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Course content

This is a new MA programme building on the thriving undergraduate programme in Comparative Literature. This field, sometimes also understood as comparative cultural studies, has since its beginnings recognised the realities of cultural movement, of exchange and dialogue. At its centre is the notion of world literature along with attention to cultural, philosophical and theoretical questions. Research skills and training are an integral part of the MA. You will enjoy some flexibility in your choice of modules, while at the same time benefiting from the guidance of your tutor to ensure coherence in your studies. Whichever topics you study, you will have the opportunity to develop your academic writing skills.

Programme outline

This MA programme builds on our thriving undergraduate programme in Comparative Literature. This field, sometimes also understood as comparative cultural studies, has since its beginnings, recognised the realities of cultural movement and of exchange and dialogue. At its centre is the notion of 'world literature' along with attention to cultural, philosophical and theoretical questions. We also examine cosmopolitanism, transnationalism, exile, and other phenomena of our increasingly interconnected world.

Comparative Literature belongs to those areas of cultural study which prepare us to deal with a globalised or globalising world. It aims to recognise and articulate the specific identities of national literatures and cultural traditions on the one hand, while also exploring the boundaries between cultures and the meaning of cultural differences on the other. The transnational reception of literature and of other cultural production has been a central concern since the field’s inception. Processes of adaptation (for example, from novel to film) as well as the relations between word/image and word/music are also focal points.

Core module

  • Cultures of comparison: theory of practice

You also produce a dissertation and choose three optional modules.

Optional modules may include

  • From the Sublime to Trauma: Representing the Unrepresentable
  • Mapping 20th-century Latin American Fiction
  • Constellations. Online Anthology Group Project
  • Exilic Writing and the Making of World Literature
  • Postcolonial Studies Today
  • In Pursuit of Prejudice? Mutual Perceptions of Identity
  • Travel Writing
  • Thinking Translation

Why study your MA in Comparative Literature at Queen Mary?

While at many universities, Comparative Literature often sits within the English department, at Queen Mary it is an invigorating, growing and dynamic department in its own right – a reflection of our commitment to the subject.

Comparative Literature is taught in the thriving School of Languages, Linguistics and Film. We have a vast amount of experience in the field, so you will always be taught by leading specialists of international standing whose cutting-edge research informs their high-quality teaching.

  • Comparative Literature at Queen Mary is an invigorating, growing department with a stimulating research culture, featuring a research seminar and the annual George Steiner lecture. 
  • Staff are internationally recognised leaders in their fields. 

Facilities

You will have access to various postgraduate facilities, includingg the Graduate Centre and the Lock-keeper's Cottage. Our Learning Resource Centre has 200 networked PCs with dedicated workstations for postgraduate students. 

You will also have access to Queen Mary’s comprehensive libraries, including the Postgraduate Reading Room, and The British Library can also be accessed as a research resource. 

Our postgraduate students benefit from a wide range of services, from help with accommodation to excellent IT support and foreign language teaching as well as an individually designed research-training programme.


Visit the MA Comparative Literature page on the Queen Mary University of London website for more details!

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