603-HSE-VA, Law and Society
In this course, we will analyze literary texts that engage questions of law, ethics, morality and justice. Specifically, we will address how these texts address issues of the individual in society: how does human nature shape society and how does society influence human nature? We will analyze these texts both literally and allegorically, always with questions of society and the individual in mind. We will frame the texts in the context of various legal, philosophical, ethical, psychological and cultural theory. Through careful reading, writing and discussion, students will learn to think critically about literary texts and practice writing analytical essays that present a text-based argument. Furthermore, through an oral presentation on a legal or social issue, students will refine their research and speaking skills. This course will rely heavily on student participation, class discussion and analysis. As many of the issues addressed are open to multiple interpretations, debate will be key component of the course and will encourage students to think critically, form opinions and deliver reasoned arguments.