Literary theory, literature, the arts, European languages, literatures, and translation are foundation for our Comparative Literature Program.

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Comparative literature and affiliated faculty are accomplished teachers, scholars and writers whose work appear in respected journals, as articles in scholarly magazines and a range of books. They work closely with students to help them shape their course of study from a wide range of possible materials.

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Program Overview

Comparative literature is the study of literature, theory, and criticism across the boundaries of language, nation, culture, artistic medium, genre, and historical period. Faculty in Oberlin’s program are drawn from the humanities, arts, and social sciences. The curriculum emphasizes these important areas of the discipline:

  • Literary theory
  • Literature and the other arts
  • East-West studies
  • European languages and literatures
  • Translation

Comparative literature lets students to integrate their studies in more than one discipline at once. Because the major requires a combination of depth, breadth, and creativity, students consult with advisors to create individualized curricular pathways that match their specific interests, demonstrate advanced proficiency in at least one other language besides English, and culminate in a capstone or an honors project.

Program alumni have attended top graduate programs, received numerous Fulbrights and other fellowships, and gone on to successful careers in such fields as academia, journalism, film, nonprofit organizations, publishing, libraries, the arts, and teaching at all levels.

Comparative Literature News

Translating More Than Words

August 20, 2015
Annie Valocchi ’15 is spending her summer at Spannocchia, an organic farm and bread and breakfast near Siena, Italy, before she begins teaching English at an Italian high school this fall.