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Comparative Literature: Reference Works

Research Guide for Comparative Literature

Using Reference Works

Reference works are authoritative works that you can consult for specialized information to help get you started on a research topic.  There are many types of reference work, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies, atlases, thesauri, directories, almanacs, style manuals and handbooks. 

Subject Headings

Only selected dictionaries, encyclopedias and bibliographies are presented here. To find other reference works in the Libraries' collections, try a subject search using one of the following headings. Use QuickSearch--Advanced to search by subject. Click on the dropdown menu to change your search parameter to Subject.

  • Comparative literature -- Bibliography.

  • Caribbean literature -- Encyclopedias. 

  • Comparative literature -- Themes, motives -- Dictionaries

  • Decolonization in literature -- Encyclopedias. 

  • History of Medicine -- Encyclopedias. 

  • Religion and culture -- Dictionaries. 

Subject Searching

There are many other ways to refine your search. Ask for help using email or chat!

Selected Electronic Reference Works

Bloomsbury Cultural History
Surveys common subjects throughout human history. Each Cultural History is divided into volumes by time period: Antiquity, The Middle Ages, Early Modern Age, The Age of Enlightenment, The Age of Empire, and The Modern Age.

Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American biography
Provides a comprehensive overview of the lives of historically significant Caribbeans and Afro-Latin Americans.

Encyclopedia of Literature
Part of Gale's Literature Resource Center, this site offers a searchable encyclopedia of authors; works; literary landmarks; literary and critical terms; mythological and folkloric figures; fictional characters; literary movements; prizes; etc. Click on the "Dictionaries" link to limit your search to the encyclopedia. (NetID Restricted)

Feminism in Literature: A Gale Critical Companion
"This six-volume set explores the history of women and feminism throughout literature, from classical antiquity to modern times. Topics covered include misogyny and women's social roles in ancient civilizations, 16th-century women's devotional literature, 17th- and 18th-century women's captivity narratives, the women's suffrage movement in 19th-century America, women writers of the Lost Generation," lesbian literature, and much more." (NetID Restricted)

New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics
Part of the Literature Online database, the Encyclopedia is a comprehensive reference work dealing with all aspects of its subject: history, types, movements, prosody, and critical terminology. (NetID Restricted)

Reference Guide to World Literature
"Contains biographical and critical essays on authors from throughout the world, as well as essays covering specific work or works of an author, with criticism and analysis of those works." Electronic version of the 2 volume 3rd edition of the print resource. (NetID Restricted)

SFE: The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
This third edition of the Encyclopedia is freely accessible and aims "to provide a comprehensive, scholarly, and critical guide to science fiction in all its forms." (Open Access)

General Reference

Gale Virtual Reference Library (NetID Restricted)

Literature Resource Center (NetID Restricted)

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (NetID Restricted)

Sage eReference Encyclopedias (NetID Restricted)

World Biographical Index (NetID Restricted)

Selected Print Reference for Comparative Literature

Balderston, Daniel and Mike Gonzalez, eds. Encyclopedia of Latin American and Caribbean literature, 1900-2003. London; New York: Routledge, 2004. Alexander Reference PQ7081.A1E558 2004

Figeredu, D.H., ed. Encyclopedia of Caribbean Literature. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2006. 2 vols. PN849.C3E53 2006

Iazzolino, Mario. Profili Di Letteratura Comparata: Questioni Letterarie E Didattiche. Soveria Mannelli (Catanzaro): Rubbettino, 1998. Alexander Stacks PN515.I29 1998

Levinson, David, and Melvin Ember. Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1996. In 4 vols. GN307.E52 1996

The Princeton Sourcebook in Comparative Literature: From the European Enlightenment to the Global Present. Translation/transnation. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009. Alexander Stacks PN865.P74 2009

Thompson, George. Key Sources in Comparative and World Literature: An Annotated Guide to Reference Materials. New York: Ungar, 1982. Alexander Stacks PN523.T47 1982

→ Bibliography of bibliographies arranged by region, e.g. Italian literature, Asian literatures.

Tötösy de Zepetnek, Steven. Comparative Literature: Theory, Method, Application. Text ; 18. Amsterdam ; Atlanta, GA: Rodopi, 1998. Alexander Stacks PN865.T68 1998

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