Comparative LiteratureMinor

The Comparative Literature minor invites students to investigate the intersections of languages, cultures, and methodologies. This is a highly interdisciplinary field that is known for crossing boundaries; it is trans-national, trans-medial, and trans-cultural. While students study literature in its conventional forms (fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry, and drama), they are encouraged to explore its intersections with other forms, such as visual and digital media. Students in the minor have the freedom to pursue connections they find between different aesthetic forms, cultural traditions, and ideas. This could mean, for example, tracing an ethical problem across national or linguistic borders, studying filmic adaptations of literary texts, or examining places where disciplines intersect. This is a field that trains students to apprehend the world as interconnected and dynamic and equips them to thrive in it.

CML minors take courses from at least three different academic departments, selecting from a slate of approved courses in English; Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies; Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies; Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; Philosophy; Religion; and Scandinavian Studies. Students are urged to work closely with a faculty advisor to develop an individualized course of study. CML minors are warmly encouraged (but not required) to achieve proficiency in a non-English language, either by studying it at Gustavus (where Ancient Greek, French, Japanese, Latin, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish are offered through at least the intermediate level) and/or through study away or self-study. College-level courses in a non-English language above the introductory level may be included among the electives required for the CML minor. Along with developing skills in close reading, critical thinking, and effective communication, the study of Comparative Literature helps students achieve the intercultural competency and innovative approaches to problem-solving that are so badly needed in today's world. The minor will strengthen applications to graduate school in many disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. It also prepares students for an abundance of careers; for example: publishing, law, journalism, diplomacy, NGO work, international business, and education, to name just a few. 

Requirements for the Minor in Comparative Literature

Six courses including the following:

  1. One course in critical theory, e.g. ENG 248, ENG 381, GWS 203, GWS/PHI 248, GWS 260, GWS 385, or SCA 285. Students may petition the Program Director to apply a non-approved theory course to meet this requirement. 
  2. Electives: Five courses from the list of approved courses. See the link below and/or consult with your CML advisor. To reflect the broad scope of the program, these courses must come from at least three academic departments or programs. In addition, students must complete three of the courses at Level II or above, and at least one must be a Level III course. With approval from the Director, special topics courses that focus on reading and analyzing literary texts may also count toward the minor. Studying a non-English language (NEL) beyond the elementary level, and studying away in a different country, are strongly encouraged, but not required. Any NEL course taken at the 200 level or above can meet an elective requirement.

CML minors are asked to consider the following as part of their course of study:

  1. Given the broad and global nature of comparative literature studies, students are greatly encouraged to study a foreign language beyond the elementary level.
  2. Study abroad. Students are encouraged to study abroad and may present some of their courses for credit in the Comparative Literature program. To determine how many credits are transferable, the Director of the program will assess the content of the courses taken abroad.
  3. Meet with the program director, who can assign you a minor advisor. This ensures strong mentorship and greater cohesion with your major course of study.

Courses Approved for the Comparative Literature Minor

Please see this link to view the current courses offered for the Comparative Literature minor.

(Please be aware that course offerings change over time. While every effort is made to keep this list as current as possible, it is advisable to check with your academic advisor or the Program Director to make certain that any given course is being offered.)

NameTitlePhoneGustavus Email Address
Ursula LindqvistUrsula LindqvistProfessor and
Robert KendrickRobert KendrickAssociate Professor and
Seán EastonSeán
Carlos Mejia SuarezCarlos Mejia
So Young ParkSo Young
Lianying ShanLianying ShanAssociate
Severine BatesSeverine BatesAssistant Professor of French and Francophone
Martha NdakalakoMartha NdakalakoAssistant
Annalise RivasAnnalise RivasVisiting Assistant
Kjerstin Moody ’98Kjerstin Moody ’98Affiliate