The Comparative Literature Reading Selection List assists majors in reading historically important texts across literary genres. The list should not be seen as prescriptive, and majors are not encouraged to shape their course work around it. Rising sophomores and juniors should devote some of their time during the summer to reading the listed texts of particular interest to them.
In consultation with their advisers, second-semester seniors are expected to select forty texts from the Reading Selection List: four of the epics, seven of the lyric works, nine of the dramas, ten of the novels, and ten texts from the list of essays, criticism, and memoir. These can be read either in the original or in translation. The film category is optional; students may answer a maximum of two Senior Comprehensives questions per exam with reference to films. Students should avoid including works that receive extensive treatment in the senior thesis. By mid-April, the adviser should initialize this individualized list of forty texts and send it to the Director of Undergraduate Studies for final approval.
Additional information about the purposes of the Reading Selection List is found under senior comprehensive exams. Any student who would like to propose additions to the list may email suggestions to the Director of Undergraduate Studies for future consideration.
EPIC (Select 4)
LYRIC (Select 7)
DRAMA (Select 9)
ESSAYS, CRITICISM, MEMOIRS, AND OTHER (Select 10)
NOVELS (Select 10)
FILM (Optional; select 5)