The Institute for Comparative Literature and Society also offers a concentration in Comparative Literature and Society that allows qualified students to complement their work in other majors with the study of literature, culture, and society. Like the CLS major track, the concentration is designed for students whose interest and expertise in languages other than English enable them to work comparatively in several national or regional cultures. The concentration is also interdisciplinary, affording students the opportunity to explore a variety of methodological and disciplinary approaches to the study of cultural and literary artifacts. Students pursuing a concentration share with students in the major the experience of the Introduction to Comparative Literature and Society seminar in their sophomore year.
If you have questions or are interested in finding out more about a major or concentration in Comparative Literature and Society please contact our DUS.
Requirements for the Concentration
The concentration in Comparative Literature and Society consists of a minimum of 27 points or 9 courses, distributed as follows. Please note that courses taken to fulfill the application requirements do not count toward the major. Courses fulfilling concentration requirements must be advanced, discussion-based seminars. Language courses in the Beginner I to Intermediate II stream cannot be counted to fulfill any concentration requirement. With the exception of courses taken to satisfy the global core requirement, any double counting of courses to the CPLS concentration and another program or university requirement must be approved by the DUS.
- Introduction to ICLS (CPLS V3900), taken in the spring of the sophomore year (3 points).
- Two courses with a CPLS designator. CL– courses, i.e. courses cross-listed between ICLS and other departments, may also be counted toward this requirement (6-8 points)
- Two seminars in a humanities or social science discipline other than literature (e.g. Architecture, Anthropology, Art History, Economics, Gender & Sexuality Studies, History, Law, Linguistics, Music, Political Science, Race & Ethnicity Studies, Sociology…). The two courses must be grounded in the same disciplinary approach but don’t have to be offered by the same department or program (6-8 points)
- Two courses requiring readings in a language other than English (the two courses don’t have to be in the same foreign language) (6-8 points)
- One course focusing on a specific national or regional literature or culture, chosen from any discipline (3-4 points)
- Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature and Society (CPLS V3991)
The senior seminar is taken in fall semester of the senior year. Students explore three areas of contemporary reflection in the field of comparative literature and society. Topics change yearly and are aligned with current ICLS research projects. Recent examples include: Bandung Humanism; Global Language Justice; A Safer Online Public Square
- (Optional) Senior Thesis (CPLS 3995) (3 points)
Students who decide to write a thesis will enroll in a year-long course (CPLS3995) starting in the Fall of their Senior Year. This year-long, 3-credit course (1 credit in Fall, 2 credits in Spring) will allow students to receive academic credits for their thesis, and to count the thesis towards completion of their requirements when necessary.
Students should consult frequently with the DUS to ensure that their program of study develops in consonance with the intellectual project described in the focus statement that was presented as part of the admissions process. The faculty understands that this statement is itself a work in progress, but also that it serves as a useful guide to the student’s academic pursuits and course selection.
Comparative Literature and Society concentration students should also consider the Barnard College course offerings in Comparative Literature. They are also strongly encouraged to avail themselves of the opportunity to study abroad.