Studying at the Department of Comparative Literature

Through theoretical thinking, historical understanding and textual analysis, the study of comparative literature focuses on the functions of literature and the forms of historical, cultural and social experiences to which literature gives expression. The study of comparative literature provides students with the skills necessary for rigorous textual analysis, critical and independent scientific thought and a multifaceted understanding of world history and different theoretical approaches. Comparative literature equips students with a broad perspective on different cultures and the tools for analysing contemporary cultural phenomena in a critical and insightful manner.

Students of Comparative Literature gain an understanding of the history of world literature, aesthetics, and different theoretical approaches to literature. During the course of their studies, students specialise in the language areas and periods of their choice. At the Master’s level, students expand and deepen their knowledge of literary history and theory as well as their ability for independent scholarly thought.

The study of Comparative Literature provides students with the conceptual tools necessary for the rigorous and multifaceted analysis of cultural phenomena. The education provided by the Department of Comparative Literature focuses on contextual approaches, where literature is seen as part of society and culture – as something that both gives expression to and critically engages with the historically conditioned human mode of being in the world.

The Department’s other areas of expertise include its multifaceted focus on different traditions of world literature and critical theory as well as interdisciplinary approaches to issues such as cultural narratives, cultural memory and the teaching of literature.