Our graduate program in Comparative Literature is the oldest on the West Coast, and Oregon has been home to the world's leading journal in the field -- Comparative Literature -- ever since the journal's 1949 inaugural issue.
Just a few years after that first issue, one of the founding members of the journal, René Wellek, addressed what he called "the crisis of Comparative Literature." For Wellek, the “crisis” was one of identity, and a matter of not a little concern: to work across canons and disciplines was to find one’s self without a methodology or a subject matter that is uniquely one’s own.
At Oregon, however, we have long considered this "crisis" not a sign of our discipline's woes, but rather the source of its continued energy and relevance. Thanks to the recurring agon of our self-definition, ours is a discipline perfectly placed to interrogate the meaning and contexts of cultural production.
Indeed, at Oregon this interrogative spirit underlies one of the nation's most flexible and innovative programs in comparative study. We view the discipline of Comparative Literature as a site for the reinvigoration of the humanities in general. Our students and faculty work across cultural boundaries of all kinds; our program is designed to accommodate a broad range of comparative projects.
We welcome you to give us a call (541-346-0934) or to drop by our offices on the third floor of Villard Hall, amid the dogwood and fir trees of the UO campus.
We hope to see you soon.
Lisa Myobun Freinkel
Department Head, Comparative Literature
Associate Professor, English and Comparative Literature