Program Requirements and Opportunities
Published annually, the Course Catalog sets out the requirements of the academic programs--the majors, minors, and concentrations. Each Bryn Mawr student must declare a major before the end of the sophomore year. Students may also declare a minor or a concentration, but neither is required for the A.B. degree. Students must comply with the requirements published in the Course Catalog at the time when they declare the major, minor and/or concentration.
The Course Catalog also sets out the College requirements. Students must comply with the College requirements published at the time they enter Bryn Mawr College.
Comparative Literature is a joint Bryn Mawr and Haverford program that draws on the diverse teaching and research interests of the faculty at the two colleges, especially but not exclusively those in our many departments of language and literature.The study of Comparative Literature situates literature in an international perspective; examines transnational cultural connections through literary history, literary criticism, critical theory, and poetics; and works toward a nuanced understanding of the socio-cultural functions of literature. The close reading of literary texts and other works from different cultures and periods is fundamental to our enterprise.Interpretive methods from other disciplines that interrogate cultural discourses also play a role in the comparative study of literature; among these are anthropology, philosophy, religion, history, music, the history of art, visual studies, film studies, gender studies, and area studies (including Africana studies, Latin American and Iberian studies, and East Asian studies).Our students have gone on to do graduate work in comparative literature and related fields; pursued advanced degrees in business, law, medicine, and journalism; and undertaken careers in translation, publishing, international business, diplomacy, and non-governmental organizations.
COML 200 (Introduction to Comparative Literature), normally taken by the spring of the sophomore year.
Six advanced literature courses in the original languages (normally at the 200 level or above), balanced between two literature departments (of which English may be one): at least two (one in each literature) must be at the 300-level or above, or its equivalent, as approved in advance by the advisor.
One course in critical theory.
Two electives in comparative literature.
COML 398 (Theories and Methods in Comparative Literature).
COML 399 (Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature).
*In the case of languages for which literature courses in the original language are not readily available in the Tri-Co, students may on occasion be allowed to count a course taught in English translation for which they do at least part of the reading in the original language.
Requirements for the minor are COML 200 and 398, plus four additional courses—two each in the literature of two languages. At least one of these four courses must be at the 300 level. Students who minor in comparative literature are encouraged to choose their national literature courses from those with a comparative component.
NOTE: Both majors and minors should work closely with the co-chairs of the program and with members of the steering committee in shaping their programs.
Requirements for Honors
Students who, in the judgment of the Comparative Literature Steering Committee, have done distinguished work in their comparative literature courses and in the Senior Seminar will be considered for departmental honors.
NOTE: Please note that not all topics courses (B223, 299, 321, 325, 326, 340) count toward COML elective requirements. See adviser.
The Barbara Riley Levin Prize is awarded annually to the senior major(s) whose work merits recognition for intellectual achievement, as demonstrated in the senior thesis.
Two co-chairs, one at each college, and a Bi- College steering committee administer the program. The committee generally includes those faculty members most often involved in teaching the introductory course and the senior seminar.