Comparative literature is considered the right fit for students who have an interest in literature that spans different languages. It cultivates reading that transcends geographical and linguistic boundaries and enables a good glimpse of the world’s best literary works and similarities and differences across nations, genres, and time periods.
Comparative literature welcomes an inquiry into the different comparisons and connections that can be made among varying texts. It studies the French novel and how Russian folktales, for instance, might have influenced it and the country’s literature as a well. It delves into the gains and losses when texts are translated into English, as well as the representation of monsters across different medieval literature.
From here, the discipline goes beyond literature and explores the links of literature with history, politics, philosophy, and literary theory, as well as the intersections of literature with film, visual arts, drama, music, and other cultural forms. This then effectively harnesses skills under research, critical thinking, communication, and human relations, to name a few.
Students and graduates of comparative literature can explore internship and employment opportunities in a wide range of fields. They can be involved in publishing, advertising and marketing, government service, education, and even non-governmental organizations. They can go from being writers and editors to publishers and media producers to research analysts and policymakers and analysts.
John Eilermann from St. Louis, Missouri, is currently in college pursuing a degree in Comparative Literature. The cross-disciplinary approach of the program enables John to take courses in philosophy, politics, and culture and intersecting literature with history. More on John and his interests here.