Courses in Comparative Literature

Any course offered in the field of literature in any department or program may be counted toward the Comparative Literature minor subject to the approval of the Comparative Literature coordinator.  Each student should choose courses for the minor in consultation with a member of the Comparative Literature faculty according to the focus of the student’s planned program of study.

The following courses specifically have a Comparative Literature focus:

CMP 227/Global Animated Film                                                              1 course unit
(same as LIT 227; counts for LL Global)

This course will explore animation as a modern and postmodern art form, in a global context. The focus will be on animated films from America, Europe and Asia, with a special emphasis on recent Japanese animation. We will appreciate how animation resembles and differs from live action film, and how animation has adapted techniques and themes from live action film, and vice versa, and has embraced subjects ranging from dinosaurs to cyborgs. And we will considerhow the animated film whether through computer graphic images, stop motion puppet animation, cell animation or through numerous other kinds of animation gives us experiences similar to those provided by painting, sculpture, literature, music, theater or dance.

CMP229: Journeys and Kingdoms: The Literary Epics of Asia              1 course unit
same as LIT229, counts for LL Global, English LH pre-1660)

This literary history course will read (in abridged versions) the epic stories that are considered literary classics of China, Japan and India. By focusing on the motifs of the journey and the kingdom, the course will examine how, when, and why the social and cultural boundaries represented in these texts are created, maintained, and breached.  Questions to be considered include, when and why do individuals become “outlaws” or exiles? Can individuals and communities change without violence?  To what extent is a hero or heroine’s “destiny” outside of his or her control?

CMP 230/Classical Traditions                                                                   1 course unit
(same as LIT 230, English LH pre-1660)

Introduces students to a literary tradition that originates in the classical period. The course will put readings into literary and historical context by focusing on a pivotal literary moment or text, selected by the instructor and analogous in function to the stationary foot of a geometric compass. Around this stationary foot or pivotal moment, the course will explore literary and historical relations—the textual “ancestors” and “progeny” that make up the particular classical tradition under consideration, as well as the surrounding philological, social, and political contexts of the selected pivotal moment in that tradition. The course will also draw upon at least two distinct cultures, at least one of which must be classical.


CMP321/Gender & Disability: Literary Perspectives                             1 course unit

(same as WGS321, counts for LL Gender & Global)

This course will analyze how gender intersects with the perception and representation of physical or mental impairment, difference, and/or ability in world literature. By examining how disability is represented in texts from different cultures, time periods, and literary genres or traditions, this course will study how definitions of disability and/or bodily difference (as well as intersecting cultural conceptions of “normalcy” and able-bodiedness) are socially scripted by, in, and through literary texts.

CMP336/Nomads, Warriors & Poets: The Poetic and Epic Traditions
of Central Eurasia                                                                                  1 course unit
(same as LIT336; counts for LL Global, English LH pre-1660)

This course will focus on the literature and literary history of the poetic and epic traditions of Iran and Central Eurasia, paying particular attention to the interrelationships between nomadic and sedentary societies and the literature that they produce. Course readings will include texts that span a broad geographical spectrum and encompass a substantial chronological timeline in order to examine the trajectories of literary production and movement on the Silk Road and its surrounding areas, and to think about the effects of intersecting cultural, spiritual and literary motifs and traditions in the diverse regions south, west, and east of the Caspian Sea.

CMP 337/Postcolonial and Anglophone Literature                          1 course unit   (occasionally)                                           
(same as LIT 337; counts for LL Race & Ethnicity, English LH)

This course studies Anglophone literature in the wake of decolonization. With a focus on works produced in or about former European colonies, as well as an emphasis on postcolonial theory, this course equips students to think critically about the intersections between western and non-western traditions, imperialism, and globalization. Students will study fiction, poetry, drama, non-fiction, and/or film from at least two different postcolonial sites such as Nigeria, the Caribbean, Australia, India, etc.

CMP 342/Mythology                                                                                  1 course unit
(same as LIT 342; counts for LL Global, English LH)

This course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to study significant myths and legends which have influenced the shape and content of both Eastern and Western literature and to acquaint them with the shifting and conflicting ways in which mythology has been transmitted and studied from the ancient world to the contemporary, from the East to the West.

CMP 343/Late Medieval Writers                                                              1 course unit
(same as LIT 343)

An examination of the flowering of vernacular literature that occurred in western Europe in the 14th century. Emphasis will be placed on reconstructing how and why fourteenth-century writers, such as Dante, Juan Ruiz, Boccaccio, Froissart, Petrarch, Chaucer, and Christine de Pizan, came to create a vernacular tradition that transcended national and linguistic boundaries. Topics in the course may include fourteenth-century literary theory, marginalized and competing voices in the century, classical and vernacular precursors, material production of books in the period, social and political change in late medieval Europe, international relations of the period, and theories of literary influence.

 CMP 346/Romanticism                                                                            1 course unit
(occasionally; counts for LL Global, English LH)
(same as LIT 346)

This course will explore the phenomenon of Romanticism in Great Britain, the United States, and Europe from a comparative perspective.  Emphasis will be placed on analyzing how Romanticism intersects with other literary trends of the period and on how it develops as a reaction to the classical ideals of the European Enlightenment and the eighteenth century.

CMP 370/Topics                                                                                          1 course unit
(same as LIT 394)

Themes and content will vary from semester to semester and from instructor to instructor.  However, all offerings of this course will seek to cultivate students’ skills in comparative literary and cultural analysis and to foster a level of intellectual engagement with texts, contexts, and traditions that recognizes the benefits to be derived from pursuing advanced study of literary works in their original languages.

CMP497/Literary Theory                                                                           1 course unit
(same as LIT497 and ENGL505)

This course will offer students a broad-based introduction to the discipline of literary theory from a range of cultures, historical periods, and intellectual perspectives. Students will read, analyze, and synthesize texts of literary theory from a critical, theoretical, and multi-national perspective.

 CMP 498/Independent Research                                               variable course units

The capstone experience for the Comparative Literature minor, designed by the student, approved by the coordinator of the Comparative Literature Program, and supervised by a faculty member of the student’s choice. An original research project that ties together the two (or more) distinct cultures upon which the student’s coursework for the Comparative Literature minor has focused.