Founded over forty years ago, the single Department of Literature gathers together a group of scholars, critics, and writers committed to research and debate on international and interdisciplinary issues surrounding the study of literature and culture. The organization of the Department of Literature is unique within the UC system in that it is neither a department of English nor a department of Comparative Literature as either is traditionally construed. Rather, from its beginning, the Literature Department at UCSD has aimed to be a department of world literatures and cultures within a single unit committed to the multilingual historical study of the connections and conflicts between cultures and society.
This commitment includes the ambitious project of teaching and conducting research in Chinese, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, Italian, Korean, Latin, Russian, and Spanish, as well as the study of creative writing and composition.
We offer ten undergraduate majors, including Literatures in English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Literatures of the World, Writing, Cultural Studies, and the composite major in two literatures.
At the graduate level we offer an MFA in Writing, as well as a single PhD in Literature to stress the transnational outlook of our program and to emphasize its stake in theoretical, interdisciplinary, and cultural studies.