Department of Comparative Literature

Visit department's website: as.nyu.edu/complit
13-19 University Place • New York, NY 10003-4573 • 212-998-8790

Chair of the Department

Professor Apter

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Associate Professor Garcia

The major in comparative literature is aimed at 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, 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.

Students are given flexibility in the design of the major (which has two tracks, one in literature and one in literary and cultural studies) and can integrate into their course of study coursework in anthropology, philosophy, psychoanalysis, gender and race studies, history, political theory, religion, art, music, and film and media studies, among other fields. Qualified students are encouraged to take part in the department's honors program, which culminates in the writing of a senior honors thesis under the supervision of a faculty member. A minor in comparative literature is available for students majoring in a different discipline or field. We also strongly encourage prospective double majors who may seek to combine this humanities major with another, nonhumanities specialty.

The department's rigorous teaching and rich curriculum have proved to be excellent preparation for our majors, 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 all kinds of creative career options that do not fit into any pre-given professional category.