The trick is to initiate a conversation about your favorite book, or a piece of poetry that you hold close to your heart, or even just some instrumental that makes your bones ache; you’ll attract the attention of a Comparative Humanities student right away. We’re hidden among the pretense of your average student, mingling with you over a cup of coffee, or Rahim Bhai’s fries at the Dhaba, but what differentiates us from other majors is our ability to make everything and anything into a soulful academia aesthetic.
CH kids can talk to you about why a character in the book you’re reading is deeply philosophical and make you appreciate all the layers they have in seconds if given the chance. They do this with their ability to quite literally, devour books. In dreams of listening to Sufi kalams or Beethoven’s compositions all day, while we read research papers; you’ll find our inner CH.
But until that becomes a reality, you’ll find us talking about the affective experiences in our everyday consumption of readings for class and outside of it. Every now and then, before walking into a classroom, we’ll discuss how each of us felt about the readings. We’ll unpack how the material made us think, how beautifully it was written, how powerful the ideas were, and with what other things we could make a connection to. A good amount of time after class will be spent discussing the things from class. In CH, the conversation does not stop as soon as you step out of the room. Or frankly speaking, it simply just never stops. The dialogue flows so naturally that we often find ourselves completely immersed in conversation about the author or the ideas. Sometimes even days ahead of it.
We ponder over it until it becomes a part of us. Each of us carries a passion for academia. To us, studying is not just restricted to classrooms and books but it is a hunt for knowledge from anywhere and everywhere. CH students end up embodying what we learn. We become the philosophy we study or find ourselves practicing the theories we often discuss. We become the characters we speak of, or the anti of it. In our everyday lives, we are just one text away from growing, from becoming, from finding a part of us that we did not even know existed.
You’ll often find us hanging out together in groups just talking about changing the world, not realizing that we’re also changing ourselves bit by bit. Always for the better though. Every time we sit in a circle reading each other’s poetry to make suggestions, or give each other a book we think the other might enjoy, or just sit with the other letting them talk about a figure they like or a philosophy they connect with; we change. We become more human. We become all that we hope the world will, too.
This blog was written by Fareha Siddiqui, a Comparative Humanities student from the Class of 2023.