The long-range goals of the Programme include those appropriate to literary studies in English as well as those of most Comparative Literature programmes throughout the world: to encourage critical and systematic studies of English and other literatures in the fullness of their mutual relationships. It attempts to develop in the students an understanding of advanced literary studies in English as well as a critical sense of perceiving resemblances and differences in literatures with various cultural and philosophical backgrounds.
The programme is organised to focus on both literary & cultural study, since at the graduate level, literary research often converges with other disciplines. Comparative Literature, apart from cross-cultural studies of literature in influence and reception studies, genre, structure, period and movement, etc. also embraces such recognized topics as the relations between literature and the other arts (e.g., painting, music and film), between literature and sociology (e.g., socio-cultural approaches, sociology of literature, critical theory), between literature and philosophy (e.g., aesthetics, phenomenology, analytic philosophy, hermeneutics), between literature and history (e.g., historicism, new historicism, Marxist criticism), between literature and language (e.g., semiotics, stylistics and literary discourse analysis), and between literature and culture (e.g., history of ideas, cultural analysis).
The Chinese University of Hong Kong’s bicultural environment aims to provide an ideal context for English and Comparative Literature studies which, in turn, will reinforce and strengthen the special efforts the University is making towards better East-West relations.