Comparative Literature B.A. Learning Outcomes

1. Students will be able to read critically literary and cultural texts in a range of genres and media (novels, poetry, drama, film, monuments, political discourse, popular culture, audio, etc.): reading critically entails the ability to identify generic or formal structures, philosophical investments, stylistic texture, rhetorical gestures, and the features of literary periods. The attitude associated with this objective is an appreciation for the complexities of cultural work across a wide range of styles and forms.

2. Students will demonstrate knowledge of historical, linguistic, and cultural contexts of texts as they are produced and received across national boundaries and in response to the dynamics of global movements and crises creating dynamic intersections of power, peoples, and aesthetic practices. An attitude cultivated in connection with this objective is a stance of intellectual openness and an ability to value cultural difference that not only overcomes essentialization and other forms of cultural condescension but moves beyond the celebration of difference for its own sake to a practice of critical awareness of the complexities of global literacy and citizenship in the 21st century.

3. Students will be able to use critical terminology and interpretive methods drawn from specific 20th- and 21st-century comparative and critical theories from multiple disciplines, including cultural studies, philosophy, anthropology, visual studies, and rhetoric. Ideally, students will move from application to creative appropriation and critique of critical models.

4. Students will be able to construct interpretive arguments orally and in writing with increasing confidence and complexity over the course of the major. Ultimately, students will produce Student Learning Outcomes for B.A. in Comparative Literature major, multi-stage critical essays characterized by originality and a personal investment in disciplinary dialogues.

5. Students will experience an extended encounter with at least one language other than English, including for most students a study-abroad experience. They will show be able to work with literary texts in another language and understand translation as a creative process.

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