Studies in World Literatures

Studies in World Literatures: Major 

The Studies in World Literatures major allows you to explore literature, film, and other forms of cultural expression across linguistic, national, geographic, and disciplinary boundaries. Located in the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, the program is guided by the idea that human narrative is a universal phenomenon of shared themes, forms, and movements in ways that are also unique to the cultures that produce them.

As a Studies in World Literatures (STWL) major, you will explore the human experience through reading, analyzing, and comparing texts of varying national and cultural literary traditions. These texts can be literary (written and oral narrative), visual (film, architecture, visual arts), or performative (drama, ASL literature). You will discover how world narrative traditions transcend cultural and disciplinary boundaries, as you explore the relationship between narrative and other areas of study, such as religious studies, history, political science, and environmental studies.

Majors study one of the languages offered by the department's programs (Arabic, Chinese Studies, Deaf Studies and Sign Languages, French and Francophone Studies, German Studies, Italian Studies, or Russian Studies) at the 301 level or above and take at least 10 additional courses. These 10 major courses will provide you with a broad theoretical basis for the study of world literature, film, and other narrative forms of human expression. Within the major, you will also define a sub-focus and, by the end of senior year, produce a written, visual, or performative capstone project. Study abroad or study away is highly encouraged for STWL majors.

Program Highlights

  • The Studies in World Literatures uses the diverse resources of the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures to create a richly interdisciplinary major.
  • The major’s courses and curriculum develop a critical and global understanding of the ways various forms of human expression influence and shape history and cultural identity.
  • The Studies in World Literatures major will allow you to explore the meaning and power of human expression — whether it be through words, images, sound or movement — as a means of understanding your own culture and that of others.