper-division courses, such as The Epic, Comedy, Women Writers, The Ramayana, and Postcolonial Literature, further develop the skills acquired in COM 1-4 and COM 5-7. These courses also enable students to build their understanding of national literatures as well as their comparative grasp of literary history, traditions, styles, and genres, and to refine their ability to write according to disciplinary norms.
Three upper division literature courses in a foreign language allow students in the COM major to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language and to use this proficiency to study a literary tradition or a national literature.
COM 141: Critical Theory, a required course for the major, provides majors an introduction to critical approaches in literary studies. In this course majors learn to exercise analytical and critical thinking and research skills on secondary scholarship, criticism, and theory.
COM 195: The Senior Seminar, the department's capstone course, offers majors the opportunity to apply, synthesize, and demonstrate their learning in the discipline of Comparative Literature at a high level.