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Tutt Library Research Guides


CO100: Introduction to Comparative Literature (FYE): Finding Context

Block 5 and 6 FYE with Corinne Scheiner.

Biographical Context

Some questions to ask:

  • When and where did your author live?
  • What was his or her social status or career (if they had one besides "author)?
  • What formative events might influence his or her writing?

Historical Context

Some questions:

  • What large outside forces influenced your author?
  • What historical events or contemporary events or "common knowledge" forms part of the literary work you are considering?

Searching TIGER for subject "[country name] history" is a good way to get started--typically you will see how the cataglog breaks down different eras of history for that country.

If you have more specific events you want to reasearch, try those events as keywords in the TIGER catalog, or in Historical Abstracts (below).

Literary Context

Some questions:

  • What language did your author write in?
  • Who was your author writing for? What did they consider their audience to be?
  • How was their work received originally?
  • When was the edition you are reading translated and published? How does that affect its reception?

Humanities Librarian

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Steve Lawson
1021 N. Cascade Ave.
Colorado Springs CO 80903
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