Courses. Arts and Sciences. Humanities
Law and Literature’ Course Combines Literature and Social Justice
The Department of English announces for Fall 2014 a new course, ENG 3570: Law and Literature, of interest to students pursuing the Law, Justice, and Culture certificate, Pre-Law students from any major, and students with general interest in literature and social justice.
ENG 3570: Law and Literature
TTh 10:30-11:50 a.m.
Instructor: Professor Dr. Paul C. Jones. Director of Graduate Studies American Literature
Course Description: Through a sampling of literary texts by authors from various historical periods and national traditions, from ancient Greece to the contemporary United States, this course explores the relationship between law and literature, focusing both on the similarities in their techniques and goals and the very stark differences in their approaches to questions of justice, morality, fairness, and punishment. Our readings will explore the various ways that literature and law interact, as literature will be observed to illuminate and defend the workings of justice for citizens/readers and to highlight and condemn failings in legal systems. We will be most attentive to this last relationship as we consider how literary texts often seek to turn readers against the laws that govern them and to challenge citizens/readers to demand that their laws actually be just and equitable.
Examples of texts we might consider in this course include Sophocles’s Antigone, William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Susan Glaspell’s A Jury of Her Peers, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, Franz Kafka’s The Trial, and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
Athens, OH 45701