The unusual structure of the single Literature Department is particularly conducive to the comparative study of literatures and cultures within Europe, and to the examination of European traditions in global context, both past and present. The department brings together scholars whose interests range from ancient Greece and Rome to contemporary European culture. In recent years, faculty and graduate students at UCSD have explored such issues as the role of minorities in contemporary European culture, the cultural history of nation-formation and European imperialism, race, class, and gender as intersecting categories of European culture, and the emergence of film and other visual cultures within modern Europe. The department is particularly strong in European intellectual history and contemporary critical theory. Faculty either specialize in particular national traditions (French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish) or pursue comparatist and/or interdisciplinary literary and cultural studies. Hence prospective graduate students interested in European Studies may apply to sections in Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, French, German, or Spanish, depending on their particular areas of interest.