About the Degree
Public and Applied Humanities is honored to serve as the departmental home for the interdisciplinary major in World Literature. World Literature offers you opportunities to explore your interests in regional literatures (Eastern Europe, Latin America, East Asia, West Africa, the Middle East) or national literatures (Chinese, French, Russian, Filipino, German, Italian, Arabic, Turkish) with more topical studies (genre, period, gender, ethnicity, indigenous critique, cultural studies, postcolonial studies). You will also learn about literary theory, criticism, and history.
“World literature” is literature with an impact beyond its original language and cultural area. It is the product of intercultural historical events, and the circulation of ideas that connect people from across the globe. Combined with an intensive foreign language study, the degree program will provide in-depth insight into the literatures that live on in those languages.
Study Abroad & Fieldwork Opportunities
Students in the new major will be required to take three years of a foreign language and are highly encouraged to engage in a study abroad component, adding experiential learning experiences to their study. Because the World Literature program draws on faculty from numerous country- and region-focused departments, students are also encouraged to consider a double major, in combination with units like Judaic Studies, Spanish, East Asian Studies, Middle Eastern and North African Studies, History, Religious Studies, Africana Studies and English.
Studying World Literature, along with foreign language competence, gives you a window into the complex, beautiful, and diverse human landscapes of the world—from China to Ghana, from Argentina to Québec. In the 21st-century, employers—in business, healthcare, law, politics, NGOs, and foreign service—are increasingly interested in hiring people with depth, empathy, and critical competence in more than one culture and language. Graduates combine their skills in other areas with an ability to reflect and share the wisdom of ancient and modern cultures worldwide.