In the Comparative Literature major, students examine literature across languages, geographic location, time periods, and genres. The discipline also explores the relationship between literature and other forms of cultural expression such as pop culture, technology, arts, music, or film, as well as the relationship between literature and other academic disciplines, like anthropology, history, religious studies, or women’s and gender studies. It’s a great major for anyone who loves to compare, contrast, and explore other cultures.
Students sometimes ask whether they need to be fluent in a foreign language in order to study comparative literature. Definitely not! While all of UWM’s instructors and faculty in comparative literature do research in other languages, all Comparative Literature courses are taught entirely in English. Comparative Literature majors choose one of two paths – one path that requires some literature courses be taken in a foreign language program, or another path where all classes are taught in English.
Our alumni can be found working in university and K-12 education, the arts, politics, law, library services, publishing, social services, journalism and communications, editorial roles, marketing, fundraising, corporate sales, consulting, and many other fields. Their knowledge and skills in cross-cultural communication, critical analysis, reading and comprehension of complex text, and writing are highly valued.
Prospective Students (not yet enrolled at UWM)
Specific questions about Comparative Literature, such as research opportunities, internship opportunities, major requirements, etc., should be directed to Prof. Demetrius Williams.
Follow Us on Social Media
Major or Minor in Comparative Literature
Ready to Declare?
Select the declaration that’s right for you, and you will find more instructions on how to declare and what to expect.
Recommended Resources for CompLit Majors and Minors
Comparative Literature Highlights
Our learning objectives for students:
Comparative Literature News
- Pickering-Iazzi in conversation on her latest translationOn September 20, Prof. Robin Pickering-Iazzi had the opportunity to engage in a lively online conversation of her translation of Maria Rosa Cutrufelli's Tina, Mafia Soldier with Chiara Durrazini (Boston Italian Theater Company), Juliet Grames (Soho Press), and Cutrufelli through I Am … Read more
- Join the Global Student Alliance!The Global Student Alliance is a student organization of both undergraduate and graduate students with a mission to cultivate a vibrant and inclusive community of students dedicated to fostering global awareness, cross-cultural understanding, and sustainable change within our college campus … Read more
- 2023 UWM Phi Beta Kappa Honor SocietyCongratulations to all of the 2023 inductees to Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society from UWM, including those from the Department of Global Studies: Emma Lynn Blanchette (French and Linguistics double major) Jennifer Olson (Global Studies major) Abby Schroder (English major, … Read more
- Congratulations to the 2023-2024 RASCL Scholarship recipients!Congratulations to Tabitha Lindstrom and Abby Schroder, the 2023-2024 recipients of the Roy Arthur Swanson Merit Scholarship in Comparative Literature! We are so happy to have you both in the program as minors, and delighted to be able to support … Read more
Comparative Literature Events
Comparative Literature pairs well with every other major!
It is common for students of Comparative Literature to double major in an additional subject. The mental muscle that students develop when comparing, contrasting, and analyzing literary works leads to exceptional problem-solving skills for business, education, marketing, engineering, library science, political science, economics, and more.
Our small class size in comparative literature also guarantees close relationships with faculty. Whether you choose a comparative literature major or minor, students receive personalized attention and have ample opportunities to partner with faculty on research projects.