Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Comparative Literature
Literature is a cultural site where the present is negotiated, the past excavated, and the future envisioned. In a globalized world where the circulation of blogs, legal documents, political manifestos, manuscripts, online journals, and images constantly shapes and reshapes human experience, understanding texts is utterly essential.
Majoring in comparative literature provides students with tools for analyzing texts, writing, editing, translating, and thinking across disciplinary and national boundaries. Our majors engage a variety of literary traditions and historical periods, from Latin American concrete poetry to Yiddish experimental fiction. The department offers rigorous training in the following areas of strength of our internationally recognized faculty: French, German, Italian, Hebrew studies, classics, critical theory, East Asian literatures and arts, performance studies, film and media, poetry and poetics, gender and sexuality, postcolonial theory, English and American literatures, early modern and Renaissance studies and Slavic literatures and cultures.
All members of the department are deeply invested in the academic development of our students and value you as an integral part of the Comparative Literature community at UC Berkeley. The department aims to develop your creative and intellectual interests and talents. As a major, you receive the opportunity to pursue rigorous research in a variety of literatures according to your interests, engage in team-based projects, participate in discussions about political, aesthetic, and social issues, and develop a nuanced cross-cultural understanding of historical and social processes. All of our students have close contact with cutting edge scholars in their fields in a small classroom setting, with extensive individualized work. Our undergraduate majors publish and edit their own journal of comparative literature (CLUJ) and run an annual research conference. Most majors also choose to spend time in study abroad to deepen their cultural and linguistic knowledge.