University of Sydney Handbooks - 2017 Archive

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International Comparative Literature and Translation Studies

International and Comparative Literary Studies (ICLS) is an interdisciplinary program administered by the School of Languages and Cultures with participation by the Department of English.

About the major

ICLS is a vibrant, innovative and interdisciplinary program in the School of Languages and Cultures (SLC). Each ICLS unit of study is taught by two to four lecturers whose disciplinary backgrounds are in literature, film studies, theatre studies, cultural studies, translation studies and social sciences. The lecturers are from 10 different departments within the SLC as well as the Department of English in the School of Letters, Art and Media (SLAM).

Built upon comparative literary theories and translation studies, our rich and diverse program offers a major that is personally rewarding and helps to prepare you as a future graduate for a range of possible career paths. You will be genuinely surprised to see how the world is interlinked theoretically, sociologically and culturally through the study of our thematic comparative literary program units. These units of study look at how questions of society, history, culture and politics have been framed within literature from different traditions at different periods of time. There are no foreign language requirements for undergraduate study as all units of study are conducted in English and use texts in English translation. However, reading knowledge of at least one language other than English is required for honours and postgraduate study.

Pathways through the major

A major in International and Comparative Literary Studies requires at least 36 senior credit points, including at least 24 senior credit points from core units of study of which must include one of the compulsory senior advanced units, ICSL3630 Literature and Society or ICLS3631 What is Literature? Crosscultural Views.

The units of study for the major can be found in the Table A unit of study table for International and Comparative Literary Studies. The table shows units of study on offer in the current handbook year. You may find information regarding a full list of units of study available to the major on the departmental website.

Junior units of study (1000 level)

There are no specific ICLS units of study at junior level. Before taking ICLS at senior level, you must have completed at least 18 junior credit points from Table A units of study, of which 12 credit points are from one subject area.

Senior units of study (2000 and 3000 level)

You complete 24 senior credit points taken from core ICLS units of study, including one 3000 level unit. On a two- to three-year rotating curriculum, at least one unit of study is offered from each of the following clusters every year:

  • World Literature
  • Literary Genres, Movements and Styles
  • Literature and Society
  • Theorising Literature Across Cultures.

Entry into an Honours year requires completion of a major in the subject area with an average of 70% or above.

A reading knowledge of one language other than English is also required. Students not meeting these criteria may apply for special permission from the Director of ICLS.

Contact/further information

Program website:

Program Director: Dr Rebecca Suter
Phone: +61 2 9351 6766;

or contact the SLC office: