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RobFarley-CWL-AlumPhotoRob Farley, doctoral student in Comparative Literature at UCLA

  • Where has your degree in Comparative Literature/Classics led?

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 [2014], 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.

    Department of Comparative World Literature and Classics

    1250 Bellflower Blvd., MHB 515

    Long Beach, CA 90840

    (562) 985-4239 (phone)

    (562) 985-4863 (fax)