Comparative Literature and Thought Minor

Program Requirements

  • Total units required: 15

Comparative Literature and Thought (CLT) immerses students in modern and contemporary literary and intellectual cultures and in the textual and philosophical traditions that animate those cultures. The curriculum attends to the emergence of a global textual and media culture as well as to the ways in which nations, subcultures, and individuals embrace and resist that global emergence.

While our faculty and students have wide-ranging interests – intellectual history, translation, arts practice, comparative arts, digital humanities, media studies and book history, political and legal thought – we have built our major and minor upon a foundational curriculum for the humanities. That foundational curriculum focuses on a set of themes and problems that have long preoccupied students and scholars: the nature of textual culture, the philosophical and ethical engagements of literature and the arts, the pressure of politics on literature and thought, the reciprocal pressure of literature and thought on politics, the specific bearing of language on intellectual life, and the transformations and excitations produced whenever texts are translated to another language or to another medium.

Many of our students are both scholars and makers. In addition to courses in translation practice, we offer courses in multilingual creative writing and arts journalism. Although some of our students do traditional scholarly work for their capstones in the major, others do creative final projects. Our digital humanities group offers students opportunities to participate in collaborative research projects comparable to those offered to students in the natural and social sciences.

The introductory core of the CLT curriculum engages a minor in CLT with literature, intellectual history, social and political thought, and cultural theory. The minor requires five courses, four of which must be drawn from the core curriculum; the fifth course may be taken from the same roster of core courses or from more advances courses in CLT.

Required Courses

Humanities Core Courses

The CLT Humanities Core is meant to introduce major texts (in both secular and sacred canons) and foundational methods of inquiry in the humanities (formal, generic, historicizing, skeptical, and appreciative) as well as to provide an historical perspective on the development of current categories of sociocultural analysis (i.e., race, ethnicity, sex, and gender).

All CLT minors must take two core courses in Literature and Arts (including one required course) and two core courses in Thought for a total of 12 units in the Humanities Core. CLT minors must take a fifth CLT course.

Literature and Arts
Required course:
Comp Lit 211World Literature3
Plus one of the following:
Comp Lit 313EIntroduction to Comparative Arts3
IPH 201CClassical to Renaissance Literature: Text & Traditions3
IPH 3050Literary Modernities in Europe and America: Text & Traditions3
IPH 307Literary Modernities in East Asia: Text & Traditions3
IPH 201APuzzles and Revolutions: Text & Traditions3
IPH 203CEarly Political Thought: Text & Traditions3
IPH 207CModern Political Thought: Text & Traditions3
IPH 209Scriptures and Cultural Traditions: Text & Traditions3
IPH 310An Intellectual History of Sex and Gender: Text & Traditions3
IPH 320An Intellectual History of Race and Ethnicity: Text & Traditions3

CLT also offers special first-year programs (FYP) and Ampersand courses that will perform the intellectual functions of courses in the Humanities Core above. Please contact the CLT department for additional information about those offered courses, as they change each semester.

Contact Info