The Unique Appeal of Comparative Literature: Why am I studying this course?

Hello! I am Pratishtha Jindal, an international postgraduate student pursuing a masters in Comparative Literature. For me, deciding on a course was a tough process as I was reluctant to limit my exposure to a certain geographical area or time period. Specifically, I wanted to study the role of translation, and explore themes related to gender and sexuality (along with race), while also having room to critically examine texts from various cultures.  It’s quite a list of demands, but thankfully, I found this course that encapsulated all I have ever wanted to study.

Here is a quick overview of why I specifically chose this degree:

The scope of studies: This degree allows an exploration of diverse literary traditions and cultures. A comparative analysis fosters an intercultural understanding, while also embracing multilingualism (at KCL, you are also provided the amazing opportunity to develop your language skills!).

Engaging with topical issues: As a comparative literature student, you engage with historical and contemporary themes that hold political, social, and cultural relevance. This is the most prominent reason I love studying this course. 

Module options: From a wide array of modules, you get to choose as per your research interests. Moreover, I specifically chose KCL to do this degree because the academic staff is involved in fascinating and leading research in the field. If you wish to know more about this, you can go over to staff profiles to see their research and publications.

Interdisciplinary nature: You are encouraged and given space to study beyond textual sources, from studying sculptures to photography, there is great freedom given in this regard. Further, you also get to explore and involve yourself with other disciplines that hold your interest. To aid this, while studying comparative literature at KCL, you get a wonderful chance to particularly specialise in an area of interest by opting for optional modules from across the Faculty of Arts & Humanities.

Offering another insight from someone currently studying this course, after being in seminars and hearing different perspectives offered by my peers, I realised the advantage of learning about various cultures and languages from them (which directly stems from the fact that this course invites interest from people belonging to diverse social, cultural, linguistic, and geographical backgrounds). These conversations not only immensely enrich student experience and learning, but they also make me more sensitive and aware of various cultures and traditions all over the world, which fosters academic and personal growth.

Want to explore more? Here are some quick links to help:

MA Comparative Literature course page here.

Written by Pratishtha Jindal, Comparative Literature MA

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