EN6513 - Human Rights Literature and Culture

Offering Academic Unit
Department of English
Credit Units
Course Duration
One Semester
Course Offering Term*:
Not offering in current academic year

* The offering term is subject to change without prior notice
Course Aims

Through comparative analysis of a range of cultural forms in English--novels, films, photography, testimonials, poetry, drama, etc.--this course will explore the discourse of human rights. Adopting a critical, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary perspective, we may cover topics such as genocide, imprisonment, refugees, torture, child soldiers, LGBT rights, women and children's rights, the environment, war, violence, poverty, justice, and reconciliation. Applying philosophical and contemporary critical theories (e.g. postcolonial theory and critical race theory), this course will examine human rights narratives through a balance of political-historical contextualization and close reading. Our reading will take us to regions all over the world (Africa, Asia, Middle East, South America, Europe, and North America), with attention to how authors and creative artists have sought to represent collective human rights abuses. Specific contexts may include African American slavery, the Holocaust, the Cambodian and Rwandan genocides, South African apartheid, the war in Afghanistan, the Korean War, Japanese Canadian internment, and more. Students will be asked to write critical essays as well as work in groups to produce a creative project on the topic of human rights.

Assessment (Indicative only, please check the detailed course information)

Continuous Assessment: 100%
Detailed Course Information


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Department of English