ENGLISH 319 - Literature and Social Change
Fall 2022, Section 002 - Can Literature Promote Social Justice?
Instruction Mode: Section 002 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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Details

Credits:
3
Requirements & Distribution:
HU
Repeatability:
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

Description

Anti-racism reading lists. The 1619 Project. The celebration of novels written from the perspectives of underrepresented groups. Demands for change in the book industry, including publishing more diverse writers. Activist bookstores and libraries connecting with their neighborhoods through community reads programs and other events. All of these are examples of the belief in the power of literature to bring about social change. 


Where does the belief in literature as an agent of social and political change come from? Is it really possible for long-term, structural change to happen because people read books about the history of racism in the US? How does seeing the world through the experiences of people unlike oneself create change? Likewise, is equity achieved through books that allow readers from diverse backgrounds and abilities see themselves in stories? How would we even measure those changes? What is the line between believing in the power of books and seeing some books as too dangerous to be part of a curriculum?


This class will explore these questions and others connected to the belief in literature’s ability to create social change. We will read books that have been held up as examples of “required reading,” such as Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist, Louise Erdrich’s The Night Watchman, and Mira Jacob’s graphic memoir Good Talk. We will take a historical and cultural view of the belief in the power of reading to create change through reading lists, community reads, changes in the publishing industry, bibliotherapy, activist bookstores, libraries, and the politicization of the curriculum.

Course Requirements:

Assignments: Weekly readings, reflections on the readings, a research project, and leading class discussion on a topic of your choice.

Intended Audience:

This course is ideal for anyone interested in reading and talking about the idea of literature as a vehicle for social change.

Class Format:

In-person

Schedule

ENGLISH 319 - Literature and Social Change
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
28891
Closed
0
 
-
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
002 (LEC)
 In Person
29816
Open
11
 
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MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
003 (LEC)
 In Person
32829
Open
3
 
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MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi

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