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Summer School - The Institute for World Literature, 20 June - 14 July 2016, Harvard University, USA

Publish Date: Nov 03, 2015

Deadline: Feb 01, 2016

Event Dates: from Jun 20, 2016 12:00 to Jul 14, 2016 12:00

Full and partial tuition scholarships are available for The Institute for World Literature

The Institute will hold its sixth summer school session from June 20 through July 14, 2016, at Harvard. Our ambitious four-week program includes a total of fourteen two-week seminars taught by leading names in world literature today, together with outstanding guest lectures and the opportunity for participants to share their work in colloquia, as well as panels on publishing and the job market. The program will be supplemented by outings and cultural events to build community beyond the boundaries of the formal sessions. Our participants will have the chance to examine critically the latest challenges of this comprehensive and rapidly developing field, from its theoretical concepts and the history of the discipline to its forms of practice today embedded in a world market. Our seminars are taught by a mix of distinguished senior faculty and innovative younger scholars of world literature:

  • Paul Bandia, Concordia University
  • Margaret Cohen, Stanford University
  • David Damrosch, Harvard University
  • Paul Giles, University of Sydney
  • Eric Hayot, Pennsylvania State University
  • Lital Levy, Princeton University
  • Reine Meylaerts, KU Leuven
  • Mitsuyoshi Numano, Tokyo University
  • Bruce Robbins, Columbia University
  • Gisèle Sapiro, EHESS and CNRS
  • Mariano Siskind, Harvard University
  • Nirvana Tanoukhi, University of Wisconsin
  • Jing Tsu, Yale University
  • Rebecca Walkowitz, Rutgers University

Our 2016 guest lecturer will be Homi Bhabha (Harvard) and our plenary speakers will include some of our seminar leaders: Paul Bandia (Concordia University), Margaret Cohen (Stanford), David Damrosch (Harvard), Mariano Siskind (Harvard), Rebecca Walkowitz (Rutgers University). Our guests are all noteworthy figures who have made major contributions to world literature and to the discipline of comparative literature, challenging and redefining from different perspectives the boundaries and key issues of classical and modern philology, literary theory and criticism. Special panels composed of IWL faculty and participants will discuss professional issues of strategies for moving into the job market and for publishing.

In addition to attending seminars, our participants will give a paper within one of our eight colloquia groups organized around broad themes: World Literature and Production, World Literature and Circulation, World Literature and Translation, Postcolonialism and World Literature, World Cinema and World Literature, Premodern Literature and World Literature; Politics, Poetics and World Literature. Meeting once each week with their peers under the leadership of one of our postdoc or faculty participants, they will have the opportunity to make their own contribution to the developing field of world literary studies.

Our participants’ work will benefit from using the resources of the Harvard Library, the largest and most important university library in the world for humanists.  

To feel the pulse of the city and its surroundings, we will organize casual outings (free or at minimal cost), including a visit to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Harvard's Fogg Museum, and a day at Singing Beach.


Graduate students, faculty members, and independent scholars of literature, the arts, the humanities, and the related social sciences or professional studies are invited to apply. There are openings for approximately 150 participants for the 2016 session. The majority of our participants come from our institutional affiliates, but applications are welcome from individuals from non-affiliate institutions as well, and from independent scholars. If you are coming from an institutional affiliate, you should check with your department(s) to see how they are handling the process. Often, institutional affiliates make the decision locally, and forward on to the Institute the name or names of the one or two people they are sending, sometimes with some names of alternates; others prefer for the Institute to make the selection from among those who apply from their institution. When an institutional affiliate sends us a rank list containing more than two names of qualified applicants, the Institute will attempt to take more than two from that institution if space is available; if not, people ranked third or fourth by the institution will be given priority for any spaces not taken up by the first two candidates. We do not normally accept undergraduates as participants, except in rare instances on a special recommendation from an institutional affiliate.

Application Instructions

Applicants should submit all applications online. Before filling out the application form, please prepare the additional application materials you’ll be submitting (writing sample and a current CV, as well as either a transcript or a letter of reference). The Institute has limited funds available to assist with tuition in cases of special need; if you are applying for financial aid, submit a PDF or Word document (or zip file) containing your statement of need and any other helpful documents to make your case stronger. the file(s) can be uploaded on the last field of the application form. With the exception of letters of reference, which should be sent directly from the referee to the Institute, please upload all other files onto the application form.

Applications and all requests for financial aid will be assessed on a rolling basis beginning in November 1, 2015 and running through February 1, 2016. Applicants will be notified of admission decisions and financial aid by February 15, 2016.

Required Application Materials

Application materials that must be uploaded onto the online application form include:

  • An up-to-date curriculum vitae.
  • A sample of recent writing, in English (no more than twenty-five pages).
  • A current transcript of graduate studies or a letter of recommendation. Graduate student applicants may submit a transcript (pdf format) of their graduate studies which can be uploaded onto the application form. Alternatively, graduate students or unaffiliated applicants may submit a letter of recommendation emailed to the Institute directly by their referee or supervisor. Emails containing recommendations should clearly state in their subject line “IWL Recommendation Letter.” Please do NOT upload onto the application form the letter of recommendation.
  • A statement of financial aid is obligatory for participants who wish to be considered for reduced or waived tuition. Please upload a PDF or Word document or a zip file which outlines your financial situation, including any information that may help us to make decisions regarding aid, i.e. family situation, stipend/salary, country of residence, etc. If you use a zip file, please put everything into a single file.

The application form contains a field called “Statement of Academic Interests and Plans.” This should be a statement of no more than 300 words describing current scholarly interests and plans, as well as specific indications of how attendance at the Institute for World Literature might further those interests and plans. The statement should include information about courses taken and/or taught in comparative and world literature and theory.

There is NO application fee for the 2016 session.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Full tuition for the 2016 IWL is $1,800 USD. Institutional Affiliations provide guaranteed places for two participants. Participants from Institutional Affiliates will receive a discount of $900 on tuition.

Please note: The tuition fee does not cover transportation, accommodation, meals, or the cost of visits to museums or other informal outings. Participants are responsible for arranging and funding their own transportation, accommodation, and maintenance during the IWL.

Financial Aid

One of the main goals of the IWL is to bring together students from various international and socioeconomic backgrounds. For this reason, full and partial tuition scholarships are available for students from soft-currency or developing nations, or who demonstrate particular financial need. Applicants are asked to submit a separate statement with their application containing a detailed description of their financial situation (annual salary, net yearly income, or other circumstances), as well as, in relevant cases, proof of residence in a soft-currency or developing nation.

Letters of financial need and additional documents must be included in a single file and uploaded onto the application form within the “Financial Aid” field.

Online Application

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