“Be the Change You Wish to See in the World” —
In this course, we read, watch, study, and discuss some
of the great protest literature and films from different historical contexts.
Our aim is to trace and discuss the discourse of protest as it manifested
itself early in human history and then to determine how later writers augmented
and reinvented this discourse. We will also analyze each work in terms of its
own literary merit by exploring the related history of each period to
understand relationships between fiction and the reform or social justice
This class transcends traditional notions of a
“lit” class and can be helpful to history, pre-law, science and
engineering, and political science majors as well as English majors. This is
also a useful class for those people trying to locate the psychological
components of protest and for those who have protests of their own and would
like to place them within a dynamic historical framework.
Requirements: Two short essays (3-4
pages), one research essay (5-7 with additional works cited page), informal
reading responses, final exam, attendance, and participation.
- Plato, ALLEGORY OF THE CAVE;
- Milton, AREOPAGITICA;
- Marx, THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO;
- Orwell, ANIMAL FARM;
- Rhys, WIDE SARGASSO SEA;
- Yeats, COUNTESS CATHLEEN;
- DC comics, WATCHMEN (selections);
- Selected song lyrics and poems on handouts.
- Selected movie clips from BRAVEHEART, HOTEL RWANDA, THE MATRIX, X-MEN, BLOOD DIAMOND and several others.