Why Study Comparative Literature?
Comparative Literature is the interdisciplinary study of literature and culture from different perspectives and from different national groups.
Different students choose Comparative Literature for different reasons. Generally, students whose interests in language, literature, or culture traverse national boundaries find a rich variety of material for their studies. Additionally, students who study popular culture, literary or cultural theory, film, gender studies, music, and/or art also find that Comparative Literature provides them ample opportunity to pursue their inquiries.
Comparative Literature at the University of Rochester offers students significant flexibility in designing a concentration both broad in national and historical diversity and rich in depth. Students who study Comparative Literature choose their courses from a huge selection of national literatures and cultures. They can choose either to pursue work in a foreign language (or two), or complete their coursework in English.
Comparative Literature is by definition interdisciplinary. Students who pursue work in Comparative Literature, either through a cluster, a minor, or a major, will gain access to several different national cultures and, depending on the level pursued, a deeper sense of how those cultures interact with their neighbors, their regions, and the world.
Those who study Comparative Literature will possess valuable skills in literary analysis, cultural awareness, and critical thinking and writing. Sensitive to the manner in which different national groups conceive their identities in an era of ever-increasing globalization, students of Comparative Literature aim at international awareness through humanistic inquiry.
What Kind of Foreign Language Work is Required?
That depends on the student. You can do work in Comparative Literature either with language-intensive courses, or you can do all your work in English.
Students with interest and proficiency in foreign languages can do work in Comparative Literature in two ways: you can construct your major with concentration on the literature and culture of two national areas (see below), in which case you can do advanced level courses in the language, or you can do one area in the original language and one in English.
Students whose interests and skills do not necessarily include advanced work in a foreign language can take all of their courses in English. Any courses that is listed under the "CLT" rubric is taught in English, and that includes literature, culture, as well as theoretical or other kinds of courses.
- CLT 101, "Introduction to Comparative Literature"
- 5 courses in one national literature area
- 4 courses in another national literature area
- or 4 courses in literary or cultural theory
- or 4 courses in a related area of student's interest (in consultation with advisor)
- CLT 389, "Major Seminar" (Because the material in the Major Seminar applies to advanced work in the major, students are encouraged to enroll in the Major Seminar (CLT 389) in their junior year if at all possible.)
- CLT Course Descriptions
In consultation with the Comparative Literature faculty advisor, students choose 5 courses representing an area of concentration in the field. Students can define that area according to their own interests and educational and career goals.
- Introduction to Comparative Literature (H1CLT001)
- Gender and Literary Studies (H1CLT002)
- Comparative Film Traditions (H1CLT003)
- Comparative Cultural Studies (H1CLT004)
More information about the Comparative Literature clusters is available via the University's Cluster Search Engine, which can be found here.
- CLT 101C: Disability Studies: Rethinking Difference and Diversity
- CLT 101D: Mexico, DF: Global Metropolis
- CLT 101E: Censorship
- CLT 101I: Cowboys and Indians
- CLT 101M: Berlin: Tales of a City
- CLT 101V: Writing, Visuality, and the Powers of Images
- CLT 110: Justice and Equality
- CLT 111: Introduction to Pre-Modern Chinese Literature
- CLT 118: The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri: Discover the Wonders of a Medieval Mind
- CLT 151: Modern Latin America
- CLT 160: The New Europe
- CLT 161: Europe Today
- CLT 202B: The Holocaust in Film and Literature
- CLT 203: Polish and American Poetry
- CLT 204: Modern Japan
- ClT 207C: Italy from Napoleon to the First Republic (Study Abroad in Arezzo)
- CLT 209A: Russian Civilization
- CLT 209B: Russian Identity: Continuity/Disruption
- CLT 210C: Chinese Landscapes: Space, Place, and Travel
- CLT 211F: Classical Film Theory
- CLT 211G: Feminist Film Theory
- CLT 211M: French in Film: Africa, Caribbean, Québec
- CLT 212C: Mothers, Comrades, and Whores
- CLT 213B: Modern Italy Through Film
- CLT 214: Dream of the Red Chamber
- CLT 214A: Tourist Japan
- CLT 214C: Director Studies: Akira Kurosawa
- CLT 214M: Atomic Creatures: Godzilla
- CLT 215A: Russian Goes to the Movies
- CLT 216A: Mexican Film
- CLT 216B: Spanish Film
- CLT 217: Men of Marble, Women of Steel: An Introduction to East European Film
- CLT 217B: Race and Gender in Popular Film
- CLT 221: Mutilated Bodies, Mutilated Discourse
- CLT 222B: Gender and Sex in the Twentieth Century
- CLT 223: Deep Thoughts with German Thinkers
- CLT 224B: Modern Japanese Women Writers
- CLT 227: Body Politics: Negotiating Public and Private Discourses of the Body in Japanese Culture
- CLT 229: Colonial Latin American Literature
- CLT 230: Film as Object
- CLT 230A: French Social Thought
- CLT 231E: Black Paris
- CLT 232: Schlemiels, Pariahs, and Parvenus: The Jewish Writer and Rebel
- CLT 235: Texts Beyond Borders
- CLT 237: Create a Documentary: Florence the Wondrous
- CLT 239: Representing African-Americans in the African Imagination
- CLT 241: Caribbean Novel and Theory
- CLT 244A: Topics in Italian Culture (4.0 credits)
- CLT 244B: Topics in Italian Culture (2.0 credits)
- CLT 247: Storytelling in Indian Religion
- CLT 247: Politics and Culture in Fascist Italy
- CLT 250: Nabokov
- CLT 251: Strangers in a Strange Land
- CLT 252: Bright Lights, Big City: The Urban Imagination
- CLT 252A: Kafka and His World
- CLT 254: Visualizing Dante
- CLT 255A: Great Russian Writers
- CLT 255C: Chekhov and the Short Story
- CLT 255D: Dostoevsky
- CLT 256: Germany Year Zero: Post-War German Literature, 1945–89
- CLT 256B: Don Quixote: The Book, the Myth, the Image
- CLT 257A: The Arabian Nights
- CLT 259: Tolstoy's War and Peace
- CLT 261: Philosophy of Art
- CLT 265: Russian Drama
- CLT 265B: The Image of Christ in Russian Literature
- CLT 265D: Russian Literature Between the Revolutions
- CLT 272: Fassbinder
- CLT 273: French Cinema: 1930–1960
- CLT 275: French Philosophy Since 1960
- CLT 276: Twentieth-Century European Thought
- CLT 277: Modern Chinese Literature in Translation
- CLT 278: Godzilla, Gundam, and Gangsters: Japanese Popular Culture
- CLT 280: Aesthetics
- CLT 282A: Marx and Marxism
- CLT 282B: Nietzsche and Nietzscheans
- CLT 284: Translation and World Literature
- CLT 286: New Austrian Cinema
- CLT 287: Studies in Translation
- CLT 292: Politics, Portraits, Public Places: The Power of Photography in Spain and Spanish America
- CLT 294: On Genealogy
- CLT 296: Culture in Chaos: Russia's Silver Age
- CLT 298: Journey to the Feast: Cuisine and Culture in Modern Japan
- CLT 389: Major Seminar
Students are encouraged to study abroad in one or more of the national areas of their interest. Generally speaking, coursework undertaken abroad will count toward a major or minor in Comparative Literature.
For more information about programs in Comparative Literature, contact Professor Susan Gustafson (firstname.lastname@example.org).