Literature at MIT embraces an expansive vision of literary study. We are linked by a common interest in problems of narrative, aesthetics, genre, and media, but our curriculum explores a broad array of written, oral, and visual forms, ranging from the ancient world to the 21st century. We teach poetry, drama, and prose fiction, and also film, television, comics, memoirs, and folk music. We represent a variety of methodologies but share a common dedication to close reading and historical reflection. We are interested in both the established masterpieces and the most recent cultural productions of the digital age.
Literature at MIT maintains a level of excellence and innovation in the teaching and study of literature on par with the best universities, even as it remains responsive to MIT’s distinctive intellectual environment. The environment in which we work makes us different from any of our “peer” programs in literary study – the programs in which we were trained. Our faculty consists of scholars who are both leaders in their specific fields of study and devoted to enriching the education of undergraduates pursuing a wide spectrum of majors (including Literature). Literature is one of the homes of humanistic and general education at MIT. Our courses engage students in the pleasures and challenges of reading and interpretation, expose them to fresh ways of thinking about the world, and develop valuable, transferable skills in writing and communication.