About

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard, deeply committed to interdisciplinary studies, encourages graduate students to situate literature in the broad context of cultural productions, ranging from the canonical to alternative modes. Our programs enable students to examine a wide range of periods, genres, and approaches, and to tailor plans of study according to their specific interests. Combining a broad knowledge of each literature through diverse course offerings and specialized research working one-on-one with faculty, our graduate programs nurture students' individual interests. A strong sense of community among students and faculty, particularly within specialties, creates a graduate experience as unique as each chosen dissertation topic. Our students further enjoy the benefits of interaction with History and Literature, Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Comparative Literature, Visual and Environmental Studies, African-American Studies, and other programs and departments at Harvard.

Harvard and the surrounding metropolitan area both offer a rich variety of resources for scholars. Within the University is a vast library system with world-renowned collections in the humanities and related fields. Graduate students will find most of the books they need in the Widener and Lamont library complex. The Houghton Library of Rare Books has one of the most extensive collections of its kind in the world, including important holdings in French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish literature and history. The Harvard Film Archive possesses a magnificent collection of world cinema comprised of over 5,000 titles. The Fine Arts Library offers a collection of books and journals on art history, an extensive slide library, and a print room for original photographs and prints. The superb Harvard Art Museums and Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology supplement these.

Harvard’s prominent research centers provide unparalleled opportunities for interdisciplinary research and exchange. The David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS) sponsors various fellowship competitions each year and offers an eclectic speaker and colloquia series. The Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES) and The Mahindra Humanities Center (MHC) sponsor frequent talks and study groups attended by faculty and students from Harvard and surrounding institutions. Dudley House, the hub of graduate student activity, offers a wealth of social and cultural activities, as well as funding opportunities and a voice in student governance.

As members of the Greater Boston community, we enjoy productive collaboration with colleagues from many other colleges and universities: Boston, Tufts, Brandeis, and Brown Universities; MIT; Boston and Wellesley Colleges. The Museum of Fine Arts and Boston Symphony Orchestra are among the many cultural resources in this rich urban area.

Admission to the graduate program is based on merit alone. Every offer of admission is accompanied by an offer of full financial aid, consisting of stipend and/or teaching salary, tuition and health fees, and supplemental fellowships available competitively. We also encourage our students to travel and spend time abroad, through our exchange programs with various institutions in France, Italy, Spain, and Latin America, or through other forms of financial and institutional support.

Image: Braun, Georg. Lvtetia vulgari nomine Paris. [Cölln: bey Godfrid von Kempen in verlegung Francisci Hogenbergers, 1572] (detail). MAP-LC G140.B7 1572, Harvard Map Collection, Harvard University.