Fundamental to the concentration is coursework in two literary traditions. Students may choose to complete coursework in two of the three fields: Classics, English, and/or Modern Languages and Literatures. Students will begin their studies with coursework in Classics, English, and/or Modern Languages and Literatures. These lower-level courses will satisfy the prerequisites required for advanced coursework in each discipline. First- and second-year students can also take the World Literature course (CWL 333) and the Introduction to Comparative Literature course (CWL 220).
Students are required to take an introductory course, Introduction to Comparative World Literature, an intermediate CWL course and the Senior Seminar.
Introduction to Comparative World Literature
CWL 220 "Altered States, Literary Trips" introduces cutting-edge literary studies. Weekly visits from Kenyon faculty present current issues such as translation, film, theory, postcolonial studies, desire in literature, narrative studies, folktales, oral culture, and multilingual and transnational comparison. Crossing boundaries of space and time, readings will be selected from important works of world literature and will center on themes of altered states and travel.
Intermediate CWL course
Students can fulfill their CWL concentration with an additional half (.5) unit drawn from the CWL course offerings. Among these will be the World Literature course (CWL 333), offered on a biannual basis, and a Topics in Comparative Literature course (CWL 301/302) that takes one of the approaches outlined above.
Senior Seminar (CWL 480)
The goal of the senior seminar is to help students identify the approach and methodological tools most suited to their area of specialization. Each student will work on a capstone project that focuses on one of the three approaches of CWL:
Often, the student will seek a second advisor who will offer additional methodological guidance.
The elective course allows students to continue their exploration of comparative world literature on a more advanced level. These courses emphasize a particular aspect of the field, such as Transnational and Multilingual Comparisons, Non-Western Literature, Postcolonial Studies, Translation Theory, History and Literature, Literary Theory, Literature and the Other Arts, or Film as Text. Consult the electives page for current course offerings.
Students are expected to work in at least one foreign language at an advanced level. Demonstration of this competency is satisfied by the completion of the Modern Languages and Literatures requirement detailed below. Study abroad is strongly recommended.
Advanced Courses in Classics, English and/or Modern Languages and Literature (1 unit)
Students must complete advanced coursework in two of the following: Classics, English and/or Modern Languages and Literature.
Classics (.5 unit)
Any advanced Greek or Latin course in the Department of Classics (normally the 300 level) will count toward the Comparative World Literature concentration.
English (.5 unit)
Any advanced literature course in the Department of English (normally the 300 level) will count toward the Comparative World Literature concentration. Most students must take several lower-level English courses in preparation for this advanced coursework.
Modern Languages and Literatures (.5 unit)
Any advanced literature course offered and taught in the language of study in the Department of Modern Languages and Literature (normally above the 321 or 322 level) will count toward the Comparative World Literature concentration. For language disciplines that do not offer advanced literature courses in the target language, such as Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Russian, students must have completed an advanced-level language course (321 or its equivalent) in order to count a literature course in translation (taught in English) toward the concentration.