World Literature Minor

The minor in world literature, like the major in comparative literary studies, examines literary, aesthetic and cultural production beyond the boundaries of one national or linguistic tradition. It is designed for students who are interested in the global and comparative dimensions of literary study, but unable for whatever reason to complete the comparative literary studies major requirements, for example, because they may not have the language skills necessary for the major. Unlike the major, the minor in world literature does not have a language requirement. Students are encouraged to read literary texts in the original language but can also take courses where literature is read in English translation.

The minor allows students to study literatures from different parts of the world as well as different periods. Students take courses from at least two different cultural traditions and are encouraged to examine the relations between them—particularly between Euro/American traditions and those of the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and South America. In so doing students discover how literary texts circulate transnationally and thus become part of “world literature.” This crossing often involves some kind of translation, so the minor, while allowing students to read literary texts in English translation, also makes translation a primary object of investigation.

Minor Requirements (7 units)

  • At least 2 COMP_LIT courses, of which 1 is COMP_LIT 201-0 Reading World Literature and the other is a 300-level course.
  • 5 additional literature courses from at least two different cultural and linguistic traditions.
    • Courses may be from CLS, English, or any of the foreign language departments or area-studies programs.
    • At least 2 courses must be at the 300-level.