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College of Arts and Sciences

Comparative Literature

Comparative Literature, broadly defined, is the study of “literature without borders.” It is an interdisciplinary field whose practitioners study literature across national borders, across time periods, across languages, across genres, across boundaries between literature and the other arts (music, painting, dance, film, etc.), and across disciplines (literature and psychology, philosophy, science, history, architecture, sociology, politics, etc.).    Comparative Literature is sometimes called “World Literature.”

Comparative Literature at the College of Arts & Sciences is an interdisciplinary program in the department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.  It is the 10th-ranked public program in the United States.   The program’s core values are linguistic competence, theoretical fluency, and broad literary culture.

Faculty members are nationally and internationally known scholars in fields ranging from Latin lyric poetry to film studies, and from translation theory to poststructuralist and postcolonial theory.  The program has a newly updated and expanded curriculum, and students have access to a major research library.


The program offers a major in this field that leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Literature. Graduates can pursue a career as a literature professor (advanced degree needed), English teacher, editor, book reviewer, editorial assistant, tour guide, translator/interpreter, lawyer, or curriculum developer, to name a few.  Large and small publishing houses, as well as national newspapers and magazines, often hire graduates who have studied Comparative Literature.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Alexander Beecroft, Director of the Undergraduate Program in Comparative Literature, 803-777-4881,

Visit our program's page.