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Comparative Literature Department

This undergraduate major enables students to explore a wide range of world literatures in translation as well as in their original languages. A group of core courses provides an awareness of traditional and nontraditional literary histories and a grasp of the theoretical principles underlying the definition of literature and the interpretation of literary texts. Higher level courses allow students to focus more closely on interdisciplinary areas and topics of special interest, choosing from a wide array of courses in different departments as well as courses offered in Comparative Literature. The foreign language requirement guarantees that students will pursue the study of a foreign language to a level at which they can read significant literary texts written in that language. The ultimate goal of the program is to foster skills in close reading and methodological self-reflection.

Faculty

Chair/Director
Geoffrey Bennington
P6733772
Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Modern French Though

Education

  • BA, University of Oxford, 1978
  • MA, University of Oxford, 1978
  • DPhil, University of Oxford, 1984

Departments

  • French and Italian Studies, Core Faculty
  • Comparative Literature, Core Faculty

Academic Interests

  • modern French literature and thought
  • eighteenth-century novel
  • literary theory
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Elena Glazov-Corrigan
P7163263
Associate Professor

Education

  • BA, Dalhousie University, 1977
  • MA, Dalhousie University, 1979
  • MA, Dalhousie University, 1980
  • PhD, University of Toronto, 1989

Departments

  • Russian and East Asian Languages and Cultures, Core Faculty
  • Comparative Literature, Core Faculty

Academic Interests

  • literary/ critical theory
  • twentieth-century Russian literature
  • Shakespeare and the English Renaissance
Core Faculty
Geoffrey Bennington
P6733772
Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Modern French Though

Education

  • BA, University of Oxford, 1978
  • MA, University of Oxford, 1978
  • DPhil, University of Oxford, 1984

Departments

  • French and Italian Studies, Core Faculty
  • Comparative Literature, Core Faculty

Academic Interests

  • modern French literature and thought
  • eighteenth-century novel
  • literary theory
Munia Bhaumik
P5221656
Assistant Professor

Education

  • PhD, University of California-Berkeley, 2012

Department

  • Comparative Literature, Core Faculty
Shoshana Felman
P4349344
Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Comparative Literature & French

Education

  • Ph.D, University of Grenoble (France), 1970

Departments

  • Comparative Literature, Core Faculty
  • French and Italian Studies, Core Faculty

Academic Interests

  • Nineteenth- and twentieth-century French and comparative literature
  • psychoanalysis
  • philosophical approaches to literature
  • trauma and testimony
  • law and finance
Elena Glazov-Corrigan
P7163263
Associate Professor

Education

  • BA, Dalhousie University, 1977
  • MA, Dalhousie University, 1979
  • MA, Dalhousie University, 1980
  • PhD, University of Toronto, 1989

Departments

  • Russian and East Asian Languages and Cultures, Core Faculty
  • Comparative Literature, Core Faculty

Academic Interests

  • literary/ critical theory
  • twentieth-century Russian literature
  • Shakespeare and the English Renaissance
John Johnston
P2181901
Professor

Education

  • BA, Florida State University, 1973
  • MA, Brooklyn College, 1976
  • MPhil, Columbia University, 1979
  • PhD, Columbia University, 1984

Departments

  • English, Core Faculty
  • Comparative Literature, Core Faculty

Academic Interests

  • contemporary American and British literature
  • literary theory
Elissa Marder
P0956520
Professor

Education

  • BA, Cornell University, 1981
  • PhD, Yale University, 1989

Departments

  • French and Italian Studies, Core Faculty
  • Comparative Literature, Core Faculty

Academic Interests

  • French cultural studies
  • feminist theory
  • literature and technology
Jose Quiroga
P6550405
Professor

Education

  • BA, Boston University, 1980
  • MPhil, Yale University, 1987
  • PhD, Yale University, 1989

Departments

  • Spanish and Portuguese, Core Faculty
  • Comparative Literature, Core Faculty
  • Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Core Faculty

Academic Interests

  • contemporary Latin American
  • Latino and Caribbean studies
  • contemporary poetry
  • gender
Jill Robbins
P5049346
Professor

Education

  • BA, Cornell University, 1979
  • MPhil, Yale University, 1982
  • PhD, Yale University, 1985

Departments

  • Comparative Literature, Core Faculty
  • Religion, Core Faculty

Academic Interest

  • comparative literature and religion
Deborah Elise White
P7906432
Associate Professor

Education

  • BA, Yale University, 1982
  • MPhil, Yale University, 1987
  • PhD, Yale University, 1993

Departments

  • English, Core Faculty
  • Comparative Literature, Core Faculty

Academic Interest

  • romanticism and literary theory

Courses

Comparative Literature 100-Level Courses
CPLT 110: Intro To Literary Studies
General Information
Credit Hours
3
GERs
FWRT
Variable GER
None
Pre-Requisites
None
Co-Requisites
None
Cross-Listed
None
Course Description

An introduction to literary studies, combined with an intensive writing approach. From the broad perspective of world literature, consideration of topics such as desire, language, and identity. Fulfills the first-year writing requirement.

Contact Hour Information
Course Type
Lecture
Weekly Contact Minutes
150
Additional Course Plus Component
Not Applicable
CPLT 190: Fresh Sem: Literature
General Information
Credit Hours
3
GERs
FSEM
Variable GER
None
Pre-Requisites
None
Co-Requisites
None
Cross-Listed
None
Course Description

Contact Hour Information
Course Type
Seminar
Weekly Contact Minutes
150
Additional Course Plus Component
Not Applicable
Comparative Literature 200-Level Courses
CPLT 201: Maj Texts: Ancient To Medieval
General Information
Credit Hours
3
GERs
HAP
Variable GER
None
Pre-Requisites
None
Co-Requisites
None
Cross-Listed
None
Course Description

Representative works from the Bible, ancient Greek and Roman literature, and European literature of the Middle Ages. Emphasis on close reading of particular texts; all readings in English. Fulfills the post-freshman writing requirement.

Contact Hour Information
Course Type
Lecture
Weekly Contact Minutes
150
Additional Course Plus Component
Not Applicable
CPLT 201W: Maj Texts: Ancient To Medieval
General Information
Credit Hours
4
GERs
HAPW
Variable GER
None
Pre-Requisites
None
Co-Requisites
None
Cross-Listed
None
Course Description

Representative works from the Bible, ancient Greek and Roman literature, and European literature of the Middle Ages. Emphasis on close reading of particular texts; all readings in English. Fulfills the post-freshman writing requirement.

Contact Hour Information
Course Type
Lecture
Weekly Contact Minutes
150
Additional Course Plus Component
Not Applicable
Writing Requirement
Yes
CPLT 202: Maj Texts: Renaiss To Modern
General Information
Credit Hours
3
GERs
HAP
Variable GER
None
Pre-Requisites
None
Co-Requisites
None
Cross-Listed
None
Course Description

Representative works of European and American literature from the sixteenth to the twentieth century in different genres. Emphasis on close reading of particular texts; all readings in English. Fulfills the post-freshman writing requirement.

Contact Hour Information
Course Type
Lecture
Weekly Contact Minutes
150
Additional Course Plus Component
Not Applicable
CPLT 202W: Maj Texts: Renaiss To Modern
General Information
Credit Hours
4
GERs
HAPW
Variable GER
None
Pre-Requisites
None
Co-Requisites
None
Cross-Listed
None
Course Description

Representative works of European and American literature from the sixteenth to the twentieth century in different genres. Emphasis on close reading of particular texts; all readings in English. Fulfills the post-freshman writing requirement.

Contact Hour Information
Course Type
Lecture
Weekly Contact Minutes
150
Additional Course Plus Component
Not Applicable
Writing Requirement
Yes
CPLT 203R: Literatures Beyond The Canon
General Information
Credit Hours
3
GERs
HAP
Variable GER
None
Pre-Requisites
None
Co-Requisites
None
Cross-Listed
None
Course Description

Texts of popular culture and literary works of ethnic minorities, non-Western writers, and women. Attention to the relationship of these writings to traditional literary forms and content. Fulfills the post-freshman writing requirement.

Contact Hour Information
Course Type
Lecture
Weekly Contact Minutes
150
Additional Course Plus Component
Not Applicable
CPLT 203RW: Literatures Beyond The Canon
General Information
Credit Hours
4
GERs
HAPW
Variable GER
None
Pre-Requisites
None
Co-Requisites
None
Cross-Listed
None
Course Description

Texts of popular culture and literary works of ethnic minorities, non-Western writers, and women. Attention to the relationship of these writings to traditional literary forms and content. Fulfills the post-freshman writing requirement.

Contact Hour Information
Course Type
Lecture
Weekly Contact Minutes
150
Additional Course Plus Component
Not Applicable
Writing Requirement
Yes
Comparative Literature 300-Level Courses
CPLT 301: Meth of Liter Interpretation
General Information
Credit Hours
3
GERs
HAP
Variable GER
None
Pre-Requisites
None
Co-Requisites
None
Cross-Listed
None
Course Description

An introduction to a specific method of literary criticism or theoretical approach as applied through close textual interpretations. Fulfills GER Advanced Seminar.

Contact Hour Information
Course Type
Seminar
Weekly Contact Minutes
150
Additional Course Plus Component
Not Applicable
CPLT 302: Literary Theory
General Information
Credit Hours
3
GERs
HAP
Variable GER
None
Pre-Requisites
None
Co-Requisites
None
Cross-Listed
None
Course Description

Learning to read literature from a theoretical viewpoint, its formal properties, distinctive features, origins, purposes, and mode of existence; representative critics and schools from contemporary and earlier periods. Fulfills GER Advanced Seminar.

Contact Hour Information
Course Type
Seminar
Weekly Contact Minutes
150
Additional Course Plus Component
Not Applicable
CPLT 317: Vergil and Dante
General Information
Credit Hours
3
GERs
HAP
Variable GER
None
Pre-Requisites
None
Co-Requisites
None
Cross-Listed
CL 317: Vergil and Dante
ITAL 317: Vergil and Dante
Course Description

Reading of Vergil's Aeneid and Dante's Divine Comedy in English translation.

Contact Hour Information
Course Type
Seminar
Weekly Contact Minutes
150
Additional Course Plus Component
Not Applicable
CPLT 317W: Vergil and Dante
General Information
Credit Hours
4
GERs
HAPW
Variable GER
None
Pre-Requisites
None
Co-Requisites
None
Cross-Listed
CL 317W: Vergil and Dante
ITAL 317W: Vergil and Dante
Course Description

Reading of Vergil's Aeneid and Dante's Divine Comedy in English translation.

Contact Hour Information
Course Type
Seminar
Weekly Contact Minutes
150
Additional Course Plus Component
Not Applicable
Writing Requirement
Yes
CPLT 333: Lit & Other Disciplines
General Information
Credit Hours
3
GERs
HAP
Variable GER
None
Pre-Requisites
None
Co-Requisites
None
Cross-Listed
None
Course Description

A study of literary texts and their complex interplay with other disciplines (e.g., literature and psychoanalysis, literature and philosophy, literature and law, and literature and religion).

Contact Hour Information
Course Type
Lecture
Weekly Contact Minutes
150
Additional Course Plus Component
Not Applicable
CPLT 389: Special Topics: Literature
General Information
Credit Hours
3
GERs
None
Variable GER
None
Pre-Requisites
None
Co-Requisites
None
Cross-Listed
None
Course Description

Lively topical or theoretical approaches to a given set of literary texts or problems. May be repeated for credit when subject varies. Fulfills the post-freshman writing requirement.

Contact Hour Information
Course Type
Lecture
Weekly Contact Minutes
150
Additional Course Plus Component
Not Applicable
CPLT 389W: Special Topics: Literature
General Information
Credit Hours
4
GERs
WRT
Variable GER
None
Pre-Requisites
None
Co-Requisites
None
Cross-Listed
None
Course Description

Lively topical or theoretical approaches to a given set of literary texts or problems. May be repeated for credit when subject varies. Fulfills the post-freshman writing requirement.

Contact Hour Information
Course Type
Lecture
Weekly Contact Minutes
150
Additional Course Plus Component
Not Applicable
Writing Requirement
Yes
Comparative Literature 400-Level Courses
CPLT 489: Advanced Special Topics
General Information
Credit Hours
3
GERs
None
Variable GER
None
Pre-Requisites
None
Co-Requisites
None
Cross-Listed
None
Course Description

This course is designed to give advanced students the opportunity to investigate intensively an area of special interest. A reading knowledge of one foreign language is prerequisite. Topics may vary, but the goal of the course remains unchanged: the courses focuses on contemporary literary theory.

Contact Hour Information
Course Type
Lecture
Weekly Contact Minutes
150
CPLT 489W: Advanced Special Topics
General Information
Credit Hours
4
GERs
WRT
Variable GER
None
Pre-Requisites
None
Co-Requisites
None
Cross-Listed
None
Course Description

This course is designed to give advanced students the opportunity to investigate intensively an area of special interest. A reading knowledge of one foreign language is prerequisite. Topics may vary, but the goal of the course remains unchanged: the courses focuses on contemporary literary theory.

Contact Hour Information
Course Type
Lecture
Weekly Contact Minutes
150
Writing Requirement
Yes
CPLT 490R: Lit Proseminar for Majors
General Information
Credit Hours
3
GERs
HAP
Variable GER
None
Pre-Requisites
None
Co-Requisites
None
Cross-Listed
None
Course Description

A seminar devoted to the intensive close reading of literary and other texts.

Contact Hour Information
Course Type
Seminar
Weekly Contact Minutes
150
Additional Course Plus Component
Not Applicable
CPLT 495R: Honors Thesis
General Information
Credit Hours
3
GERs
None
Variable GER
None
Pre-Requisites
None
Co-Requisites
None
Cross-Listed
None
Course Description

Prerequisite: approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Open to candidates for honors in their senior year.

Contact Hour Information
Course Type
Independent Honors research
Weekly Contact Minutes
150
Additional Course Plus Component
Not Applicable
CPLT 495RW: Honors Thesis
General Information
Credit Hours
1 - 8
GERs
None
Variable GER
None
Pre-Requisites
None
Co-Requisites
None
Cross-Listed
None
Course Description

Prerequisite: approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Open to candidates for honors in their senior year.

Contact Hour Information
Course Type
Independent Honors research
Weekly Contact Minutes
variable
Additional Course Plus Component
Not Applicable
Writing Requirement
Yes
CPLT 497R: Supervised Reading
General Information
Credit Hours
1 - 4
GERs
None
Variable GER
None
Pre-Requisites
None
Co-Requisites
None
Cross-Listed
None
Course Description

Directed studies of special topics in literature. Open to students with consent of instructor and approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Contact Hour Information
Course Type
Directed study
Weekly Contact Minutes
variable
Additional Course Plus Component
Not Applicable

Honors Program

To receive honors in comparative literature, eligible students select an adviser from the faculty of one of the participating literature departments, based on the student’s interest and the director’s expertise. Honors candidates are expected to enroll in an appropriate course of directed study (Comparative Literature 495R, offered during both semesters of the senior year) for methodological guidance while writing the thesis. In the fall semester, the student must take Comparative Literature 490R, designed as a graduate-level course for seniors in the Department of Comparative Literature, or (with the thesis director’s and the instructor’s approval) a graduate course relevant to the student’s thesis. Honors students must complete an honors thesis and defend the thesis in an oral examination. In addition to the adviser, the committee members will include one other member from the comparative literature department and one other examiner who is not a member of the program.

See “Honors Program” under the curriculum section of the catalog and consult the department for further details.

For more information, see Honors Program | Academic Policies & Regulations.

Study Abroad

Majors in comparative literature are encouraged to pursue a course of study in any of the Emory Study Abroad Programs (summer, semester, or yearlong). The department gives credit toward the major for two courses under the foreign language requirement and three courses in literature in the original language.

For more information, see Study Abroad.