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Note: this track will be phased out starting fall 2018. If you are currently pursuing this track, you may continue until graduation, but you also have the option of changing to the new Film & Media Studies Concentration in English. Talk to your advisor about what will work to your greatest advantage.


The Global Cinema Studies track within the Comparative Literature major is primarily focused on film, but at the same time, it encourages a critical perspective that examines film’s complex aesthetic and historical relationships with other media, such as literature, theater, and painting. Students pursuing this track can satisfy the Great Books requirement by taking a course that emphasizes the visual arts. CMPL 142 Visual Culture II paves the way for a comparative approach to cinema by stressing the ways in which the medium of cinema inherits certain pictorial and narrative traditions from painting. Students also take a course that introduces them to film theory and some of the most important debates that have shaped the field of cinema studies. In addition, students become acquainted with the global history of cinema and the evolution of film style, while acquiring the language skills to explore certain cultures in depth.

Core Requirements

  • One course from Great Books I (CMPL courses numbered between 120 and 129)
  • CMPL 142 Visual Culture II
  • CMPL 143 History of Global Cinema
  • CMPL 240 Introduction to Film Theory (or CMPL 250, or 251)
  • CMPL 697 Senior Seminar
  • ENGL 142 Film Analysis

Four courses in film, 200 level or higher, chosen from the following list: AAAD 250, 396; AMST 268, 336, 483; ARAB 453; ASIA 224, 333, 435; ASIA/CMPL 255, 379; ASIA/FREN 451; CHIN 464; CMPL 254, 257, 280, 375, 382, 420, 463, 494; CMPL/EURO/FREN 332H; COMM 450, 452, 546, 547, 566; COMM/WMST 345, COMM 436/WMST 437; ENGL 380, 381, 389, 410, 580, 680, 682; ENGL/WMST 665; EURO/SPAN 362; FREN 373; GERM 265, 275; GERM/WMST 250; HUNG 280, 411; ITAL 333, 335, 340; PLSH 280; PORT 388; RUSS 281; SLAV 281; SPAN 361, 388; WMST 285

Additional Requirements

  • Foreign language through level 4

Students may choose comparative literature as a second major, a particularly attractive option for those majoring in a foreign language because up to four of the foreign language major requirements can also count toward the 10-course major requirement in comparative literature.

Majors should expect to work closely with the undergraduate advisor to design and follow a coherent, cohesive plan of study. Students who study abroad can generally apply their literature credits towards the major. Students completing the global cinema studies track may not complete a minor in global cinema studies.

All majors, regardless of their chosen track, must obtain at least a level 4 proficiency in a foreign language relevant to their individual area of interest. We strongly recommend that students in global cinema studies track study as many film courses in the original languages as possible.

Sophomores planning to major in comparative literature should take one course under the Great Books I rubric, which treats ancient and premodern literatures, and one course under the Great Books II rubric, which treats literature from 1750 to the present. One of these courses can be used to fulfill the General Education literary arts Approaches requirement.