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 explicitly focus on Comparative Literature:

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?

CMP237/ The Body & The Monument in Ancient Greece                     1 course unit
(same as WGS237, counts for LL Gender)

Visiting the major sites of Athens, Olympia, Mycenae, Epidauros and Crete, we will study the visual and literary record for changing Greek perceptions of and attitudes toward the body in its relationship to other bodies and natural and cultural spaces.  Encountering ancient Greece “in the flesh”, we interrogate also the contemporary experience ourselves as inheritors of the Classical tradition and critique Western idealized visions of ancient Greek politics and culture; their embodiment in the “timeless beauty: of Greek art; and the sociopolitical systems they naturalize.

CMP240: Literature & Trauma                                                                  1 course unit
(same as HGS240, counts for LL Global & Race & Ethnicity)

This course will analyze the literary representation of trauma and its significance for national and international communities—and their global contexts—in the 20th and 21st centuries, paying particular attention to the role of racial and ethnic difference.

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 340/ Educational Equity & Social Justice in Documentary Film   1 course unit
(same as SPE 340; counts for LL VPA, Race & Ethnicity, and Gender

This course will utilize documentary films to understand the concepts of intersectionality, structural justice, and social change as they pertain to schooling in the United States. Student will move beyond a survey-model of diversity (e.g.”isms”, one-dimensional identity categories) to understand how perceptions of difference are situated within larger societal norms. This course uses the narratives of documentary films to facilitate participants’ analysis of their own location(s) within various social institutions and a deeper understanding of educational policy and practice. Students will create their own short documentary film that demonstrates their analysis of key content from this course.


CMP 342/Mythology                                                                                  1 course unit

Course is currently under revision!

 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 in Comparative Literature                                           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

Course is currently under revision!

 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.