Comparative Literature and English
The Department of Comparative Literature and English promotes close attention to the written word in analysis of historical, social, philosophical, and psychological processes. We explore the capacity of language to inform reflection on human value and societal differences, and to mobilize the creative imagination.
A world of many languages
Students become critical and creative thinkers, learning to use the English language powerfully and precisely within a world of many languages and cultures. They learn to analyze and interpret individual literary texts and to make enlightened connections with other works and disciplines. Students value and practice creativity, and develop an informed awareness of traditions and cultural, historical, and literary variations and developments.
Professional writing in the cultural sphere
Through intensive practice in writing, students acquire professional writing skills within the cultural sphere, learning to express their ideas both clearly and elegantly. Here, intellectual ambition, creativity, and imagination are championed. Close advising helps students to articulate a personal focus of study and to match individual interests with departmental requirements.
Majors and minors
The department in Comparative Literature and English offers two majors:
- The Major in Comparative Literature offers students broad and rigorous knowledge of literature from antiquity to the present day in its historical and geographical contexts. It illuminates that knowledge with close analysis of the details of literary production.
- The Major in Creative Writing provides a forum within which students practice and refine their creative production, and enrich that practice through the critical study of literature. The Major in Creative Writing: Creative Arts Track allows students to develop their creative writing practice through exploration of connections with other art forms, and give context to that work through the study of literary traditions
(The Major in Creative Writing: Creative Arts Track supersedes and replaces the major in Literary Studies and Creative Arts, which will no longer be offered after Fall 2016 – the courses necessary to allow students to complete that major will, however, be available)
In addition, we offer minors in:
- Comparative Literature
- Classical Civilization
- Creative Writing
- Medieval Studies
- Critical Theory
- Ancient Greek
- Theater and Performance
The department houses the Creative Writing Program. It offers the English Foundation Program for non-native speakers looking to strengthen their English language skills and English writing courses for the general education requirement "Speaking the World".
Related programs and research
The department works closely with faculty in many other disciplines including Art History and Fine Arts, Film Studies, History and Philosophy as well as the Department of French Studies and Modern Languages.
Faculty are also involved in the interdisciplinary minors Urban Studies in European and Mediterranean Cities, Urban Studies in Global Cities, Visual Culture, Gender Studies, Film Studies, Philosophy, Psychology and Renaissance Studies, and are central to the major in Philosophy. Additionally, department faculty is extremely active in research and outreach, as individuals and as part of many initiatives within the University and in the wider academic community.
Get in touch
The students that graduate from the University with a degree from the Comparative Literature and English Department are well equipped to enter a multitude of career paths all across the world.
Paris is a breeding ground for artistic expression, and it wasn’t long before I had established relationships that are now vital to the work that I do. Read more...
Coming from an Arab background to an English speaking institution, I was worried whether I would be able to succeed in my classes with the language skills I had acquired in my home country, Libya. Read more...
The courses came with a warning label. The content and the syllabi were meant to challenge the most ambitious of students, and professors made sure we knew that … but in the end, they were all extremely rewarding. Read more...
I use the freedom allowed in literary work and the precision needed in psychology research to make the most of the learning opportunities I have here at AUP. Read more...
AUP was my second shot at University. I wanted to continue to meet people from all over the world and study in a more intimate class setting. Read more...
In “Proust and Beckett: The Art of Failure,” students read a selection of works from both authors, who are undoubtedly two of the twentieth century’s major prose writers, and explore their stories through museums and exhbitions. Read more...
The Summer Creative Writing Institute offers students the opportunity to practice writing well-crafted fiction and literary nonfiction under the guidance of highly accomplished writers. Read more...
Students take advantage of the University’s location to visit the ruins of Roman baths, the sewers through which Hugo’s Jean Valjean escaped and the former locations of palaces and barricades. Read more...
Taking advantage of the plethora of classes in which my majors and minors let me indulge, I sat next to people with varied interests whose nationalities ranged from Egyptian to German to Kazakh to Colombian. Read more...
What seems to me to be truly astonishing about my time there, and specifically in the department of Comparative Literature and the Cultural Translation program, was the faculty’s dedication to teaching me. Read more...
Studying literature, with all of its complexity, drama, and subtleties, greatly informed my ability to maneuver the variety of interactions with others I have daily. Read more...
My time at AUP yielded what any good undergraduate program should: it helped me to define my interests and personal goals, opened up new perspectives, and put me in a position to turn my ambitions into reality. Read more...