Comparative Literature
The undergraduate program in Comparative Literature fosters the study of literature and culture from a cross-national and global perspective. The study of literature is approached within the context of criticism and theory, interdisciplinary and multicultural perspectives, and philosophic modes of thought. The core courses teach students to appreciate the variety of meanings texts acquire in different institutional and creative contexts, among them law, medicine, art and music, and different social contexts, such as gender, ethnicity, race and class. Advanced courses branch out from this beginning, from further explorations into literary theory to specific investigations of literary genres and periods within particular cultural traditions. Increasingly, these traditions are examined in relation to the effects of global forces upon their form and content.
Comparative Literature is a challenging major given its theory and language requirements. But it is also a very flexible major, allowing students to take courses in a variety of departments in The College. Students with interdisciplinary interests in literature and other fields such as philosophy, history, art or music, will find the requirements congenial. The major provides students with a cosmopolitan intellectual background that will be increasingly in demand in an era of globalization. Our graduates have gone on to graduate studies and careers in an impressive variety of fields.
Creative Writing (minor only)
Creative writing has had a long tradition at Penn. The creative writing faculty has included some of the most important writers of their time and some of Penn’s most brilliant and effective teachers, among them Philip Roth, Carlos Fuentes, John Wideman, Nora Magid, Romulus Linney, Daniel Hoffman, Paul Fussell, Jerre Mangione and Loren Eisley.
The emergence of a lively culture of writers at Penn in recent years, with the advent of the Kelly Writers House and the founding of the Center for Programs in
Contemporary Writing, has made a new minor in Creative Writing all the more attractive.
East Asian Area Studies
This interdisciplinary degree is intended to offer undergraduates a course of study that focuses on East Asia as a region of the world and human experience and provides an integrated curriculum drawing on the approaches of the social sciences, humanities and legal studies. The program requires relevant courses in a number of departments and programs—History, International Relations, Political Science, Sociology, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, and Law—while maintaining high standards in language study. The degree is administered by the Center for East Asian Studies, an interdisciplinary institution that also facilitates interdepartmental initiatives and outreach programs.
East Asian Languages and Civilizations
The undergraduate program in East Asian Languages and Civilizations (EALC) offers language training and courses in the history, literature, linguistics, art history, performance and gender studies, philosophy, religion, and ethics of East Asia. Students may major in either Chinese or Japanese, and minor in Chinese, Japanese or Korean.
Economics studies the allocation of scarce resources. At the core of economics are theories of how individuals, firms and other organizations make choices and interact, taking into account constraints on their behaviors. A major in economics gives training in economic principles and in the application of economic modeling techniques to understanding a variety of economic and social phenomena. The study of economics provides a useful background for students planning to enter any profession. Students preparing for a career in law, public service or business who