Comparative Literature

About Us

Comparative Literature is the study of cultural expression across linguistic boundaries. The community of comparatists at Brown includes faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates who share a commitment to multilingualism and interdisciplinary study. This community includes scholars of literature in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, Swedish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew, Arabic, Latin, and Greek. Areas of focus include classical reception, post-colonial literature, environmental humanities, literary theory, and translation studies.

Although these groupings may suggest segregated interests, the Department’s hallmark is inclusiveness and collaboration. Faculty and students work in several areas, several literatures, and often several disciplines. Department offerings and research make frequent use of linguistics, film, photography, visual art, music, philosophy, history, sociology, political science, computer science, medicine, and the digital humanities. Courses span the cultures of the world and historical periods ranging from antiquity to the present. Students read widely from different literatures and disciplines, developing a focused critical understanding of important literary and cultural questions. Both the Department’s undergraduate and graduate programs are held to be among the finest in the country.