Duke's Literature Program seeks to rethink what comparison might mean in a world rapidly being altered by complex forces of economic and technological integration.  Although a focus on language, literature, and aesthetics continues to ground our work, we have pioneered by drawing together philosophical and theoretical reflections on the status of “literature” and “culture” with work in history, political economy, the sociology of culture, anthropology, visual culture, and cinema studies, all of which seeks to make sense of the complex factors affecting the historically changing nature of the relationship between society and culture.

Literature has, in short, employed philosophical critique to interrogate and mediate our relationship to the social sciences thereby modeling a new kind of program in global studies from the perspective of the humanities, a program that recognizes that literature and culture are always crucially important agents in the understanding, definition and alteration of social formations.