School of Humanities Faculty of Arts University of Hong Kong
About Us | People | Undergraduate Programme | Postgraduate Programme | Resources
About Us





About Us >
Welcome to the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Hong Kong.

Mission statements and teaching objectives

We study other cultures to better understand our own. Texts and cultures, in other words, must be understood relationally. In Comparative Literature, we study culture and literature in their broadest senses, and from international and interdisciplinary perspectives. In both our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, we reach beyond any single national culture to explore relations between various texts, cultures and contexts. We aim to cultivate students’ critical thinking by introducing different theoretical and philosophical approaches, as well as by examining the complex interactions between different forms of texts within and between different cultures and societies. We are also engaged in fostering new directions in the field of comparative literary and cultural studies.

Description of our undergraduate programme

Our courses study a wide range of texts in terms of form, content and context. Students learn to read culture by analyzing literary texts and other forms of writing, films, and other socio-cultural phenomena, from the city and its multiple spaces and communities to the media and popular culture, and in a range of national and international contexts. Specific emphasis will be placed on the significance of historical knowledge to the analysis of culture. Texts are studied in English, though texts in Chinese are used in cross-cultural studies and Hong Kong/Chinese cultural studies.

Courses in the department can be divided into five streams aligning with the strategic themes of the Faculty of Arts and the University:

  • Film, Visual, and New Media Studies
  • Literary and Cultural Theory
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Hong Kong and China Studies
  • Urban, Postcolonial and Global Studies


All the courses provide students with interdisciplinary study skills in the Humanities and rigorous training in thinking about the nature of the relationship between culture and society. Through this, students will be trained to develop their analytical and communication skills, and to nurture their sense of responsibility to the world we all live in. Our major provides a strong Liberal Arts education and a basis for professional and graduate study as well as employment across the spectrum of opportunity in the public and private spheres. Many of our graduates have taken up jobs in fields such as civil service, teaching, journalism, arts management, as well as culture and media industry. Some have continued to pursue advanced degrees in Hong Kong while others have sought further academic studies overseas, for example, pursing Master of Arts degrees in the U.K. and the United States. Our outstanding postgraduate students have successfully obtained admissions to read doctoral degrees in prestigious institutions abroad, for example, Stanford University, UCLA, UC Berkeley and the New School in the U.S. as well as University of London in the U.K. and ANU in Australia.

Copyright @ 2012, Comparative Literature, HKU. Website designed by Jonathan Chan.