About Comparative Literary Studies

Our Program and Courses

Comparative literary studies is an innovative minor at F&M. Unlike literature programs at other colleges, we break down the artificial boundaries that can separate fields of knowledge and purposefully weave multiple points of view and disciplines into our courses. We draw from Classics, art history, theatre, and multiple languages to explore the diverse ways literature reflects on the human experience. As a student of comparative literary studies at F&M, you’ll study the classic work of authors such as Jane Austen, Fedor Dostoevsky, and Tsitsi Dangarembga; examine myth, theatre, and fairy tales; tackle literature in another language; and even explore J.R.R. Tolkien’s mythology to uncover the core ideas shared by humanity and develop a rich understanding of the ways other cultures are like our own. 

By the time you graduate, you will have: 

  • Developed a broad and contextualized understanding of authors, works, and various literary traditions and forms by gaining a historical perspective on the development of literary genres and movements.
  • Made connections between art and society to understand the processes of producing, disseminating, and consuming literature by looking at how works comment on social issues and questions and researching how those comments were received by readers.
  • Investigated how literary, political, and social issues important to culture today were framed, discussed, and debated

Wondering what a comparative literary studies course is like? Take a look at our course catalog to see the depth and breadth of what’s available to you.

Our Faculty and Staff

Stephen A Cooper

Professor of Religious Studies

Comparative Literary Studies; Judaic Studies

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Giovanna Faleschini Lerner

Professor of Italian, Program Chair of Comparative Literary Studies

Africana Studies; Comparative Literary Studies; Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

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Tamara A Goeglein

Professor of English

Comparative Literary Studies

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Peter Jaros

Associate Professor of English, Department Chair of English

Comparative Literary Studies

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Carrie C Landfried

Associate Professor of French, Chair of Language Studies Council

Comparative Literary Studies

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Scott Lerner

Arthur and Katherine Shadek Professor of Humanities and French and Italian, Department Chair of Italian Studies & Hebrew, Program Chair of Judaic Studies

Comparative Literary Studies; French; Judaic Studies

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Jon Stone

Professor of Russian and Russian Studies

Comparative Literary Studies

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Lina Bernstein

Emerita Professor of Russian

Comparative Literary Studies

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Cecile C Zorach

Emerita Professor of German

Comparative Literary Studies; International Studies; Language Studies Council

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Learning Outside the Classroom

Our comparative literary studies professors are committed to tailoring your education to your interests and goals and will help you discover research and study-abroad opportunities to broaden your understanding of the discipline through connections with storytelling traditions in the Lancaster community and resources on campus, including F&M’s extensive library special collections. 

Research Opportunities

Every student at F&M has extraordinary opportunities to engage in independent or faculty-led research. With faculty guidance, you can do a more in-depth dive into the topics that interest you most.
Explore research at F&M

Off-Campus Study

Where will your love of literature take you? F&M’s off-campus study program offers a range of opportunities to broaden your comparative literary studies minor while complementing your chosen major.
Learn more about off-campus study at F&M

Success Beyond F&M

F&M graduates are prepared to pursue advanced degrees or begin their chosen careers from day one. The creative and intellectual activities that make up comparative literary studies — including analyzing, writing, collaborating with others, and objective thought — help you develop useful and productive skills, which are valuable for any post-college plan.

Related Fields of Study

Art History

What does art of the past tell us about the transformation of visual and material experience over time? By studying art history at F&M, you’ll actively engage with this living dimension of the past through its artifacts, images, architecture, and relevant texts.


Immerse yourself in a rich artistic and intellectual tradition. By studying Classics at F&M, you’ll gain a deep understanding of the ancient Mediterranean while building an appreciation of its lasting legacies, empowering you to become a productive and thoughtful citizen in today’s rapidly changing world.


Thrive in one of the oldest art forms in the world, and discover how global traditions permeate today. By studying theatre at F&M, you’ll explore the intersection of theory and performance; engage in craft, creativity, and critical thinking; and discover the importance of each role in production, developing a deep understanding that there truly are no small parts.

Comparative Literary Studies In the Spotlight

October 2, 2023

“Professional Daydreaming” with Poet Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Read a Q&A with Gabrielle Calvocoressi, this year’s Hausman lecturer. The poet will deliver an Oct. 3 public reading and Oct. 4 master class at F&M, both open to the public.

September 28, 2023

Future Lawyer Expands Her Resume With Hands-on Legal Experience

Morgan Hovan ’24, a math and economics major, was the first F&M student to declare the Legal Studies Certificate. Explore how this decision is helping carve her path toward a successful career in law.

September 26, 2023

Students Stargaze at Cherry Springs Retreat

Students attended a recent weekend retreat to Cherry Springs State Park for two nights of stargazing in September. Night sky enthusiasts flock to the park for its spectacular views of the Milky Way.