Apr 12, 2024  
Course Catalog 2023-2024 
    
Course Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Comparative Literature Major


The major consists of a minimum of 10 full courses (or the equivalent).

Note: Students must earn minimum grades of C- or P for all courses that apply toward the major.


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Comparative literature enables students to integrate their studies in more than one discipline. Because the major requires a combination of depth, breadth, and creativity, students consult with advisors to create individualized curricular pathways. Majors must demonstrate advanced proficiency in at least one language other than English and write a capstone or honors project.

Program alumni have attended top graduate programs, received numerous Fulbright and other fellowships, and gone on to successful careers in academia, journalism, film, theater, translation, non-profits, publishing, libraries, the arts, and teaching at all levels.

Note(s) on Requirements


  • The advanced foreign literature course must be taught in a language other than English. For certain languages, the minimum course level is 300, while for other languages the minimum level is 400; see detailed requirement below.
  • The capstone course is to be completed the senior year and supervised jointly by faculty members from appropriate departments. Honors students must complete two semesters.

Transfer of Credit Toward the Major


We encourage students to study abroad for a semester or a year in one of the many Oberlin-affiliated programs. However, at least six courses counted toward the major must be earned at Oberlin College.

Course of Study


Because many departments contribute courses to comparative literature, students with an interest in the discipline should consult with their advisor and the program director to define an individual area of emphasis. For example, several courses presented for the major might focus on a specific period or movement (e.g., the Renaissance, modernism), a genre (e.g., tragedy, lyric poetry), a problem (e.g., literature and the other arts, translation), or an approach (e.g., feminism, post-structuralism).

Honors in Comparative Literature


Students who wish to participate in the Honors Program in Comparative Literature should apply by April 15 of the junior year. Admission will be granted on the basis of the grade-point average in the college and major, faculty recommendations, and a written proposal. The project will be for two courses 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.

Detailed Major Requirements


Comparative Literature Course Lists


Advanced Foreign Literature Courses


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Note: Students must take at least one 400-level literature course in a foreign language taught in a language other than English. For the following four languages, the required minimum level is 300: Greek, Latin, Chinese, or Japanese.

Capstone Courses


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Note: A capstone course the senior year is to be supervised jointly by faculty members from appropriate departments. Honors students must complete two semesters.

Comparative Literature Major Elective Courses


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The major elective courses comprise courses in literature, theory, criticism, cultural studies, and related disciplines, chosen to include comparative study within or among courses.

Comparative Literature Courses

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English Courses

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Hispanic Studies Courses

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