Name Change to Cinema and Media Studies

The Department of Comparative Literature, Cinema and Media is now the Department of Cinema and Media Studies. What does this name change mean?

FAQ for current students

Is the comparative literature major going away?
No. The comparative literature faculty is proposing a new major in global literary studies to eventually replace the comparative literature major. Until then, the department and its advisers will continue to support students pursuing the major.

Will comparative literature courses continue to be offered on a regular basis?
Yes. They will be cross-listed sections of courses being taught in other departments.

I am a comparative literature major with plans to graduate in the near future. Will the unit name change affect the degree title that appears on my transcript?
No. You will receive the degree that you earn, as expected, and the B.A. in comparative literature will continue to be offered for the time being. The department name does not appear on a UW transcript.

FAQ for prospective graduate students

What kinds of graduate degrees are offered by the department?
We are very excited to now offer distinct M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Cinema and Media Studies. See information about our new graduate programs and admissions.

Will the department continue to offer graduate degrees in comparative literature?
No. Along with the unit name, we have also changed our graduate degree programs and titles to better align with our faculty’s research and teaching. We are no longer admitting graduate students in comparative literature.

FAQ for alumni

Why the name change?
A number of initiatives are underway to reinvigorate the humanities at the UW and better position the University’s strengths in the liberal arts through the College of Arts and Sciences. Over the past few years we have experienced a number of significant changes in terms of graduate support, faculty retirements, student enrollments, degrees granted, and degree offerings.

The name change builds on our program’s existing strengths and taps into student interest and demand, while securing a future for the department and subsequent faculty hires.

What will happen to the study of literature, beyond the national literature departments, at UW?
Several of our faculty members are leading the way to develop a new major in global literary studies. This new major will be governed and maintained by a supervisory board of faculty members from all the contributing departments.

See the department chair’s letter to alumni.

FAQ for donors

I made a gift to Friends of Comparative Literature or a similar fund. What will happen to this fund?
Gift and endowment funds will remain in the department and continue to be used in support of our programs and students.

As the department pivots to Cinema and Media Studies, what are the areas of greatest need?
Now, as before, the area of greatest need is graduate support. Other film and media programs across the country have graduate fellowships. Our hope is to one day offer the same kind of graduate support as our peer institutions, or at least to become more competitive. Other important areas of need include undergraduate education, public scholarship, and community outreach. If you would like to learn more, please contact the department chair.