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.

Our Commitment to Diversity

Efforts to promote diversity and inclusion, respect groups and their individual members for their unique qualities, and monitor and challenge bias are essential to the pursuit of all knowledge and intellectual work, and fundamental to the values of our department.

The Department of Comparative Literature seeks to create an inclusive, welcoming, and diverse learning and professional environment and is committed to the recruitment and retention of members of underrepresented groups. Diversity (including but not limited to issues of gender, nationality, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, disability status, socioeconomic status, and religion) is integral to all intellectual activities in the department.

We are committed to achieving, maintaining, and promoting the highest standards for an inclusive intellectual community. Empowering scholars of diverse backgrounds and supporting research and thinking with diverse populations are key to both the quality and the vitality of our communal work

Statement on Sexual Misconduct

The Department of Comparative Literature takes concerns about sexual misconduct and other forms of discrimination very seriously. To maintain a community in which everyone feels at home, the Department encourages students, faculty, and staff to make the chair aware of any forms of sexual harassment or other behavior that violates rules of mutual respect. The Department stands against anyone’s misuse of the power of their positions in an overt or implicit way. We also encourage reporting such unwanted behavior to the Title IX Office and/or SHARE. The University maintains a number of resources to address such questions:

            Sexual Misconduct Response at Yale
            Office of the Provost-Title IX
            Office for Equal Opportunity Programs

Department News

July 17, 2020
We are delighted to announce that our alumna, Masha Shpolberg, will be starting as an Assistant Professor of Film Studies at UNC–Wilmington in Fall 2020. Masha’s research focuses on global documentary and Russian and Eastern European cinema, with a special interest in feminist, ecological, and labor aesthetics. Her first book, Labor in Late Socialism: The Cinema of Polish Workers’ Unrest 1968-1981, argues that cinema played a crucial role in the formation of the Polish “Solidarity”...
July 17, 2020
Linday Stern, PhD student at Yale’s Comparative Literature Department and author of The Study of Animal Languages. A Novel, has published “What Can Bonobos Teach Us About the Nature of Language” in Smithsonian Magazine, July 2020. The essay tells the story of the paleontologist Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and her controversial work with primates at the Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary at Des Moines in the years 2006 to 2013. See the article here.
June 25, 2020
Hsin-Yuan Peng  Comparative Literature & Film and Media Studies, Meteorology by Cinematic Means: Aesthetics and Epistemology of Weather Images Hsin-Yuan Peng’s research focuses on the use of moving image technologies by Japanese meteorologists Abe Masanao, Nakaya Ukichirō, and their European colleagues. She argues that scientific visualization of weather is a complex act of construction rather than passive documentation. By analyzing meteorological filmmaking it is possible to imagine a...