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Comparative Literature

The Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan is one of the oldest and best established centers for the study of comparative literature in the country. In existence since 1937, our program has become a magnet for innovative research and teaching, in graduate and undergraduate courses that encourage interdisciplinary and multilingual perspectives on literature and culture. The interests of our faculty and students encompass the most innovative areas of study in the humanities today. We understand the humanities as the desire to humanize, to participate in making the world humane, to make our encounter with the world in which we daily dwell more legible, to recognize its complexity and elusiveness and to say clearly what has to be said, especially in uncertain times. 

As a department devoted to the study of languages and cultures across national borders, we treasure the differences between languages, cultures, individuals, groups, and communities. We acknowledge that the University of Michigan resides on the occupied territories of the Three Fires Peoples–the Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi–and we recognize the global struggle for self-determination of Indigenous communities. We pledge to work towards combating discrimination, racism and all forms of structural and concrete violence levelled at Asian, Black, Latinx, LGBTQ+, Muslim, and diverse immigrant communities as well as all other groups suffering the effects of centuries of oppressive regimes. We are committed to doing so on and off campus, in our scholarship, our teaching, and our day to day relationships, practices and operations.

Welcome to the Department of Comparative Literature

We encourage interdisciplinary and multilingual perspectives on literature, culture, arts, and global humanities. We also collaborate with other units to develop curriculum and campus-wide initiatives related to translation.


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