ENGL-263 Law and Literature
Fall for 2014-2015
Kathryn Temple. Associate Professor & Chair Department.Department of English
The course takes up the issue of justice in the law and literature context. How does reading or rereading law and literature classics like To Kill a Mockingbird, Billy Budd, and The Trial through the lenses provided by the great philosophers of justice like Hume, Wollstonecraft, Bentham, Mill, Kant, Rawls, Sen, by neuroscientists and post-modern philosophers, make a difference? Students will be asked to bring contemporary issues on justice to the class and to respond to writing and research prompts in writing weekly as well as write two or three longer essays. While we will be learning about and thinking through three of the canonical texts in this field, we’ll also be seeking to reread and reinterpret them through contemporary approaches to law and justice. Some of the questions we will be asking include: Can justice be reduced to a rationally-imposed formula? What is the relationship between emotions and justice? Do babies have a sense of justice? How about animals? How do individual justice, social justice and global justice approaches interact? And what do we make of trolleyology? Class participation required, plus a number of short and one longer paper and a final.
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington D.C. 20057(202) 687.0100