Harvard Summer Program in Zagreb and Vis, Croatia

  • Croatia - view from water
  • Croatia - Vis
  • Croatia - big building
  • Croatia - people with laptop computers
  • Croatia - bay view
  • Croatia - souk

the zagreb and vis, croatia program will not run in 2020


The Harvard Summer School Program in Croatia takes boundaries—both political and natural—as its central theme. This theme arises from the unique history and geography of the settings for your studies: Zagreb, the capital and political center of Croatia, and Vis, the most distant and isolated of the major islands in Croatia’s Adriatic archipelago. Situated at the historical intersection of world empires and riven by a dramatic geography of discontinuity (Croatia’s islands are in fact the summits of a sunken mountain range), Croatia is the ideal place to reflect on issues that are now more relevant than ever. If the last decades of the twentieth century were a time when walls were coming down and borders seemed to be growing ever less significant, now the pendulum is swinging in the other direction: borders are hardening, differences seem magnified, and walls are going up.

Borders are two-sided, in more ways than one. A border is a point of contact that enables movement and exchange as much as it obstructs them. But it is also a cut, a sometimes violent and potentially traumatic intervention in a physical or cultural landscape. Borders divide us, but they are also where we meet. A border can be a defensive structure or a prison (or both)—or it can be a challenge and invitation to undertake the radical gesture of reaching across the divide.


Program Directors

David Elmer, Eliot Professor of Greek Literature

Email: delmer@fas.harvard.edu


Marc Shell, Irving Babbitt Professor of Comparative Literature and Professor of English

Email: mshell@fas.harvard.edu