The department, recently judged by independent evaluators to be among the strongest half-dozen of its kind in the United States, has consistently attracted high-quality students from among the best Universities and colleges in this country and abroad. During the last four years, its students have come from American University, Bennington College, University of California/Berkeley, Central European University, Brown University, Cornell University, Hampshire College, Harvard University, University of California/Irvine, University of Essex (England), the Johns Hopkins University, Oklahoma State University, Penn State University, Reed College, University of Western Ontario, University of Virginia, and Yale University, among others. In addition, the department’s students have been extremely successful in obtaining financial support for study abroad. As a rule, practically all students succeed in studying at least one year overseas.
Academic Appointments for Ph.D. Graduates
The fact that holders of a doctorate in comparative literature are prepared to teach interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary courses, trained in several national literatures and languages, and knowledgeable in critical and literary theory explains why they are unusually successful in finding academic employment.
Indeed, the department has an excellent record in placing its students in teaching positions. Graduates have taught or presently teach at George Mason University, Wesleyan University, Haverford College, Temple University, American University, University of North Carolina, Ohio State University, Louisiana State University, C.U.N.Y., New York University, University of Wisconsin/Madison, Duke University, University of Western Ontario, University of Oregon, Washington College, D’Youville College and other institutions. This list is a clear indication of the desirability of our doctorates. A Ph.D. from the Department of Comparative Literature can expect to have the opportunity to compete for the very best academic positions available in American universities and colleges.
The Department of Comparative Literature has a rich academic life, which includes a lecture series that has been running for more than twenty years, bringing internationally renowned scholars to our department to complement the program of seminars. There is also a Philosophical Reading Group, which gives faculty and students the chance to read challenging work by philosophers, such as Hegel, Kant, and Husserl. The Reading Group can be taken for credit.
Graduate student groups also play an important role in academic life. In the past, students have brought lecturers and held film showings, discussions, and reading groups. In recent years, student groups have included the Marxist Reading Group, the Freudian Field, the Research Group in the History of Ideas, Renaissance Studies, and the Graduate Americanist Group. All of these groups are organized across disciplines, including graduate students from many different departments in the humanities.