Welcome to Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania!

Graduate Chair: Emily Wilson 

Undergraduate Chair: Rita Barnard


Comparative Literature at Penn includes two related but distinct programs.  

The Undergraduate Major in Comparative Literature is for Penn undergraduates who want to concentrate on global or transnational literary and film studies and literary theory.

The Ph.D. Program in Comparative Literature & Literary Theory is a flexible, rigorous course that enables students with a serious scholarly interest in the field to fulfill their intellectual goals.  All our graduate students share a serious interest in literary theory, which is a central focus of the first year of study. We mentor students to be fully grounded in one or two national literatures or broad fields, but also to think comparatively and use well-informed and innovative critical approaches.  We train young scholars with a wide variety of interests in literature, culture and representation, across diverse linguistic and temporal boundaries.