Nicole Sappingfield, senior captain on the Michigan softball team, was interviewed by M-Magazine. In the article, she talks about Comparative Literature, why she became interested in the field, and how it will help her in the future.
NICOLE SAPPINGFIELD is a senior captain on the Michigan softball team. On the field she is a two-time All Big Ten performer (first team as a freshman and second team as a sophomore) and is a career .337 hitter. Sappingfield started 63-of-64 games in 2013 and is a three-year starter in the outfield. Off the field, she is studying for the LSAT and plans to go to law school.
Explain your major - what is comparative literature?
Comparative literature is kind of like an English literature degree except it focuses on two different languages. I chose English and Spanish, and I take upper level literature classes in each language. Comparative literature is really about learning cultures and history through literature and comparing the languages to see where they intertwine.
All the comp lit classes are in English and we read a very different collection of literature. I took a "Travels to Greece" class, which was really interesting. We read personal editorials, poetry, short stories and then you see the different interpretations of Greece and the different theories about Greece. I also took a "World of Detectives" class - which was awesome - and we read different literature based on the prototypical detective story7. It was interesting to see how different authors use different cultural methods to write detective literature. It was a great way to explore how literature works within society and how we use it as a method of expression.
What do you want to do with your degree after Michigan?
Comparative literature is a really broad major, so you can use it for a lot of things. People use it to go into translation, book editing, and law, to name a few. I'm personally hoping to use it to go into law. And within the major you build a focus, so I'm focused on human rights and human rights literature. So hopefully I'll build a law career around human rights or international law. Law has always been the goal. I lucked into comparative literature.
What sparked your interest in comparative literature?
I took one class to fill out my schedule as a freshman, and I ended up in a class with Catherine Brown - the "World of Detectives" class. I loved it, and I thought that this was something I could really get into because it is different and unique. I liked how you could design your area of interest. I picked a focus and my languages and then I could pick around to the classes I wanted.