Literature in a globalised world
Comparative Literary Studies involves the transnational study of literature from a theoretically informed perspective. The Utrecht programme is distinguished by its comparative approach and its concern with the relations between literature and other forms of culture. The main focus is on literature written in West-European languages in the modern period, but attention is also paid to world literature in translation.
This Research Master’s programme offers you an excellent balance between linguistic variety and general theoretical perspectives on the nature of literature, its past and its future. As a student in this programme, you will learn to analyse the ways in which literature interacts with (and reflects on) its cultural and social environment against the background of globalisation and new media technologies.
A comparative approach
The ‘comparative’ approach characteristic for Utrecht is understood to involve comparison between literary phenomena along three principal axes:
- transculturality (how does literature reflect and negotiate cultural differences and operate across national borders?)
- mediality (how does literature work as a medium and relate to other forms of cultural and knowledge production? how are literary phenomena adapted to other media? )
- memory (how do stories and cultural forms survive across generations and how are they transformed across time?)