Comparative Literature & Languages

  • The Department of Comparative Literature and Languages mourns the loss of Marguerite Waller, a dear friend and colleague, who died on March 11, 2020.

    Marguerite Waller earned a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Yale University, and subsequently taught at Amherst College and, in the Department of Comparative Literature and Languages and the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies, at UC, Riverside. Her talents and efforts extended from rigorous academic study, made manifest in the publication of her pathbreaking book Petrarch’s Poetics and Literary History (University of Massachusetts Press, 1981), in numerous articles, essays, and edited books, and in the many conferences and fora she organized with such care and thoughtfulness, to her administrative work as Chair of the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies and in founding a major in Sustainability Studies at UC, Riverside. But Margie will especially be remembered, and sorely missed, as a friend, as a confidant, and as a supportive and generous voice for so many of us at so many crucial moments in our lives.

    — Jeff Sacks, Chair, Comparative Literature and Languages

  • An obituary, composed by Donald Waller, Kate Hartford, and Margaret Ferguson, is here.
  • A link to the Yale University Comparative Literature Department, which contains a second obituary, is here.
  • During the time of COVID-19, the Department of Comparative Literature and Languages wishes to offer a hand of welcome and support to undergraduate and graduate students as you continue your studies during these uncertain times.

    • While times are uncertain, we can turn to each other for nurturing and a shared life and experience. Please do reach out to your professors if you feel that you need guidance or have concerns. This is a new experience for each of us, and we can all learn from and with each other as me make our way through the present.
    • If you have any questions, or if you’d like to talk about anything that relates to your studies during this time, please also reach out directly to the Department Chair, Jeff Sacks.
  • The Department of Comparative Literature and Languages will be offering numerous courses this summer!

    • Summer is a great time to complete your CHASS breadth language requirements, or a complete a lower-division or upper-division course; we’ll be offering language courses from Chinese and Japanese to Arabic, Korean, French, and others, as well as Comp Lit 1 (“Introduction to Close Reading”), Japanese 23 (“Modern Japan and Personal Narrative”), Comp Lit 181 (“Existentialism in Film and Literature”), and Linguistics 20 (“Language and Linguistics”), 111 (“Phonetics”), 131 (“Morphology”), 141 (“Phonology”), among others.
    • A link to the Summer Session website is here:
  • Take advantage of the present context to begin studying a new language or enhance your knowledge of a language you’ve already begun to study; Language placement exams are taking place on a scheduled basis.

    • We’ll be offering beginning language courses in Fall 2020 in Arabic, Chinese, Filipino, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean,  Latin, Russian, and Vietnamese.
    • For information regarding language placement exams, please contact Britteney Testino, our Language Placement Coordinator (
    • If you have advising questions please contact Suzy Sharweed (

Apply to our Ph.D. Program in Comparative Literature

The application period for our Ph.D Program in Comparative Literature is open. Priority will be given to students whose completed applications are received by December 8, 2019; the official deadline for admission for Fall 2020 is January 5, 2020.

To apply please click here.

Part-Time Lecturer Position in Linguistics

The Department of Comparative Literature and Languages at the University of California, Riverside, seeks a part-time Linguistics lecturer to teach LING 162 (Language and Brain) in Spring Quarter 2020, pending enrollment and funding.

Spring Quarter begins March 25, 2020, the first day of classes is March 30, 2020; the last day of classes is June 5, 2020, Spring Quarter ends June 12, 2020.

A link is here: