The Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan offers a six-year Ph.D. program that emphasizes the international and interdisciplinary nature of comparative literature. In the most recent survey conducted by the Humanities Research Council, we were ranked among the top ten American graduate programs in Comparative Literature. Our graduate curriculum has strong language requirements but provides great flexibility in the ways that students put their expertise in language and culture to use. All students admitted to the doctoral program are awarded full tuition and stipend, through a funding package that combines fellowship and teaching.
What is unique about Comparative Literature at Michigan?
Radical Diversity and Interdisciplinarity
We have graduate students and faculty members from all over the globe, and a deep commitment to diversity that translates into one of the most flexible programs in the country. Our professors have broad expertise that includes European literatures (ancient, medieval, and modern) and extends to Mediterranean, East European, Near Eastern, Latin American, and Asian languages and cultures, as well as other media such as music, African film, and Chinese modern art. We have particular strength in the field of Critical Translation Studies, and we teach in the areas of Aesthetic and Literary Theory, Classical Reception, Gender Studies and Queer Theory, the History of the Book, Performance Studies, Creative Non-Fiction, Judaic Studies, Islam and the West, Narratology, Lyric Theory, Comparative Cultural Studies, Philosophy and Literature, Psychoanalysis, Religious Studies, Theory of Tragedy, and Theory and History of Tropes. For more information about faculty interests see faculty page. For a description of graduate seminars recently taught by Comparative Literature faulty, see course descriptions.
We take collaboration seriously
Our twenty-one faculty members hold joint appointments with the Departments of English, German, Romance, and Slavic Languages and Literatures, the Departments of Asian
Languages and Cultures, Near Eastern Studies, Women’s Studies, Afroamerican and African Studies. Classical Studies, History, Anthropology, Philosophy, History of Art. In addition, we have close ties to dozens of faculty across the university who regularly work with our graduate students and serve on their doctoral committees. Our program gives students flexibility to take many of their courses in other departments across the university, and our graduate students have the opportunity to teach in other departments as well.
We love language
Between our faculty and our graduate students, we speak or read 47 languages: Ancient Greek, Arabic, Aramaic, Armenian, Aromanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Classical Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Douala, Dutch, Danish, English, Ewodi, Farsi, French, German, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Lingala, Modern Greek, Norwegian, Old Church Slavonic, Old Occitan, Ottoman, Panjabi, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Taiwanese, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, and Yiddish.
We want to hear from you if:
You are deeply intellectually curious, and you love to cross borders: between national literatures, between disciplines, between media, between historical eras. You have a knack for theoretical thinking. You speak or read at least two foreign languages, one at an advanced level. You are independent, highly motivated, and you love the idea of a flexible, self-designed program with few rigid requirements. You can’t wait to go abroad to immerse yourself in the cultures that interest you. You love to read, to think, and to write. You want to define your own intellectual project, without being bound by linguistic or disciplinary boundaries.
For more information
Please browse through the faculty and graduate student pages on our website. To get more details about the program and instructions for applying, click on the links for