Comparative literature is the study of literature, theory, and criticism across the boundaries of language, nation, culture, artistic medium, genre, and historical period.

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Faculty

Comparative literature and affiliated faculty are accomplished teachers, scholars, and writers whose work appear in respected journals, as articles in scholarly magazines, and in a range of books. Faculty 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 enables students to integrate their studies in more than one discipline. 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. The major requires advanced proficiency in a language other than English and a senior capstone or honors project.

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

Comparative Literature News

Sophie Kemp

Culture Writing with Sophie Kemp ’18

February 18, 2019
After graduating as a French and comparative literature double major, Sophie Kemp ’18 has been working at Pitchfork to kick-start her interests in culture writing.
portrait of Stiliana Milkova

Reading in Translation Blog Shines Light on Literary Translations

December 5, 2018
Oberlin’s Comparative Literature Program was recently awarded management of a nationally acclaimed resource for reviews of translated literature. Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature Stiliana Milkova serves as the blog’s managing editor.