Departments & Programs

Comparative Literature

Major in Comparative Literature

The B.A. Major in Comparative Literature introduces students to the study of literature and other arts across national, historical, cultural, and disciplinary boundaries. Courses trace themes, problems, ideas, and techniques across these borders while instructing students in the methods and theories of comparative literary study. Courses also investigate relationships between literature and the visual arts, film, music, and other performance arts, and between literature and other disciplines such as philosophy, history, and religious and cultural studies. Majors may tailor their course work to suit their particular interests by selecting from a wide range of course offerings.

Required Courses
  1. General Methods and Theory C205 and C305.
  2. One course each from two of the following groups:
    • Genre C216, C217, C311, C313, C315, C318, C417
    • Period C320, C321, C325, C329, C333, C335, C337, C338
    • Comparative Arts C251, C252, C255, C256, C310, C351, C355, C357, C358, C361
    • Cross-Cultural Studies C262, C265, C301, C340, C370, C377, C464
  3. Six additional courses (18 credits) in Comparative Literature, at least four of which (12 credit hours) must be at the 300 level or above. Students completing a double major must consult with advisors in each major regarding stipulations. C110 may not be used to fulfill major requirements.
  4. In addition to the above requirements, students must satisfy the requirements for one of the following two options:
Option A - Language and Literature:

One advanced course at the 300 or 400 level, or its equivalent, that includes the study of a foreign language literature in the original.

Option B - Interdisciplinary Study of Literature:

One of the above 300- or 400-level interdisciplinary comparative literature courses (e.g., C310, C347, C355, C357, C358, C343*, C345*, C349, any course listed as a "Period Course"), paired with an additional 300- or 400-level course offered by a corresponding department. Students who choose the interdisciplinary option will select an upper-level class in an outside field in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The student will then write a one-page explanation of why the class is suitable for the interdisciplinary track. The standing Undergraduate Committee of Comparative Literature will give final approval of the proposal. Some examples of departments and programs that offer suitable outside interdisciplinary courses include Anthropology, Fine Arts—History, History, History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychological and Brain Sciences, Religious Studies and Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance. The course taken in a corresponding department must be completed on the Bloomington campus.

Students must also complete the degree requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Recommendations for All Majors

It is recommended that majors continue work in a foreign language and literature through three consecutive years, regardless of their proficiency when entering the program. Students intending to do graduate work in comparative literature are advised to begin a second foreign language.