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Major Options

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR IN COMPARATIVE LITERATURE

Comparative Literature major worksheet (pdf)

The major seeks to provide an opportunity for selective and varied study of two or more literatures in their relation to each other, or for the study of a foreign literature in its relationship to an extraliterary discipline, such as film, music, or history (see the three options below). Each student’s major plan is designed individually around a particular focus of interest. Students planning to major in Comparative Literature will normally enroll in an Honors Program, which entails writing a thesis (60 to 80 pages) during their senior year. Some students may choose to write two senior essays (about 25 pages each) in lieu of the thesis. Students pursuing the two-paper option will substitute another Comparative Literature course for CL 87. One senior essay will be written in Comparative Literature 85. The second will be written in a course taken senior year that is relevant to the student’s course of study. The two-paper option does not carry honors credit.

The major is administered by the Comparative Literature Steering Committee. Students design their major plan in consultation with an advisor and the Chair. All applications to the major must be approved by the Steering Committee. Major cards can be signed only by the Chair. Students interested in becoming majors should consult the Chair well in advance of their intended declaration of a major.

Prerequisite for the major: Comparative Literature 10.

Required courses: Comparative Literature 72, 85, and, for honors majors only, 87.

Comparative Literature 85 (Senior Seminar) is required to fulfill the culminating experience requirement for students who do not meet the honor requirements, and Comparative Literature 85 and Comparative Literature 87 (Thesis Tutorial) for students meeting honors requirements.

Major options

A. Two foreign literatures.

We require fluency in the primary language and competence in the secondary language. Fluency and competence are determined by the chair in consultation with the chair of the relevant foreign language department. Competence is ordinarily defined as completion of the fourth quarter of language study, and fluency as three courses beyond the fourth quarter of study. One course from an LSA+ or FSP may be counted toward work in a language, as long as the course content is primarily literary. This major consists of 10 courses: Comparative Literature 72, 85, 87; at least 2 additional Comparative Literature courses; 3-4 courses in the primary literature; and 1-2 courses in the secondary literature.

Students interested in graduate study in Comparative Literature are strongly encouraged to choose Major option A.

B. Two literatures (one of which is a literature in English).

We require fluency in the non-anglophone language. Fluency is determined by the chair in consultation with the chair of the relevant foreign language department. One course from an LSA+ or FSP may be counted toward work in a language, as long as the course content in primarily literary. This major consists of 12 courses: Comparative Literature 72, 85, 87; at least 2 additional Comparative Literature courses; 3-4 courses in the non-anglophone literature; and at least 3 courses in the anglophone literature.

C. A foreign literature and a nonliterary discipline (e.g. literature and music; literature and film; literature and history, etc.).

We require fluency in the foreign language. Fluency is determined by the chair in consultation with the chair of the relevant foreign language department. One course from an LSA+ or FSP may be counted toward work in a language, as long as the course content in primarily literary. This major consists of 12 courses: Comparative Literature 72, 85, 87; at least 2 additional Comparative Literature courses; 3-4 courses in the foreign literature; and at least 3 courses in the nonliterary discipline.

Last Updated: 8/3/11