Academic Degrees: A.B., Douglas College, NJ; M.A., Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Ph.D., Rutgers University
Research Interests: 19th-Century Narrative in Latin American Women's Literature; Ethnic Literature; Bilingual Aesthetics
Doris Sommer is Ira and Jewell Williams Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of African and African American Studies. She is founder of "Cultural Agents," an Initiative at harvard and an NGO dedicated to reviving the civic mission of the Humanities. Her academic and outreach work promotes development through arts and humanities, specifically through “Pre-Texts” in Boston Public Schools, throughout Latin America and beyond. Pre-Texts is an arts-based training program for teachers of literacy, critical thinking, and citizenship. Among her books are Foundational Fictions: The National Romances of Latin America (1991) about novels that helped to consolidate new republics; Proceed with Caution when Engaged by Minority Literature (1999) on a rhetoric of particularism; Bilingual Aesthetics: A New Sentimental Education (2004) for our times of contested immigration; and The Work of Art in the World: Civic Agency and Public Humanities (2014). Sommer has enjoyed and is dedicated to developing good public school education. She has a B.A. from New Jersey's Douglass College for Women, and Ph.D. from Rutgers University.
See Prof. Sommer's talk: "Cultural Agents All" from Harvard Thinks Big
Renaissance Now, Co-founder, see http://renaissancenow-cai.org/
- Engine for Art Democracy and Justice, Director Maria Magdalena Campos Pons, Vanderbilt University
- Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (Vienna, Austria)
- Pedagogy Committee of JEP (Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz, Colombia)
- Pre-Texts Capacity builder for SEP (Secretaria de Educacion Publica) México; Ibby, Harvard Libraries, City of Mannheim, Law Schools, Paraguay, among others.