Gurney Professor of English and Professor of Comparative Literature
Since 1978 James (Jim) Engell has taught at Harvard, chairing the Department of English from 2004 to 2010. He earlier chaired the honors Degree Program in History & Literature as well as the Department of Comparative Literature and has served as a member of the Committee on the Study of Religion. A faculty associate of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, he began his studies leaning toward science. He has taught environmental seminars at Harvard, the National Humanities Center, and for a consortium of nine North American and Asian Universities, including Harvard.
In 2008 Yale University Press published Environment: An Interdisciplinary Anthology, which he conceived and co-edited. His other books include The Creative Imagination: Enlightenment to Romanticism (1981); The Committed Word: Literature and Public Values (1999); and, with Anthony Dangerfield, Saving Higher Education in the Age of Money (2005), which won the 2007 Association of American Colleges & Universities Ness Book Award for best book on liberal education. He has edited more than a half dozen volumes and authored more than forty articles and book chapters.
The recipient of four faculty-wide teaching and advising awards, Engell offers courses in General Education (on rhetoric and on the Enlightenment), romantic poetry, eighteenth-century studies, and environmental issues. He has team taught different courses with colleagues in the Department of Economics and the Divinity School. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he served as president of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers and belongs to the Cambridge Scientific Club. His websites are http://scholar.harvard.edu/jengell/ and https://vimeo.com/jamesengell/videos.