Welcome from the Director of Undergraduate Studies
Welcome to the English Department! In this department we both engage with literature from the past and, as the academic home at Harvard for creative writing, make the literature of the future. We think and write about the multitude of artful, musical, moving ways in which people have used words, whether in riddles and monster stories written more than a thousand years ago, or in the public writing, journalism, poems, novels, and graphic novels of our own moment. We study how literature has been used not only to represent the world but also to reimagine and remake it. We study, that is, the resources for hope, the visions of social justice, that can be found inside books, and we hope you will want to discover those with us. We firmly believe that Harvard and the world would be better places if more people read more books and educated their imaginations.
We are proud of our history of helping Harvard alums become published authors and critics and distinguished scholars of literary and cultural history. You can also find our alums in bookstores, publishing companies, and schools, as well as in politics, in law, and on TV.
We are here for you if you want to do a deep dive with your favorite author; but we also hope to introduce you to new authors and forms of expression. And you don’t have to apply to be an English concentrator to take our classes. Please come meet our teachers, read and write with us, and discover what you like.
- Professor Deidre Lynch