Comparative Literature and Languages

Comparative Literature, Languages, & Linguistics Goals and Learning Objectives

1. Students will be able to write the English language with propriety and effectiveness to develop an argument


  • Students will write clearly, grammatically and syntactically correct sentences.
  • Students will acquire a command of written English, including the abilities to a) present a clear thesis, b) organize and present material in a cogent fashion, c) formulate and defend original arguments while developing them logically and effectively in the language of their discipline.

2. Students will have an appreciation of the differences between primary and secondary documents, and will advance their reading comprehension.


  • Students will be able to read texts closely and explicate texts written in a wide variety of forms, styles, structures, and modes.
  • Students will learn to use literary texts as mediated and partial sources of information on the society in which they were composed and appreciate their difference from historical documents.
  • Students will develop an awareness of the multifold nature of textual analysis.
  • Students will be able to develop and carry out research projects, to articulate them within appropriate conceptual and methodological frameworks, and to locate, evaluate, organize, and incorporate information.

3. Students will have an understanding of the basic methods of comparative literary studies and the principles of literary criticism and critical theory.


  • Students will acquire familiarity with a wide range of literary terms and categories relating to literary history, theory, and criticism, including figurative language and prosody.
  • Students will demonstrate an ability to grasp and synthesize ideas in literary form and use literary terms in historical contexts.

4. Students will learn to appreciate cultural differences as they are mirrored in social, artistic and literary artifacts originating in different national and geographical traditions.


  • Students will be able to recognize and appreciate the importance of major literary genres, subgenres, and periods in different traditions.
  • Students will acquire familiarity with the nature of the canon and of canon-formation, including issues of culture, history, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation.

5. Students will have an understanding of the process and theory of translation.


  • Majors will learn how to read two languages other than English.
  • Students will learn how to evaluate through direct comparison different translations of literary texts.

6. Students will be able to read with facility two languages other than English.


  • Please see appropriate language program for a description of objectives.