ENGLISH 275 - Introduction to World Literature in English
Winter 2019, Section 001 - Human Rights in the Premodern World
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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Requirements & Distribution:
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May not be repeated for credit.
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If human rights are “inalienable,” have they always existed? What ideas of rights existed before documents like The Declaration of Independence indoctrinated “inalienable rights” as a national precedent? We begin with these questions to map a long history of human rights and to discover how people made claims to or were restricted from certain rights in the premodern world. In addition to documents like the Magna Carta and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we will examine travel literature, philosophical treatises, maps, fables, lyrics, life-writing, romance, dream visions, riddles, and scholastic and devotional texts. This combination of texts promises to give us a more diverse, global perspective of the premodern world, and its broad chronological range presents us with new ways of thinking about the past. At the core, this class asks both how human rights topics give us new understandings of premodern literature, and also what premodern literature offers our modern philosophies of human liberty. To answer these questions, we will read creatively and widely––looking backwards and forwards in history simultaneously.


ENGLISH 275 - Introduction to World Literature in English
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM

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