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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Spring 2009

E 360L • Literature and Social Justice-- HONORS

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
34440 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
PAR 304
Harlow, B

Course Description

Restricted to students admitted to the English Honors Program.

What do "humanitarianism" and "human rights" have to do with the humanities? In what ways can literature contribute to a consideration of these pressing questions in the early 21st century? In a globalizing culture, our interest will be both international and domestic, looking at ways in which personal stories contribute to political histories. In focusing on topics of "social justice," we will consider such questions as truth commissions, genocide, hunger, HIV/Aids, women's rights, children, immigration and refugees.

Grading Policy

The class will be conducted as much as possible as a seminar and discussion and attendance will be emphasized. In addition to readings and occasional quizzes (as/if required), writing assignments will include two research assignments, one written panel presentation, a final paper prospectus, and the final paper itself.

2 research assignments (1000 wds each = 2000 wds)
1 panel presentation (750 wds)
1 paper proposal (750 wds)
1 final paper (2400-3000 wds)
=85% of the final grade

Two response papers (ungraded)

Attendance and participation = 25% of the final grade


Henning Mankell, Chronicler of the Winds (social justice and storytelling)
Sindiwe Magona, Mother to Mother (truth commissions)
Ghassan Kanafani, Men in the Sun and Returning to Haifa (refugees)
Gil Courtemanche, A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali (genocide and HIV/AIDS)
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone (child soldiers)
Ruth First, 117 Days (torture)
Moazzam Begg, Enemy Combatant (Guantánamo)
Additional sources and resources, electronic and otherwise


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