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Literature and Social Justice

Professor Kelly McGuire
Trent University

This course will examine the intersecting relationship between literature and social justice. Does literature shape our understanding of social justice issues? Conversely, is the framing of social justice issues in the real world shaped by literary narratives? The specific focus of the course will be on activism that promotes social justice in the twentieth-century because of the increased role of story-telling and testimonies in this era of genocide. We will discuss whether literature can promote social justice and we will focus on reading strategies that ask moral and ethical questions about topics such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, childhood, politics, work and war. We will consider the role of the reader, the media and other forces in shaping perceptions of social justice issues and we will ask whether we can truly understand these issues through stories.

To access the complete syllabus, please click on the online version of Literature and Social Justice syllabus.

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