Comparative Literature | LSU Comparative Literature

Comparative Literature at Louisiana State University is an interdisciplinary program that encourages students to approach literary studies from multiple perspectives.

The Ph.D. program is built around a core curriculum grounded in the history of literary criticism and theory. With the guidance of faculty, students develop their own degree plans and research agendas, meant to combine the study of literature, literary theory, language, philosophy, art, history, and other cultural phenomena in exciting, fruitful, and innovative ways.


Program Strengths

As an interdepartmental program, Comparative Literature draws upon the strengths of its affiliated departments:

The Department of English boasts a celebrated literary history extending back to the 1930s and the founding of the Southern Review by Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks. Today the department is home to a distinguished faculty that includes many Nationally-recognized critics, scholars, and creative writers.

The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, with graduate faculty in German, Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, and Chinese, represents a broad spectrum of research interests, from classical antiquity to contemporary Latin American literature. It has also established a Resource Center for Languages, Literatures, and Cultures through the acquisition of videos, films, and printed materials.

The Department of French Studies has long been acknowledged as one of the premier programs in the country. the most recent National Research Council Assessment (1995, 2010) ranked the LSU French program among the best in the nation in terms of instructional excellence and faculty strength. the program’s work reflects the historical importance of Francophone languages and cultures for Louisiana, as well as the leadership provided by French studies in the European intellectual tradition.

The Department of Geography and Anthropology offers classes in biogeography, climatology, geomorphology, Quaternary studies, cultural geography, historical geography, economic development, urban geography, mapping sciences, GIS as well as archaeology, biological, social-cultural, and linguistic anthropology. Area expertise focuses upon the Mississippi Valley, southern U.S., Latin America, the Caribbean, China, central Asia and Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa.

The Department of History is one of the nation’s premier sites for research in Southern history, but it also has excellent faculty members and graduate students working in a host of other fields. In addition to Southern and United States history, it has particular strengths in British history, the Middle Ages and Renaissance studies, and modern European history. It also has faculty members publishing on and teaching the history of the Ancient world, African American history, Latin America, and Africa, as well as South and East Asia.

LSU’s School of Music offers its students one of the nation’s most comprehensive music programs and includes courses in composition, music education, musicology, music theory, experimental music & digital media.

The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies offers a wide range of courses covering fundamental philosophical questions, logic, the history of philosophy, and the study of world religions.

The LSU Theatre program attempts to serve its students in a number of ways, providing rigorous training in performance practices, the history and literature of the stage, and in the development of the critical, conceptual, and argumentative skills basic to a liberal arts education. the program aims to prepare its graduates for careers in both professional and educational theatre. the department also recognizes that theatre is no insular art but involves, reflects, and participates in the wider cultural thought and practices of our time. the program thus encourages a global view of performance; training in production skills should foster an awareness of the intellectual and political life of the contemporary world. We hold that our endeavor in theatre – both in performance and in scholarship – can assume an active role in the cultural dialogue, offering not simply entertainment, but insight and commentary regarding how we determine and pursue our social values and visions.

The Program in Women’s and Gender Studies examines the multiple roles gender plays in everyday life, the impacts of gendered practices on social, cultural, and political behavior and thought, and the intersections of gender, race, sexuality, ability, age, and class.

Many professors and students affiliated with the Program in Comparative Literature have been recognized and have received awards for their research and teaching.

In 1999 the English and French Studies departments were selected as two of the twelve strongest LSU departments; these departments have been earmarked for special enhancement. Major institutional resources are now being shifted to these departments to build academic excellence at levels that will be even more Nationally and interNationally competitive. More recently, the Department of History has been added to that group. the Program in Comparative Literature is proud that several of its affiliated departments were selected for enhancement from among so many strong programs at LSU.

Students may pursue a graduate minor in any of these fields and are encouraged to do so.

To learn more about the field of Comparative Literature please visit


Comparative Literature News

comparative woman

Comparative Woman aims to create an environment that explores topics related to comparative literature and women/gender studies through poetry and academic essays from a multitude of perspectives. We seek to give poets a platform for reflecting on their thoughts and experiences according to each issue’s theme to present our readers with unique, diverse, and thought-provoking art while also exposing our readers to scholarly work on art created by women or about women in mediums both in and outside of the Western Literary Canon.

Comparative Literature Upcoming Events

April 14

Olivia Moy speaker for CPLT

Invitation: Please join us next Thursday, April 14, for two exciting presentations

Speaker: Professor Olivia Loksing Moy (Associate Professor at City University of New York, Lehman College): 

Seminar: 1:30-2:45, Allen 202: "The Cortázar Continuum: Translation from Rabassa to Blackburn"This discussion on the role of the literary translator is designed especially for graduate students and for those with an interest in translation studies. 

Lecture: 3:30-4:45, Allen 102: "Keats’ Chameleon, Cortázar’s Axolotl: Vida y Cartas de John Keats" 
This talk will treat the Argentinian author Julio Cortázar (1914-1984), a perspicacious reader and avid lover of all things Keats. She will set Cortázar's translations in the context of Keats's Hispanophone reception and the surprising afterlife of his poetry preceding the Latin American Boom. 

Contact Information:

April 7-8, 2022 

cpltfren flyer

On Space and Place: 6th Annual Virtual Conference

Organized by: The Comparative Literature Program and French Studies Graduate Student Associations

Funded by: LSU's Programming, Support, & Initiatives Fund

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Imane Terhmina

Guest Speakers: Dr Greg Stone, Dr. Sharon Weltman, and Dr. Alan Sikes

Time: Apr. 7,-9:00 AM - 4:10 

Apr. 8, 9:30 AM - 5 PM

Venue: Apr. 7 ZOOM link:

Apr. 8 ZOOM link:

February 14, 2022

Image od Dr. Otero

Lecture: Stories of Our Lives: Material Culture, Memory, and Narrative on the Bóveda

Speaker: Dr. Solimar Otero

Time: Monday, Feb. 14, 2022 at 3:00 PM

Place: Design Building 103

Sponsored by: CPLT, English WGS, Anthropology, Philosophy & Religious Studies; World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; Linguistics; and the College of HSS

October 28, 2021

CPLT Lecture Image_Moira Fradinger

Lecture: Reimagining Gender

in 21st Century Latin American Cinema

 Speaker: Dr. Moira Fradinger

Time: Oct. 28, 4:30 - 6:00 PM on Zoom

Zoom Link:


Organized by: Dr. Laura Martins

September 20th, 2021

Ben Kahan

Notes on the Profession:
How to Identify, Apply for, and Win Fellowships

Speaker: Dr. Benjamin Kahan

Time: Monday, Sept. 14, 1:30 to 3:00 on Zoom

April 14th, 2021

Flyer for CPLT Talk Apr 14 2021

After Modernism: Women, Gender, Race

Presented by: College of Humanities & Social Sciences, Comparative Literature Program, Dept. of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Guest Speaker: Dr. Pelagia Goulimari

Time: Apr. 14, 4:30 PM via ZOOM

Meeting Id: 494 639 4679

Passcode: 5758

March 4-6, 2021

Flyer for Spring 2021 Conference

How Bodies Matter: 5th Annual Virtual Conference

Presented by: The Comparative Literature Program and French Studies Graduate Student Associations

Guest Speakers: Dr Sayak Valencia and Dr. Antje Ziethen

Time: March 4-6 Venue: ZOOM

Call for Papers!

Upcoming Conference Call for Papers

*Abstracts Should be 250 words in length

*Please include a short biographical note, including University affiliation and area of study

*Presentations should be 15-20 minutes in length

*UPDATED Deadline: January 31, 2021

February 10, 2021

Flyer for CPLT alumni workshop



Dr. Eustis Richmond and Dr. Alexandra Reuber

Time: 5:45 PM via ZOOM

October 28, 2020

Teaching World Literature Flyer

Teaching World Literature: A Workshop

Jing Tan and Ikea Johnson

Time: 4:00 p.m.
Venue: ZOOM

October 12, 2020

CPLT Fall 2021 Event Flyer

“The Reclining Woman in Emilia Pardo Bazán’s Un viaje de novios [The Wedding Trip]”

Dr. James Mandrell

Time: 1:30 p.m.
Venue: ZOOM

October 8, 2020

CPLT Oct 8th Workshop Flyer

World Literature Teaching Workshop

Dr. John Pizer

TIme: 3:00 p.m.
Venue: ZOOM

September 30, 2020

CPLT Fall 2021 Flyer for Event

“The Birth of Spanish in 3D: A Search for Its Origins” lecture “A Holy Ghost: King Alfonso X of Castile (d. 1284) and the Anxiety of Sonship”

Dr. Ryan Szpiech

TIme: 12:30-3:00 p.m.
Venue: ZOOM

March 6-7, 2020

"Inclusion/Exclusion: Exploring Differences Across Boundaries"

2020 Comparative Literature and French Studies Graduate Conference

Venue: LSU Student Union,
Capital Chamber, Rm 329

Time: 8:00 a.m. onwards


March 7, 2020

Keynote Address by Daniel Desormeaux (William D. and Robin Mayer Professor, Johns Hopkins University)

"Du préjugé postcolonial de l’exclusion: la politique chez Frédéric Marcelin (1848-1917),"

Venue: LSU Student Union
Capital Chamber, Rm 329

Time: 3:30-5:00 p.m.


October 30, 2019

World Literature Teaching Workshop

event flyer

Negar Basiri and Liz Johnston

3:00 p.m.
202 Allen

October 9, 2019

Rebellion and Disobedience at the Ecole Des Beaux-Arts

Emmanuel Schwartz

5:00 p.m.
Student Union Theatre

November 4, 2019

The Collapse of East Germany, the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and Why They Matter to US Today
Dr. Stephen Brockmann
Carnegie Mellon University

4:00 p.m.
Holliday Forum, Journalism Building

Followed by additional perspectives:
Dr. Brendan Karch,
Dr. Harald Leder, and
Marco Fischer

Past Events Sponsored by the Program