Comparative literature is theoretically and methodically grounded literary research. Comparative literature focuses on the philosophical principles, theories and methods of literature, as well as on its research and criticism. No divisions based on history, region, language or genre are made on the literature examined. Traditionally, the main focus in comparative literature has been the literature of the large Western language groups.
The discipline has studied several of the most significant authors of the 20th century both in Europe and the United States. In addition to individual authors, subjects examined have included problematics of literary genres, boundaries between fictional and non-fictional texts, problematics of intertextuality, as well as questions of modernism and postmodernism. Research areas are diverse, including deconstruction, feminist criticism, psychoanalytic theory and semiotic theories of text. Ample attention has been given also to the traditional study of history, with particular focus on classic European literature and satire in the literature of the Renaissance.