2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin

LIT 243 Rights, Wrongs and Literature in Action

3 hours

Can writing and reading literary texts really make a difference in the struggle for human rights? In this course we will consider possible answers to this question as we focus on literary texts that shine a light on human rights issues. We will also examine how writers encourage readers to take part in the struggle to achieve and protect human rights. In a study of different literary forms—which may include poems, plays, short stories, novels, and autobiographies—we will confront major justice-centered issues and questions. Some of our rights-related texts may be rooted in a particular (historical) time period and / or a distant (geographical) place; however, in many cases these issues still appear to cause trouble in the 21st century for individuals and societies. Specific focal points may include: the right to life, liberty, and the security of one’s person; the right to free speech; legal documents and their role in protecting or endangering the rights of groups and individuals; the right to practice one’s chosen religion; the rights of the child; cultural heritage / indigenous people’s rights; environmental rights; and the right to marry and create a family. The choice of texts and issues will vary depending on the expertise of the instructor.




ENG 201


This course satisfies the Flexible Core: Individual and Society area of the Gen Ed Program.