Jed Deppman, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and English; Program Director
The Comparative Literature major is an interdisciplinary course of study allowing students with sufficient literary background and linguistic preparation to pursue interests in literature, theory, and criticism across the boundaries of language, nation, culture, artistic medium, genre, and historical period. Basic areas of the discipline include literary theory, literature and the other arts, East-West studies, European languages and literatures, and translation. The major draws on courses in the Comparative Literature program as well as offerings in many other departments.
Beyond the specific requirements of the major
or minor, students should, in consultation with their advisors and the program director, define an individualized area of emphasis or inquiry. Courses presented for the major might focus on a specific period or movement (the Renaissance, Modernism, Surrealism), a mode or genre (tragedy, lyric poetry), a problematic (literature and the other arts, translation), a theme (death, love, madness) or an approach (feminism, post-structuralism). For more information, see www.oberlin.edu/complit
A minimum of 30 credit hours (33 for Honors) to be distributed as follows:
- Comparative Literature 200, four hours.
- At least one course at the 400 level in a foreign literature taught in the original language (300 in Greek, Latin, Chinese, or Japanese), three hours.
- A comparative reading course the senior year to be supervised jointly by faculty members from two appropriate departments, three hours. (Honors for six hours may substitute for this requirement.)
- Twenty-one hours of literature, theory, criticism, and cultural studies, chosen to include comparative study within or among courses. Up to six hours of appropriate courses in history and theory of art, music, film, theater, and dance and non-literary theory courses on gender, race, and class may be counted.
- At least 18 of the hours counted toward the major must be earned at Oberlin College. Students preparing for graduate work in comparative literature are advised to select at least 15 hours in 2 foreign literatures taught in the original languages.
Courses in which a student has earned a letter grade lower than a C-/CR or P cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of the major.
A minimum of 15 credit hours to be distributed as follows:
- Comparative Literature 200, four hours.
- At least one course at the 400 level in foreign literature taught in the original language (300 in Greek, Latin, Chinese, or Japanese), three hours.
- Nine or more additional hours of literature, theory, criticism, and cultural studies chosen to include comparative study within or among courses.
- No more than 4 of the 15 hours required for the minor can also be counted toward requirements for another major or minor. Three of the four courses other than CMPL 200 should have some clear thread of connection: they might be from the same century in different literatures, study the same genre (tragedy, fiction), pursue a single theme or topic, etc. At least three of the courses (nine hours or more) must be earned at Oberlin College. Under normal circumstances a minor must be declared by the beginning of the second semester of the junior year.
Students who wish to pursue Honors should apply by April 15 of the junior year.
Admission will be granted on the basis of the grade-point average in the major, faculty
recommendations, and a written proposal. The project will be for six hours during the two
semesters of the senior year, normally under the supervision of two faculty members from
different departments. Interested majors should consult the director.
The following courses, either cross-referenced, cross-listed or wholly in Comparative Literature,
are centered on comparative approaches and therefore are of special interest to majors. For crosslisted
courses, students may enroll using either the Comparative Literature number or the crosslisted
number in the department of origin.
The following courses are taught in English and may be of interest to comparative literature majors. For a more complete listing of cross-listed courses, as well as courses in other languages, see www.oberlin.edu/complit