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Comparative Literature

Students whose primary area of concentration lies within the Comparative Literature Section commit themselves to the study of three languages and literatures in the original. Various theoretical definitions of "Comparative Literature" highlight a synchronic emphasis (e.g., "1592" in Britain, Spain, and Flanders; existentialisms in Germany, France, and the U.S.), a diachronic emphasis (e.g., the "I" in Renaissance perspective, seventeenth-century philosophy, and nineteenth-century narrative), or a transnational approach (e.g., East/West/North/South poetics; New Wave cinemas in France, Germany, Japan, and the U.S.). Theory, histories of literary criticism, and aesthetics also form part of the discipline's focus. The Comparative Literature Section also houses student and faculty groups that work in languages such as Chinese, Classics (Greek and Latin), Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, and Russian, which are not administered by autonomous sections. The Classics group welcomes students with comparative interests who study classical Greek and Latin literature in conjunction with a focus in a modern literature. The Classics faculty is committed to studying ancient culture in relation to modern critical theory (feminism, cultural studies, and other approaches), as well as in a comparative context, and offers one or two seminars a year. Graduate courses in Classics are also offered in the Departments of Philosophy, History, Visual Arts, and Theatre and Dance. Faculty from UC San Diego participate in an intercampus PhD Program in Classics in conjunction with UC Irvine and UC Riverside.

The Comparative Literature Section includes Italian, Classics, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.