Welcome

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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

February 19, 2024
Jing Tsu, a cultural historian and literary scholar of modern China, was recently appointed the Jonathan D. Spence Professor of Comparative Literature and East Asian Languages and Literatures, effective immediately. She is a member of Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), in the departments of Comparative Literature and East Asian Languages and Literatures. She also has an appointment at the Yale Jackson School of Global Affairs. Tsu’s research spans literature, intellectual history, linguistics...
February 5, 2024
Professor Katerina Clark, B. E. Bensinger Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and of Comparative Literature at Yale University, passed away peacefully three days ago, on February 1st.  Professor Clark was a pathbreaking scholar of twentieth-century Russian and Soviet culture, one of the most influential Slavists and comparatists of her generation.  Her work was instrumental in overcoming reductive and politicized approaches to the study of Soviet culture that were set by Cold War...
January 18, 2024
Nobel Prize–winning Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk discusses the souls of animals, discovering feminism, and her home in the village of Krajanów where she was once neighbors with “three different translators of William Blake” in an excerpt from her Art of Fiction interview with Marta Figlerowicz.