History & Literature

Brief Description of Concentration

students and faculty of hist and litHarvard’s oldest concentration, History & Literature is an interdisciplinary humanities program where you work closely with outstanding faculty in small-group and one-on-one tutorials. Beyond these tutorials, you take courses from a variety of departments as you develop your individual interests at the intersection of art, history, politics, and culture.

Learning Objectives

History & Literature is an honors concentration that helps you build the skills you need to write a thesis in your senior year. In small-group tutorials, we provide rigorous training in how to read and analyze a diverse array of primary and secondary sources, advise you as you conduct original research, and help you develop rigorous interdisciplinary approaches to the exciting material that you discover along the way. 

Gateway Courses

  • Consider taking one of our HL90 Seminars to experience the kind of work we do in History & Literature. These courses are designed for first-year students and sophomores.
  • Another gateway course is HL10: Introduction to American Studies, which will introduce you to the history and methods of the field
  • You may also consider introduction to humanities courses such as Hum 10. Many GenEd courses that meet the Aesthetics & Culture requirement or the Histories, Societies, Individuals requirement also count for concentration credit in History & Literature. 


History & Literature alumni go on to pursue successful careers in a variety of fields: