International and Comparative Literary Studies

About the major

International and Comparative Literary Studies (ICLS) is a vibrant, innovative and interdisciplinary program in the School of Languages and Cultures (SLC).

Each ICLS unit of study is taught by two to four lecturers whose disciplinary backgrounds are in literature, film studies, theatre studies, cultural studies, translations studies, and social sciences, and with expertise in European, Asian, and Middle Eastern traditional and modern cultures. The lecturers are from ten different language and culture departments.

Built upon comparative literary theories, our rich and diverse program offers a major that is personally rewarding and helps to prepare you as future graduates for a range of possible career paths in publishing, advertising, media industries, government and non-government organisations, and academic research. Through a range of comparative units focusing on themes such as cities of the world, relations between textual and visual arts, or on genres such as science fiction, our units of study look at how questions of society, history, culture and politics have been framed within literature from different traditions at different periods of time. There are no foreign language requirements for undergraduate study as lectures are delivered in English and tutorial discussions are based on texts in English translation. However, reading knowledge of at least one language other than English is required for Honours and Postgraduate study.

Requirements for completion

A major in International and Comparative Literary Studies requires 48 credit points from the Unit of Study table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level units
(iii) 18 credit points of 3000-level units
(iv) 6 credit points of 3000-level Interdisciplinary Project units

A minor in International and Comparative Literary Studies requires 36 credit points from the Unit of Study table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level units
(iii) 12 credit points of 3000-level units

First year

In their first year, students will learn about world literatures in translation, and acquire basic methods for studying them in a comparative framework. This will provide them with important cultural insights on how literature both reflects and shapes a society's cultural and intellectual life in a global context.

Second year

In their second year, students will focus on more specific thematic units and acquire cross-literary, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary knowledge, understanding and expertise needed to live, work and succeed in an increasingly global society.

Third year

In their third year, students will move on to an advanced analysis cross- and transcultural literature, postcolonial literatures and postcolonial theory, the sociology of literature, as well as the study of literature in relation to other art forms, such as literature and film. They will complete their major with one senior advanced interdisciplinary unit that will allow them to put their disciplinary learning into a broader context.

Honours

If you commenced your degree prior to 2018, admission to honours requires a major in International and Comparative Literary Studies with an average of 70% or above.

If you commenced your degree in 2018, admission to honours is via the Bachelor of Advanced Studies and requires the completion of a major in International and Comparative Literary Studies with an average of 70% or above. You will need to ensure you have completed all other requirements of the Bachelor of Advanced Studies, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units and a second major, prior to commencing honours.

A reading knowledge of one language other than English is also required.

Students not meeting these criteria may apply for special permission from the Director of International and Comparative Literary Studies.

Contact/further information

Program website: sydney.edu.au/arts/international_comparative_literary_studies

Program Director: Associate Professor Rebecca Suter

Example pathways

First year: ICLS1001 World Literatures in Translation ICLS1002 Foundations of Comparative Literature
Second Year: ICLS2624 World Literature 1: The Human Condition ICLS2633 Cities of the World
Third Year: ICLS3631 What is Literature? Crosscultural Views ICLS3630 Literature and Society ICLS3XXX Translations and Transits in World Literature FASS3999 Interdisciplinary Learning

Learning outcomes
  1. Demonstrate a confident and extensive knowledge of international literatures and their social and cultural dimension, and an indepth understanding of how questions of society, history, culture and politics have been framed within literature from different traditions at different periods of time.
  2. Demonstrate mastery of issues of translation, cross-cultural adaptation, transmedial translation, and relations between literature and visual arts, literature and film, high and low culture.
  3. Demonstrate familiarity with the major theoretical approaches in the fields of comparative literature, literary theory, postcolonial studies, and translation studies, and ability to reflect on their interconnections through research and critical analysis, with the confidence to work both independently and collaboratively.
  4. Demonstrate the skills, integrity and personal resilience to construct and defend a valid argument in the area of literary analysis, translation theory, and multilingualism/multiculturalism.
  5. Demonstrate analytical and critical competence on different types of texts and media, and different national literatures and cultures.
  6. Effectively apply the skills and knowledge of their major in ICLS in an interdisciplinary context.