Harvard IWL

What is the Havard Institute for World Literature?

Please take a moment to look at the Harvard IWL website for the July 2022 session online, which will take place at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, from July 4 through July 28, 2022: https://iwl.fas.harvard.edu/ Please note that the application process for 2022 has closed. 

In previous years, the UCSB students chosen for the program received full financial support, covering fees and expenses, from generous grants provided by the GCLR's partners at UCSB.

How to apply? 

Applications will be reviewed by the GCLR IWL admissions committee on a rolling basis beginning on November 1, 2022 running through February 1, 2023.
Please begin the process by sending a cover letter and writing sample to GCLR Director Sven Spieker by or before Monday, January 4th, 2023. The cover letter should not exceed 300 words and has to to contain a clear rationale for why you would benefit from attending HIWL, which seminars seem particularly useful to you, and why. The writing sample must not exceed 5000 words and should be specifically tailored to your application. In other words, please do not simply send a chapter from your dissertation, or a seminar paper without amendments. Be sure that the topic of your writing sample responds, in one way or another, to the idea of world literature. 
Applicants will be notified by the GCLR of its decision in mid-January and will then apply directly to the HIWL on their website. Please check the HIWL website directly for information about their application process

Comments from Past Graduate Participants, 2020-2021: 

Richard Nedjat-Haiem: 

I wish to thank the GCLR for this funding opportunity to participate in the 2021 Harvard IWL. It was wonderful to take the Seminar on "Exiles, Migrants, and Refugees" with Venkat Mani which really impacted my understanding on the Persian diaspora I am a part of and will be working on for my second exam. The colloquium was especially enjoyable to share one's worth in a diverse and welcoming group of peers from all over the world.


Olga Faccani: 

I would definitely recommend this important program to my friends and colleagues at the University, and I especially think that this is a unique and invaluable opportunity for international students like myself: students can establish long-lasting connections and bonds with other scholars from all over the world and become part of a Global Network, where differences are celebrated and international approaches are encouraged.

Sebastian Stratan:

The texts we read or reread, both fictional and theoretical, introduced me to new ways of approaching not only literature and other artistic endeavors, but knowledge in general. Exploring these texts with first-rate scholars that are changing the way literature is studied and produced as we speak, and attending multiple and fascinating talks and presentations almost every day, was an opportunity for which I am grateful to the Graduate Center for Literary Research.

Marcel Strobel:

As a first-year international PhD student in comparative literature, I was truly excited to participate in this year’s Harvard IWL and develop my analytical literary skills in a very unique environment. The amount of positive and supportive feedback that I received was incredibly helpful in determining the future direction of my studies but also in gaining the courage to pursue the research that I pursue. Therefore, the experience that I gained at the IWL was truly unique and I really hope that other students from my program will benefit from it in the future.

Aili Pettersson-Peeker:

Participating in the 2020 Harvard Institute for World Literature was an invaluably inspiring intellectual experience to me. The institute expanded my knowledge about the rich and growing field of world literature and opened my eyes to sub-genres within this field that I didn’t know existed before. The institute also helped me make new contacts with scholars all over the world. Because of the infrastructure set up for sharing contact information, research interests, and ideas with each other, I now have contacts from across the globe and from a range of different disciplines that I look forward to collaborating with for conferences, panels, and publications in my future career. Being part of such a vibrant global intellectual community, particularly in these times, was a truly inspiring and energizing experience.