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Graduate Program

The Comparative Literature Graduate Program (for M.A. or Ph.D.), housed in the School of Languages and Cultures at Purdue University, has affiliated faculty from the School of Languages and Culture, the English Department, History, the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and Visual and Performing Arts. It draws students interested in multiple languages and in a range of world literatures and cultural studies from Antiquity, Medieval, Renaissance, Enlightenment, Romanticism, Modernity, Postcolonial, etc. Research involves different genres, centuries, nationalities, and humanistic, philosophical, or ecocritical topics. Purdue University’s Comparative Literature program prepares graduate students both as scholars and as teachers of world literature. Its materials or the literature at its core consist not only of social documents in their distinct and important historical contexts, but also works of aesthetics, art, and philosophy whose languages, reception, and dissemination -- especially nowadays in our digital era -- depends on a deep understanding of what originality means, as well as what diversity and globalization imply, and how literature interacts aesthetically and ethically with various media.

The Comparative Literature program draws on the expertise of several academic departments and offers flexibility, a diverse range of affiliated faculty scholars, excellent library resources, and individual attention. The program has enjoyed excellent ranking nationwide and is proud of its outstanding alumni professionals internationally. Students at the graduate level pursue work in literatures in original languages such as Arabic, British, Chinese, French (both continental and francophone), German, Classical Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin (classical and medieval), Portuguese (Luso-Brazilian), Russian, Spanish (both Peninsular and Spanish/American), and American, as well as Transatlantic literatures.

For applicants or incoming graduate students, Comparative Literature Program offers either M.A. or the P Ph.D. degrees. PhD program applicants must already have a MA degree in a related discipline in hand. Students should apply directly to the program through the Graduate School. Working with affiliated Comparative Literature faculty, the graduate program allows cross-disciplinary studies. A range of financial resources are available to fund admitted graduate students. Those who are interested in a Teaching Assistantship in one of the languages taught at Purdue University in the School of Languages and Cultures can upload an audio tape as part of their application materials as specified on the graduate applications website.

For questions concerning the graduate program in Comparative Literature contact:

Tatiana Elistratova                                           

Graduate Studies Administrative Assistant
Stanley Coulter Hall, Room 146E
640 Oval Drive

West Lafayette, IN  47907-2039
Telephone: (765) 496-2895

Dr. Beate Allert

Director of Comparative Literature

Professor of German, Comparative Literature, and Film
Stanley Coulter, Rm 256

640 Oval Drive
West Lafayette, IN  47907-2039

Dr. Elena Coda

Professor of Italian & Comparative Literature,

Associate Head of the School of Languages and Cultures
Steering Committee Member