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. Sommer’s academic and outreach promotes development through arts and humanities, specifically through “Pre-Texts” arts-based literacy, and Renaissance Now, for decision makers to harness the power of arts for social development. Her books include Foundational Fictions: The National Romances of Latin America (1991) about novels that consolidated new republics; Proceed with Caution when Engaged by Minority Literature (1999); Bilingual Aesthetics: A New Sentimental Education (2004) for times of 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.