Fall Term

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Course Information

Common Courses

English 10. Literature Today

Instructors: Kelly Rich & Teju Cole
Tuesday & Thursday, 1:30-2:45pm | Location: TBA
Course website

All literature was contemporary at some point, but the literature that is contemporary now provides special opportunities for enjoying, questioning, and understanding the world. Literature Today focuses on works written since 2000—since most of you were born. It explores how writers from around the world speak to and from their personal and cultural situations, addressing current problems of economic inequality, technological change, structural prejudice, and divisive politics. We will encounter a range of genres, media, and histories to study contemporary literature as a living, evolving system. The course uniquely blends literary study and creative writing—students will analyze literature and make literature. The conviction that these practices are complementary will inform our approach to readings and course assignments.

Note: English 10 is one of the required Common Courses for the English concentrators in the Classes of 2023, 2024, and 2025. The course is designed as a “gateway” course for first and second year students, but it is open to all undergraduates.

English 20. Literary Forms

Instructor: Nicholas Watson
Tuesday & Thursday, 12:00-1:15pm | Location: TBA
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 27 students

This foundational course for English concentrators examines literary form and genre. We explore some of the many kinds of literature as they have changed over time, along with the shapes and forms that writers create, critics describe, and readers learn to recognize. The body of the course looks to the great literary types, or modes, such as epic, tragedy, and lyric, as well as to the workings of literary style in moments of historical change, producing the transformation, recycling, and sometimes the mocking of past forms. While each version of English 20 includes a different array of genres and texts from multiple periods, those texts will always include five major works from across literary history: Beowulf (epic), King Lear (tragedy), Persuasion (comic novel), The Souls of Black Folk (essays; expository prose), and Elizabeth Bishop’s poems (lyric). The course integrates creative writing with critical attention: assignments will take creative as well as expository and analytical forms.

Note: English 20 is one of the required Common Courses for English concentrators and Secondaries in the Classes of 2023, 2024, and 2025 and is a limited enrollment course which will prioritize sophomores and first-years; juniors and seniors who want to take it as an elective will be considered for any remaining spots. Enrollment priority exceptions may be made for people changing concentrations or presenting other notable reasons.

English 97. Sophomore Tutorial: Literary Methods

Tutorial Section 1 Instructor: Daniel Donoghue
Monday, 3:00-5:45pm | Location: TBA
Course Website

Tutorial Section 2 Instructor: Derek Miller
Wednesday, 12-2:45pm | Location: TBA
Course Website

Enrollment: Each section limited to 15 students

This course, taught in small groups and required for concentrators, introduces theories, interpretive frameworks, and central questions about literature and literary media. What do we do when we read? What is an author? What do we mean by “literature” itself? How might we compare and evaluate interpretations? How do the historical, social, cultural, and legal frameworks around a text shape its meanings and its effects? Combining major critical and theoretical writings with primary works, the course investigates how literary production and interpretation are informed by philosophical and aesthetic traditions, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, national and post-colonial identities, and the material forms in which literature circulates, from parchment books to the internet. Students will also practice fundamental literary research methods through close engagement with Harvard libraries.

Note: English 97 is one of the required Common Courses for English concentrators in the Classes of 2023, 2024, and 2025 and is open to sophomores and first-years planning to concentrate in English. Enrollment priority exceptions may be made for people changing concentrations or presenting other notable reasons.

Lecture Courses

English 102e. Introduction to Old English: Landscape, Seascape, and Early Ecologies

Instructor: Daniel Donoghue
Tuesday & Thursday, 10:30-11:45am | Location: TBA
Course Website

How did people inhabit and view their physical environment in early medieval England? Was it life-sustaining or threatening? What was the balance between managing resources and exploiting them? How did poets and farmers, kings and saints invoke images of land and sea as meaningful symbols? The Old English literature on such questions, which is diverse and engaging, will form the basis of our in-class translations. Other assigned readings will survey environmental criticism and allow us to compare today’s perceptions with those from a distant past.

This course combines language study with the investigation of a critical theme. The narratives set for translation provide a thematic coherence as we dig into the language of Old English, which is the vernacular used in England from the sixth century until about 1100. Although some of its features remain recognizable today, Old English needs to be learned as a foreign language with its own spelling, pronunciation, syntax, and so on. The term begins with an emphasis on grammar, which will be covered in graduated steps until midterm, after which the readings and translation will take up more of our class time.

The promise of this course: you will gain the skills to translate any text in Old English; you will learn a great deal about contemporary English including weird facts your inner word-geek will love; you will expand your knowledge of environmental criticism as we examine its deep history.

Note: Fulfills the College language requirement and the English Department's Foreign Literature requirement (c/o '22) if its continuation, English 103, is also completed.... Read more about English 102e. Introduction to Old English: Landscape, Seascape, and Early Ecologies

English 119ty. English Literature: The First 1000 Years

Instructor: Alan Niles
Monday & Wednesday, 12:00-1:15pm
Course Website

This course is an introduction to the different voices, cultures, and traditions that made the first 1000 years of English literature, from Beowulf to Aphra Behn. We will study major and influential writings alongside lesser-known interlocutors—works by Marie de France, Geoffrey Chaucer, Margery Kempe, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, Mary Sidney, John Milton, Alexander Pope, and more. We will engage with the (often contested) social, political, and religious contexts that gave rise to creative work. We will pay particular attention to the historical transformations of romance, epic, drama, fable, and lyric, and the ways these forms were embedded in the social worlds of their time.

Note: This course satisfies the English Concentration "Arrivals" requirement for the Class of 2022.

English 145a. Jane Austen's Fiction and Fans

Instructor: Deidre Lynch
Monday & Wednesday, 3:00-4:15pm | Location: TBA
Course Website

In this class we'll read at least five of Austen’s novels and study the contribution they made to the remaking of modern fiction.  Though our emphasis will fall on these works’ place in the literary culture of Austen’s day and on their historical contexts in an era of revolution, we’ll also acknowledge the strong and ardent feelings that Austen’s oeuvre continues to arouse today.  To that end, we’ll do some investigating of the frequently wild world of contemporary Austen fandom and the Austenian tourism, shopping, adaptations, and sequels that nurture it.  At the same time, we’ll remember that Austen knew fandom from both sides; part of our work will be to learn about the early-nineteenth-century culture of literary appreciation in which Austen enrolled the heroines of her novels and enrolled herself.

English 152kd. Keats Isn't Dead: How We Live Romanticism

Instructor: Vidyan Ravinthiran
Monday & Wednesday, 10:30-11:45am | Location: TBA
Course Website

Our thoughts and feelings about identity, self-expression, and the power of the imagination draw on the British Romantic poetry of the Long Eighteenth Century--whether we've read any or not. Focusing on John Keats (his key poems, and his key ideas, about 'negative capability', the 'camelion poet', and so on), this course makes unconventional connections into the twentieth, and twenty-first century. Tracking issues of race, class, gender and sexuality, we'll bounce from Keats into war verse; African-American poetries; world/postcolonial writing; the literature of social class; feminist experimentalism; and constructions of masculinity. Concentrators will learn how to analyze poetry in both closed and open forms.

Note: This course satisfies the English Concentration "Poets" requirement for the Class of 2022; formerly offered as English 58: Poets. 

English 176tm. Toni Morrison

Instructor: Namwali Serpell
Monday & Wednesday, 1:30-2:45pm | Location: TBA
Course Website

This course is a survey of the work of Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison from 1970 to 2012, including most of her novels, a few nonfiction essays, a short story, and a play. We will consider her literary antecedents; follow her influence on contemporaries and future writers; trace the social, historical, and political contexts and implications of her work; and explore the critical interventions she made in historiography and literary criticism. Throughout, we will focus on Morrison’s rich and complex aesthetic project: how it came into being; how it resonates with a great range of philosophical questions from epistemology to ethics; and how it changed over time.

English 179h. The Harvard Novel

Instructor: Beth Blum
Tuesday & Thursday, 10:30-11:45am | Location: TBA
Course Website

This course introduces the genre of the “Harvard novel,” from W.E.B. Du Bois's notes toward his fictional work "A Fellow of Harvard" to Elif Batuman’s The Idiot and Zadie Smith’s On Beauty, in order to examine Harvard’s cultural meaning and significance. It brings together novels (and films) where Harvard offers the narrative setting, supplies a character’s backstory, or even serves as a character in its own right. We will address themes of tradition, access, privilege, race, anxiety, competition, and canonicity.  

English 181a. Introduction to Asian American Literature: What Is Asian American Literature?

Instructor: Ju Yon Kim
Tuesday & Thursday, 12:00-1:15pm | Location: TBA
Course Website

Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian-American Writers (1974) was one of the earliest attempts to collect writings that were, to quote the editors, “exclusively Asian-American.” Yet as their lengthy—and controversial—explanation of the selection process makes clear, Asian American literature defies neat categorization. This course is both a survey of Asian American literature and an introduction to ongoing debates about what constitutes Asian American literature. We will study a variety of literary genres and ask how formal and stylistic conventions, as well as shifting sociohistorical circumstances, have shaped conceptions of Asian American literature.

Note: This course satisfies the English Concentration "Migrations" requirement for the Class of 2022.

English 184cf. City Fictions

Instructor: Tara Menon
Monday & Wednesday, 9:00-10:15am | Location: TBA
Course Website

Cities are composed of contradictions: playgrounds for the rich and sites of concentrated poverty, highly organised and totally chaotic, an endless party and the loneliest places on earth. How do we write about them? In this course, we will examine how a range of writers represent city life in four major metropolises: London, Bombay, New York, and Tokyo. We will focus primarily on one book set in each of these cities—Charles Dickens’ Bleak House, Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City, Teju Cole’s Open City, and Yu Miri’s Tokyo Ueno Station—and supplement our reading with short stories, journalism, sociology, and movies by writers including: Zadie Smith, Edith Wharton, James Baldwin, Katherine Boo, Spike Lee, and more. 

What techniques do fiction writers, journalists, and filmmakers use to capture the constituent features of life in urban environments? How do these narratives represent social interactions? How do they depict interiority and consciousness? What kinds of characters are included in the field of vision? What kind of labour, if any, is represented? How, if at all, does the identity of the writer shape the stories they are telling? Other topics under consideration: class, race, gender, industrialisation, finance, greed, alienation, strangers, estrangement, economic inequality, cosmopolitanism, crime, immigration. 

English 185e. The Essay: History and Practice

Instructor: James Wood
Monday & Wednesday, 1:30-2:45pm | Location: TBA
Course Website

Matthew Arnold famously said that poetry is, at bottom, “a criticism of life.” But if any literary form is truly a criticism of life, it is the essay. And yet despite the fact that all students write essays, most students rarely study them; bookshops and libraries categorize such work only negatively, by what it is not: “non-fiction.” At the same time, the essay is at present one of the most productive and fertile of literary forms. It is practiced as memoir, reportage, diary, criticism, and sometimes all four at once. Novels are becoming more essayistic, while essays are borrowing conventions and prestige from fiction. This class will disinter the essay from its comparative academic neglect, and examine the vibrant contemporary borderland between the reported and the invented. We will study the history of the essay, from Montaigne to the present day. Rather than study that history purely chronologically, each class will group several essays from different decades and centuries around common themes: death, detail, sentiment, race, gender, photography, the city, witness, and so on. In addition to writing about essays – writing critical essays about essays – students will also be encouraged to write their own creative essays: we will study the history of the form, and practice the form itself. Essayists likely to be studied: Plutarch, Montaigne, Hazlitt, De Quincey, Woolf, Benjamin, Orwell, Camus, Primo Levi, Barthes, Baldwin, Sontag, Dyer, Didion, Leslie Jamison, Knausgaard, Ta-Nehisi Coates.

English 197gr. Gender and Representation

Instructor: Glenda Carpio
Wednesday, 9:45-11:45am | Location: TBA
Course Website

Margaret Atwood is often asked if the The Handmaid’s Tale is a “feminist” novel. Her response: “If you mean an ideological tract in which all women are angels and/or so victimized they are incapable of moral choice, no. If you mean a novel in which women are human beings — with all the variety of character and behavior that implies — and are also interesting and important, and what happens to them is crucial to the theme, structure and plot of the book, then yes. In that sense, many books are ‘feminist.’” This course focuses on such feminist books. It explores issues of perspective: what happens when an author writes from the perspective of a woman? Since taking this perspective does not depend on biology, we will explore authors from a variety of backgrounds, especially those whose class, race, and/or ethnicity add another dimension. We’ll focus on contemporary Anglophone novels and drama.

Humanities 10a: A Humanities Colloquium: From Homer to Valeria Luiselli

Instructors: David Atherton, Glenda Carpio, Jay Harris, Ambrogio Camozzi Pistoja, David Elmer, Justine Landau
Tuesday, 10:30-11:45am | Location: TBA
Course Website

2,500 years of essential works, taught by six professors. Humanities 10a will likely include works by Homer, Plato, Sappho, Augustine, Ferdowsi, Murasaki, Dante, Boccaccio, Hafez, Basho, Dickinson, Nietzsche and Luiselli. One 75-minute lecture plus a 75-minute discussion seminar led by the professors every week. Students will receive instruction in critical writing one hour a week, in writing labs and individual conferences. Students also have opportunities to participate online or in person, depending on public health conditions, in a range of cultural experiences, ranging from plays and musical events to museum and library collections.

Note: Humanities 10a and 10b will count as "Open Electives" for English concentrators. The course is open only to first-year students. Students who complete Humanities 10a meet the Harvard College Curriculum divisional distribution requirement for Arts & Humanities. Students who take both Humanities 10a and Humanities 10b fulfill the College Writing requirement. This is the only course outside of Expository Writing that satisfies the College Writing requirement. No auditors. The course may not be taken Pass/Fail.

Undergraduate Seminars

English 90cnc. Conrad, Naipaul, Coetzee: Genealogies of the Global Imagination

Instructor: Homi Bhabha
Wednesday, 3:00-5:00pm | Location: TBA
Course Website
​​​​​​​Enrollment: Limited to 15 students

The novels of Conrad, Naipaul, and Coetzee have a particular value to contemporary discourses on global culture. Writing from specific historical and cultural contexts, all three writers are profoundly concerned with the ethical and aesthetic projects connected to economic and political forms of governance. Our study will focus on the problematic nature of intercultural relations as they are constituted in global networks. The meticulous reading of primary texts is an essential requirement of the seminar, which will focus on figurative language and fictional forms as they are used to imagine community and communication on a global scale. Critical and theoretical writings will be introduced to further the discussion of questions and topics raised by seminar participants.

English 90hb. Five Shakespeare Plays

Instructor: Marc Shell
Thursday, 12:00-2:00pm | Location: Zoom
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 15 students

Please note that this course will be offered on Zoom and will meet remotely for the entirety of the Fall 2021 semester.

Five Shakespearean Pieces: The seminar will focus on five plays (Hamlet, Measure for Measure, Henry V, The Tempest, and Merchant of Venice) with special attention to staging, literariness, and location.

Note: This course satisfies the English Concentration "Shakespeare" requirement for the Class of 2022.

English 90hp. Harvard and the Puritans in Native America

Instructor: Alan Niles
Wednesday, 9:45-11:45am | Location: TBA
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 15

Harvard’s still governing 1650 charter states the institution’s mission is “the education of English and Indian youth.” What were the ideas about race, culture, and colonialism that made such an idea possible? What was life like for the early Native American students who studied at Harvard, and what happened to the founding idea of a multiracial intellectual space in Harvard Yard over time? This course studies the Harvard Indian College and early Harvard history in the context of broader relationships between New England colonists and Dawnlands Native peoples. We will focus in detail on the surviving early writings of Caleb Cheeshateamuck, Benjamin Larnell, and Eleazar alongside colonial writings by John Winthrop, John Cotton, Anne Bradstreet, and others. We will learn about the catastrophic violence of King Philip’s War and the ways that conflict changed ideas about race and community in the seventeenth century. We will learn about Harvard’s continuing role throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in organizing relations with New England Indian communities, and the forms, genres, and rhetorics Indian activists and protesters developed in response. Throughout our course, we will bring Native American voices from Massachusetts, Wampanoag, Nipmuc, and other communities to the fore, in the past and in the present day.

Note: This course satisfies the English Concentration "Migrations" requirement for the Class of 2022.

English 90kb. Poems of Seamus Heaney and Thomas Hardy

Instructor: Elaine Scarry
Thursday, 3:00-5:00 pm | Location: TBA
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 15 students

Written a century apart, the poems of Seamus Heaney and Thomas Hardy create an urgent call and response between earth and under-earth. The poets share metrical virtuosity, compressed lyric forms, the unfolding of personal history within public crisis and transformation, and the recognition that the acuity of sentience - the daily practice of exquisitely precise perceptual acts - is the ethical center of our brief stay above ground.

English 90ll. Law and Literature

Instructor: Kelly Rich
Wednesday, 9:45-11:45am | Location: TBA
Course Website
​​​​​​​Enrollment: Limited to 15 students

This course will explore the complex relationship between literature and law, focusing on how each represents and responds to violence and its aftermath. As we survey a series of twentieth-century juridical paradigms (trials, rights, reparations, and reconciliation), our goal will not be to judge the efficacy of literary and legal projects, but rather to study how they imagine issues of guilt, responsibility, testimony, commemoration, apology and forgiveness. Our readings will include novels, short stories, poetry, legal theory, documentaries, and key documents of international law: authors will most likely include Hannah Arendt, J.M. Coetzee, Jacques Derrida, Franz Kafka, Michael Ondaatje, Julie Otsuka, and M. NourbeSe Philip.

English 90wl. The Future of World Literature

Instructor: Martin Puchner
Tuesday, 12:45-2:45pm | Location: TBA
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 15

The course serves as an introduction to world literature and aims to ask big-picture questions: when and under what circumstances did written stories first emerge? How were they stored? And how will they be transmitted to the future?

The first part is exploratory and is based on working with the Norton Anthology of World Literature. We’ll read widely across 4000 years of literature, and, using the Norton introductions and headnotes for guidance, assemble the big picture of literary evolution. Topics of discussion will include the dynamics of writing technologies from Mesopotamian clay tablet to the internet; the emergence of new genres; the increasing differentiation of literature into religious, historical, political, and fictional stories; and the changing marketplace of world literature. Readings include the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Analects of Confucius, the Arabian Nights, The Tale of Genji, the Popol Vuh, and the Epic of Sunjata.

The second part is a laboratory. Working individually and in groups, we’ll devise strategies for preserving literature for the future. Which texts and types of literature should we select? How should we store them to assure their survival? And how can we communicate the significance of these texts to humans living in the distant future? This laboratory workshop will give us a chance to challenge existing canons and to envision the literature of the future. Readings and selections for the second part to be chosen by students.... Read more about English 90wl. The Future of World Literature

TDM 173x. Acting and Authenticity

Instructor: David Levine
Wednesday, 3:00-5:45pm | Location: TBA
Course Website

This studio-based seminar examines the concept of "building a character" and pushes it to its limits.  While acquiring Stanislavski- and Method-based acting techniques, students will also consider psychological realism in light of philosophical, psychological, sociological and scientific notions of authenticity and falsehood, presence, mimesis, identity, and empathy. What does it mean to be "authentic?" Can you ever truly understand another person, or turn into one? What does "realist acting" mean in an age of AI, social media, motion capture, cultural appropriation, and fluid identities?  Whose realism are we talking about?

The seminar involves readings, films, and intensive acting work, and culminates in a final project where participants turn into each other.

Undergraduate Tutorials

English 91r. Supervised Reading and Research

The Supervising Reading and Research tutorial is a type of student-driven independent study offering individual instruction in subjects of special interest that cannot be studied in regular courses. English 91r is supervised by a member of the English Department faculty.  It is a graded course and may not be taken more than twice, and only once for concentration credit. Students must submit a proposal and get approval from the faculty member with whom they wish to work.

Proposed syllabi and faculty approval must be submitted and verified by the English Department Undergraduate Office by the Course Registration Deadline.

English 98r. Junior Tutorial

Fall 2021 Junior Tutorials 

Literature and Medicine: Illness, Disability & Neurodiversity (Jeffrey Careyva)

The Law and Literature of American Slavery (Geoffrey Kirsch)

Border-Crossing Fictions of the 20th Century (Andy Koenig)

Science Fiction(al) and Magical Realities (Karina Mathew)

Social Science Fiction from the Sixties to the Present (Joseph Shack) 

Junior Tutorial Preference Forms will be sent to students the week of 7/6/21. Junior English Concentrators interested in enrolling in English 98r should complete this form or be in touch with Lauren Bimmler.

English 99r. Senior Tutorial

Supervised individual tutorial in an independent scholarly or critical subject.

Students on the honors thesis track will register for English 99r in both the fall and spring terms. 

Creative Writing Workshops

English Cff. From Fact to Fiction: Finding & Shaping a Story: Workshop

Instructor: Claire Messud
Wednesday, 3:00-5:45pm | Location: TBA
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 12 students

In this course, we will explore the evolution of a story from a factual anecdote or incident to a fictional creation. The aims of the semester are to learn to listen to someone else’s story in interviews, and to endeavor to find, from there, the necessary bones for a fictional narrative. What is most urgent? What is most emotionally affecting? What are the details from an interview that stay with you? And from there: what, from a broader account, is the story you are moved to relate? Once you make that choice, how do you do further research, if necessary? How do you select the point of view, the frame, the characters for your fiction? What are the ethics and responsibilities of these choices?

In these riven and challenging times, storytelling is vital: learning to listen, to engage, and responsibly to relay what we discover. Each person we encounter is a bearer of wisdom and vast experience; so many urgent stories remain untold. How might we, as fiction writers, address reality, without simply writing about ourselves

Several published writers will visit the class to share their experiences of research, and of the relation in their work of fact to invention. We will read published examples of fact-based fiction, and discuss the authors’ choices.

The first third of the class will involve preparing and conducting interviews with a chosen subject, and sharing those interviews with the class. The second third will involve refining the story’s arc, research and formal decision-making, and writing a first draft. Finally, we will workshop the revised stories that have emerged from this process.

Supplemental Application Information: Prior experience writing fiction is helpful but not required. Please submit a writing sample of 3-5 pages of fiction, narrative non-fiction, journalism or personal essay, along with an application letter explaining your interest in this course, any writing experience you feel is relevant, and listing examples of work that moves and/or influences you, explaining why it does.

Apply via Submittable (deadline: Sunday, August 22 at 11:59pm EST)

English Cgf. Genre Fiction Workshop: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, Horror, The Ghost Story, The New Weird

Instructor: Neel Mukherjee
Wednesday, 12:00-2:45pm
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 12 students

The course will consist of two halves. In the first hour of each class, we will be doing close readings of an assigned text (please see ‘Syllabus’), with the aim of isolating some concept or aspect of the genre under discussion in order to take bearings for your own. The assigned reading is obligatory. We will be looking at questions of genre, and at the reasons for the quotation marks bracketing the word genre in the heading. We will also look at the convergences and divergences in the various kinds and modes mentioned in the title of the course. We will be thinking of generic topoi, conceptual underpinnings, imagination, style, world-building, storytelling, resolution, among other things.    

In the second half of the class, divided into two equal segments of 50 minutes each, we will be workshopping the writing of two students. Our goal is for each of you to have two turns, and approximately 5-10,000 words of your work critiqued, by the time semester ends. The final project involves significant redrafting of a story or a portion of a novel.

Supplemental Application Information: Please submit 3-5 pages of creative writing in prose (fiction is preferable, but non-fiction is also fine) along with a substantive letter of introduction in which you write about why you’re interested in this course; what experience you’ve had writing; some of your favorite writers; what some of your favorite works of fiction are and why.

Apply via Submittable (deadline: Sunday, August 22 at 11:59pm EST)

English Cns. Fiction Workshop

Instructor: Namwali Serpell
Tuesday, 12:00-2:45pm | Location: TBA
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 12 students

This workshop is designed to explore and hone the writing of fiction. We will read and respond to some exceptional published stories in a variety of genres, and each other’s works in progress. We will compose and revise at least thirty pages of fiction—in whatever number, size, and form suit the writer—over the course of the semester. We will also discuss and practice some of the pragmatic matters of a fiction writing career, including giving readings, editorial engagement, and submitting work for publication.

Supplemental Application Information: Please submit a writing sample of 3-5 double-spaced pages of fiction, and a one double-spaced page letter of introduction about you, your writing, and your hopes for the course.

Apply via Submittable (deadline: Sunday, August 22 at 11:59pm EST)​​​​​​​

English Cafr. Advanced Fiction: Writing this Present Life: Workshop

Instructor: Claire Messud
Thursday, 3:00-5:45pm | Location: TBA
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 12 students

Intended for students with prior fiction-writing and workshop experience, this course will concentrate on structure, execution and revision. Exploring various strands of contemporary and recent literary fiction – writers such as Karl Ove Knausgaard, Rachel Cusk, Chimamanda Adichie, Valeria Luiselli, etc – we will consider how fiction works in our present moment, with emphasis on a craft perspective. Each student will present to the class a published fiction that has influenced them. The course is primarily focused on the discussion of original student work, with the aim of improving both writerly skills and critical analysis. Revision is an important component of this class: students will workshop two stories and a revision of one of these.

Supplemental Application Information: Please submit 3-5 pages of fiction, along with a letter explaining why you'd like to join the workshop, what you hope to get out of it, and what you're working on currently. Please also list your previous writing experience. Your literary and narrative interests are also relevant - what books, films or other artworks speak to you and/or influence your work?

Apply via Submittable (deadline: Sunday, August 22 at 11:59pm EST)​​​​​​​

English Cfa. Advanced Fiction Writing: Workshop

Instructor: Neel Mukherjee
Monday, 12:00-2:45pm
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 12 students

The course will consist of two halves. In the first hour of each class, we will be doing close readings of an assigned text (TBA), with the aim of isolating some aspect of the craft of writing in order to take bearings for your own. In the second half of the class, divided into two equal segments of an hour each, we will be workshopping the writing of two students. Our goal is for each of you to have two turns, and approximately 5-10,000 words of your work critiqued, by the time semester ends. The final project involves significant redrafting of a story or a portion of a novel.

Supplemental Application Information: Please submit 3-5 pages of creative writing in prose (fiction is preferable, but non-fiction is also fine) along with a substantive letter of introduction in which you write about why you’re interested in this course; what experience you’ve had writing, especially what Creative Writing workshops you’ve already taken at Harvard; some of your favorite writers; what some of your favorite works of fiction are and why.

Apply via Submittable (deadline: Sunday, August 22 at 11:59pm EST)​​​​​​​

English Cmag. Introductory Fiction Workshop: Writers’ Voices

Instructor: Allegra Goodman
Section 001: Monday, 3:00-5:45pm | Location: TBA
Section 001 Course Website

Section 002: Thursday, 3:00-5:45pm | Location: TBA
Section 002 Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 12 students

Some say that to write well, you need to find your authentic voice.  In this workshop we will explore a different proposition—that a writer can adopt many voices, depending on the situation and the story.  We will experiment with different kinds of narrators, and we will practice writing dialogue as we study the structure and craft of the short story.  The syllabus will include stories by writers such as Franz Kafka, Anton Chekhov, D.H. Lawrence, James Joyce, Eudora Welty, Tillie Olsen, Raymond Carver, Jamaica Kincaid, Lydia Davis, Gish Jen, T.C. Boyle, Zadie Smith, and Helen Oyeyemi.  In the first weeks of the course, you will write short sketches.  You will then write two short stories which we will workshop in class.  At the end of the semester, you will choose one of these stories to revise and submit as your final project.    

Supplemental Application Information: Please submit 3-5 pages of prose—either fiction or nonfiction—and a cover letter. In the letter, please share a little about yourself and your interests, why you would like to take the class, and what you like to read.

Apply via Submittable (deadline: Sunday, August 22 at 11:59pm EST)... Read more about English Cmag. Introductory Fiction Workshop: Writers’ Voices

English Csgj. Advanced Fiction Workshop: What's So Western About the Western Story

Instructor: Gish Jen
Tuesday, 12:00-2:45pm | Location: TBA
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 12 students

Is there an identifiably “Western” story? Where did it come from? Would some of our most celebrated authors survive an MFA program today? Are there alternative ways of thinking about fiction? And —most importantly—what can we take away from them? In the first half of each class we will discuss such matters, placing mainstream fictional tenets in cultural context via stories from Alice Munro to Leo Tolstoy to Zadie Smith. In the second half of class we will turn to student work, with each student given three opportunities to share a piece with the class.

Supplemental Application Information: Please submit a sample story and an application letter explaining your interest in this course. 

Apply via Submittable (deadline: Sunday, August 22 at 11:59pm EST)

English Cihr. The I’s Have It: Writing and Reading the Personal Essay

Instructor: Michael Pollan
Monday, 3-5:45 pm | Location: TBA
Course. Website
Enrollment: Limited to 12 students

In this advanced workshop, we will read widely in the tradition that begins with Montaigne and write essays of our own in a variety of lengths and forms. A principal goal of the course will be to develop a voice on the page and learn how to deploy the first person, not merely as a means of self-expression but as a tool for telling a true story, conducting an inquiry or pressing an argument.

Supplemental Application Instructions: To apply, submit a brief sample of your writing in the first person along with a letter detailing your writing experience and reasons for wanting to take this course.

Apply via Submittable (deadline: Sunday, August 22 at 11:59pm EST)​​​​​​​

English Cnsr. Narrative Science Journalism: Workshop

Instructor: Michael Pollan
Wednesday, 3:00-5:45 pm | Location: TBA
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 12 students

The arc of this workshop will trace the process of researching and writing a single long piece of science journalism: finding and pitching story ideas; reporting in depth and at length; outlining and structuring your story; choosing a narrative voice and strategy, crafting leads and “overtures,” and making connections between your story and its larger contexts.  As a group, we’ll also work as editors on one another’s ideas and pieces. And since reading good prose is the best way to learn to write it, we’ll be closely reading an exemplary piece of narrative science journalism each week. Students will be expected to complete a draft and revision of a substantial piece by the end of the term.

Supplemental Application Information: To apply, submit a brief sample of your non-academic writing along with a letter explaining your reasons for wanting to take this course and describing your science experience, if any.

Apply via Submittable (deadline: Sunday, August 22 at 11:59pm EST)

English Cwp. Words & Photographs: Workshop

Instructor: Teju Cole
Wednesday, 3:00-5:45pm | Location: TBA
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 12 students

For almost two centuries now, words have accompanied photographs, sometimes to sublime effect. In this writing-intensive workshop, we will model our work on the various ways writers have responded to photographs: through captions, criticism, fiction, and experiments. Assigned readings will range from William Henry Fox Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature (1844–46) to Zadie Smith’s Through the Portal (2018). Students will learn close-looking, research, and editing, and will be expected to complete a “words and photographs” project using their own photographs or photographs made by others.

Supplemental Application Information: Please submit a photograph and up to a page of text responding (or perhaps not responding) to it, as well as a cover letter saying what you hope to get out of the workshop, and mentioning three books in any genre that have been helpful to your writerly development.

Apply via Submittable (deadline: Sunday, August 22 at 11:59pm EST)​​​​​​​

English Cijr. Introduction to Journalism: Workshop

Instructor: Jill Abramson
Monday, 3-5:45pm | Location: TBA
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 12 students

An intense seminar for those interested in understanding the changing role of journalism and in learning the art of reporting and writing narrative stories. The course is intended for those contemplating careers as journalists or because they want a better sense of how journalism really works. Coursework will include two narrative articles that are ready for publication. Readings will include some of the best examples of modern journalism, from magazine features by authors including Gay Talese to multimedia narratives such as The New York Times' "Snow Fall."

Supplemental Application Information: The application should include a letter saying why the student wants to take the workshop, why writing and journalism interests them, and which websites, magazines, newspapers and other news sources they read. A writing sample is optional for this course application.

Apply via Submittable (deadline: Sunday, August 22 at 11:59pm EST)

English Cajr. Investigations: Journalism and Social Justice: Workshop

Instructor: Jill Abramson
Wednesday, 3:00-5:45pm | Location: TBA
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 12 students

This advanced seminar focuses on investigative reporting about social justice issues and cases. Readings will cover school resegregation, housing and homelessness, health care and economic inequities, among other subjects. Class members will learn how to use documents, transcripts and other materials in their reporting.

The emphasis of the course is on investigative writing techniques, story ideas, voice and narrative framing.

Students will be required to write two investigative articles, one involving a group reporting project and another on an original subject chosen by each student. There will be intermittent, shorter writing assignments. Grades are based on written work and class participation. Guest speakers will include many of the journalists whose articles are included in class reading assignments.

Supplemental Application Information: The application should include a letter saying why the student wants to take the workshop, why writing and journalism interests them, and which websites, magazines, newspapers and other news sources they read. A writing sample is optional for this course application.

Apply via Submittable (deadline: Sunday, August 22 at 11:59pm EST)

English Cbn. Creative Nonfiction: Before and Beyond the (Imaginary White) Reader

Instructor: Joan Naviyuk Kane
Tuesday, 9:00-11:45am | Location: TBA
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 15 students

Writers of literary, lyrical nonfiction negotiate complex power dynamics with their selves, communities, subjects, and readers. In this workshop we will conduct an intensive study of the craft techniques writing of creative nonfiction, focusing on the balance between the politicization of witness, descriptive detail, and narrative voice. Given that one of the great imaginative allures of lyric prose is that it can invent its audience as much as it can invent its speaker, how do writers of creative nonfiction contend with social context? What are the ways in which we can write and revise lyrically that can allow our work to depart from, evade and amplify the experiential in its collaborations with language, history, and place? We will do some generative exercises and workshopping (each writer will be workshopped at least twice per semester) as well as discussion, of course. Participants will generate drafts, revise new work, and investigate the fundamentals of the genre of creative nonfiction.

Supplemental Application Information: Applicants are requested to submit 3-10 pages of prose (double-spaced), a 2-3 page cover letter in which they may address how long they’ve been writing seriously, what previous study they have done in literary arts, any additional experiences that seem relevant to their application, what type of direct criticism and revision they are seeking from a workshop, craft approaches they would like to know more about, and discussion of any other writers in which the writers’ craft and/or ways in which the writers’ work has served as a model for the applicant’s own literary ambitions.

Apply via Submittable (deadline: Sunday, August 22 at 11:59pm EST)

... Read more about English Cbn. Creative Nonfiction: Before and Beyond the (Imaginary White) Reader

English Clr. Introduction to Screenwriting: Workshop

Instructor: Musa Syeed
Monday, 12:00-2:45 pm | Location: TBA
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 12 students

The short film, with its relatively lower costs and expanded distribution opportunities, has become one of the most disruptive, innovative modes of storytelling--and is often an emerging filmmaker's first step into the industry. This course will introduce students to the basics of short form screenwriting, including narrative theory/structure, character design, and dialogue/voice. In the first quarter of the semester, we will hone dramatic techniques through several craft exercise assignments and in-class writing. In the following weeks, students will write two short screenplays. Throughout the semester, we will be workshopping and doing table reads of student work, discussing screenplays and craft texts, and screening a wide array of short films. The emphasis will be on discovering a sense of personal voice and completing two short screenplays (under 20 pages) that the student can produce in the future, if they choose. 

Supplemental Application Information: Please submit a 3-5 page writing sample. Screenplays are preferred, but fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and plays are acceptable as well. Also, please write a short note to introduce yourself. Include a couple films/filmmakers that have inspired you, your goals for the class, as well as any themes/subject matter/ideas you might be interested in exploring in your writing for film.

Apply via Submittable (deadline: Sunday, August 22 at 11:59pm EST)

English Cacf. Get Real: The Art of Community-Based Film: Workshop

Instructor: Musa Syeed
Tuesday, 12:00-2:45pm | Location: TBA
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 12 students

“I’ve often noticed that we are not able to look at what we have in front of us,” the Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami said, “unless it’s inside a frame.” For our communities confronting invisibility and erasure, there’s an urgent need for new frames. In this workshop, we’ll explore a community-engaged approach to documentary filmmaking, as we seek to see our world more deeply. We’ll begin with screenings, craft exercises, and discussions around authorship and social impact. Then we each will develop a short documentary over the rest of the semester, building off of intentional community engagement. Students will end the class with a written documentary treatment and recorded material for a rough cut.

Supplemental Application Information: Please submit a 3-5 page writing sample of any genre. Also, please write a short note to introduce yourself and the community/communities you might be interested to work with and your relation to them. Include an example of films/filmmakers that have inspired you, your goals for the class, as well as any themes/subject matter/ideas you might be interested in exploring. Filmmaking experience is NOT necessary.

Apply via Submittable (deadline: Sunday, August 22 at 11:59pm EST)

... Read more about English Cacf. Get Real: The Art of Community-Based Film: Workshop

English Ckr. Introduction to Playwriting: Workshop

Instructor: Sam Marks
Monday, 12:00-2:45pm | Location: TBA
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 12 students

This workshop is an introduction to writing for the stage through intensive reading and in-depth written exercises. Each student will explore the fundamentals and possibilities of playwriting by generating short scripts and completing a one act play with an eye towards both experimental and traditional narrative styles. Readings will examine various ways of creating dramatic art and include work from contemporary playwrights such as Aleshea Harris, Ayad Akhtar, Robert O’Hara, Clare Barron, Suzan Lori-Parks, and Taylor Mac, as well established work from Caryl Churchill, Edward Albee, and Harold Pinter.

Supplemental Application Information: Submit a 2-4 page sample in any genre. Also, please write a few sentences about a significant theatrical experience (a play read or seen) and how it affected you.

Apply via Submittable (deadline: Sunday, August 22 at 11:59pm EST)

English Ctv. Writing for Television: Developing the Pilot: Workshop

Instructor: Sam Marks
Tuesday, 12:00-2:45pm | Location: TBA
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 12 students

This workshop introduces the television pilot with a focus on prestige drama and serialized comedy.  Students will excavate their own voice and explore the structure and execution of pilot writing through a first draft of their own original script. With intensive reading and discussion of student work we will examine elements of TV writing, such as treatments and outlines as well as character, dialogue, tone, plot, and, most importantly, vision.  Over the semester, we’ll turn ideas into worlds and worlds into scripts. 

Supplemental Application Information: Prior experience in dramatic writing is encouraged, though not necessary. Please submit a 5-10 page writing sample (preferably a play or screenplay, but all genres are acceptable). Also, write a few sentences about one of your favorite televisions shows and why you wish to write for TV.

Apply via Submittable (deadline: Sunday, August 22 at 11:59pm EST)​​​​​​​

English Chcr. Advanced Poetry: Workshop

Instructor: Josh Bell
Tuesday, 6:00-8:45pm
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 12 students. 

By guided reading, classroom discussion, one-on-one conference, and formal and structural experimentation, members of the Advanced Poetry Workshop will look to hone, deepen, and challenge the development of their poetic inquiry and aesthetic. Students will be required to write and submit one new poem each week and to perform in-depth, weekly critiques of their colleagues’ work.

Supplemental Application Information: Please submit a portfolio including a letter of interest, ten poems, and a list of classes (taken at Harvard or elsewhere) that seem to have bearing on your enterprise.

Apply via Submittable (deadline: Sunday, August 22 at 11:59pm EST)

English Cbbr. Intermediate Poetry: Workshop

Instructor: Josh Bell 
Monday, 3:00-5:45pm | Location: TBA
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 12 students

Initially, students can expect to read, discuss, and imitate the strategies of a wide range of poets writing in English; to investigate and reproduce prescribed forms and poetic structures; and to engage in writing exercises meant to expand the conception of what a poem is and can be. As the course progresses, reading assignments will be tailored on an individual basis, and an increasing amount of time will be spent in discussion of student work.

Supplemental Application Information: Please submit a portfolio including a letter of interest, ten poems, and a list of classes (taken at Harvard or elsewhere) that seem to have bearing on your enterprise.

Apply via Submittable (deadline: Sunday, August 22 at 11:59pm EST)

English Ccfc. Poetry Workshop: Form & Content

Instructor: Tracy K. Smith
Monday, 12:00-2:45pm | Location: TBA
Course Website
Enrollment: Limited to 12 students

In this workshop, we’ll look closely at the craft-based choices poets make, and track the effects they have upon what we as readers are made to think and feel. How can implementing similar strategies better prepare us to engage the questions making up our own poetic material? We’ll also talk about content. What can poetry reveal about the ways our interior selves are shaped by public realities like race, class, sexuality, injustice and more?   

Supplemental Application Information: Please submit a writing sample of 5-10 poems and an application letter explaining your interest in this course.

Apply via Submittable (deadline: Sunday, August 22 at 11:59pm EST)

Graduate Seminars

English 231. Divine Comedies: Graduate Seminar

Instructor: Nicholas Watson
Tuesday, 9:00-11:00 am | Location: TBA
Course Website
​​​​​​​Enrollment: Limited to 15 students

A study of four poetic and/or visionary works written 1300-1400: Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, John of Morigny's Book of Flowers, Julian of Norwich's Revelation of Love, and William Langland's Piers Plowman. We consider the inter-relationship between the poetic and the visionary in light of the categories of "orthodoxy" and "discretion of spirits" during a period when both were fiercely contested.

Note: This course is open, space permitting, to qualified undergraduates: please show up on the first day or contact Prof. Watson if you are an undergrad who wants to take the course.

English 282ph. Public Humanities Practicum: Humanities in the High School Classroom

Instructor: Elisa New
Day & Time: TBA | Location: TBA
Course Website

Humanists of the 21st century are looking at a changed professional landscape.  Major shifts in higher education, and in the college and university job market for humanists, predate the COVID-19 pandemic, but the pandemic has brought these shifts into starker relief--even as it has revealed new opportunities for humanists in the fields of digital learning and educational media production, K-12 education, higher education administration, education policy, and more. 

Teaching the Humanities with New Media: A Poetry in America Practicum will enable students to experience some of these newer career opportunities by “embedding” as Research and Pedagogy Associates in Poetry in America: The City from Whitman to Hip Hop, a for-credit course being offered to high-school students--most of them from Title I and Title I-eligible schools--across the US and around the world.  This semester’s practicum will provide students an opportunity to gain exposure to, and to build skills in, the world of online education, broadly defined. Poetry of the City (POTC) is offered in partnership with the National Education Equity Lab and with Arizona State University.  The course will be offered under auspices of ASU’s online high school, ASU Prep Digital.

Students enrolled in the practicum will have official titled roles within the ASU course that may provide them useful credentials for the future. Visit poetryinamerica.org to learn more about Poetry in America and its programs. 

Note: Jointly offered with Harvard Kennedy School (as SUP-472 Education Equity Through A Solutions-Targeted Lens) and Harvard Graduate School of Education.

English 287ag. Black Literary Avant-Gardes: Graduate Seminar

Instructor: Jesse McCarthy
Thursday, 3:00-5:00pm
Course Website
​​​​​​​Enrollment: Limited to 15

In his classic manifesto “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain,” Langston Hughes declared that his generation of artists and poets—upstarts coming of age in the roaring twenties—was determined to build what he called “temples for tomorrow.” How should we read that phrase today? Recent debates in Black Studies and in African American Literature over temporality, periodization, affect, and antagonism, suggest that we may not have an adequate theory of the avant-garde, or at least we may need to update the one we inherit from Poggioli (1968). By revisiting the avant-garde, we renew a concept that touches on a wealth of topics of interest to contemporary theoretical and methodological debates: taste, politics, publics and counter-publics, signifying, archives, transnationalism, translation, incompleteness, failure, and the circulation and manipulation of new medias. There are also the classic questions: Who gets to decide what constitutes an "avant-garde" or avant-gardes? What is the relationship between avant-garde artistic movements and political or militant ones? This course will explore all of these themes comparatively, with readings drawn from poems, plays, novels, and films, and we will range widely across the African diaspora, without neglecting important formations in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America.... Read more about English 287ag. Black Literary Avant-Gardes: Graduate Seminar

English 290eh. The Environmental Humanities: Graduate Seminar

Instructor: Sarah Dimick
Tuesday, 12:45-2:45pm | Location: TBA
Course Website
​​​​​​​Enrollment: Limited to 15 students

This graduate seminar explores core concepts, questions, and methodologies within the environmental humanities. Rather than reading environmental literature and scholarship in isolation, we will trace their entanglements in environmental history, anthropology, philosophy, geography, and other adjacent disciplines.

The syllabus will be tailored to support the particular interests and pursuits of students in the course, but topics may include animal studies, capitalism and consumption, climate writing, disability and environment, disaster studies, environmental justice literature, environmental racism, extinction discourses, extraction narratives, feminist environmental practices, food sovereignty, hope and pleasure, indigenous environmentalisms, land access, militarized and nuclear environments, natural histories and collections, public health, queer environmentalisms, speculative futures, toxicity, urban environmental life, water rights, or the problematic idea of wilderness.

As a course designed to advance graduate research and increase fluency in an emerging field of study, assignments in this class will include a conference paper and a review of a book published in the last two years.

English 297c. Experimental Criticism: Graduate Seminar

Instructor: Beth Blum
Wednesday, 12:00-2:00pm
Course Website
​​​​​​​Enrollment: Limited to 15 students

During a time of rampant, albeit necessary, pre-professionalization, this graduate seminar is meant to both model and inspire academic risk-taking. It offers a selective overview of recent literary criticism that productively transgresses formal, conceptual, and disciplinary norms. Readings may include: Brent Hayes Edwards, Susan Stanford Friedman, Sianne Ngai, Saidiya Hartman, Eric Hayot, Paul Saint-Amour, Paul Stephens & Robert Hardwick Weston, and Wai Chee Dimock, among others. 

First-Year Seminars

Freshman Seminar 33x. Complexity in Works of Art: Ulysses and Hamlet

Instructor: Philip Fisher
Monday, 3:00-5:00pm | Location: TBA
Course Website

Is the complexity, the imperfection, the difficulty of interpretation, the unresolved meaning found in certain great and lasting works of literary art a result of technical experimentation?  Or is the source extreme complexity—psychological, metaphysical, or spiritual?  Does it result from limits within language, or from language’s fit to thought and perception?  Do the inherited forms found in literature permit only certain variations within experience to reach lucidity?  Is there a distinction in literature between what can be said and what can be read?  The members of the seminar will investigate the limits literature faces in giving an account of mind, everyday experience, thought, memory, full character, and situation in time.  The seminar will make use of a classic case of difficulty, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and a modern work of unusual complexity and resistance to both interpretation and to simple comfortable reading, Joyce’s Ulysses.  Reading in exhaustive depth these two works will suggest the range of meanings for terms like complexity, resistance, openness of meaning, and experimentation within form.

Freshman Seminar 63n. Narrative Negotiations: How do Readers and Writers Decide

Instructor: Homi Bhabha
Tuesday, 12:45-2:45pm | Location: TBA
Course Website

Narrative Negotiations explores narrative “voice” in a wide range of literary and cultural texts. Narrative voice is a lively dialogue between the author and the reader as they engage in the experience of determining the value and veracity of the narrative: whose story is it anyway? The writer creates the imaginative universe of character, plot, emotions and ideas—she seems to be holding all the cards; but it is the reader who rolls the dice as she draws on her human experience and moral values to question the principles and priorities of the storyteller. The game of narrative becomes deadly serious when storytelling confronts issues of colonialism, slavery, racial profiling and gender discrimination. Is the right to narrative restricted to those who have suffered the injustices of exclusion? What is my responsibility as a storyteller—or a reader—if I am a witness to violence, or an advocate against injustice, but my life-story is one of privilege, protection and security? What is the role of the politics of identity or cultural appropriation in determining whose story is it anyway? Throughout the seminar students will be encouraged to draw on their own histories, memories and literary experiences as the enter into the world of the prescribed readings. For the final assessment I hope students will choose critical and creative ways of telling their own stories, or the stories of others who have captured their imaginations. Seminar participants will be required to come to each class with two questions that pose issues or problems based on the texts that are important for them, and may prove to be significant for their colleagues. I will invite members of the group to pose their questions and start a discussion.

Freshman Seminar 64h. Our Borders, Our Lives: Creating, Dismantling, Rebuilding Borders through Art, Literature, and Film

Instructor: Katie Daily
Wednesday, 9:45-11:45am | Location: TBA
Course Website​​​​​​​
Enrollment: Limited to 12 students

We are surrounded by borders, and to understand them is to explore how they’re drawn, why they’re constructed (and deconstructed), and who can pass through them. This seminar will invite you to open up our ordinary understanding of borders to discover an extraordinary variety of perspectives and media.

This semester, we will think deeply and critically about borders and movement in order to better understand our individual positions as global citizens. We’ll consider borders in our personal lives through social media and how people curate their online worlds. We will briefly study maps so that you can construct your own, considering your own borders. We’ll visit a Harvard museum to discover how frames are both constraining and liberating. We’ll examine fiction and film, attuning to the conditions of border migration and how people move. We’ll sightsee in our lives and the spaces around us to begin understanding borders and movement in twenty-first century America. Through all of this exploration, we will discover the many lenses that can be used in order to grapple with the complicated nature of American borders while working to understand our own positionality in the world around us.