World and Comparative Literature

College of Humanities
Dean: Nancy McDermid

Department of World and Comparative Literature
HUM 377
415-338-2068
E-mail: wclit@sfsu.edu
Chair: Pamela Vaughn

Undergraduate Advisers: D. Johnson, E. Peel, B. McLauchlin, P. Vaughn
Graduate Coordinator: Pamela Vaughn

Faculty

Professors—McLauchlin, Peel

Assistant Professors—Johnson, D., Klironomos

Programs

B.A. in Comparative Literature
Minor in Comparative Literature
M.A. in Comparative Literature


Program Scope

The major, minor, and graduate degree programs are undergoing some revision. Contact the department for current degree requirements.

Undergraduate Program. The B.A. in Comparative Literature is an interdisciplinary program which provides students with a global perspective through the reading and analysis of national literatures. Students develop university-level understanding of what different cultures have in common as well as what makes each culture unique. The study of comparative literature also seeks to establish relationships between literature and other fields, from the arts and sciences to folklore and religion. In addition to courses in various national literatures in translation, as well as in English literature, students also learn the methods and techniques of literary analysis and comparison.

Graduate Program. The M.A. in Comparative Literature combines the objectives of graduate study in foreign languages and literature with an emphasis on the intercultural and international aspects of literature. The goal of the program is to provide graduate training in subjects common to more than one national literature. Research work in the program is directed toward the problems of literary theory and analysis, genre studies, and literary history.

Career Outlook

The undergraduate degree in Comparative Literature is designed for students who wish to gain an interdisciplinary and broad liberal arts education. The undergraduate degree also provides a sound foundation for students who wish to continue work in comparative literature at the graduate level. Students find that the program provides a rich background for teaching in the humanities, liberal arts, and foreign languages and literature.

The M.A. in Comparative Literature is of particular value for students who intend to pursue a doctoral degree in comparative literature or in a foreign language and literature, or who plan to teach literature at the K-12 or community college levels.

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN COMPARATIVE LITERATURE

Advising. To insure adequate planning of a student's program, all majors must consult an advisor regularly throughout their undergraduate years.

Student Portfolio. Following departmental guidelines, all students will complete a portfolio prior to graduation.

All comparative literature majors and minors are urged to complete four semesters of foreign language (Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian, or Spanish) in college with grades of B or better, or pass a written examination covering the equivalent material. This level of mastery is prerequisite to upper division literature courses in the Department of Foreign Languages. WCL 230 and 250 are highly recommended. Lower division courses in classics and humanities are also recommended.

Online course descriptions are available.

Program Units
WCL 415 The Literary Use of Legend 3
WCL 430 Heroic Tales of the Mediterranean 3
ENG 480 Junior Seminar 3
ENG 583 Shakespeare: Representative Plays 3
Courses in comparative or foreign literature on advisement  1 21
Upper division English literature courses on advisement 6
Total 39

MINOR IN COMPARATIVE LITERATURE

All comparative literature majors and minors are urged to complete four semesters of foreign language (Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian, or Spanish) in college with grades of B or better, or pass a written examination covering the equivalent material. This level of mastery is prerequisite to upper division literature courses in the Department of Foreign Languages. WCL 230 and 250 are highly recommended. Lower division courses in classics and humanities are also recommended.

Program Units
WCL 430 Heroic Tales of the Mediterranean 3
Upper division courses in comparative literature on advisement 12
Upper division courses in English literature 6
Total 21

MASTER OF ARTS IN COMPARATIVE LITERATURE

Admission to Program

Students interested in this program must have:

Students with grade or subject matter deficiency may be admitted conditionally and achieve classified status as follows: after appropriate consultation with a graduate adviser, the student will be directed toward courses, totalling 6-12 units, some of which may apply to the M.A., and in which the student must achieve a grade of B (3.0) or better. All conditions must be satisfied before students submit the Graduate Approved Program (GAP).

In addition to the materials sent to the graduate admissions office, the applicant must submit a 2-3 page statement of purpose to the Department of World and Comparative Literature.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: satisfactory performance on first substantial research paper in student's first departmental graduate seminar, as determined by the instructor in consultation with the Comparative Literature Graduate Committee. If any deficiency is found, the student may be required to take remedial course work and to resubmit the research paper to the instructor and the committee. Level Two: satisfactory completion of the master's thesis or substantial research paper in the final departmental graduate seminar, if the student chooses the oral examination as the culminating experience.

Advancement to Candidacy

Besides meeting all general requirements for advancement to candidacy, applicants must complete successfully, with a grade of B or higher, the course WCL 800, Introduction to Graduate Study, in which ability to do critical writing will be demonstrated.

Student Portfolio. Following departmental guidelines, all students will complete a portfolio prior to graduation.

Online course descriptions are available. Upper division courses offered by the department may be used upon approval of a faculty adviser.

Core Requirements Units
WCL 800 Introduction to Graduate Study in Comparative Literature 3
WCL 815 Seminar in Selected Research Problems 3
WCL 820 Topics in Comparative Literature 3
WCL 825 Advanced Study in Comparative Literature 3
Total for core 12
Foreign Literature Requirement
Graduate seminars in a single foreign literature 9
Program Electives
Upper-division or graduate courses in at least one literature other than that of the Foreign Literature Requirement. Electives can include courses in English literature, comparative literature, or a second foreign literature read in the original language or in translation. 6
Culminating Experience
WCL 896 Directed Reading in Comparative Literature and
Comprehensive Oral Examination or
3
WCL 898 Master's Thesis and Prospectus
Minimum total 30

Comprehensive Oral Examination. Upon completion of course work, the student not writing a thesis must pass a comprehensive oral examination administered by a committee of a minimum of two faculty members and based on the departmental reading list and additional authors selected by the student, in consultation with the examination committee.

Master's Thesis and Prospectus. A written and oral presentation of the thesis prospectus is required before the writing of the thesis. The student's committee of a minimum of two faculty members must approve the prospectus.


Footnotes

  1. Up to nine units in lower division comparative literature courses may be accepted.


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