The undergraduate program in Comparative Literature prepares students to play an active and creative role in today’s globalized world by exploring literature and culture across languages and national borders. Working in more than one language, students investigate the inter-connections among literatures, cultures, and media to explore the human experience in a comparative and interdisciplinary context. The flexible nature of the concentration allows students to develop a program of study both within and beyond the Humanities based on their particular languages and interests.
Harvard’s Department of Comparative Literature is one of the most dynamic and diverse in the country. With a faculty that has included such scholars as Irving Babbitt, Albert Lord, Harry Levin, Claudio Guillén, and Barbara Johnson, the department has played a crucial role in shaping what remains a polymorphous discipline. Critical theory, literary interpretation, and comparative philology provide the basis for work on translation, the history of ideas, gender, drama, oral poetics, multilingualism, postcolonialism, the environmental and medical humanities, globalization, and world literature.