The minor in Comparative Literature consists of two mandatory courses in literary theory (see COL 301 and COL 302), as
well as a choice of up to five additional courses at lower and upper levels. Specific requirements vary slightly according to affiliation with the College of Arts and Sciences as opposed to other divisions. Certain
courses from Romance Languages and Literatures, English, and Media Study can be credited toward this minor.
The two mandatory courses for the minor in Comparative Literature, COL 301 History of Literary Theory and COL 302 Contemporary
Literary Theory, give students a working knowledge of the current models of literary cultural interpretation (e.g., psychoanalysis, Marxism, feminism, post-colonialism, and post-structuralism). Because these courses
dramatically enhance students' skills of critical thinking, communication, writing, and interpretation, they are excellent electives in the Humanities for students in all fields. These courses are acceptable for the
critical methods component of the English major.
In addition to COL 301 and COL 302, students have great flexibility to choose from a wide range of courses in
literature, film, popular culture, and gender and post-colonial studies offered by the Department. These courses change from semester to semester in order to accommodate a variety of students' interests and needs.
Recent elective comparative literature undergraduate offerings have included: 'The Culture of Rebellion,' 'The Quarrel between Philosophy and Literature,' 'Literature into Cinema,' 'The City in Literature,' 'Women
and Literature,' 'Literature and War,' and 'Crime and Punishment'. These courses all satisfy the General Education Humanities requirement. Whether taken as part of the comparative literature minor and special major
or not, they all familiarize students with an increasingly global culture.
Our distinguished faculty have achieved national and international reputation for the quality of their research and teaching. They have published numerous books and received distinguished grants, such as Guggenheim, Rockefeller Foundation, National Endowment
for the Humanities, and American Council of Learned Societies fellowships.
Our faculty members regularly lecture all over the globe (from China, Japan, and Australia to Europe, South America and South Africa). They bring their international expertise and research interests to the classroom
and offer students invaluable guidance to their future careers.
Stephanie Clare, Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature
Sergey Dolgopolski, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Jewish Studies
Rodolphe Gasché, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Eugenio Donato Professor of Comparative Literature
Jorge Gracia, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Capen Professor of Humanities
Shaun Irlam, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature
David E. Johnson, Professor of Comparative Literature
Kalliopi Nikolopoulou, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature
Noam Pines, Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Jewish Studies
Ewa Plonowska Ziarek, Julian Park Professor of Comparative Literature
Krzysztof Ziarek, Professor and Chair of Comparative Literature
Practical Experience and Special Academic Opportunities
The Special Major in Comparative Literature is an individualized program of study that students design in conjunction with comparative literature faculty advisors. It is known for its flexibility, mentoring, and individual attention to the needs of students.
The department offers a regular summer study abroad program in Africa, and, in its emphasis on foreign languages and multicultural study, encourages undergraduates to take advantage of any and all appropriate
Undergraduate students in the Department of Comparative Literature are encouraged to participate in its extraordinarily vibrant intellectual life. Our ongoing "Just Theory" lecture series has included such world-renowned scholars and intellectuals as
the late Paul de Man, Jacques Derrida, J. Hillis Miller, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Jean-Luc Nancy, Julia Kristeva, Lucette Finas, Samuel Weber, and Dalia Judovitz. Undergraduates as well as graduate students are also
encouraged to participate in annual conferences and the Philosophical Reading Group.
As suggested above, comparative literature offerings naturally complement any of the majors in the humanities, arts, and social sciences. They enhance pre-legal study and interdisciplinary programs in the humanities and social sciences.