Human Rights & Literature

Year offered

A human rights revolution gained momentum at the midway point of the twentieth century, resulting in collections of global rights and protections that individuals could not previously appeal to in the face of abusive governments and regimes. This course traces the development of the social, legal and political discourses of global human rights, and the inter-related emergence of literary forms that embody, challenge and critically engage with human rights ideas. The course examines the foundations of human rights, its modern and contemporary formations, as well as key organizations, concepts, documents, treaties, and statutes that have combined to cast human rights as a global lingua franca. Debates about human rights will emphasize the legal and political, as well as the artistic and imaginative.