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Comparative Literature Resources

The following bibliography focuses on resources which provide information on aspects of many different literatures. The primary objective is to highlight library materials that provide access to information which is useful because of its broader scope and utility for comparative research. While the resources listed here provide authoritative commentary, other subject guides compiled by the Literatures and Languages Library provide useful lists of materials for specific languages and literatures.
Please direct all comments or requests for information to Paula Carns
Head of the Literatures and Languages Library
(217) 333-2220 • pcarns@illinois.edu

General Resources

801.9503 J622005 (Ref.)
The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism. 2nd edition. Michael Groden, Martin Kreiswirth, and Imre Szeman, eds. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 2005.

An alphabetically-arranged guide with 241 entries on "individual critics and theorists, critical and theoretical schools and movements, and the critical and theoretical innovations of specific countries and historical periods," as well as other figures who, while working in different fields, had a large impact on literary theory and criticism. Selective primary and secondary bibliographies are included with each entry, and there are extensive cross references. In addition, indexes of names and topics make the guide easier to navigate.

016.8 H26L (Main Ref.)
Harvard University Library. Literature: General and Comparative. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1968.

423 F82d 2004 (Ref.)
Fowler's Modern English Usage. Edited by H.W. Fowler. Revised 3rd ed. edited by R.W. Burchfield. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2004.

A good book for determining if you are using a word appropriately. This book, originally published in 1926, was written by Henry Watson Fowler whose intent was to enlighten the common man on proper usage. He admitted his ignorance of non-British versions of English: "We have our eyes on the foreigner, but not on the half-educated Englishman of literary proclivities who wants to know Can I say so-&-so?... Is this English?". Heavily updated and revised by R.W. Burchfield, the book describes proper usage of English for a broader Anglophone audience. The book draws its examples from contemporary magazines, newspapers, and the OED.

423.1 B435e 2003 (Ref.)
Mattia, Fioretta Benedetto. Elsevier's Dictionary of Acronyms, Initialisms, Abbreviations and Symbols. Boston: Elsevier, 2003.

This dictionary spells out acronyms and abbreviations from around the world. When not obvious it states the field of use for the acronym (i.e. medicine). For acronyms coined with a link between the word the acronym spells and the meaning of the term, a definition is offered for the word in English. Also if an acronym in one language incidentally has a meaning as a word in another language that word and definition is offered as well.

808.8 L71291 (Main Stacks)
Barnstone, Willis, and Tony Barnstone. Literatures of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2003.

This resource "brings together literary, religious, and philosophical traditions from five continents" in its extensive gathering of literary works, which range from antiquity to the present.

808.8004 M745 (Main Stacks)
Clerk, Jayana, and Ruth Siegel, eds. Modern Literatures of the Non-Western World. New York: HarperCollins, 1995.

This collection of twentieth-century literature from around the world is organized geographically. The work includes three helpful alternatives to the table of contents in its appendix: one by theme, one by country, and one by genre.

808.899287 L863 (Main Stacks)
Arkin, Marian, and Barbara Shollar, eds. Longman Anthology of World Literature by Women, 1875-1975. New York: Longman, 1989.

A "landmark collection" that "is the first to survey women writers in the modern historical period from an international perspective," the text includes poetry and fiction, and writers from Christina Rossetti to Colette to Toyo Suyemoto. Entries are arranged chronologically, by the date of the author's birth.

809 G212L (Main Stacks)
Gaskell, Philip. Landmarks in Continental European Literature. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1999.

An introductory volume to 32 key European literary works in translation and their authors, from Dante to Brecht, including important Russian authors. Author entries are listed chronologically. Includes index.

Q. 809 M8553W (Ref.)
Moss, Joyce and Lorraine Valestuk. World Literature and Its Times: Profiles of Notable Literary Works and the Historical Events That Influenced Them. Detroit: Gale Group, 1999.

Vol. 1 Latin American Literature and Its Times
Vol. 2 African Literature and Its Times
Vol. 5 Spanish and Portuguese Literatures and Their Times: The Iberian Peninsula

Q.809 R2592 2003 v.1 & v.2 (Ref.)
Pendergast, Sara and Pendergast, Tom (eds.) Reference Guide to World Literature (Third Edition). Detroit: St. James Press, 2003.

There are two volumes to this reference guide. The first volume is an author guide which gives brief bibliographic information, selected publications, criticisms, and a signed essay on the author. The second volume details works of authors who may or may not be entered in the first volume. The second volume lists the author's name and the title of the work and includes a brief critical essay.

809.00202 K965t (Ref.)
Kurian, George Thomas. Timetables of World Literature. New York: Facts on File, 2003.

This timetable starts with Homer (9th or 8th century BC) but has more resources for the 20th century (last year of timetable is 2000.) Each year includes births and deaths of authors, a list of a few major awards, and a sampling of the most influential publications. Each entry includes only about 10 languages, but there are 58 countries and 41 languages represented in the timetable.

PN773 .B47 2001
Berthou, Benoit, and Gilbert Guislain. 100 auteurs et concepts contemporains. Levallois-Perret, France: Jeunes éditions, studyrama, 2001.

A concise French-language guide to important contemporary writers and thinkers.

Q 809.04 T912 v.1 & v.2 (Ref.)
Genova, Pamela A., ed. Twayne Companion to Contemporary World Literature. Detroit: Twayne, 2003.

A collection of approximately 300 essays on contemporary world authors and 150 book reviews. An index for both volumes is included in the second volume.

809.2 C869 (Oak Street)
Magill, Frank N., ed. Critical Survey of Drama: Foreign Language Series. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Salem Press, 1986. 6 vol.

Critical essays examine representative plays and identify themes and characteristics employed by more than 170 dramatists ranging from Aeschylus in 400 B.C. to the contemporary Austrian Peter Handke.

809.3 C869 (Main Stacks, Oak Street)
Magill, Frank N., ed. Critical Survey of Short Fiction. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Salem Press, 1981. 7 vol.

809.3 C8691 (Ref., Oak Street)
Magill, Frank N., ed. Critical Survey of Long Fiction: Foreign Language Series. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Salem Press, 1984. 5 vol.

820.3 D78c 2007 (Main Stacks)
Drabble, Margaret and Stringer, Jenny, eds. Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature: 3rd Edition. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2007.

Entries are listed alphabetically by author, title, genre or character. Cross-references within each entry are noted by an asterisk.

821.09 C8691984 (Oak Street)
Magill, Frank N., ed. Critical Survey of Poetry: Foreign Language Series. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Salem Press, 1984. 5 vol.

PN865.P74 2009

Damrosch, David, Natalie Melas, Mbongiseni Buthelezi, eds. The Princeton Sourcebook in Comparative Literature. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009.

Contemporary Literary Criticism (Online Resource)

Provides an extensive collection of critical essays on contemporary writers. Each CLC Select entry also contains a biographical/critical introduction including pseudonyms and nationality, a listing of principal works, and sources for further study. This source is also available in print in the Main Stacks (Q. 928 C768).



016.805 W899G1995 (Ref., Oak Street)
Wortman, William A. A Guide to Serial Bibliographies for Modern Literatures. 2nd ed. New York: Modern Languages Association of America, 1995.

A very thorough listing of article indexes for all areas of the world, useful for finding which indexes cover specific literatures.

016.8081 B786V (Main Stacks)
Brogan, T.V.F. Verseform: A Comparative Bibliography. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1989.

016.808899287 R312W (Oak Street)
Resnick, Margery, and Isabelle de Courtivron. Women Writers in Translation: an Annotated Bibliography, 1945-1982. New York: Garland, 1984.

016.809 IN8 (Oak Street)
Dyserinck, Hugo, and Manfred S. Fischer, eds. Internationale Bibliographie zu Geschichte und Theorie der Komparatistik. Stuttgart: A. Hiersemann-Verlag, 1985.

A thorough, multi-national bibliography of writings in comparative literature, arranged by the year of publication of the writings, beginning with the 19th century. Includes introductions and usage guides in German, English, and French. Includes a subject and personal name index, and an author index.

016.809 T373K (Oak Street, Undergrad Ref.)
Thompson, George A., Jr. Key Sources in Comparative and World Literature: an Annotated Guide to Reference Materials. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing, 1982.

Though slightly outdated, this bibliography is useful for graduate students and researchers in comparative literature, or in the literatures written in the languages of Western Europe, including English, who need an introduction to the reference material available. The reference sources in this guide cover comparative, general and European literature; literature in Greek and Latin; French, Italian, and Hispanic literatures; German literature; literature in English; other literatures of Europe, with a focus on Russian literature; and literatures of the Orient. The types of resources listed include bibliographies and reviews of research, handbooks and encyclopedias, dictionaries of critical terms, guides and indexes to themes and plots, histories and other surveys, and concordances and other indexes. Includes an index of names, an index of subjects, and a selective index of titles and institutions.

016.8209 R243 (Oak Street)
Accardi, Bernard, ed. Recent Studies in Myths and Literature, 1970-1990: an Annotated Bibliography. New York: Greenwood, 1991.

016.809 B19B1960 (Ref.)
Baldensperger, Fernand, and Werner P. Friederich. Bibliography of Comparative Literature. New York: Russell & Russell, 1960.

European Bibliography of Slavic and East European Studies (Online Resource)

EBSEES was originally a tool for research on the USSR and the Communist countries of Eastern Europe. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the publishers decided to continue recording West European publications on this part of the world. Thus the journal hopes to provide researchers with the documentation needed to follow developments in a fast-changing geopolitical area which consisted of 9 states in 1989 and now, after the break-up of the USSR, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, comprises 27 independent countries.

Women and World Literature: Bibliography of Anthologies of Women's Literature in Translation (Online Resource)

A page indexing many such anthologies, with annotations.




016.80881 H675H (Ref., Main Stacks, Oak Street)
Hoffman, Herbert H. Hoffman's Index to Poetry: European and Latin American Poetry in Anthologies. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1985.

016.809 M2723 (Ref., Oak Street)
Magill Index to Literature: Cumulative Indexes 1984-2001. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2001.

This index combines the indexes of over thirty multi-volume reference sets published by Salem Press on English-language and foreign-language writers and their works. Preference is given to works in English and those translated into English. The index is divided into two parts for easy reference: authors and titles. Consulting this "index of indexes" will save researchers a great deal of time.


423.1 Ox26 2004 (Ref.)
The Oxford Dictionary of Idioms. Edited by Judith Siefring. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Definitions of British and Australian idioms, as well as U.S. modifications. Arranged alphabetically by most significant word in the phrase with cross-reference.

PN2035 I584 (Music and Performing Arts Ref.)
Hawkins-Dady, Mark and Leanda Shrimpton, eds. International Dictionary of Theatre. Chicago: St. James Press, 1992-96. 3 vol.

803 B75 1999 (Ref., Oak Street)
Brewer, Ebenezer Cobham. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 16th ed. rev. by Adrian Room. New York: HarperResource, 1999. (18th ed. available online to University of Illinois users.)

803 D5612 (Ref.)
Didier, Béatrice, ed. Dictionnaire universel des littératures. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1994. 3 vols.

A French-language reference guide to authors, literary-historical terms, and literary genres.

803 W68s2001 (Ref.)
Wilpert, Gero von. Sachwörterbuch der Literatur. Stuttgart: Kröner, 2001.

Q.803.41 D561 (Ref.)
Demougin, Jacques, ed. Dictionnaire historique, thématique et technique des littératures: littératures française et étrangères, anciennes et modernes. Paris: Larousse, 1985-1986. 2 vol.

808 M825D1988 (Ref.)
Morier, Henri. Dictionnaire de poétique et de rhétorique. 5th ed. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1998.

809 L328 (Ref.)
Goring, Rosemary, ed. Larousse Dictionary of Writers. New York: Larousse, 1994.

Aimed at being the equivalent of a "well-stocked bookshop," this work provides one- to two-paragraph discussions of authors dating from all time periods and writing for a multitude of audiences, including novels and theater, popular fiction, as well as film and television. Authors are listed in alphabetical order. No indices are provided.

809.891724 F549T (Ref., Main Stacks)
Fister, Barbara. Third World Women's Literatures: a Dictionary and Guide to Materials in English. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1995.

840.3 J948d (Main Stacks)
Jullien, Claudia. ed. Dictionnaire de la Bible dans la littérature francaise. Paris: Vuibert, 2003.

A dictionary of biblical references in French literature. Entries are listed by subject and author. There is no index, but the entries are cross-referenced. Subject entries give a brief summary of the subject, then list in chronological order the appearances of this subject in French literature. Author entries refer to the authors' works which have biblical context.

891.103 M896D v.1 (Main Stacks)
Mukherjee, Sujit. A Dictionary of Indian Literature. Hyderabad: Orient Longman, 1998.

This first volume (a second volume is forthcoming) covers the "beginnings" of Indian literature up to 1850. The brief alphabetic entries provide for the general reader a reference for Indian literature. Though the literature included has been written in a variety of languages, the author has chosen to present the entries in English. Names, terms, and titles have been transcribed into English. English translations of literary works are also included.

929.4403 H194D2006 (Main Stacks)
Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of First Names. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford UP, 2006.

Provides etymologies of over 7,000 first names, tracing each to its linguistic root. Covers names from Europe and North America.

Dictionary of Literary Biography (Online Resource)

Contains essays on more than 6,000 authors from all eras and genres. In addition to providing biographical and critical studies written by scholars and academics, DLB presents bibliographic information about each author's writings as well as sources for further reading.


418.0203 R765 (Ref.)
Baker, Mona & Gabriela Saldanha, eds. Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies. 2nd ed. London: Routledge, 2009.

Provides signed entries on issues concerning translation studies, such as equivalence, shifts of translation, and translatability. It also provides articles on the history and regional traditions of translation. Includes biographies of contributors, a bibliography, and an index.

Q.709.003 EN19 (Ref.)
Roberts, Helene E., ed. Encyclopedia of Comparative Iconography: Themes Depicted in Works of Art. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1998. 2 vol.

"This encyclopedia orders iconographic narratives--in particular, biblical, mythological, and literature texts--according to actions performed by the characters, to situations in which they find themselves and to concepts relating to these situations and actions." Thus the entries are based on themes, such as betrayal, sin, and visitation, rather than characters. Each entry includes a list of artworks depicting the theme and a section on further reading. A very useful tool for students and researchers of art and literature.

803 B43R 1996 (Ref., Undergrad Ref.)
Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia. 4th ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1996.

This classic reference work is an essential tool to any student or scholar of world literatures. As the preface to the Fourth Edition notes, as "one of the most entertaining of reference works; the encyclopedia is meant to be read, browsed through and savored." This exhaustive volume surveys the authors, titles, and characters from the literature of the world, and its scope ranges from Gilgamesh to William Gibson.

803 F88M 2008 (Ref.)
Frenzel, Elisabeth. Motive der Weltliteratur: ein Lexikon dichtungsgeschichtlicher Längsschnitte. Stuttgart: A. Kröner, 2008.

803 F88S2005 (Ref.)
Frenzel, Elisabeth. Stoffe der Weltliteratur : ein Lexikon dichtungsgeschichtlicher Längsschnitte. Stuttgart: A. Kröner, 2005.

A lexicon of characters who appear in the literature of different cultures.

Q.803 L591E 1999 (Ref., Main Stacks)
Serafin, Steven R., ed. Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century. 3rd ed. Farmington Hills, MI: St. James Press, 1999.

A survey of international literature of the 20th century in four volumes. Author entries, as well as descriptions of literary movements and regional literature, are listed alphabetically. Includes bibliographies and suggestions for further reading.

820.3 En19 2005 (Ref.)
Benson, Eugene, and L.W. Conolly, eds. Encyclopedia of Post-Colonial Literatures in English. 2nd ed. London and New York: Routledge, 2005.

A three-volume, updated edition of the 1994 two-volume set treating the English-language "literatures of such diverse countries as Canada, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and New Zealand." Includes about 1,800 entries on countries and regions, genres, literary movements, major subjects, and critical biographies of writers. Arranged alphabetically with a detailed list of contents, cross references in boldface type, and an index of authors, titles, countries, genres, and literary movements at the end of Volume 3. (Also available online to University of Illinois users.)

803 EN18 1993 (Ref., Undergrad Ref.)
Preminger, Alex and T.V.F. Brogan, eds. The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1993.

809.02EN19 (Ref., Undergrad, Oak Street)
Lambdin, Robert Thomas and Laura Cooner Lambdin, eds. Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000.

The entries in this encyclopedia are of two kinds: long essays that concern "major authors, entire genres, or the literature of a particular country" and short essays that describe a specific term, work or character. The emphasis is on English literature of the later Middle Ages, though the entries cover the span of time from c. 500 A.D. to 1500 A.D. The entries are arranged alphabetically, make reference to other entries, and include a select bibliography. (Also available online to University of Illinois users.)

809.89603 EN19 (Main Stacks, Oak Street, Africana Ref., Undergrad Ref.)
Gikandi, Simon, ed. Encyclopedia of African Literature. London: Routledge, 2003.

With almost 700 entries, this encyclopedia is one of the most comprehensive and up-to-date reference works on African literature. It focuses on established writers from the earliest times to the present, with the majority being from the twentieth century, the period of greatest literary production in Africa. Entries are organized alphabetically and contain biographical information and literary discussion as well as select bibliography. All languages are represented. The book is aimed at both students and researchers.

Q.809.933538 En194 v.1 & 2 (Ref.)
Brulotte, Gaëton & John Phillips, eds. Encyclopedia of Erotic Literature. New York, NY: Routledge, 2006.

"A two-volume work that contains some 540 entries on erotic literature on an international scale. The Encyclopedia has an unprecedented scope, the first scholarly reference resource to bring the field together in all its fascinating variety. The entries examine the history of the literature in different countries and languages from classical antiquity to the present day, individual writers from around the world (not all of them necessarily known as specialist writers of erotic literature), significant works, genres and critical approaches, and general themes pertinent to erotic literature (nudity, prostitution, etc.).The definition of erotic literature is broad, encompassing all the material recognized in the study of the field: not just fiction in all genres (novels, poetry, short stories, drama) but also essays, autobiographies, treatises, and sex manuals from different cultures. This Encyclopedia deals with sexually explicit texts characterized by sexual representations and suggestions. All types of sexuality are included." (from Books In Print)

809.93356 EN192 (Ref., Main Stacks)
Gossin, Pamela, ed. Encyclopedia of Literature and Science. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002.

This single-volume encyclopedia is intended to introduce readers, particularly undergraduates, to the emergent field of interdisciplinary literature and science studies. The work contains over 650 entries that vary in length from 50 to 3,500 words.

803 K577 1988 (Ref.)
Jens, Walter, ed. Kindlers neues Literatur Lexikon. Munich: Kindler, 1988. 22 vols.

The first 17 volumes are organized alphabetically by author name, volumes 18 and 19 cover anonymous works, and volume 20 includes essays on national literatures as well as an index. Entries generally consist of the birth and death dates of the author, and a bibliography of the their works, followed by discussions of their major works, which are listed alphabetically by title. In some instances, entries include short essays discussing the general nature of the author's work (e.g. in the case of poets). Volumes 21 and 22 are supplements which focus on authors of the 1980s and 1990s.

879 N532L (Main Stacks)
Nickel, Rainer. Lexikon der antiken Literatur. Düsseldorf: Artemis & Winkler, 1999

Contains descriptions of over 2,300 Greek and Latin works of philosophy, history and literature. Entries are arranged by title and include discussions of plot, genre, author, textual source, textual variations, cultural context, manuscript tradition, and bibliography for further reading.

892.703 EN19 (Africana Ref.)
Meisami, Julie Scott and Paul Starkey, eds. Encyclopedia of Arabic Literature. London: Routledge, 1998.

A two-volume set covering the most important authors, works, genres, key terms, and issues in the Arabic literary tradition--classical, transitional and modern. Arranged alphabetically, entries contain a select list of secondary sources for further reading, but do not include bibliographies. Volume 2 contains a glossary, chronological tables, and an index.

889.09 M554e (Ref.)
Merry, Bruce. Encyclopedia of Modern Greek Literature. Westport, Conn.,: Greenwood, 2004.

This item provides more than 800 entries organized in alphabetical order, and covering significant authors, genres, texts, themes, and topics in Greek literature from the Byzantine period to the early 21st century. Includes a chronology of modern Greek literature, bibliographical references, and a subject index.


Literary History

Q.016.8 F844 (Main Stacks, Oak Street)
Francis bulletin signalétique. 523, Histoire et sciences de la littérature. Nancy, France: Institut de l'information scientifique et technique, 1967-.

PT167 .H57 2000

Catling, Jo, ed. A History of Women's Writing in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000.

This collection of essays by experts provides an overview on women writers of German-speaking countries from the Middle ages to the present. Intended for students and scholars of German literature, this work is also useful for English-speaking readers who are interested in women's writing and gender studies. Each contributor has provided "an extensive--though necessarily select--bibliography of secondary and background works, and suggestions for further reading." It includes a bibliography of women writers and their works, as well as bibliographies listed by subject and chapter, and an index.

809.9145 C737 (Ref.)
Ferber, Michael, ed. A Companion to European Romanticism. Malden, MA ; Oxford : Blackwell Pub., 2005. 586 pp.

Over 30 essays on the Romantic movement in Europe, which discuss the national literatures of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia and Spain, as well as common themes and subjects (such as Orientalism, capitalism, and nature).

PN751 .R76 2006
O'Neill, Michael and Mark Sandy, eds. Romanticism: Critical Concepts in Literary and Cultural Studies. London ; New York : Routledge, 2006. 4 volumes

This significant collection gathers key critical discussions that explore the complex and many-sided nature of the 'Romantic'. A new introduction by the editors, a full index and chronological table of contents guide the reader through the wealth of material dedicated to a term that is both extremely unstable and remarkably persistent. (from Books in Print)


Guides, Handbooks, and Yearbooks

398.203 D561:E (Ref.)
Brunel, Pierre, ed. Companion to Literary Myths, Heroes, and Archetypes. London: Routledge, 1992.

A guide consisting of 125 signed articles on mythological themes or figures (e.g. Oedipus, Faust, Virile Women) which appear in and have influenced literature. The articles are arranged in alphabetical order, and a bibliography and index of names and terms are included. Main Stacks Reference also houses an Italian translation of this work.

PN3437 .O94 2000 (also available in Main Stacks and at Oak Street under 398.21091812 Ox24)
Zipes, Jack, ed. The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000.

Short encyclopedic entries of authors, titles, and themes of the genre. Includes bibliography.

400 Y32 (Ref.)
The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies. London: Modern Humanities Research Association, 1929-.

The previous 3 years' volumes are shelved in the Ref. collection in Room 200; earlier editions are shelved in the Main Stacks.

800 Y32 (Lit. Lang. Periodicals)
Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1952-.

The most recent volumes are shelved with Literatures & Languages Library periodicals; earlier editions are shelved in the Main Stacks.

802 F948H 1997 (Ref.)
Frye, Northrop. The Harper Handbook to Literature. 2nd ed. New York: Longman, 1997.

A useful source for brief, reliable, and clear definitions of terms encountered in literature and literary criticism. Entries are arranged alphabetically and include cross-references and bibliographies as appropriate.

PN44.5 .M86 2003 (also 803 M943b 2003 [Ref.])
Murfin, Ross and Ray, Supryia M. The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms. 2nd ed. Boston: Bedford/St.Martin's, 2003.

Cross-referenced and indexed, this glossary of critical and literary terms defines English terms as well as terms from other languages such as jouissance. To illustrate each entry, common written references as well as occasional film and visual references are given. When available, a brief history of the origin of the term is also offered.

803 D13T (Main Stacks)
Daemmrich, Horst S., and Ingrid Daemmrich. Themen und Motive in der Literatur: ein Handbuch. Tübingen: Francke, 1987.

803 EL52G (Ref.)
Elkhadem, Saad. The York Companion to Themes and Motifs of World Literature: Mythology, History, and Folklore. Fredericton, N.B.: York Press, 1981.


809 C738 (Main Stacks)

Comparative Criticism: a Yearbook. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1979-.


Neues Handbuch der Literaturwissenschaft. Wiesbaden: Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft Athenaion, 1978-.

1. Altorientalische Literaturen. ed. Wolfgang Röllig. 809 N394 v.1 (Main Stacks)
2. Griechische Literatur. ed. Ernst Vogt. 809 N394 v.2 (Main Stacks)
3. Römische Literatur. ed. Manfred Fuhrmann. 809 N394 v.3 (Main Stacks)
4. Spätantike: mit einem Panorama der Byzantinischen Literatur. ed. Ludowijk J. Engels and Heinz Hofmann. 809 N394 v.4 (Main Stacks)
5. Orientalisches Mittelalter. ed. Wolfhart Heinrichs. 809 N394 v.5 (Main Stacks)
6. Europäische Frühmittelalter. ed. Klaus von See. 809 N394 v.6 (Main Stacks)
7. Europäische Hochmittelalter. ed. Henning Krauss. 809 N394 v.7 (Main Stacks)
8. Europäische Spätmittelalter. ed. Willi Erzgräber. 809 N394 v.8 (Main Stacks)
9./10. Renaissance und Barock. ed. August Buck. 809 N394 v.9 (Main Stacks)
11./12./13. Europäische Aufklärung. ed. Walter Hinck. 809 N394 v.11 (Main Stacks)
14./15./16. Europäische Romantik. ed. Klaus Heitmann. 809 N394 v.14 (Main Stacks)
17. Europäische Realismus. ed. Reinhard Lauer. 809 N394 v.17 (Main Stacks)
18./19. Jahrhundertende, Jahrhundertwende. ed. Helmut Kreuzer. 809 N394 v.18 (Main Stacks)
20. Zwischen den Weltkriegen. ed. Thomas Koebner. 809 N394 v.20 (Main Stacks)
21./22. Literatur nach 1945. ed. Jost Hermand. 809 N394 v.21 (Main Stacks)
23. Ostasiatische Literaturen. ed. Günther Debon. 809 N394 v.23 (Main Stacks)

809.8895 M394 (Oak Street)
Miller, Barbara Stoler, ed. Masterworks of Asian Literature in Comparative Perspective: a Guide for Teaching. New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1994.

This guide to foundational Asian texts is designed to assist teachers introducing Asian literature into their curricula. The resource includes two table of contents, organized by country and by genre, and the text offers a sampling of literature from India, China, and Japan.

809.8928703 B623 (Oak Street)
Buck, Claire, ed. The Bloomsbury Guide to Women's Literature. New York: Prentice Hall General Reference, 1992.

820.9 OX3 (Ref., Oak Street)
France, Peter, ed. The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000.

This guide attempts to address the theoretical and methodological issues involved in translation, while presenting critical descriptions of the translation into English of writing from all over the world. Includes an index and list of references.

Q.891.703 R259 (Ref., Slavic Ref., Undergrad Ref., Oak Street)
Cornwell, Neil, ed. Reference Guide to Russian Literature. London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1998.

A comprehensive guide to over 270 Russian authors, from the Kievan period to the post-communist era. Many author entries contain essays on significant works. Includes alphabetical lists of authors and their works, a chronological list of writers and a chronology of significant dates in Russian history and literature, a general reading list, introductory essays to literary periods and genres, and a title index.


Biographical Resources

016.809 C73A 1993 (Ref., Oak Street)
Combs, Richard E., and Nancy R. Owen. Authors: Critical and Biographical References. 2nd ed. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1993.

Provides access to brief discussions of authors who would not generally be indexed in online catalogs or article databases, specifically to sections of monographs with biographies and criticism of multiple authors.

809 M919 (Main Stacks)
Amoia, Alba, and Bettina L. Knapp, eds. Multicultural Writers from Antiquity to 1945: a Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002.

From the preface: "This reference volume attempts to summarize the life and work of a sampling from the host of writers who have contributed through the ages to the understanding and, in many cases, the enrichment of cultures other than their own." For each author included in this volume, there are two to four pages describing his or her Biography, Major Multicultural Themes, Survey of Criticism, and Selective Bibliography.

Q.809.04 C7672 (Ref., Undergrad Ref.)
Chevalier, Tracy, ed. Contemporary World Writers. 2nd ed. Detroit: St. James Press, 1993.

Focuses on living authors whose works have been, at least in part, translated into English. A total of 340 authors are included, representing 60 nationalities and different literary styles. Each entry includes a paragraph of biographical data followed by a bibliography of works by the author and of criticism in English about the author's work. Signed essays discussing the author serve as the focal point of each entry. In some instances the authors themselves have provided further commentary on their work as well. The work includes an index of authors by nationality and an index of titles.

809.1 W62 2002 (Ref.)
Willhardt, Mark, and Alan Michael Parker, eds. Who's Who in Twentieth-Century World Poetry. London: Routledge, 2002.

This resource is "useful for poets, scholars, and general readers alike," covering both familiar and lesser known poets. The entries, which offer biographical information, are arranged alphabetically by author.

895.6309 F151j (Oak Street)
Fairbanks, Carol. Japanese Women Fiction Writers: Their Culture and Society 1890s to 1990s: English Language Sources. Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press, 2002.

This book explores the work of about 100 Japan women and the context in which they worked. Entries included annotations authors' writings, a brief bibliography, citations of English criticism and suggested references. The book also includes a timeline, a glossary with suggested reading lists, cross references and an index.

896.016 P845 (Africana Ref., Main Stacks)
Parekh, Pushpa Naidu, and Siga Fatima Jagne, eds. Postcolonial African Writers: a Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1998.

This book brings together over 50 African writers whose lives and literary works have been shaped by the post-colonial experience. The authors come from different parts of Africa and, with a few exceptions, write either in English or French. A particular strength of the book is the inclusion of a large number of women writers. Included are brief biographies of the authors, summaries of their work and major themes, critical reception of their writing, and bibliographies of primary and secondary material.

928 C767 (Main Stacks)

Contemporary Authors. Detroit: Gale Cengage Learning, 1968-2002.

A bio-bibliographical guide to current writers in fiction, general nonfiction, poetry, journalism, drama, motion pictures, television, and other fields. Provides complete biographical and bibliographical references for more than 90,000 authors in the U.S. and around the world.

Dictionary of Literary Biography (Online Resource)

Documents the lives and careers of authors from all eras and genres. As DLB is augmented several times over the course of a year, it will grow to include essays on more than 6,000 authors. In addition to providing biographical and critical studies written by scholars and academics, DLB presents bibliographic information about each author's writings as well as sources for further reading. This source is also available in print in the reference section of the English Library (Q.928.1 D561).



Comparative Literature and Culture Web Journal (Online Resource)

This free online journal published by Purdue University includes archives of Volumes 1 through 7 (1999 through 2005), as well as a "library" of dozens of resources for research in comparative literature (bibliographies, directories, and websites).

Bryn Mawr Review of Comparative Literature (Online Resource)

Online access to all volumes and issues of this review, which began publication in the summer of 1999.

American Minority Writers

African American Resources

See the extensive resources offered by the African American Research Center.

The unit is responsible for collection development, reference, and bibliographic services on the African American experience and for the African experience outside of the continent of Africa.

African American Review

This journal is the official publication of the Division on Black American Literature and Culture of the Modern Language Association. The quarterly "promotes a lively exchange among writers and scholars in the arts, humanities, and social sciences who hold diverse perspectives on African American literature and culture." Currently, the journal offers essays on African American literature, theatre, film, the visual arts, and culture generally; interviews; poetry; fiction; and book reviews.


The premier African Diaspora literary journal, which publishes original works by, and critical studies of, black writers worldwide. The journal offers a rich mixture of fiction, poetry, plays, critical essays, cultural studies, interviews, and visual art. Frequent annotated bibliographies, special thematic issues, and original art and photography are some of the features of this highly acclaimed international showcase of arts and letters.

Q.013 H83D (Ref.)
Howard University Library. Dictionary Catalog of the Arthur B. Spingarn Collection of Negro Authors. Boston: Hall, 1970. 2 vols.

810.9 C748 (Ref., Oak Street)
Andrews, William L., Francis Smith Foster, and Trudier Harris, eds. The Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2001.

This literary companion to African American literature includes not only poets, novelists, and dramatists, but also "slave narrators, essayists, autobiographers, historians, journalists and orators." Arranged alphabetically, the entries feature authors, titles of works, and characters. The resource also provides brief biographies of influential figures in the African American community. The book is both a useful reference tool and an enjoyable work to read.

016.8109 P143S 1985 (Ref., African-American Research Center Ref., Oak Street)
Page, James A., and Jae Min Roh, eds. Selected Black American, African, and Caribbean Authors: a Bio-bibliography. Littleton, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1985.

Native American Writers

American Indian Quarterly

The complexity and excitement of the burgeoning field of Native American studies are captured by the American Indian Quarterly, a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal of the anthropology, history, literatures, religions, and arts of Native Americans. Wide-ranging in its coverage of issues and topics, AIQ is devoted to charting and inciting debate about the latest developments in method and theory. It publishes original articles, shorter contributions, review articles, commentaries, short poems, and book reviews.

Journal of American Ethnic History

The Journal of American Ethnic History addresses various aspects of American immigration and ethnic history, including background of emigration, ethnic and racial groups, Native Americans, immigration policies, and the processes of acculturation. The official journal of the Immigration History Society.

Wicazo Sa Review: Journal of Native American Studies

The Wicazo Sa Review provides inquiries into the American Indian past and its relationship to the vital present. Its aim is to become an interdisciplinary instrument to assist indigenous peoples of the Americas in taking possession of their own intellectual and creative pursuits. Each issue contains articles, essays, interviews, reviews, literary criticism, and scholarly research pertinent to Native American Studies and related fields.

810.9 W617N (Ref.)
Whitson, Kathy J. Native American Literatures: an Encyclopedia of Works, Characters, Authors, and Themes. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1999.

Asian American Resources

Asian American Drama

This is a landmark collection in a rapidly developing area of literature. It documents the Asian American experience, from the beginnings of Asian American drama to contemporary playwrights, together with associated material such as playbills. By the end of 2003, Asian American Drama will provide a comprehensive online full-text collection of more than 250 plays by Asian Americans of various ethnicities, including Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Vietnamese as well as those with Hawaiian, Indian, Thai, Korean, Persian, and Malaysian ancestry. It includes plays from the end of the 19th Century to the present day. Asian American Drama also contains related biographical, production, and theatrical information.

Hispanic American Resources

See our Spanish Studies Web Pages

See the Latino/a Studies Website

See the extensive resources offered by the Latin American and Caribbean Library.

The Latin American and Caribbean Library Collection includes materials about the entire Latin American and Caribbean region and also about Hispanic American communities in the United States. Collection development concentrates on materials largely in the social sciences and humanities, covering such disciplines as history, anthropology, political science, sociology, literature, linguistics and economics.

Folk Tales

Please see our website dedicated to folk and fairy tales of the world for resources.