University Senate†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Proposed: 22 February 2002










WHEREAS,†††† the Education Committee has favorably reviewed a proposal (described in the attached statement of purpose) from the Center for Comparative Literature and Society to establish a new certificate program in Comparative Literature and Society;


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED,†††††† that the University Senate establish a new certificate program in Comparative Literature and Society, with the proviso that the Education Committee will review the program in five years;


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED,††††††††††††††††††††††† that this resolution be forwarded to the Trustees for appropriate action.




††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Proponent:



††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Senate Committee on Education


The program is designed for students in the social sciences with a strong interest in cross-disciplinary work that couples social scientific investigation with hermeneutic and semiotic questions about the construction of meaning as traditionally pursued in the humanities. It recognizes the disciplinary shift toward questions of culture, media, and representation that characterizes important subfields of anthropology, history, sociology, and political science. But it also wants to take advantage of the current rethinking of area studies and its need to develop a strong comparative humanities dimension.

††††††††††† Comparative literature as a discipline, with its own paradigm change from narrowly literary to broadly historical and contextual modes of reading texts, can contribute greatly to this project. In this sense, this certificate would represent the intellectual cutting edge of our endeavor in (CCLS) to rethink the parameters of the discipline more generally.

††††††††††† We think that the certificate will be very attractive to our brightest and most ambitious students whose intellectual interest pushes them beyond the confines of the traditional disciplines. At the same time, the certificate is structured in such a way as to preserve strong disciplinary grounding in the studentís home discipline and to give them additional tools of textual analysis as practiced in literary criticism and applied to literary as well as nonliterary cultural texts.



The certificate will complement the M.Phil program in the studentís primary discipline. It is not a stand-alone program, and therefore will not require additional tuition fees. It will give the student an additional set of methodological and disciplinary tools which should be of great advantage in a future professional career where cross-disciplinary tools which should be of great advantage in a future professional career where cross-disciplinary training and teaching ability is increasingly valued.

††††††††††† The proposed certificate acknowledges that the points of contact between the contextual and historical orientation of literary studies and the hermeneutic branches of the social sciences have become increasingly stronger in recent years. For example, there has been a turn toward cultural history in historiography, and there is increasing emphasis on visual and literary culture in cultural anthropology ever since the so-called linguistic and visual turns in the humanities began to affect cross-disciplinary work. Especially since the rethinking of an older area studies model, which became necessary after 1989, and the opening up of comparative literature beyond the confines of the European canon, a blending of comparative literary and cultural studies with a new comparative area studies, as envisioned by the Center for Comparative Literature and Society, can reinvigorate both disciplinary endeavors. This certificate would contribute to such an intellectual project in small but significant ways.

††††††††††† The instructional component of the proposed program will consist of seven courses (four for E-credit and three for R-credit) which can be taken at any time during the studentís graduate coursework. The courses will be a mix of three required courses in CCLS and four electives which will be carefully selected to meet the needs and interests of each individual student. The electives can be appropriately cross-disciplinary courses in the studentís home department or courses offered under the CCLS designation.