Description of the major
Approaching literature with a global perspective, the major in Comparative Literature crosses the boundaries of geography, time, nationalities, languages, and cultures. The literature draws upon readings from the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia. The range includes recognized great books along with lesser-known works, texts that have received attention since ancient times and new texts by living writers, women's literature, myths and folktales, literary humor, African drama, Jewish fiction and poetry, Japanese and Chinese writing, works by Native Americans, and hero-tales such as the Arthurian legend. Students are challenged to appreciate different literatures, to learn about genres, themes, periods, and further concepts used in critical analysis, to situate literature within its cultural context, and to relate literature to other areas of creative experience, such as film. A senior seminar clarifies the mysteries of literary theory and provides opportunities for individual projects.