Comparative Arts and Letters
Comparative Arts and Letters
Department Information: 
3008 JFSB

Widely used in the Renaissance, the term humanities (humanitas or studia humanitatis) refers to the study of human intellectual and artistic creativity. Humanities is both a general academic category (inclusive of literature, history, philosophy, and the history and criticism of art and music) and a discipline in its own right with a methodology for the critical study of intellectual history and aesthetics. The interdisciplinary humanistic fields that the department comprises—humanities, classics, and comparative literature—offer students unusual latitude in pursuing graduate education in the humanities, disciplined by insistence on substantial foreign language skills, competence in critical theory and practice, and the development of scholarly discipline.

One degree is offered through the Department of Humanities, Classics, and Comparative Literature: Comparative Studies—MA. This program admits from five to ten students per year. The MA in comparative studies is designed as a two-year program, and most full-time students are able to complete the MA within two years, usually defending the thesis during spring or summer term of the second year.

Chair:  Carl Sederholm
Graduate Coordinator:  Julie Allen

Resources & Opportunity: 

The Department of Humanities, Classics, and Comparative Literature utilizes the Humanities Technology and Research Support Center and the Reading-Writing Center for the College of Humanities:

The Humanities Technology and Research Support Center provides an array of technological tools, resources, and expertise to foster quality research and scholarship in the College of Humanities. The center is especially active in the production of teaching and research materials. In addition to computer and audio equipment, the center has a variety of video capabilities and in the past few years has become a world leader in computer-assisted language instruction and translation. The department also owns CD ROM databases for classical Greek and Latin texts, the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae and Thesaurus Linguae Latinae, as well as the complete works of many modern authors.

Faculty from the department currently serve as officers in the Classical Association of the Midwest and South (CAMWS), the International Comparative Literature Association (ICLA), the National Association of Humanities Educators (NAHE), the American Conference on Romanticism, and the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study (SASS). In addition, the journals Scandinavian Studies and Prisms: Essays in Romanticism are edited by department faculty members, assisted by graduate students from the department.

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Financial Assistance: 

Aid is available in the form of full or partial tuition grants, teaching and research assistantships, internships, and (for advanced students) some student instructorships. Upon admission to the respective programs, candidates will be considered for all of these possibilities based upon merit and availability of department resources. Financial aid is normally limited to two years.