Welcome to Comparative Literature

About us:

What is Comparative Literature?

The "comparative" in "comparative literature" has traditionally denoted an approach that emphasizes relations between different national literatures or the literatures of different ethnic groups. This approach has always placed a strong emphasis on theoretical inquiry and historical understanding (partly because comparative literary study inevitably leads to questions about the nature of literature itself), and has proven particularly receptive to the theoretical inquiry that has swept through the humanities in recent years. Thus, "comparative" has also come to designate an openness to disciplinary crossings as much as an attention to movements across cultural and linguistic borders.

Comparative Literature at Binghamton University

The Department of Comparative Literature at Binghamton has a long-standing reputation for its progressive approach to literary studies and is especially known for its strengths in modern literature, literary theory, relations between literature and other arts (particularly film), and relations between literature and philosophy. It is also known both nationally and internationally for its leadership in the area of translation studies.


The Department of Comparative Literature at Binghamton University offers a distinctive undergraduate major and three avenues of graduate study with M.A. and Ph.D. options. It features, in addition to its primary M.A. and Ph.D. programs in Comparative Literature, an M.A. in Translation Studies, a unique interdisciplinary doctoral program in Philosophy, Literature, and the Theory of Criticism, as well as a Ph.D. in Translation Studies through the internationally recognized Translation Research and Instruction Program. With a long-standing commitment to theory and a progressive understanding of the discipline, it has also embarked on a new effort to define the specific contributions of the humanities to the pressing socio-political and ethical concerns of the contemporary world. It actively embraces new directions for trans-disciplinary research and attempts to determine how such research can help to draw forth and carry forward the fundamental questions that concern the humanities. A strong engagement with the question of literary language and with contemporary work in the arts anchors this effort to rethink the place of the humanities and literary study while respecting the special temporalities and forms of encounter that characterize these domains. For a sample of graduate courses that have recently been offered by our distinguished faculty, please click here. Or click here to see the full array of courses (graduate and undergraduate) the department offers this very semester


Congratulations to Natalia Andrievskikh for winning the Graduate Student Award for Excellence and Kristine Jennings for winning the Graduate Student Award for Research in 2013.

Congratulations to Basak Yuce on being selected to attend the Escola São Paulo de Estudos Avançados sobre a Globalização da Cultura no Século XIX at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas in summer 2012, a trip funded by the Brazilian foundation FAPESP.

Congratulations to Natalia Andrievskikh and Annemarie Fischer on receiving a tuition scholarship to attend the Institute for World Literature at Bilgi University in Istanbul in summer 2012.

We are happy to announce that Diviani Chaudhuri received a dissertation fellowship, against difficult competition, at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at Binghamton for 2012-2013.

Congratulations to Shelly Jansen on receiving a one year Visiting Assistant Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology in their English Department.

Congratulations to Shelly Jansen, doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature, on being awarded the A. Owen Aldridge Prize of the American Comparative Literature Association http://www.acla.org/aldridge.html for best essay by a graduate student.

Congratulations to Matt Applegate for his two forthcoming articles, "Improvising
the Future: Theory, Practice, and Struggle in Adorno and Horkheimer's Towards a New Manifesto" Telos, and  "Virtuality and Resistance: Situating the Manifesto
Between Command and Political Metamorphosis," Borderlands e-Journal.  

Last Updated: 8/21/14