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
- Kristin Pitt presents her research on Mariana EnriquezOn November 11, Kristin Pitt, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, presented her research on literary representations of feminicide in talk entitled "Burning Even Ourselves: Self-Immolation in Mariana Enriquez's 'Things We Lost In The Fire'" as part of the panel "Transnational … Read more
- Global Studies Research Fellow Program now accepting applicationsThe Global Studies Research Fellows (GSRF) Program is now accepting applications for a 2023 Global Studies Research Fellow. Faculty and instructional academic staff of all ranks from across the university whose research is global in nature are invited to submit … Read more
- Spring 2022 Courses in Comparative LiteratureWe're excited to offer a wide range of literature, art, and culture courses in Spring 2022. Please consider joining us online for one (or more!) of these classes–hope to see you soon! Course Listing
- Demetrius Williams receives Teacher-Scholar GrantCongratulations to Demetrius Williams, who received a Teacher-Scholar Grant from Calvin University to supplement his year-long sabbatical leave as he works toward completing a monograph entitled, "The Cross of Christ in African American Christian Religious Experience: Piety, Politics, and Protest." … Read more
- Dept. of French, Italian, and Comparative Literature signs multidepartmental resolution, 9/22/2021The undersigned departments and programs express their strong support for students and staff of color and LGBTQ+ students and staff in light of the recently posted racist and homophobic video by a UWM student. We strongly support the efforts by … Read more
Comparative Literature Events
There are no upcoming 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.