COMPLIT 376 - Literature and Ideas
Fall 2021, Section 002 - Humanitarianism and Morals
Instruction Mode: Section 002 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Comparative Literature (COMPLIT)
Department: LSA Comparative Literature
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.

Details

Credits:
4
Requirements & Distribution:
RE, HU
Repeatability:
May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

Description

The course will explore the simultaneous elaboration of the concept of race, and of European racism, with that of human rights, proposed as equal and universal to all. This evident tension, if not contradiction between Europe that elaborates concepts of human rights, and the Europe that brings into being the most egregious concepts of race, happens thanks to colonialism and Europe's commitment to empire, and also the history of European nationalism. And so, the course will begin historically, with that.

Nationalist driven racism finds it ultimate conclusion in the Second World War, leading in turn to the birth of new moral, legal and political concepts--those of genocide and of crimes against humanity, which arose to capture the moral devastation of the Nazis, and of the British, Turks and German colonialists before them. And to the role, these new moral concepts play in the articulation of the moral culture of humanitarianism at the end of the Second World War, a culture of the greatest importance for our own time.

The successes and failures of the institutional culture of humanitarianism are one of the best windows into the practice of human rights today. This culture has led to the multiplication of rights, whose kind and character are both politically and philosophically contested. It is also a legal culture, with its own problems and prospects, among them the birth of the Truth Commission, a genuinely new form of justice that is not retributive. And to conflicts between national commitments to the global institutions of humanitarianism and national self-interest.

Only at the end of the class will we ask directly: Are there any viable notions of race left today, and what productive/emancipatory roles might they have?

Readings will range widely across philosophy, history, literature, law, and politics.

Course Requirements:

Assignments will be submitted to the GSIs via their Canvas sites. Assignments will consist of three papers, two of three pages and one of six pages. Each on topics assigned by the graduate instructors and due at the discretion of the GSI. One of the first two may be rewritten by the final class period for regrading. There will be no exams.

Class Format:

Lectures will be asynchronous and posted in Canvas. Discussion sections will be held in-person at the times posted in the course guide.

Schedule

COMPLIT 376 - Literature and Ideas
Schedule Listing
002 (LEC)
 Online
30886
Open
4
 
-
M 4:00PM - 6:00PM
003 (DIS)
 In Person
30888
Closed
0
 
-
F 9:00AM - 11:00AM
004 (DIS)
 In Person
30889
Open
0
 
-
W 2:00PM - 4:00PM
005 (DIS)
 In Person
30890
Closed
0
 
-
F 9:00AM - 11:00AM
006 (DIS)
 In Person
30891
Closed
0
 
-
W 2:00PM - 4:00PM
007 (DIS)
 In Person
30892
Closed
0
 
-
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:00PM
008 (DIS)
 In Person
30893
Open
1
 
-
TuTh 5:00PM - 6:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi

Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for COMPLIT 376 (UM login required)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)