For more than fifty years the Department has been known for theoretical and philosophical studies of literature and culture from Ancient Greece to 21st century.
We have created a vibrant intellectual community of internationally recognized faculty and talented graduate students from all over the world. Rooted in rich traditions of Continental thought and interdisciplinary approaches to literature such as psychoanalysis, poststructuralism, feminism and gender theory as well as genocide studies, Comparative Literature prepares its students knowledge and analytic tools to confront vital problems in the globalized world.
The diversity of our graduate students reflects the Department’s international reputation and importance. In addition to US and Canada, our MA and PhD students come from many areas of the world such as China, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Korea, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Iceland, Romania, and Poland. We recruit highly motivated and talented students, who, in addition to their own intellectual projects, develop a strong sense of community and lifelong friendships.
Comparative Literature faculty are internationally renowned and have been recognized for their scholarship with awards such as the Humanities Fellowships, SUNY Distinguished Professorship, Excellence in Mentoring or being named as one of the 100 “most daring cross-disciplinary thinkers in the world.”
Comparative Literature began as a program in 1977. It became a department in 1996.
"Comparative Literature to me isn't really just about literature. It's about paying attention to the ways in which we read, understand, and engage with the world and with meaning-making."
- Bess Rose, Program Alumna (MA, 2001)
"For me comparative literature is simply an education in critical consciousness."
- Heidi Bohn, Program Alumna (PhD, 2010)