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Student Life

Graduate Students at the Spring Departmental Picnic
Graduate Students at the Spring Departmental Picnic

The graduate student body consists of approximately 75 Masters and Ph.D. candidates. Over the last five years, the large international community has included pupils from Greece, Turkey, Germany, Spain, Austria, Brazil, Barbados, France, Syria, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada, China and South Korea, to name but a few.

Binghamton offers very affordable living. The Bulletin of the Off Campus College (OCC) is a valuable resource for locating housing and for gaining familiarity with the Binghamton area. Free transportation is available from all sections of the city to the University. New York City is approximately 3 hours distant. It is readily accessible by bus.

Binghamton is one of four university centers of the State University of New York. Situated in scenic valleys at the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango rivers, the State University of New York at Binghamton has the benefit of both urban and country living. The 606-acre campus is next to Binghamton, a commuting area complex with a population of more than 300,000. The cultural offerings within the University and within the Binghamton community are numerous and varied. Recreational opportunities are afforded by the Catskills, Poconos, Adirondacks, and Finger Lakes, and by an extensive system of municipal, county, and state parks.

The department also invites outside speakers, organizes symposia and collaborates with other academic programs in sponsoring individual lectures as well as lecture series and colloquia. Since 2002 the department has organized a series of weekly lectures by campus speakers in honor of our distinguished emeritus colleague Frederick Garber. The conferences organized by the department have included "Difference in Translation," which featured the work of Jacques Derrida" (October 1980), the fourth Comparative Literature Graduate Student Conference (April 1981), "Comparative Literature and Contemporary Literary Theory" (October 1983), "Colloquium on Text and Image" (October 1985), "Conference on Literary Theory and the Visual Arts" (November 1986), "Problematics of Literary Translation" (October 1987), "The Poetry of Paul Celan" and "Literature and Film: Interactions and Transposition" (both in October 1988), "Performing Language: Conference and Festival" (April 1989), "Autobiographies: Visual and Verbal" (September 1989), "Translating Latin America: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Culture as Text" (April 1990), "The Question of the Other/s" (November 1991), and the workshop on "Representing the Nation" (2002 - 2003).

In addition to their work with the core faculty of Comparative literature, students often undertake intellectual projects and community ventures with members of other departments. One such endeavor is the journal Crossings, to which Comparative Literature students regularly contribute.

Many Comparative Literature students are also involved in the Graduate Student Organization (GSO) and the Graduate Student Employee Union (GSEU). Students in Comparative Literature elect officers who represent them at faculty meetings and on departmental committees.

Ph.D candidates and faculty work together in order to prepare the candidates for the academic job market. Students prepare letters of application letter and CVs in consultation with faculty members, and the department stages mock interviews for job candidates.

The graduate program draws students of diverse interests such as film, theory, new media studies, drama, Africana Studies, Latin American and US-Latino studies, European literatures and women's studies. The 60 majors in the department work closely with an advisor in order to form a genuinely interdisciplinary project. Informal gatherings such as pizza parties and picnics are frequently sponsored by the department so as to help create an undergraduate comparative literature community. All Comparative Literature students receive an e-mail address, free access to the World Wide Web and other internet services.

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Last Updated: 8/26/09