Richmond Home

Comparative Literature

Interdisciplinary Concentration in Comparative Literature for English Majors

The basic assumption behind this concentration is that literary studies can be unduly limited by restricting the context and parameters of scholarly inquiry to the literary works of one particular literary tradition, usually defined in fairly narrow geographical and linguistic terms. Comparative literature in the broadest sense may be defined as the text-based investigation of themes, issues, and works of art, free from the fetters of artificial geographical, cultural, political, or disciplinary demarcations. Students of comparative literature achieve a greater awareness of certain boundaries involved in the traditional study of literature--national, linguistic, generic, disciplinary, etc.--and of the issues and advantages involved in crossing those boundaries. In this concentration, students willing to acquire additional linguistic and disciplinary skills will develop the habits and tools necessary to address problems or topics of interest from a number of literary and disciplinary perspectives.

Seven units, including:

One upper level English or Languages, Literatures, and Cultures course (approved by the Concentration Coordinator) which focuses on the comparative and/or interdisciplinary study of a particular genre, theme, or historical period.

Three upper-level literature courses from the languages, literatures, and cultures, Latin American, Latino, and Iberian Studies, or classical studies departments, in the original language

Two courses in fields outside of literature (Students will choose from ancillary fields such as philosophy, art history, religious studies, etc., in support of their research concentration, and subject to approval of concentration coordinator.)

A one unit independent study culminating in a substantial research project; honors students can use this research project as their honors thesis.