Comparative Literature Program

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 46.8 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 46.8 k / Year(s) Deadline: Jan 1, 2025
101 place StudyQA ranking:2970 Duration:4 years

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Comparative Literature is an interdisciplinary program that promotes the comparative study of literatures in different languages as well as of the relationship between literature and other spheres of human activity. It embraces both close attention to language and broader inquiry into the relationship between literature and other disciplines and practices, such as the visual and performing arts, philosophy, history, the social sciences, religion, sciences and mathematics. The program is devoted to the comparative study of literatures across different time periods and beyond the geo-cultural boundaries of any one country or region. It also fosters critical scrutiny of both western and non-western traditions, and is responsive to the dynamics of canon formation and the shifting definitions of the non-canonical and marginal. The program provides students with ample opportunity to study literature and culture from a wide array of critical perspectives. Among these are rhetoric and poetics, translation and reception, film theory and media studies, colonial and postcolonial studies, theories of ethnic and national identities, gender and queer theory, and psychoanalysis. Comparative Literature majors are expected to develop competence in at least one language other than their native language, and to work with original texts in more than one language. Students devise and pursue a rigorous program of study tailored to their particular interests and intellectual strengths in close consultation with one or more faculty mentors.

The major seeks to provide an opportunity for selective and varied study of two or more literatures in their relation to each other, or for the study of a foreign literature in its relationship to an extraliterary discipline, such as film, music, or history (see the three options below). Each student’s major plan is designed individually around a particular focus of interest. Students planning to major in Comparative Literature will normally enroll in an Honors Program, which entails writing a thesis (60 to 80 pages) during their senior year. Some students may choose to write two senior essays (about 25 pages each) in lieu of the thesis. Students pursuing the two-paper option will substitute another Comparative Literature course for Thesis Tutorial. One senior essay will be written in Senior Seminar in Research and Methodology. The second will be written in a course taken senior year that is relevant to the student’s course of study. The two-paper option does not carry honors credit.

The major is administered by the Comparative Literature Steering Committee. Students design their major plan in consultation with an advisor and the Chair. All applications to the major must be approved by the Steering Committee. Major cards can be signed only by the Chair. Students interested in becoming majors should consult the Chair well in advance of their intended declaration of a major.

Required courses: Global Literary Theory; Contemporary Literary Criticism and Theory; Senior Seminar in Research and Methodology, and, for honors majors only, Thesis Tutorial.

Comparative Literature 85 (Senior Seminar) is required to fulfill the culminating experience requirement for students who do not meet the honor requirements, and Comparative Literature 85 and Comparative Literature 87 (Thesis Tutorial) for students meeting honors requirements.

Major options

A. Two foreign literatures.

We require fluency in the primary language and competence in the secondary language. Fluency and competence are determined by the chair in consultation with the chair of the relevant foreign language department. Competence is ordinarily defined as completion of the fourth quarter of language study, and fluency as three courses beyond the fourth quarter of study. One course from an LSA+ or FSP may be counted toward work in a language, as long as the course content is primarily literary. This major consists of 10 courses: Global Literary Theory; Contemporary Literary Criticism and Theory; Senior Seminar in Research and Methodology; Thesis Tutorial; at least 2 additional Comparative Literature courses; 3-4 courses in the primary literature; and 1-2 courses in the secondary literature. Students interested in graduate study in Comparative Literature are strongly encouraged to choose Major option A.

B. Two literatures (one of which is a literature in English).

We require fluency in the non-anglophone language. Fluency is determined by the chair in consultation with the chair of the relevant foreign language department. One course from an LSA+ or FSP may be counted toward work in a language, as long as the course content in primarily literary. This major consists of 12 courses: Global Literary Theory; Contemporary Literary Criticism and Theory; Senior Seminar in Research and Methodology; Thesis Tutorial; at least 2 additional Comparative Literature courses; 3-4 courses in the non-anglophone literature; and at least 3 courses in the anglophone literature.

C. A foreign literature and a nonliterary discipline (e.g. literature and music; literature and film; literature and history, etc.).

We require fluency in the foreign language. Fluency is determined by the chair in consultation with the chair of the relevant foreign language department. One course from an LSA+ or FSP may be counted toward work in a language, as long as the course content in primarily literary. This major consists of 12 courses: Global Literary Theory; Contemporary Literary Criticism and Theory; Senior Seminar in Research and Methodology; Thesis Tutorial; at least 2 additional Comparative Literature courses; 3-4 courses in the foreign literature; and at least 3 courses in the nonliterary discipline.

1. SAT Reasoning or ACT (with Writing);

2. 2 SAT Subject Test Scores;

3. The common application essay;

4. Within the Common Application, Dartmouth’s writing supplement requires that applicants write a brief response to one of the following supplemental essay prompts. Candidates choose one topic and respond;

5. A counselor recommendation and two teacher recommendations. In addition, a peer recommendation is strongly encouraged;

6. Resume;

7. Brief abstract of an independent research project;

8. Fluency in two foreign languages;

9. IELTS or TOEFL (no minimum scores).

Dartmouth Scholarships are need-based and are given without expectation of repayment. Amounts range from $1,000 to over $50,000, depending on our determination of your eligibility. Some Dartmouth students will be selected as recipients of one or more of our over 750 endowed scholarship funds. These awards are not additional money, but indicate that the aid already awarded will come from a specific endowed fund. No separate application is required. Students who receive scholarships from external sources can use these funds to reduce the loan and/or job portions of their financial aid packages. Veteran's benefits are included as a resource in the determination of eligibility for Dartmouth scholarship awards. Dartmouth College currently participates at 100% in the Yellow Ribbon Program which supplements GI Bill benefits. For U.S. citizens or permanent residents, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the only form required to apply for Federal Financial Aid. The federal government provides Pell Grants to students who qualify on the basis of financial need as determined by their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) are awarded by the College to the most needy students. They vary in amount but do not exceed $4,000 a year. When you apply for financial aid, your parents' country of residence will determine which documents you need to submit. Parents living outside U.S. and Canada should provide income/benefits statement from employer.

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