Rob Farley, doctoral student in Comparative Literature at UCLA
On a personal level, my B.A. in Comparative World Literature has opened me up to the world in ways only literature can: to ways of life and being that I never knew existed. That opening changed, and continues to change, the way I think about, well, everything – particularly myself and my place in the world. Studying literature led me traveling, and all the personal growth and more importantly, awareness, that comes with it. I studied in England for a semester during my undergraduate program, and that allowed me to explore parts of Europe. Currently , as a graduate student and a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow, I’m studying Arabic literature and language in Amman, Jordan.
- What is your present occupation?
I am a third-year Ph.D. student at UCLA’s Department of Comparative Literature, majoring in Arabic literature and minoring in gender studies. I am at the stage at the tail-end of coursework and preparing for comprehensive exams.
- What are your career/educational goals?
I want to pay forward the wonderful growth opportunity that I have had, which came at the hands of my professors; so I would like to become a professor to do the same for future students, as well as contribute to the place of Arabic literature in the American academy. I’ve also recently discovered a love for translation!
- How has the study of Comparative Literature/Classics informed your life, career, and the major decisions you’ve made?
It has changed my life on deeper levels than I ever thought choosing a college major would. Aside from the way it changed how I read and appreciate literature, it has influenced everything from the friends I’ve made and the communities to which I belong, to the way I read the news and even, right now, the place I live.
- What advice would you give for current Comparative Literature students
Study languages. They open doors you never thought possible, in and outside of the academy.