DEPARTMENT OF COMPARATIVE LITERATURE
Instructional Building; (949) 824-6406
Susan C. Jarratt, Department Chair
Faculty / Undergraduate Program / Graduate Program / Courses
Comparative Literature trains students in the cultural literacy needed to be citizens of a globalized world. It reaches beyond any single national culture to consider relations between various literatures as well as cultural phenomena such as films, comics, urban space, monuments and politics. Comparative Literature students learn about the historical, linguistic, and cultural contexts of texts as they are produced and received across national boundaries and in response to the dynamics of global movements and crises. In order to be critical readers of such phenomena, students learn the analytic terms and models that have been useful to comparatists in our ongoing effort to interpret the world and the texts we read. We draw on philosophy, social science, and the arts in the development of these models and introduce students to critical thinking both through the objects and historical events we interpret and through the great works of philosophy, literature, and the arts.
The Department of Comparative Literature offers a major with three emphases: Comparative Literature and Critical Theory, Cultural Studies, and World Literature. It also offers a minor. Comparative Literature is well suited for students interested in world literature, critical theory, and cultural phenomena from around the globe. The Department sponsors meetings and activities for majors so that students can get to know one another.
CAREERS FOR THE COMPARATIVE LITERATURE MAJOR
The study of Comparative Literature trains students to do independent research, learn languages, and think and write analytically, always in an international context. This helps qualify majors for careers in education, international relations, law, government, communications and media, or journalism. It is also excellent preparation for an academic career. Graduates from the Department of Comparative Literature at UCI currently teach English, world literature, and modern foreign languages at the high school level. Many have also gone on to complete a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, which prepares students to teach in departments of English, Classics, modern foreign languages, Near Eastern studies, East Asian studies, and comparative literature, as well as in interdisciplinary programs at various colleges and universities.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE B.A. DEGREE IN COMPARATIVE LITERATURE
University Requirements: See pages 54-61.
School Requirements: See page 260.
Departmental Requirements for the Major
Students must fulfill the following requirements for the major:
A. Comparative Literature 60A, 60B, 60C.
B. Comparative Literature 190 (capstone seminar; taken in satisfaction of upper-division writing).
C. Two additional upper-division Comparative Literature courses or other upper-division courses offered in the School of Humanities.
D. Completion of one of the three emphases:
1. Emphasis in Comparative Literature and Critical Theory
(a) Five upper-division courses in Comparative Literature.
(b) Competence in a foreign language sufficient for reading and understanding literature and culture in that language may be demonstrated through course work in one of the following ways:
(1) Two upper-division courses in a foreign literature or culture in which texts are read in the original, or
(2) One upper-division course in a foreign literature or culture in which texts are read in the original, plus one upper-division course in a literature or culture in translation, or
(3) Students of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese take three years of language training plus one approved upper-division course in a foreign literature or culture in which texts are read in the original language or in translation, or
(4) Students who study Greek and Latin fulfill the entire requirement by successfully completing two years of college-level language training.
An Independent Study course may substitute for any part (i.e., either a language or literature course) of the foreign language requirement upon petition to the undergraduate studies director in Comparative Literature.
2. Emphasis in Cultural Studies
(a) Five upper-division courses in Comparative Literature (three of which must be from the following list): Comparative Literature 105, 130, 132, 141, 142, 143, 144.
(b) Comparative Literature 140.
3. Emphasis in World Literature
Six upper-division courses in Comparative Literature (three of which must be from the following list): Comparative Literature 100A, 105, 107, 108, 123, 150. Comparative Literature 150 may be replaced with other approved foreign literature-in-translation courses offered in the Humanities.
Residence Requirement for the Comparative Literature Major: Comparative Literature 190 and four additional upper-division courses in Comparative Literature or other upper-division courses offered in the School of Humanities must be completed successfully at UCI. By petition, two of the four may be taken through the UC Education Abroad Program, providing course content is approved by the appropriate program advisor or chair.
Departmental Requirements for the Comparative Literature Minor
A. Comparative Literature 60A, 60B, 60C.
B. Three upper-division courses in Comparative Literature.
C. One additional upper-division course in Comparative Literature or another upper-division course offered in the School of Humanities.
Residence Requirement for the Comparative Literature Minor: Four upper-division courses must be completed successfully at UCI. By petition, two of the four may be taken through the UC Education Abroad Program, providing course content is approved by the appropriate program advisor or chair.
PLANNING A PROGRAM OF STUDY
The Department offers close consultation for academic planning. All students should plan courses of study with faculty advisors. Students who wish to pursue double majors, special programs, or study abroad are urged to seek advising as early as possible.
Comparative Literature faculty are particularly equipped to guide students in critical theory, postcolonial studies, and comparative American studies. Comparative Literature is engaged with disciplines such as psychoanalysis, rhetoric, political theory, narrative theory, and gender studies, and many small seminars in these fields are offered. The M.A. degree is considered to be a step toward the Ph.D.; only students intending to complete the doctorate are admitted to the program. Applicants must hold a B.A. or equivalent degree and should normally have majored in Comparative Literature, English, or a foreign literature. Majors in other disciplines (e.g., philosophy, history, visual studies, women's studies, ethnic studies) will be considered, provided that a sufficient background in literary and cultural studies and in at least one foreign language is demonstrated.
The Department offers a track in (1) Comparative Literature with an emphasis in a literary tradition, (2) Comparative Literature with an emphasis in Translation Studies, and (3) Comparative Literature with an emphasis in Critical Theory. (See the departmental graduate student handbook for a description of these emphases.) Graduate students in Comparative Literature may also complete an emphasis in Chinese Language and Literature, Classics, East Asian Cultural Studies, French, German, Japanese Language and Literature, or Spanish. Emphases in Asian American Studies, Critical Theory, Feminist Studies, and Visual Studies are available through the School of Humanities. Within these emphases, students enroll in sequences of courses that highlight individual interests and expertise. In consultation with advisors, students may also develop individualized curricula that cut across these and other offerings in the Department and School.
A minor field specialization is recommended. This optional component promotes engagement with a field or methodology outside the student's specialization. It may be of a national, historical, disciplinary, or methodological nature, with the student of western postmodern literary theory and forms engaging in a focused study of ancient Greek or Roman philosophy and culture, for example, or the student of East Asian languages and diasporic literatures may work in anthropology or ethnography. This optional component of the student's program may be fulfilled through course work, independent studies, or a Qualifying Examination topic.
Graduate students in Comparative Literature must demonstrate a command of two foreign languages consistent with their particular focus of study within the program. Competence in two foreign languages is required for the Ph.D. and is verified through examination, a longer translation project, and/or course work.
The Department recognizes that most of its graduate students intend to become teachers, and believes that graduate departments should be training college teachers as well as scholarsindeed, that teaching and scholarship complement one another. Thus candidates for the Ph.D. are expected to acquire experience in teaching, and all Ph.D. candidates gain supervised training as part of the seminar work required for the degree.
Several substantial fellowships are available to graduate students.
The Schaeffer Fellowship provides $20,000 plus fees for up to two years to Ph.D. students in Comparative Literature for whom translation will be a crucial element of their dissertation work. Scholars translating literary or historical texts or archival materials not previously reliably available in English as part of their dissertation research are eligible. Multiple fellowships per year may be awarded. Students interested in the Schaeffer Fellowship should contact the Department prior to applying to the Ph.D. program.
The Murray Krieger Fellowship in Literary Theory is intended for an outstanding entering graduate student pursuing the Ph.D. in Comparative Literature or English who demonstrates a primary interest in theory as theory relates to literary texts.
A range of other fellowships is also available to students in the Department.
Master of Arts in Comparative Literature
Entering students are assigned a faculty advisor who usually serves as the chair of the student's M.A. examination committee (which consists of at least two other members of the faculty). Nine courses and an examination are required to complete the degree. The normal academic load for both M.A. and Ph.D. candidates is three courses a quarter; teaching assistants take two courses in addition to earning credit for University teaching. Only in exceptional circumstances will students be permitted to undertake programs of less than six full courses during the academic year.
The M.A. examination is normally taken during the quarter in which the student completes course work. For the examination, the candidate submits an M.A. paper and a statement of purpose outlining past and future course work and preliminary plans for the Ph.D. qualifying examination. The M.A. examination consists of a discussion of the student's paper and the statement of purpose. In practice, it resembles an extended advising session, but with particularly close attention to the student's paper.
Doctor of Philosophy in Comparative Literature
The doctoral program in Comparative Literature prepares the student for a professional career in the research and teaching of comparative literary and cultural studies. Some students also choose to enter professions (e.g., specialized research, nonprofit organizations, international cultural exchange) in which the specialized work in a specific field indicated by an advanced degree is highly desirable.
Normally, students who have not done graduate work at another university must complete at least 18 courses. Upon completion of the course work, the student takes a qualifying examination on four areas formulated by the student in consultation with the four faculty members who make up the examination committee. The four areas are to cover a major field, a secondary field, a special topic, and theory. All four areas are to be related to each other and to work toward the dissertation. The examination is part written, part oral, according to a formula decided by the student and the committee. The examination as a whole should reflect the student's ability to work in at least two languages.
After passing the qualifying examination, the student forms a dissertation committee of three faculty members, formulates a dissertation topic in consultation with them, and submits a prospectus for the dissertation along with a preliminary bibliography. Study toward the Ph.D. culminates in the dissertation. The normative time for advancement to candidacy is four years. The normative time for completion of the Ph.D. is seven years, and the maximum time permitted is nine years.
Courses in Comparative Literature
(Schedule of Classes designation: Com Lit)
Descriptions of the undergraduate courses available during a given year may be obtained on the Comparative Literature Web site at http://www.humanities.uci.edu/complit.
8 Travels in Comparative Literature (4) F, W, S. Readings in English and in English translation on such topics as love, war, cities, travel writing, politics, fantasy and science fiction, violence. May be repeated for credit as topics vary. (IV)
9 Introduction to Multiculturalism (4) F, W, S. Various themes and forms of literary and cultural production within a multicultural framework, including African American, Asian American, Chicano/Latino, and Native American literatures and cultures. May be repeated for credit as topics vary. (IV, VII)
10 Topics in World Literature (4) F, W, S. Introduction to texts from across the globe and from different historical periods. Readings in English and English translation. May be repeated for credit as topics vary. (IV, VIII)
40A, B, C Development of Drama (4, 4, 4) F, W, S. Same as Drama 40A, B, C. (IV, VIII)
60A World Literature (4) F. An introduction to the comparative study of literatures and cultures in a global context. Studies literary texts and other media across the borders of various cultures, historical periods, and traditions. All texts are read in English translation. (IV, VIII)
60B Reading with Theory (4) F, W, S. Introduction to theory and methods of literary and cultural criticism in a global context. Students read and discuss theoretical approaches to literature, culture, and ideas that are important in literary and cultural criticism. Marx and Freud, e.g., may be studied alongside readings in narrative poetry, film, song lyrics, novel. (IV, VIII)
60C Cultural Studies (4) F, W, S. Introduces students to a variety of cultural practices (literature, blogs, films, radio, comics) from across the globe. Focuses on the ways that context, genre, and medium (e.g., written, visual, oral) affect how these practices are produced, circulated, and received. (IV, VIII)
100A Nations, Regions, and Beyond (4) F, W, S. Intensive study of national and regional cultural and literary traditions from across the globe, among them the literary and cultural production of the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas, and Asia. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
102 Comparative Studies in Literature and Theory (4). F, W, S. In-depth discussion of special topics. Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of the lower-division writing requirement. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
105 Comparative Multiculturalism (4) F, W, S. Treats the literatures and cultures of one or more minority groups in California and the United States, including African Americans, Asian Americans, Chicano/Latinos, and Native Americans, and their relations to other national literatures. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
107 Colonialisms and Postcolonialisms (4) F, W, S. Explores topics such as colonialism and race, decolonization, pre- and postcoloniality, globalization, and the cultural dynamics of colonization and subjectivity. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
108 Diasporic Literatures and Cultures (4) F, W, S. Literatures, cultures, and histories of diasporic groups, e.g., literature of the Persian diaspora; cinema of the African diaspora. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
120 Philosophy, Culture, and Literature (4) F, W, S. Discusses contemporary and historical philosophical questions and figuresfor example, existentialism or debates about artificial intelligencein interaction with culture and literature. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
121 Narrative, Pattern, and Text (4) F, W, S. Explores textual patterns, structures, and effects. May include topics such as novel, hypertext, genre, reader responses, intertextuality. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
122 Rhetorical Approaches to Literature (4) F, W, S. Studies the art and politics of rhetoric and persuasion in connection with cultural works from various times and places, for example, classical political speeches, Internet journalism. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
123 Literatures in Dialogue (4) F, W, S. Studies the way texts communicate with each other across time and space in a global context. Using the concepts of influence, canon formation, imitation, and parody, asks for example, how the Homeric epics can help us understand Caribbean novels and cinematic epics such as Troy. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
130 Gender, Sexuality, Race, Class (4) F, W, S. Discusses the roles of differences such as race, class, gender, and sexuality in society, culture, and literature across the globe, covering topics such as theoretical and literary representations of queer sexuality, gender performance, critical race theory. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
131 Psychoanalysis and Culture (4) F, W, S. Discusses major psychoanalytic writings of Freud and others in connection with questions of culture. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
132 Discourse, Ideologies, and Politics (4) F, W, S. Compares ideologies and systems, e.g., nationalism and fundamentalism, as they affect literature and culture in a global context. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
140 Critical Cultural Studies (4) F, W, S. Introduces a variety of ways of understanding cultural phenomena in relation to different power structures. These cultural phenomena may include comics, film, literature, sports, music, festivals, telling stories, or eating out. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
141 Popular Culture (4) F, W, S. Critical analyses of popular culture such as comics, oral narratives, films, TV, music, in an international framework. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
142 The Metropolis and Other Cultural Geographies (4) F, W, S. Examines the relationship between space and culture; cultural production in the city, suburb, and/or countryside; spaces in texts and artifacts (film, literature, comics, photographs) in a global context. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
143 Literature, Arts, and Media (4) F, W, S. Explores literature and other arts and media in a global context. May include film and electronic media, fine arts, oral cultures, architecture, in an international framework. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
144 Literature, History, and Society (4) F, W, S. Explores the relationship between literary texts and their historical and social contexts in an international framework. Individual courses may address, for example, literary and cultural expressions in social revolutions and wars or the way literary texts talk back to medicine, religion, and anthropology. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
150 Literature in Translation (4) F, W, S. The study of literary works in one or more genres in English translation. May be a comparative study of works from several different original languages or a concentration on works from a single cultural/linguistic tradition. May be taken for credit twice as topics vary.
160 World Cinema (4) F. Comparative analysis of contemporary film in languages other than English. May be taken for credit twice as topics vary.
190 Advanced Seminar in Comparative Literature and Theory (4) F, W, S. Capstone seminar for the Comparative Literature major. Deepens understanding of the field through investigation of a special topic and a substantial research and writing project. Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of the lower-division writing requirement. May be repeated for credit as topics vary. Comparative Literature majors have first consideration for enrollment.
198 Special Topics (1 to 4). Directed group study of selected topics. By consent, by arrangement. May be repeated for credit.
199 Independent Study in Comparative Literature (1 to 4). To be taken only when the materials to be studied lie outside the normal run of departmental offerings. Prerequisites: consent of the student's advisor, the instructor, and the Department Chair. May be repeated for credit.
All graduate courses may be repeated when the topic varies. Descriptions of the topics to be treated in a given academic year are published by the Department in the fall. Enrollment in each graduate course requires the consent of the instructor. The courses are limited to registered graduate students, except for specially qualified fifth-year students seeking teaching credentials, who may enroll if they have received permission from the Director of Graduate Studies and if space permits.
In addition to the following courses, graduate students in the Department of Comparative Literature might find Humanities 200 (The Nature and Theory of History) and Humanities 291 (Interdisciplinary Topics) of special interest.
200 Theories and Methods of Comparativism (4). Addresses the disciplinary, institutional, and theoretical dimensions of Comparative Literature. Course design varies with instructor.
200A History of Comparative Literature and Introduction to Methods and Theories of Comparative Literature (4) F. Seminar designed to introduce graduate students in Comparative Literature to the parameters and practices of the discipline of Comparative Literature. Major issues and theories of comparative literary and cultural study are covered. Strongly recommended for first- and second-year students before the M.A. examination and review.
200B Theories of Translation (4) F, W, S. The reproduction, translation, and transfer of literary and cultural, ideological and political, and symbolic codes and texts have long been the object of study in Comparative Literature. Addresses the diverse ways in which expressive systems interact and intersect.
200C Theories of Globalization, Inter-Nationalism, and Postcolonialism (4) F, W, S. Addresses both theories and the complex history of literary and cultural expression in a national, trans-, inter-, and post-national, global frame. Topics may include: globalism and nationhood, theories of citizenship and political subjecthood, postcolonial literature and theory.
200D Cultural Rhetoric and Rhetorical Theory (4) F, W, S. Surveys contemporary theories of cultural rhetoric and the cultural rhetoric of contemporary theory, and interrogates the intersection of rhetoric, critical theory, and cultural studies. Both historical and contemporary theories of rhetoric and cultural rhetorics are studied.
210 Comparative Studies (4) F, W, S
220 Translation Workshop (2 to 4) F, W, S. Trains students in the methodologies and practice of translation. Students focus on the translating process in a series of case studies and individual projects. May be taken for credit for a total of 8 units.
CR 220A, B Studies in Literary Theory and Its History (4, 4) F, W. Introduction to criticism and aesthetics for beginning graduate students. Readings from continental, English, and American theorists. Same as Humanities 220A, B.
CR 240 Advanced Theory Seminar (4) F, W, S
290 Reading and Conference (4) F, W, S
291 Guided Reading Course (4)
299 Dissertation Research (4 to 12) F, W, S
399 University Teaching (4) F, W, S. Limited to Teaching Assistants. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory only. May be repeated for credit.