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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Comparative Literature (CMLIT)

CMLIT 455 (IL) Ethics, Justice, and Rights in World Literature (3) Concepts of ethics, justice, and rights, appearing in world literature and/or film.

CMLIT 455 Ethics, Justice, and Rights in World Literature (3)

The course will consider how literature and culture address common concerns, including morality, justice, equality, and agency from different perspectives, aesthetic styles, and formal constraints. Students will consider how cultural texts, like legal and philosophical texts, have the power to influence politics and society. Literature is important for understanding ethics, justice, and rights because it teaches ways of thinking and of relating to others that are central to social values. How do we develop the commitment to social equity? How do stories develop ideas of altruism, of prejudice, of pathos, and more in their audience? What role does culture play in developing the moral imagination required to think through social crises? Each class will explore one or more interrelated topics through a variety of cultural and philosophical works. Readings might include works by Melville, Shakespeare, Kafka, Glaspell, Morrison, Capote, Garcia Marquez, and others. Topics might include: formalism; the paradoxes of equity; narrative, storytelling, and framing; custom, law and the political order; law, society, and power; interpretation, authority, and legitimacy; punishment, retribution, and redemption; and others. This course will provide an opportunity to think about the law and ethics in a new way, to read engaging works of fiction and non-fiction, and to examine the humanistic and philosophical perspectives that are at the core of the ethical imagination.

General Education: None
Diversity: IL
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Summer 2010
Prerequisite: 3 credits in the study of literature

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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