The World Literature major retains the comparative and international dimension of comparative literature, but focuses on literatures and cultures from around the globe in English translation (no foreign language required). World literature refers to literature that has a readership and an impact beyond its original language and cultural area. Examples include the Bible, and the plays of William Shakespeare, both of which have been translated into more than 100 languages and are read or performed on every continent, or One Thousand and One Nights (Arabic: كِتَاب أَلْف لَيْلَة وَلَيْلَة kitāb ʾalf layla wa-layla), a work that was collected over many centuries by various authors, translators, and scholars across West, Central, and South Asia and North Africa, and many others. World literature is both the product of and the impetus for travel, migration, religious conversion, trade, war, colonization, and the general circulation of ideas that connect people from across the globe. Translation studies forms the backbone of World literature as it is understood today.
A student who elects World Literature as a major must complete 48 hours, including at least 12 hours in courses numbered 300 or above. Study Abroad and work in other disciplines is strongly encouraged.