Comparative literature is an innovative major that encourages students to follow their passion for literature and its intersections with theory by venturing beyond national and disciplinary boundaries. In the spirit of our times, students delve into literature, theory, and philosophy from myriad sources and explore their intersections with other media and disciplines, such as cinema studies, art history, politics, anthropology, history, and linguistics. Comparative literature course offerings include classes in world literature and interdisciplinary studies where students work intensively with a distinguished faculty of scholars in African, Caribbean, Chinese, European and Anglo-American, Latin American, Middle Eastern and Islamic, and Russian and Eastern European literary, philosophical, and cultural studies. At the same time, the major encourages students to take advantage of the rich offerings of courses in other NYU departments or study abroad.
The field of Comparative Literature appeals to students with broad interdisciplinary interests, a desire to explore new fields and forms of experimental thinking, and diverse language backgrounds (including mother tongue or second languages that are engaged in a comparative way). We offer many seminar-format courses with intensive faculty interaction and discussion. Our faculty specializations cover European, Anglo-American, African-American, African, Slavic, Latin American, Caribbean, Chinese, South Asian, and Middle Eastern literatures. Departmental courses immerse students in ancient, early modern, and modern global literatures, often with an emphasis on Continental philosophy and literary and critical theory more generally.
The department's rigorous teaching and rich curriculum have proved to be excellent preparation for our students, many of whom have gone on for advanced study of literature at the graduate level or for professional education in law or medicine. Others have pursued successful careers in academia, human rights, translation, international relations, education, publishing, journalism, arts, media, film, performance, and other creative career options.
To request declaration of a minor, CAS students should visit the host department. To request declaration of a cross-school minor, CAS students should complete the online Minor Application available in their Albert Student Center. Students may also use the Minor Application in Albert to request cancellation of a CAS or cross-school minor.