In 2008, I was the co-chair of the Harvard University English Department’s Curriculum Task Force; our model was approved in February 2009 and continues to be in effect at Harvard. Our model has attracted attention from a number of other universities because it does not rely on traditional distribution requirements or on required survey courses, but instead it offers a flexible system to assure that our undergraduates receive a comprehensive education in English literature.
I’m also a member of the Comparative Literature Department, and with the help of Marc Shell and some of my other colleagues have created a Comparative Arts program within the Comparative Literature department. We have established a track so that courses with a significant component in music, the visual arts, and other artistic media can count toward a degree.
One of the purposes of my new book Panaesthetics, is to encourage universities to create programs or departments in Comparative Arts, and I would enjoy opportunities to work with interested administrators and faculty members at universities, both in the U.S. and abroad, to establish such programs. If your institution is interested in the following services, please contact me!
Services I provide
- An evaluation of an existed undergraduate or graduate program in English, Comparative Literature, or any interdisciplinary humanities program.
- Any level of consulting, from a single day exploratory workshop, to a several-week residency (during breaks between semesters or on sabbaticals) to develop a new program in English, Comparative Literature, Comparative Arts, or Interdisciplinary Humanities from scratch.
- Consulting services towards expanding an existing program: adding a graduate department to an existing undergraduate department, adding additional tracks within existing majors, designing new interdepartmental majors such as “Literature and Music,” “Literature and the Visual Arts” or others.
- I can also work with faculty members in different departments interested in exploring collaborative teaching–often the best faculty members are those most interested in new horizons of discourse.
- The list doesn’t end here! With over forty years experience as a full-time faculty at research 1 institutions, I have a wealth of experience I would like to share, particularly with young and developing departments abroad. Retention of old ways and creation of new paths are both part of the necessary rhythm of academic structures, and in may be able to help in finding configurations that meet challenges both new and old.