Comparative Literature at Brown

Comparative literature is the study of literature and other cultural expressions across linguistic and cultural boundaries. At Brown, the Department of Comparative Literature is distinct in its conviction that literary research and instruction must be international in character, and its undergraduate and graduate programs are considered among the finest in the country. Undergraduate students study a generous range of literary works – from Western cultures, both ancient and modern, to Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic – to develop a focused critical understanding of how cultures differ from one another.

The graduate program is a vigorous and comprehensive study of literature and culture, utilizing a range of materials from several literatures to foster an understanding of individual authors, influences, literary movements, forms, and genres in a comparative critical context. The program is flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of individual emphases in literature and culture, periods, genres, history, criticism, and theory.

  • For information about applying to our doctoral program, please see here.
  • To what careers can a concentration in Comparative Literature lead? Check out our Career Forum.


May 2, 2016: PhD student Natalie Lozinski-Veach will receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University Awards Ceremony 5:00pm in Pembroke Hall. 

March 31, 2016: Professor Tamara Chin is awarded The Association for Asian Studies' Joseph Levenson Book Prize (Pre-1900 China) Honorable Mention for Savage Exchange: Han Imperialism, Chinese Literary Style, and the Economic Imagination, Harvard University Press (2014).

March 28, 2016: PhD student Natalie Lozinski-Veach is named a Deans' Faculty Fellow. Read more here.

March 19, 2016: PhD student Elizabeth Gray wins the ACLA Presidential Masters Prize for “Dulcinéia Catadora: Cardboard Corporeality and Collective Art in Brazil.”

March 19, 2016: Professor Tamara Chin wins the American Comparative Literature Association's Harry Levin Prize for Savage Exchange: Han Imperialism, Chinese Literary Style, and the Economic Imagination, Harvard University Press (2014).

February 23, 2016: Professor Marc Redfield participates in an event at NYU to discuss his new book, Theory at Yale: The Strange Case of Deconstruction in America, Fordham University Press (2016). Watch the video here.