Welcome to the Comparative Literature Department website

The Department of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, offers opportunities for graduate and undergraduate study in a wide variety of literary traditions, with emphasis on historical coverage, on issues of influence and reception, and on critical and theoretical approaches ranging from textual criticism to cultural studies. Comparative Literature faculty hold joint appointments with many different language and literature departments on the campus, and Comparative Literature graduate students enroll in a diverse selection of classes offered by those departments, in addition to Comparative Literature seminars.

Because of the size and diversity of its faculty, the importance of its general library, its several special collections, and its other research facilities, Berkeley offers superior opportunities for graduate and undergraduate study in nearly all areas of Comparative Literature. Specifically, the Department of Comparative Literature offers organized programs leading to specialization in all areas of Western literature from the earliest Mediterranean texts to the twentieth century, as well as in major areas of East-West, Latin American and African studies, and it is equipped to devise individual degree programs in some special areas in which regular course instruction is not normally listed. The fact that undergraduates of this Department go onto graduate school and graduates of this Department are currently teaching at the university level such widely different literatures as English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Latin, Italian, Russian, Greek, Sanskrit, Chinese, Hebrew, Arabic, along with film, gender, and ethnic studies, illustrates the wealth of choices facing entering students.



Michael Allan and Secular Storytelling, 04/29

We are accustomed to think of literary cultures as distinctively national phenomena, and literary history tends to recount stories according to the particularities of national traditions. But what if literature, as a discipline and a way of relating to language, has more of a unique culture among its participants than they have to any particular national culture? » Read on »

Raúl Zurita and Anna Deeny, 04/21

Raul Zurita

Considered Chile’s major poet, Raúl Zurita returns to the Berkeley campus to give readings on April 21st, accompanied by his translator, Anna Deeny.   He will present in the Geballe Room in Stephens Hall from 12-2 pm.