5 reasons why you should study Comparative Literature

When searching for a university course, especially in literatures and languages, a comparative literature degree is probably not what springs to mind initially. But while being a less popular choice, comparative literature also has a range of advantages to more traditional literature courses that you might not have considered before.

Here are 5 reasons why it might be just the course for you.

  • Not just books…

First of all, comparative literature practices aim to anaylse and interpret a wide range of texts. However, this is not simply limited to written works, but incorporate a diversity of types of media, such as film, painting, comics and music, so you are never limited to traditional analysis of old books. In addition, whereas most language and literature studies are limited to one culture of origin, this subject combines intertextual and intermedial studies from across the globe.

  • Study texts from across the globe

This brings me to the second benefit of choosing comparative literature as your undergraduate degree. Since it is often referred to as world literature, this course reflects on universal and specific issues in a diversity of languages and traditions, which include for example Caribbean, Indian, Japanese, European and African cultures.

  • Tackle topical problems

In line with this, another one the most appealing aspects of this course is its nature of addressing political, social and cultural issues both historically and contemporary. Through a context based analysis comparative literature becomes significantly relevant to discuss topical problems such as gender inequality or postcolonial struggles. While these three reasons might have already convinced you to dive deeper in the field of comparative literature, there are even more advantages to consider.

  • Interdisciplinary

As a fourth reason to study comparative literature its hybrid nature can be named. If you are struggeling to restrict yourself to one specific arts and humanities courrow of booksse, this might be the course for you, because it combines several aspects from various other courses. As mentioned above, through textual, theoretical as well as context-based, practical analysis issues of religion, colonialism, revolution, representation and languages are explored, so you can get a flavour of different subjects within just one course.

  • Flexible

Finally, a comparative literature degree is extremely flexible and open to be adjusted to your interests. There is a diverse range of modules within the department as well as options to take modules across the faculty. While these reasons all constitute a compelling argument for the benefits of choosing comparative literature over a more traditional language or literature course, there is one more bonus of studying it here at King’s. The course and the college work well in bringing people together that come from all over the world, from very different backgrounds. This will boost your study experience so much more, as the exchange with you fellow students enriches the understanding and discussions of topics on the course.

In short, comparative literature has a lot to offer to the people who engage with it, as it is such a diverse, versatile and flexible course, that allows you to pursue what you are interested in.  So if you want to broaden your horizon, expand your cultural understanding and get inspired from the people you are learning from and with, this is just the course for you.

By Ida Bock, Comparative Literature with Film Studies BA

For more information on our Comparative Literature BA, click here.

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