Comparative Literature

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The Open Graduate Education Program builds on the traditions of free inquiry and collaborative research at Brown by allowing select doctoral students to pursue a master’s degree in a secondary field. All doctoral students are invited to propose their own combination of studies, free of any disciplinary barrier.
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Mariajosé Rodríguez-Pliego ‘23 Ph.D. completed her doctoral degree in Comparative Literature last summer, earning her degree in October of 2023. Her dissertation, Foundational Futures: Nationhood, Migration and Environment in the Literatures of Abiayala was selected for the Joukowsky Family Foundation Outstanding Dissertation Award in the humanities.
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This prize is awarded in memory of Professor Albert Spaulding Cook, Ford Foundation Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature, Classics and English (1925-1998), whose rich and prolific record of scholarly and creative publications conferred on him a worldwide reputation for wide-ranging erudition and aesthetic acumen.
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Reading Art in Literature: The Marvelous Case of “The Story of the Stone” is a literary study of the art objects lavishly deployed by Cao Xueqin (1710–1765?) in his beloved novel (better known as The Dream of the Red Chamber). These objects are intended as expedients to preserving the vanishing culture of his lifetime, while offering their symbolic and allegorical significance as guides to a path of enlightenment.
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