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Comparative Literature

320 Milbank Hall
Program Coordinator: Tomara Aldrich

The program is supervised by the Committee on Comparative Literature.

Program Director: Erk Grimm (German)
Professors: Helene Foley (Classics), Maire Jaanus (English), Alfred MacAdam (Spanish), Catherine Nepomnyashchy (Slavic), Nancy Worman (Classics)
Associate Professors: Peter T. Connor (French), Erk Grimm (German), Ross Hamilton (English), Max Moerman (Asian and Middle Eastern Studies), Nelson Moe (Italian), Neferti Tadiar (Women’s Studies)
Assistant Professors: Bashir Abu-Manneh (English), Rachel Eisendrath (English), Maja Horn (Spanish), Rebecca Stanton (Slavic), Phillip Usher (French), Hana Worthen (Theatre)
Senior Lecturers: Anne Boyman (French), Laurie Postlewate (French), Margaret Vandenburg (English)
Lecturers: Linn Mehta (English), Brian O’Keeffe (French)

Comparative Literature Program


Comparative literature at Barnard College is the study of literary and closely related cultural manifestations across linguistic and cultural boundaries. As a program that builds on the strengths and dedication of faculty teaching in various departments across the campus, Comparative Literature is distinct in its conviction that literary and cultural manifestations are best studied in an international context. The program gives students and faculty a unique opportunity to study literature in world contexts and establish intellectually stimulating relations among languages, cultures, and literary traditions, in order to understand the methodical comparison of texts as a fruitful dialogue. Due to our close affiliation with Columbia University, undergraduate students in Comparative Literature can acquire proficiency in a great variety of foreign languages, including some which are presently not taught at Barnard College.

The program enables the student to pursue the study of at least two literatures in two different languages and to explore the possibilities and methods of literary study comparatively across national boundaries. In consultation with her adviser, the student will shape a program that will give her a foundation in her two central literatures (at least one of them in a non-English language) and in one major period, genre, theme, or theoretical issue.