For over 50 years, Yale’s Comparative Literature department has been one of the preeminent sites, worldwide, for the comparative practice of literary history and analysis, and for the promulgation of literary theory. From its founding as a unique program for wide-ranging, cross-cultural, philologically and theoretically engaged studies of language and literature, the department has been committed to a broad geographic and intellectual scope, both in its graduate curriculum as well as its vibrant undergraduate course of study known as “The Literature Major.” Located at the heart of Yale’s campus, we are a center for multidisciplinary scholarship in over twenty languages, connecting our students and faculty to variety of departments, institutes, and working groups within Yale and beyond.

Department News

Department Chair Martin Hägglund
May 31, 2016
Welcome to the Department of Comparative Literature at Yale. We have long been a leading graduate program for the study of literature across the boundaries of national literatures and of other disciplines: philosophy, law, history, the visual arts, and film. The Literature Major extends the department’s interdisciplinary study to Yale College students. The department encourages students to develop their skills of textual analysis while it challenges them to reflect theoretically on the acts of...
February 29, 2016
The Comparative Literature Graduate Student Conference, with a topic of “On the Joke and the Joker,” will be held on April 1 and 2, 2016 with a Keynote address by Professor Ron Jenkins from Wesleyan University. Graduate Student Conference 2016 Department of Comparative Literature Yale University April 1 – 2, 2016 “…thanks to their façade, [jokes] are in a position to conceal not only what they have to say but also the fact that they have something—forbidden—to say.” – Sigmund Freud, Jokes...
January 20, 2016
Ph.D. candidate Kevin Holden recently published three books of poetry and was named in July as a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. The first book, Birch, was the recipient of the 2014 Ahsahta Press Chapbook Prize. The second, Sublimation, is now available from Little Red Leaves. The third, Solar, received the 2015 Fence Modern Poets Series Prize. His competitive fellowship supports a small number of scholars in an early stage of their careers for three years of study in any...