Comparative Literature: Methodology and Critique

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 1
Term 1
Module code
FHEQ Level
School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Module overview

This module is available as an Open Option in MA programmes that allow it.

This module aims to introduce students to the major debates and topics in the field of Comparative Literature. It aims to develop critical understandings of the field and its place alongside other theoretical approaches to the study of literature.

This module will include a team-taught component and combine the unique expertise within SOAS. For this reason, lectures and module content may vary slightly from year to year.

This module will be structured around the dominant critical frameworks such as, but not limited to, structuralism, marxism, feminism, postcolonialism and poststructuralism. It will introduce students to these in the context of the literatures of Asia, Africa and the Middle East and invite students to question and recontextualise these theoretical and critical models in light of the literature.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • analyse literatures from Asia, Africa and the Middle East;
  • demonstrate engagement with relevant theories of contemporary comparative literary studies;
  • produce original analytic writing on the topics of the literatures of Asia, Africa and the Middle East;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the current field of comparative literature.


A total of 10 weeks teaching with 3 hours classroom contact per week consisting of a 2 hour lecture and 1 hour tutorial.

Scope and syllabus

Critique (Marxism, feminism, structuralism, postcolonialism, identity politics, nationalism, and more); genre; form; narrative; authorship; readership; circulation/publication.

Method of assessment

  • 30% annotated bibliography (1,500 words)
  • 70% essay (2,000 words) or virtual presentation/podcast (10 minutes)
  • The exact assessment deadline dates are published on the relevant module Moodle/BLE page.

Suggested reading

A full reading list will be provided at the start of the module.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules