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Comparative Literature, Cinema, and Media

Program Overview

B-531 Padelford

The department offers opportunities to explore connections - connections among various literary, visual, and cultural traditions in a global world; connections between past and present; and connections across different academic disciplines and modes of intellectual inquiry.

Comparative literature trains students in the critical analysis of texts, seeking to understand how the rhetorical and aesthetic features of those texts - whether literary, visual, or theoretical – negotiate and shape social values, attitudes, and beliefs. International in scope and interdisciplinary in orientation, the field emphasizes intellectual breadth and fosters intellectual initiative by maximizing students’ opportunities to design their own courses of study.

Undergraduate Program

Adviser
A-2-B Padelford, Box 354330
(206) 543-2634
cflmady@u.washington.edu

Comparative Literature offers the following programs of study:

  • Bachelor of Arts with a major in comparative literature and options in literary studies and in cinema studies
  • Bachelor of Arts with a major in cinema and media studies.
  • Minors in comparative literature (literary studies only) and environmental cultures and values
  • Students selecting the cinema studies option in comparative literature are ineligible also to receive the Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in cinema and media studies.

Bachelor of Arts with a major in Comparative Literature

Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: Courses in foreign languages, classics, history, philosophy, literature, and writing.

Department Admission Requirements

One of C LIT 250, C LIT 251, or C LIT 252; minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA; completion of one course fulfilling either College of Arts and Sciences English composition requirement or W (writing) requirement (5 credits).

Major Requirements

50 credits

  1. Core Courses: one of C LIT 250, C LIT 251, or C LIT 252; one of C LIT 320, C LIT 321, C LIT 322, C LIT 323; C LIT 400 (15 credits).
  2. CMS course: one of CMS 310, CMS 311, CMS 312, CMS 313, CMS 320, CMS 321 (5 credits)
  3. 300-400 level electives. See adviser for approved list. (15 credits)
  4. Options
    1. Literary Studies
      1. One of C LIT 360, C LIT 361, or C LIT 362; one additional course from C LIT 320, C LIT 321, C LIT 322, C LIT 323, C LIT 360, C LIT 361, C LIT 362 (10 credits)
      2. One from 300/400-level comparative literature courses. See adviser for approved list (5 credits)
      3. One course must focus on literature written before 1800.
    2. Cinema Studies
      1. One from CMS 270, CMS 271, CMS 272 (5 credits)
      2. One from CMS 310, CMS 311, CMS 312, or CMS 313; one from CMS 301, CMS 302, CMS 303, CMS 303, CMS 320, or CMS 321 (10 credits)
      3. Maximum 5 credits of internship (CMS 491) may be applied toward the cinema studies option with approval of the faculty internship coordinator
  5. Minimum 35 credits applied toward the major completed in residence through the UW
  6. Minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA for courses applied to the major

Bachelor of Arts with a major in Cinema and Media Studies

Suggested First-and Second-Year College Courses: Any course related to the area or discipline of major study.

Department Admission Requirements

One from CMS 270, CMS 271, CMS 272, CMS 273, CMS 274, or CMS 275; minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA; completion of one course fulfilling either College of Arts and Sciences English composition requirement or W (writing) requirement (5 credits).

Department Policy for Double Majors

Students receiving a BA in Cinema and Media Studies are ineligible to also receive the BA in Comparative Literature with Cinema Studies Option. Any other double major is acceptable, including Comparative Literature majors selecting the Literary Studies Option.

Major Requirements (60 credits)

  1. Core courses: CMS 301; CMS 480 (10 credits)
  2. History courses: either CMS 310 or CMS 311; one of CMS 312, CMS 313, CMS 314, or CMS 315 (10 credits)
  3. Critical concepts courses: one from CMS 302, CMS 303, or CMS 304; either CMS 320 or CMS 321 (10 credits)
  4. Approved electives (30 credits). See adviser for approved list.
    1. Minimum 20 credits from 300- and 400-level courses
    2. Minimum 10 credits from CMS courses
    3. May include additional history and critical concepts CMS courses
    4. Maximum 5 credits of independent study (CMS 490) and maximum 5 credits of internship (CMS 491)
  5. At least 35 credits applied toward the major completed in residence through the UW.
  6. Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA for courses applied to the major

Minors

Comparative Literature (Literary Studies Only)

Minor requirements: 30 credits

  1. C LIT 250, C LIT 251, or C LIT 252 (5 credits)
  2. C LIT 400 (5 credits)
  3. Two differently numbered courses from C LIT 320, C LIT 321, C LIT 322, C LIT 323 (10 credits)
  4. Remaining credits in upper-division literature courses offered through Comparative Literature, Cinema, and Media, and the following participating departments: Asian Languages and Literature, Classics, English, Germanics, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, Romance Languages and Literature, Scandinavian Studies, and Slavic Languages and Literatures. See adviser for approved list.

Environmental Cultures and Values

Minor requirements: 25 credits

  1. CHID 450 or C LIT 450 (5 credits)
  2. 20 credits with at least one course taken from each of the following (see department for approved list)
    1. Area I: Environmental Values and Histories
    2. Area II: Cultures, Communities, and the Environment
    3. Area III: Ecocriticism and Ecoaesthetics
  3. Minimum 15 upper division credits
  4. Minimum 15 credits outside student's major
  5. Minimum 15 credits taken through UW Seattle campus

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: The study of comparative literature provides training in the analysis and critique of varied kinds of social texts and discourses. It stresses the centrality of historical and cross-cultural awareness for effective interpretation of both verbal and visual texts. Students earning the degree in comparative literature may pursue advanced work at the MA and PhD. level in language and literature programs, or allied curricula in film studies, philosophy, intellectual history, and cultural studies. They may aim for degrees in education, specializing in language arts, foreign language teaching, or both. Comparative literature majors may also find jobs in fields where liberal arts skills, such as strong writing ability and fluency in foreign languages, are valued.
  • Cinema and media studies emphasizes the study of film, television, and related media in the context of global culture. It stresses the importance of historical and cultural awareness for effective interpretation of visual, audiovisual, and verbal texts. Students may pursue work at the MA and PhD levels in allied curricula in the humanities and the arts. They may aim for a broad range of careers including advertising, education, entertainment law, information technology, media archiving, museum work, or public relations. Or, they may seek positions related to film, television, and digital media production, marketing, or distribution.

  • Honors Options Available: Comparative Literature major only. With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core Curriculum and Departmental Honors). With Honors (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). With Distinction (Departmental Honors, by invitation). See adviser for requirements.
  • Undergraduate Research, Internships, and Service Learning: See adviser for internship information.
  • Department Scholarships: None
  • Student Organizations/Associations:

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Coordinator
B531 Padelford, Box 354338
(206) 543-7542
clitgrad@uw.edu

The department offers study with faculty members from the following participating departments: Asian Languages and Literature, English, French and Italian Studies, Germanics, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, Scandinavian Studies, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Spanish and Portuguese Studies, and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. Study leads to a master of arts or doctor of philosophy degree. Students concentrate on graduate courses in comparative literature and specialize in two or more national literatures of major interest to them, studied in the original language. With permission, a PhD. aspirant may choose as a third area of study a field outside literature (e.g., philosophy, religion, art, political thought).

Master of Arts

Admission Requirements

Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Literature, English, or any other literature, or equivalent background; advanced reading knowledge in one language other than English.

Degree Requirements

45 credits

  1. Coursework: Minimum 45 quarter credits at the 400 and 500 level; at least 25 at the 500 level. Three courses in comparative literature. Remaining credits to include study in two or more literatures with at least three courses in each of two literatures.
  2. Language Requirements: Advanced reading knowledge in at least one language other than English and a basic reading knowledge of a second, demonstrated before starting to write the MA essay. Language competence attested either by examinations or by satisfactory coursework in the language.
  3. Essay: Prepared after completion of coursework, under supervision of two faculty members.
  4. Study Abroad: Students may participate in exchange programs offered through individual language and literature departments or through the UW's Office of International Programs and Exchanges.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Master of arts degree in Comparative Literature, English, or any other literature, or equivalent background; advanced reading knowledge in two languages other than English.

Degree Requirements

90 credits

  1. Coursework: Minimum 90 postbaccalaureate degree credits at the 400 and 500 level; at least half in each section of the program at the 500 level. Credits include: (1) minimum 30 credits in comparative literature courses; (2) 30 credits in the literature of major interest to the student; (3) 20 credits in the student's minor field (or, if more than one minor field is chosen, at least 15 credits in each); (4) 10 elective credits chosen from any area of the student's choice. One of two minor fields may be extra-literary.
  2. Language Requirements: Advanced reading knowledge in one language other than English and a basic reading knowledge of a second, demonstrated before PhD examinations. Language competence attested either by examinations or by coursework in the language.
  3. General Examination: Requires one quarter; taken after completion of the 90-credit course requirement and language requirements.
  4. Dissertation: Topics chosen from a broad range of areas. See department website for more information.
  5. Final Examination: Oral examination devoted to the dissertation and to fields covered by written examinations.
  6. Study Abroad: Students may participate in exchange programs offered through individual language and literature departments or through the UW's Office of International Programs and Exchanges

Financial Aid

The department awards teaching assistantships annually to qualified students and provides up to five years of support toward the PhD. to students who enter with a B.A. Teaching assistantships can be assigned in comparative literature, cinema studies, or in any of the national literature departments affiliated with Comparative Literature.