Major in Comparative Literature
Minor in Comparative Literature
Departmental Honors Program
Secondary Teacher Certification
David M. Hertz
Willis Barnstone (Emeritus, Spanish and Portuguese), Peter Bondanella (French and Italian, West European Studies), Bruce Cole (Fine Arts)
Martha C. Kraft Professor of Humanities
James Naremore (English, Communication and Culture)
Gilbert Chaitin (French and Italian), Eugene Eoyang (East Asian Languages and Cultures), Edward Friedman (Spanish and Portuguese), Kenneth R. R. Gros Louis (English), Ingeborg Hoesterey (Germanic Studies), Roger Herzel (Theatre and Drama), Sumie Jones (East Asian Languages and Culture), Eileen Julien (African Studies, French and Italian), Oscar Kenshur (English, Philosophy), Giancarlo Maiorino (Renaissance Studies), Bert Breon Mitchell (Germanic Studies), James Naremore (American Studies, Communication and Culture), Anya Royce (Anthropology), Mihály Szegedy-Maszák (Central Eurasian Studies), Albert Wertheim (English, Theater and Drama)
Salih Altoma (Near Eastern Languages and Cultures), Willis Barnstone (Spanish and Portuguese), Luis Beltrán (Spanish and Portuguese), Ernest Bernhardt-Kabisch (English), Peter Boerner (Germanic Studies), Matei Calinescu (English), Claus Clüver, Mary Gaither (English), Harry Geduld, Yoshio Iwamoto (East Asian Languages and Cultures), James Jensen (English), Merritt Lawlis (English), Irving Lo (East Asian Languages and Cultures), Henry Remak (Germanic Studies), Mary Ellen Solt, Ulrich Weisstein (Germanic Studies)
Herbert Marks (English, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Religious Studies), Rosemarie McGerr (Medieval Studies), Ilinca Zarifopol-Johnston, Yingjin Zhang (East Asian Languages and Cultures), Carl Ziegler (Germanic Studies)
Maryellen Bieder (Spanish and Portuguese), J. Peter Burkholder (Music), Karen Hanson (Philosophy), Joan Hawkins (Communication and Culture), Barbara Klinger (Communication and Culture), Gerald Larson (Religious Studies), Eleanor W. Leach (Classical Studies), Eric McPhail (French and Italian), William Rasch (Germanic Studies), Suzanne Stetkevych (Near Eastern Languages and Cultures), Helen Sword (English), Bronislava Volkova (Slavic Languages and Literatures), Marc Weiner (Germanic Studies)
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Angela Pao, Ballantine Hall 914, (812) 855-7070
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The curriculum of the Department of Comparative Literature (CMLT) introduces students to the study of literature in different ages and across national, linguistic, and cultural boundaries. Students learn about texts, themes, literary types, and intercultural relations as well as the methods and theories of comparative literary study. Courses also explore relationships between literature and the visual arts, film, music, and other performance arts as well as other disciplines such as philosophy, history, and religious studies. Majors may specialize in the study of literature across cultures, literature in European traditions, or the interrelations of literature with other arts.
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Major in Comparative Literature
In addition to fulfilling the degree requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, all comparative literature majors must complete the following core curriculum courses and the requirements for Options A, B, C, or D.
Requirements for Option A
- Core Curriculum:
- Comparative Literature C205 and C305; C311, C313, or C315; and C321, C325, C329, C333, C335, or C337.
- One advanced course at the 300 level or above that studies a foreign language literature in the original.
- Requirements for one of the options listed below; at least two courses must be taken at the 300 level or above.
(Emphasis on literature across cultures) Students will select one of the following areas, which they will study against the background of the European literary and cultural traditions covered by the core curriculum and option A3 below: Asia; Africa; the Middle East; Latin America; ethnic minorities; diaspora literatures. (Consult the Comparative Literature Undergraduate Handbook for details.)
- Three courses in comparative literature, at the 200 level or above, that include the literature or art of the student's area of focus, in consultation with the student's mentor. (A literature course from another department may be substituted for one of these courses with approval of the student's mentor.)
- Two related courses at the 200 level or above in the religion, philosophy, folklore, history, or art history of the student's area of focus.
- One additional period or genre course from the core curriculum.
One additional course at the 300 level or above that studies a foreign language literature in the original or a 400-level literature course approved by the student's mentor.
Requirements for Option B
(Emphasis on literature in European traditions)
- One additional period course from the group not represented by core curriculum number one. Group (a): C321, C325, C329. Group (b): C333, C335, C337.
- Four additional courses in comparative literature at the 200 level or above (one of which should be from Option D1 and one of which should be C261, C265, C266, C365, C370, C375, C361, or C464).
- One of the following courses: Classical Studies C205, C207, C350, or C360; Religious Studies R210 or R270; or English L367.
One additional advanced course at the 300 level or above that studies a foreign language literature in the original.
Requirements for Option C
(Emphasis on Asian-Western literary relations)
Requirements for Option D
- C265 or C266.
- C365 or C375. (It is advisable that students choose a course in the area of their foreign language competency.)
- Religious studies R153, R354, R357, or R359.
- East Asian Languages and Cultures C302, J302, or the equivalent in another Asian language.
- One 400-level literature course in East Asian Languages and Cultures.
(Emphasis on comparative arts studies)
Recommendations for all Majors
- Three of the following courses in comparative literature: C251, C252, C255, C256, C257, C310, C355, C356, C357, C358, C291, C490, C492, C493, or C400 (when topic is appropriate).
- One of the following course combinations:
- Three courses in the history and theory of the visual arts.
- Three courses in the history, theory, or literature of music.
- Three courses in the study of literature and film: Communication and Culture C190 and C410 plus an additional course in the study of film and culture. (Consult the Comparative Literature Handbook for details.)
- Three approved courses related to interarts studies. (Consult the Comparative Literature Handbook for details.)
Especially recommended for complementary study are courses in English and foreign language literatures, African studies, Afro-American studies, Asian studies, folklore, history, history and theory of art, history and theory of music, linguistics, philosophy, religion, theatre and drama, and West European studies. 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.
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Minor in Comparative Literature
Students wishing to take an optional minor in comparative literature must enroll in C305 Comparative Approaches to Literature: Theory and Method (3 cr.) and four additional courses (to equal 12 cr.) in comparative literature above the 200 level or above. At least two courses must be from those listed below. At least two courses must be at the 300 or 400 level.
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- General, methods, and theory courses: C205, C400, C405.
- Genre courses: C216, C217, C218, C219, C311, C313, C315, C415, C417.
- Period courses: C321, C325, C329, C333, C335, C337.
- Themes in literature; literature and ideas: C340, C347, C445, C446.
- Literature and other arts: C251, C252, C255, C256, C257, C355, C356, C357, C358, C490, C492, C493.
- Literature across cultures: C261, C265, C266, C361, C365, C370, C375, C460, C464.
Departmental Honors Program
Majors who have maintained a high level of academic achievement and who have taken at least one 300-level Comparative Literature course are eligible for the honors program. Students may qualify for graduation with honors in comparative literature in one of three ways: by completing three honors tutorials, by writing an honors paper, or by completing an honors project. An undergraduate senior seminar in Comparative Literature or a graduate course may be substituted for one of the honors tutorials. Interested students may obtain detailed information from the departmental honors advisor.
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All majors in comparative literature are encouraged to participate in one of the University's foreign study programs, where students can continue to make progress toward their degrees and apply financial aid to program fees. Of particular interest is the Council on International Education Exchanges (CIEE) Critical Studies Program in Paris. For information about study abroad, contact the Office of Overseas Study, Franklin Hall 303, (812) 855-9304.
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Secondary Teacher Certification
Students majoring in comparative literature and planning to teach at secondary schools may earn a teacher certificate for English or another language. Students considering teacher certification should consult with an advisor in the School of Education as early as possible for further information.
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General, Methods, and Theory Courses
C100 Freshman Seminar (3 cr.) AHLA Analysis and discussion of selected major works of literature and art illustrating historical and stylistic problems related to specific themes, artists, or genres.
C155 Culture and the Modern Experience: An Interdisciplinary and International Approach (3 cr.) AHLA This course, which is interdisciplinary in method and international in scope, introduces students to an inclusive study of major cultural parallels, contrasts, and developments across the arts and beyond national and continental divides. Syllabi and selections of course materials will reflect the specialties of individual instructors.
C200 Honors Seminar (3 cr.) AHLA Selected authors and topics, ranging from traditional to modern; for example, Athens and Jerusalem: The Origins of Western Literature. Traditional or current debates and issues of a critical, theoretical, or historical nature. Comparative methodology, interdisciplinary approach. May be repeated once for credit with a different topic.
C205 Comparative Literary Analysis (3 cr.) AHLA Proceeds from a close examination of individual texts to comparative examination of different texts, using plays, poems, and short fiction from various literatures. I Sem., II Sem.
C305 Comparative Approaches to Literature: Theory and Method (3 cr.) AHLA Examination of such problems as reception, influence, theme, genre, period, and translation, based on the study of literary texts and scholarly papers.
C400 Studies in Comparative Literature (3 cr.) AHLA P: 6 credit hours of literature. Specific problems concerning the relationship of two or more literatures or of literature and another area in the humanities. May be repeated twice.
C405 Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature (3 cr., 6 cr. max.) AHLA P: at least one 300-level comparative literature course or consent of instructor. Selected topics treated in seminar fashion. Recommended for majors. May be repeated once with different topic.
C216 Science Fiction, Fantasy, and the Western Tradition (3 cr.) AHLA Historical and comparative survey of science fiction and fantasy narrative from antiquity to the present. The origin of scientific narrative in ancient Greek literature, its relation to ancient myths, and its history and development. Emphasis on philosophical, cognitive, and scientific aspects of the genre.
C217 Detective, Mystery, and Horror Literature (3 cr.) AHLA Origins, evolution, conventions, criticism, and theory of the detective and mystery story; history of the Gothic novel; later development of the tale of terror; major works of this type in fiction, drama, and film.
C218 Introduction to Satire (3 cr.) AHLA Development of satire as a literary type; representative works.
C219 Romance and the Western Tradition (3 cr.) AHLA Origins, evolution, conventions, criticism, and theory of the romance, from antiquity to the present; representative texts from Apuleius to modern pulp fiction.
C311 Drama (3 cr.) AHLA P: 6 credit hours of literature. R: C205 or ENG L202. Analytical and historical study of various forms of dramatic literature emphasizing differences between drama and other literary genres. Survey of periods and dramatic conventions, close reading of selected plays, some concern with theoretical problems.
C313 Narrative (3 cr.) AHLA P: 6 credit hours of literature. R: C205 or ENG L202. Historical and analytical study of various forms of narrative literature. Discussion of narrative as a primary literary genre and analysis of such diverse forms as myth, folktale, epic, romance, gospel, saint's life, saga, allegory, confession, and novel.
C315 The Lyric Poem (3 cr.) AHLA P: 6 credit hours of literature. R: C205 or ENG L202. Study of the lyric poem emphasizing free-verse tradition of Song of Songs, Whitman, Rimbaud; traditional forms of Greek and Latin lyrics and later rhyming forms such as sonnet and ballad; and experiments of contemporary poetry.
C415 Medieval Lyric (3 cr.) AHLA, CSA P: one course in medieval literature or consent of instructor. Medieval religious and secular lyric. Cultural contexts and formal concerns, such as the influence of medieval rhetorical theory and the continuation and transformation of classical poetic conventions.
C417 Medieval Narrative (3 cr.) AHLA, CSA P: one course in medieval literature or consent of instructor. Medieval literary theory (as it applies to narrative forms) and comparative analysis of works within their cultural contexts. Topics and works vary, but they may include the allegorical narrative, shorter narrative forms, the romance, fabliaux, saint's life, and pulpit literature.
C321 Medieval Literature (3 cr.) AHLA, CSA P: 6 credit hours of literature. R: C205 or ENG L202. Secular directions in philosophy, scholarship, history, epic, romance, and lyric poetry within medieval Christian tradition. Rise of humanism during Dark Ages; its manifestation in Carolingian and twelfth-century renaissances.
C325 The Renaissance (3 cr.) AHLA, CSA P: 6 credit hours of literature. R: C205 or ENG L202. Prose fiction, long narrative poems, lyric poems, essays, tracts, and plays written between 1350 and 1650 in Italy, France, Spain, Germany, and England. Such authors as Petrarch, Boccaccio, Chaucer, Machiavelli, More, Castiglione, Rabelais, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Cervantes, and Hobbes.
C329 The Eighteenth Century (3 cr.) AHLA, CSB P: 6 credit hours of literature. R: C205 or ENG L202. The dominant literary and intellectual trends of the century, such as neoclassicism, rococo, Enlightenment, and preromanticism. Authors such as Pope, Swift, Montesquieu, Richardson, Voltaire, Diderot, Kant, Rousseau, Lessing, and Sterne.
C333 Romanticism (3 cr.) AHLA, CSB P: 6 credit hours of literature. R: C205 or ENG L202. The rise of romantic tendencies in eighteenth-century Europe; the romantic revolution in early nineteenth-century Western literature. Such authors as Goethe, Chateaubriand, Wordsworth, Byron, Novalis, Hoffmann, Hugo, Pushkin, and Poe.
C335 Realism, Naturalism, and Symbolism (3 cr.) AHLA, CSB P: 6 credit hours of literature. R: C205 or ENG L202. The rise of realism in nineteenth-century fiction and its development into naturalism and impressionism; the symbolist reaction in poetry; the reemergence of the drama as a major genre. Such authors as Dickens, Flaubert, Tolstoy, Mallarme, Ibsen, Hauptmann, Strindberg, Chekhov.
C337 The Twentieth Century: Tradition and Change (3 cr.) AHLA, CSB P: 6 credit hours of literature. R: C205 or ENG L202. Such authors as Thomas Mann, Proust, Rilke, Pirandello, Joyce, Kafka, Pound, Eliot, Valery, Lorca, Brecht, Faulkner, Borges, Beckett, and Robbe-Grillet. The search for new forms and a new language to express the twentieth-century writer's views of art and reality.
Themes in Literature; Literature and Ideas
C145 Major Characters in Literature (3 cr.) AHLA, CSB Comparative analysis of characters who reappear in literature from different periods and cultures. These include the quester, the lover, the artist, the trickster, the rebel, and the outsider. Readings come from diverse genres and national traditions. Fulfills half of COAS composition requirement, if taken with ENG W143 (1 cr.). I Sem.
C146 Major Themes in Literature (3 cr.) AHLA, CSB Comparative analysis of themes and motifs that reappear in literature from different periods and cultures. These include friendship, madness, self-sacrifice, the relationship of parents and children, the relationship of men and women, and the relationship of individuals and society. Readings come from diverse genres and national traditions. Fulfills half of COAS composition requirement, if taken with ENG W143 (1 cr.). II Sem.
C147 Images of the Self: East and West (3 cr.) AHLA, CSA Such considerations as the individual in society, the outcast as hero, and the artistic sensibility examined in selected works of Western and Eastern literature from ancient to modern times.
C340 Women in World Literature (3 cr.) AHLA, CSA Study of literature by women from different ages and societies. Consideration of such issues as the relationship to literary tradition and cultural context, the creation of an authoritative voice, or the representation of women in literature. Course may focus on one genre or mode (such as drama, lyric, autobiography, or satire).
C347 Ideas in Literature (3 cr.) AHLA, CSB P: 6 credit hours of literature. Major philosophical themes, such as Platonism, Stoicism, skepticism, and mysticism, that appear and reappear in literature.
C445 Traditions of Christian Literature I (3 cr.) AHLA, CSA P: 6 credit hours of literature or religious studies. Imaginative literature of the Christian culture from the second to the twelfth century; relationship to Jewish and classical cultural traditions; emergence of new genres; development of early medieval themes and forms and their transformation in the High Middle Ages.
C446 Traditions of Christian Literature II (3 cr.) AHLA, CSB P: 6 credit hours of literature or religious studies. Religious literature of the later Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the baroque, and the transformation of its themes and forms in more recent writings. Close reading of individual texts as well as consideration of their cultural and theological contexts.
Literature and the Other Arts
C151 Introduction to Popular Culture (3 cr.) AHLA, CSA Explores the scope and methodologies for the serious study of entertainment for mass consumption, including popular theater and vaudeville, bestsellers, mass circulation magazines, popular music, phonograph records, and popular aspects of radio, film, and television. Provides the basic background to other popular culture courses in comparative literature.
C251 Lyrics and Popular Song (3 cr.) AHLA, CSB Survey of popular songs of Europe and the Americas, including modern ballads, cabaret songs, Spanish flamencos, Mexican rancheras, Argentine tangos, country western, and rock lyrics. Discussion of literary qualities of lyrics in context of musical setting and performance and independently as literature.
C252 Literary and Television Genres (3 cr.) AHLA Comparative study of popular literary and television genres, such as farce, domestic comedy, melodrama, biography, mystery, adventure, western, the picaresque. Theoretical, technical, and ideological contrasts between the literary and television media.
C255 Modern Literature and the Other Arts: An Introduction (3 cr.) AHLA, CSB Analyzes the materials of literature, painting, and music and the ways in which meaning is expressed through the organization of the materials. Investigates similarities and differences among the arts. Examples selected from the past 200 years. No previous knowledge of any art required. I Sem., II Sem.
C256 Literature and the Other Arts: 1870-1950 (3 cr.) AHLA, CSB P: C255 or consent of instructor. Interaction of the arts in the development of Western literature, painting, and music in movements such as impressionism, symbolism, constructivism, expressionism, dada, and surrealism.
C257 Asian Literature and the Other Arts (3 cr.) AHLA, CSA Selected literary texts of China, India, or Japan studied in the context of the art forms and cultures of these countries. Concentration on one culture each time course is offered. May be repeated once with different topic.
C261 Introduction to African Literature (3 cr.) AHLA, CSA Oral and written poetry, epic, fiction, drama and film from around the continent with reference to historical and cultural contexts, and debates on language choice, "authenticity," gender, and European representations of Africa.
C300 Modernity and Tradition in Yiddish Literature and Culture (3 cr.) AHLA CSA No knowledge of Yiddish required. Study of selected authors and topics in Yiddish literature and culture. Taught in English. Credit given for only one of C300 and GER Y300.
C350 Yiddish Culture in America (3 cr.) AHLA, CSA Interdisciplinary approach to Jewish culture in the United States from the 1890s to 1990s. Major figures, institutions, and trends in American Yiddish literature and popular culture; representations of the New World and the Old World, and the place held by Yiddish literature and culture in the post-Holocaust era. Credit given for only one of C350 and GER Y350.
C355 Literature, the Arts, and their Interrelationship (3 cr.) AHLA P: C255 or consent of instructor. Discussion of theoretical foundations for study of the relationship of the arts; detailed analysis of specific works illustrating interaction of literature with other arts.
C356 Concrete Poetry (3 cr.) AHLA Emphasizes the international character of the concrete poetry movement and its relationship to the literary tradition and to contemporary movements in the other arts.
C357 The Arts Today: From 1950 to the Present (3 cr.) AHLA, CSB P: C255. R: C256. Shared trends in literature, the visual arts, music, dance, and theatre. The heritage of the grotesque and the absurd, dada and surrealism, and constructivism; the new realism. New materials; mixed media and multimedia; environmental and participatory art; happenings; minimal art, conceptual art, antiart.
C358 Literature and Music: Opera (3 cr.) AHLA, CSB P: two courses in literature, theatre, or music history. Selected opera libretti from various periods. Comparison of libretti with their literary sources; emphasis on specific problems connected with the adaptation of a literary work to the operatic medium. Evaluation of representative libretti as independent literary works.
C361 African Literary Traditions (3 cr.) AHLA, CSA Regional, national, or ethnic traditions, including oral and written poetry, theater, fiction, film, and popular culture. Focus varies: literature of Senegal and the Mande; of Nigeria and Ghana; of Cameroon and the Congo; of East Africa and Southern Africa. May be repeated once with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.
C265 Introduction to East Asian Poetry (3 cr.) AHLA, CSA The major poetic modes in East Asian literature, with consistent concern for their historical development and occasional reference to Western traditions.
C266 Introduction to East Asian Fiction (3 cr.) AHLA, CSA Readings in the major novels of the Far East, such as Monkey, Water Margin, Dream of the Red Chamber, and The Tale of Genji, along with studies of the short story, colloquial and literary, as it developed in East Asian literature.
C310 Film and Literature (3 cr.) AHLA, CSA Analysis of the processes and problems involved in turning a literary work (novel, play, or poem) into a screenplay and then into a film. Close study of literary and film techniques and short exercises in adaptation.
C365 Japanese-Western Literary Relations (3 cr.) AHLA, CSA Japanese influences on Western poets and dramatists: color prints, haiku, and Noh plays. The Western impact on Japanese literature: the Japanese adaptation of such movements as romanticism, realism, naturalism, and symbolism, with special emphasis on the Japanese traits that these movements acquired.
C370 Arabic-Western Literary Relations (3 cr.) AHLA, CSA Emphasis on Greek influences on early Arabs and Arab influences on medieval Europe. Impact of modern European and American culture on Arabs.
C375 Chinese-Western Literary Relations (3 cr.) AHLA, CSA R: 6 credit hours of literature. Familiarity with Chinese recommended but not required. An examination of historical contacts between China and the West; an analysis of translations from the Chinese into Western languages; an exploration of the influences of Chinese on Western literature; and a critique of the images of China and the Chinese in Western cultures. May be repeated once.
C464 French Language Literature of Africa and the Americas (3 cr.) AHLA, CSA
C291 Studies in Non-Western Film (3 cr.) AHLA, CSA Study of adaptations of literary works, both Asian and Western, by Asian filmmakers. Discussion of traditions and conventions shared by original films with Asian literature and theatre. Concentration either on Japan, India, or China each time course is offered. May be repeated once with a different topic.
C490 Individual Studies in Film and Literature (1-3 cr.) P: consent of chairperson of film committee. May be repeated once with a different topic. I Sem., II Sem., SS.
C492 Comedy in Film and Literature (3 cr.) AHLA Evolution, styles, and techniques of film comedy in America and Europe from the beginnings of cinema to the present. Theories of comedy and humor; relationship of film comedy to comedy in fiction, drama, pantomine, circus, and vaudeville. Work of leading film comedians.
C495 Individual Readings in Comparative Literature (2-3 cr., 6 cr. max.) P: consent of chairperson. May be repeated for a total of 6 credit hours. I Sem., II Sem., SS.
C496 Foreign Study in Comparative Literature (3-8 cr.) P: consent of chairperson. May not be repeated for credit.
C499 Studies for Honors (2-6 cr.; 12 cr. max.) P: consent of departmental honors committee. Independent reading and research in conjunction with an advanced course in comparative literature or an honors paper or project. I Sem., II Sem. SS.
A student may choose one of the following courses to satisfy Option A2 of the major
L365 Modern Drama: Continental (3 cr.) AHLA
L366 Modern Drama: English, Irish, and American (3 cr.) AHLA
L367 Literature of the Bible (3 cr.) AHLA
Theatre and Drama
T468 Non-Western Theatre and Drama (3 cr.) AHLA, CSA
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