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Major in Comparative Literature

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Comparative literature is the study of interrelationships among literary texts, themes, periods, theories, and genres without specific regard for national or linguistic boundaries. Beloit's comparative literature major draws on the college's strong offerings in modern languages, classics, English, and international studies. Comparative literature students often supplement their majors by studying languages at Beloit and overseas and by taking part in college-wide events like the International Student Symposium and other literary events that emphasize world literatures.

The Major

The major in comparative literature rests on the premise that responsible criticism of literature requires not only a thorough knowledge of a language plus its literary and intellectual tradition, but also a careful study of at least one other literature composed in a different language, place, or time.

Comparative literature majors take a core course in literary methods and literary theory, then, with guidance from their advisor, choose an appropriate selection of seven courses in classical and world literatures.

The Broader Picture

Comparative literature students are encouraged to study literature and culture in Beloit's international programs. Some majors also enroll in Beloit's summer Center for Language Studies. Majors find internships on campus publications, working as translators, or writing and teaching in international settings.


Comparative literature majors have found positions in the United States and abroad as teachers, writers, translators, and editors. Several of our recent alumni are completing doctorates in prestigious comparative literature graduate programs.