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Interdisciplinary Concentration in European Literary Studies

Program Planner

The Interdisciplinary Concentration in European Literary Studies is one of several interdisciplinary concentrations in Comparative Literary Studies. Through the systematic comparison of literary works from more than one culture or era, students of comparative literature develop a sophisticated understanding of what literature is and how it is culturally, politically, philosophically, and sociologically defined and influenced, exploring, from a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspective, how and why literary texts are categorized (in terms of traditions, periods, genres and movements). Students who study comparative literature can employ the skills and information learned in their courses to supplement and further their careers in a wide range of fields, including education, law, creative writing, international business, marketing, librarianship, editing, technical writing, publishing, communications, translation, history, international studies, literature, and philosophy.

Students who complete the Interdisciplinary Concentration in Comparative Literary Studies may have also completed all the requirements for a Comparative Literature minor and, if so, should declare the minor in order to receive credit for it on their transcript.

Rationale for Concentration in European Literary Studies

Europe offers an interesting case study in comparative literature.   In many respects, Europeans share a single cultural foundation, regardless of nation, religion, or language. But at the same time, Europe is the site of many conflicting ethnic groups, institutions, and traditions. A comparative examination of European literature provides an opportunity to see both the commonalities and the tensions of European culture.

Faculty Sponsors

  • Coordinator:   Harriet Hustis (English)
  • Faculty:   Deborah Compte (Modern Languages), Glenn Steinberg (English), John Landreau (Modern Languages), Jiayan Mi (English/Modern Languages)


General Courses

Take one course from the following:

  • FRE 240/Introduction to Literature in French (Prerequisite FRE 211 or equivalent);
  • FRE 241/Introduction to Francophone Literature (Prerequisite FRE 211 or equivalent);
  • ITL 240/Introduction to Literature in Italian (Prerequisite ITL 211 or equivalent);
  • SPA 241/Introduction to Literature in Spanish (Prerequisites: SPA 203 or 210, plus 211 and 216 or 217, or permission of the instructor); or the equivalent in another European language

European History or Politics

Take two courses from the following:

  • HIS 300/Topics in Ancient History or Medieval European History*
  • HIS 307/Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Premodern World*
  • HIS 311/Rome and the Barbarians in the Early Middle Ages*
  • HIS 312/Medieval Culture and Society*
  • HIS 313/Medieval Christianity*
  • HIS 314/Medieval Women*
  • HIS 316/Topics in Early Modern or Modern European History*
  • HIS 317/Europe in the Early Modern Period*
  • HIS 318/Early Modern European Expansion*
  • HIS 320/Nineteenth Century Europe*
  • HIS 321/Twentieth Century Europe*
  • HIS 322/Europe’s Imperial Era*
  • HIS 327/European Social History Since 1789*
  • ITL370: Topics in Italian: Fascism in Italy*
  • POL 350/Politics in Europe *

Additional Courses

Take two courses with different course prefixes from among the following:

  • CMP 230 or LIT 230/Classical Traditions*
  • CMP 343 or LIT 343/Late Medieval Writers*
  • CMP 346 or LIT 346/Romanticism*
  • FRE 340/Contemporary French Literature*
  • FRE 241/Introduction to Francophone Literature
  • FRE 391/Independent Study in French
  • HON 340/Italian Culture and Literature of the 20th Century*
  • HON 341/Italian Civilization Through Literature*
  • HON 347/Paris Before the Great War*
  • ITL 350/Twentieth Century Italian Literature*
  • ITL370: Topics in Italian: Fascism in Italy *
  • LIT 251/British Literature to the Restoration*
  • LIT 252/British Literature since 1700*
  • LIT 347/Modern European Drama*
  • LIT 352/British Drama*
  • LIT 354/Middle English Literature*
  • LIT 357/Early Modern British Literature*
  • LIT 358/ British Literature and Religion: 1550-1700 *
  • LIT 359/The Eighteenth-Century British Novel*
  • LIT 360/British Literature, 1700-1820*
  • LIT 361/British Romanticism*
  • LIT 362/The Victorian Era*
  • LIT 363/The Nineteenth-Century British Novel*
  • LIT 366/The Twentieth-Century British Novel*
  • LIT 421/Shakespeare: Comedies & Histories*
  • LIT 422/Shakespeare: Tragedies & Romances*
  • SPA 311/Survey of Spanish Peninsular Literature
  • SPA 323/20th-Century Spanish Theater
  • SPA 353/Contemporary Literature of Spain

Additional Required Course

Take one additional course from

  • The previous list (Additional Courses);
  • An approved First Seminar; or
  • Another approved course.
*Courses without prerequisites.

In addition to courses required by this concentration, a student must complete one approved course in quantitative reasoning and one approved course in laboratory science to satisfy breadth requirements in liberal learning. Students should consult their major or open option advisors about how best to complete other liberal learning requirements.