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Utrecht University Master of Arts in Comparative Literary Studies
Utrecht University

Master of Arts in Comparative Literary Studies

Utrecht, Netherlands

2 Years


Full time

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EUR 2,209 / per year *


* EU/EEA, Surinam or Swiss students; €17,500: International students


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Literature in a Globalised World

In this program, we approach literature as a cultural medium from a comparative, theoretical perspective. How do different cultures and societies think about the present, remember the past, and imagine the future in and through literature? And how has literature itself been understood and theorized across historical periods and geographical boundaries? In this program, you will have the opportunity to explore these and related questions. At Utrecht, we focus on modern and contemporary literature from different language areas. What sets the Utrecht program apart is a strong focus on literary and cultural history and memory, literary theory and criticism, and world literature.

As a student in this program, you will learn to analyze the ways in which literature interacts with (and reflects on) its cultural and social environment against the background of globalization and new media technologies.

A Comparative Approach

The ‘comparative’ approach characteristic for Utrecht is understood to involve a comparison between literary phenomena along three principal axes:

  • Transculturality (how does literature reflect and negotiate cultural differences and operate across national borders?)
  • Mediality (how does literature work as a medium and relate to other forms of cultural and knowledge production? how are literary phenomena adapted to other media? )
  • Memory (how do stories and cultural forms survive across generations and how are they transformed across time?)
  • Discursivity (how does literature function as a mode of knowledge production and how does it relate to other forms of knowledge, both scientific and creative?)

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