Ričards Umbraško

Why CompLit?

Comp Lit is one of the most flexible concentrations at Harvard. You get to cross borders – literary, cultural, or theoretical – in every class taken in the department. I came to Comp Lit because I wished to work more in Eastern European literatures, particularly those that are less known, explored, and translated in the Western academe – but I stayed because of the community. If you want to satisfy your intellectual curiosity while being surrounded by fellow students, faculty members, and tutors from all over the world who work across a wide range of languages and traditions, Comp Lit is the place to be.


Dunster House, rumbrasko AT college

Languages: Latvian and Russian
Tutorial interest: I work in Latvian and Russian, exploring how post-Soviet borderlands complicate notions of belonging, identity, time, space, and memory in texts emerging on the frontiers of the former Soviet Union. I am also interested in the theoretical tools that decolonial theory offers for literary studies and literary anthropology. Additionally, I am curious to explore how representations of Eastern Europe in Western popular culture reflect the anxieties of our time surrounding race, sexuality, and gender.