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Comparative Literature

The Comparative Literature major is an interdepartmental course of study allowing students with sufficient literary background and linguistic preparation to pursue the comparative study of literature, literary theory, literary criticism, and cultural studies across boundaries of genre, historical period, language, and culture. The major draws on the current offerings of relevant departments and from the courses in the Comparative Literature Program. In addition to the specific requirements below, the student may work out an emphasis within the major in consultation with his or her advisor and the program director. Thus several courses presented for the major might focus on a specific period (the Renaissance, the twentieth century), a genre (tragedy, lyric poetry), or an approach (translation, critical theory).

Major. A minimum of thirty credit hours (thirty-three for Honors) to be distributed as follows:

Comparative Literature 200, 3 hours

At least one course at the 400 level in a foreign literature taught in the original language (300 in Greek or Latin), 3 hours

A comparative reading course the senior year to be supervised jointly by faculty members from two appropriate departments, 3 hours. (Honors for six hours may substitute for this requirement.)

Twenty-one hours of literature, theory, criticism, and cultural studies, chosen to include comparative study within or between courses. (Some courses are inherently comparative. For other courses chosen, students can seek ways to inject comparative study, as in selecting paper topics. Up to six hours of appropriate courses in history and theory of art, music, film, theater, and dance and non-literary theory courses on gender, race, and class may be counted.)

At least eighteen of the hours counted toward the major must be earned at Oberlin College. Students preparing for graduate work in comparative literature should select at least fifteen hours in two foreign literatures taught in the original languages.

Honors. Students who wish to pursue honors should apply by April 15 of the junior year. Admission will be granted on the basis of the grade-point average in the major, faculty recommendations, and a written proposal. The project will be for six hours during the two semesters of the senior year, normally under the supervision of two faculty members from different departments. Interested majors should consult the director.

The following courses, either cross-referenced, cross-listed or wholly in Comparative Literature, are centered on comparative approaches and therefore are of special interest to majors. For cross-listed courses, students may enroll using either the Comparative Literature number or the cross-listed number in the department of origin.


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Courses of Interest

The following courses, either cross-listed or wholly in Comparative Literature, are centered on comparative approaches and therefore are of special interest to majors. Students may enroll using either the Comparative Literature number or the cross-listed number in the department of origin.

200. Methods of Comparative Literature 3 hours
This course investigates the nature and scope of comparative literary studies, focusing on the nature and assumptions of literary study undertaken from several comparative perspectives. The importance of translation, the role of theory and criticism, the opportunities and limitations of influence studies, the place of cultural studies, and other comparative topics are explored. A variety of texts from different literary traditions will be analyzed from different theoretical approaches. Prerequisites: An introductory literature course in any language. For Comparative Literature majors: This course must be taken by the junior year.
Sem 2 CMPL-200-01 To be arranged Staff

265. Anglophone Literatures of the Third World 3 hours

Identical to ENGL 265 and WOST 265.

Sem 2 CMPL-265-01 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Ms. Needham

329. Literature and the Land: Writing Nature in Russia and America 3 hours
3 HU, CD, WR

Identical to RUSS 329.

Sem 2 CMPL-329-01 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Mr. Newlin

350. Translation Workshop 3 hours
3 HU, CD

Identical to CRWR 350.

Sem. 1 CMPL-350-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Staff

457. Caribbean Cultures and Literatures 3 hours
3 HU, CD

Identical to SPAN 457.

Sem 2 CMPL-457-01 W 7:00-9:40 p.m. Ms. Cara

501, 502. Honors Project 3 hours

Consent of Program Director required.
Sem 1 CMPL-501-01 To be arranged Staff
Sem 2 CMPL-502-01 To be arranged Staff

Cross-Referenced Courses

The following courses may be of particular interest to Comparative Literature students, depending on the emphasis of their major. The courses listed below are offered in English, unless otherwise noted. Numerous other courses are also appropriate for the major. Please consult the listings of literature courses in the following departments or programs: Classics (courses in Latin and Greek above 301), East Asian Studies (courses in Chinese and Japanese at the 300 and 400 level), French (360 or above), English (200 level or above), German (300 and 400 level), Hispanic Studies (305 or above), Russian (300 and 400 level).  

101 Myth and Hero in the Greek Epic
206 Greek and Roman Drama in Translation

218 No Second Troy: Versions of Helen

106 Chinese Fiction in Translation

109 Topics in Chinese Film

282 Survey of Drama from the Greeks to the Present

327 Modern Drama: Ibsen to Pirandello
386/HIST 367 Narrating the Nation: Historical and Literary Approaches to Nationalism

250 French Cinema: An Introduction

441 Atelier de traduction (Translation Workshop, conducted in French)

427 Le Viêtnam et la littérature (conducted in French)

473 French Cinema: Special Topic

325 New German Cinema

335 Special Topics in German Cinema: East German Cinema

Hispanic Studies
313 Colloquium: Latin American Film
320 Reading Borges (conducted in Spanish)

423 The Crisis of 1898 and the Discourse of Decadence (conducted in Spanish)

450 Picaresque Narratives: the World Vision of Female and Male pícaros (conducted in Spanish)
465 ¡Viva la raza! Constructions of Hispanic Identity (conducted in Spanish)

367/ENGL 386 Narrating the Nation: Historical and Literary Approaches to Nationalism

116 Traditional Japanese Literature in Translation
118 Modern Japanese Literature in Translation

320 The Avant-Garde in Japanese Literature

110 Russian Modernism: The Aesthetic Utopia

321 Tolstoy and Dostoevsky

326 Literature of Dissent from Stalin to the Present
330 Russian Theater: Imperial to Improvisational

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