The brilliant history of the Literature Section has been marked by the presence of a few academicians who are personalities in the field of literature, to name a few National Laureate Shahnon Ahmad, Profesor Ali Ahmad, short story writer Fatimah Busu, National Laureate Muhammad Haji Salleh and Profesor Md. Salleh Yaapar. Until now the Literature Section has maintained its discipline of study which is based on Comparative Literature in the form of the concentric sphere that began with the study of the Malay Archipelago, moving out to Asian literature, Europe up to North America, Latin America and Africa. This fact assures that the graduates of the Literature Section, USM have comparative skills and a universal worldview.
Currently, the Literature Section boasts of three Professors, three Associate Professors and two lecturers. All these academicians are personalities that are always at the forefront of the nation’s literary scene and are also internationally known. The expertise of the teaching staff encompasses Malay traditional and modern literature, creative writing, English literature and also in the filed of theory and criticism. The academic strength of the teaching staff is proven through the research that is carried out, published books and journal articles, supervision and recognition received from many parties.
In hand with Universiti Sains Malaysia’s new mission towards the sustainability of education for now and the future, the Literature Department carried out a reassessment process of the courses being offered and thus provided a new plan of offering courses more relevant to current needs. Thus the courses offered in the field of Literature now are courses that are based on literary knowledge that spans across cultural studies and media. The principles of Comparative Literature that encompasses cross disciplinary studies will open the scope of literature and align it with other disciplines such as film, the book industry, new media and much more. It is expected that the field of Comparative Literature that crosses disciplines of culture and media will become a niche area of the Literature Section in future.