Literature, Media, Social Change

This course provided a critical introduction to the topic of literature, media, and social change. It focused on great books and media events that changed the world. Students examined how these books and media events precipitate actual social movements beyond the sphere of private reading. Class participants adopted a critical methodology derived from peace studies and conflict transformation, as practiced by Lederach, Galtung, Freire, Boulding, and others, and place that tradition in perspective with complementary social movements such as Marxism, feminism, civil rights, sexual equality, and national independence. What is the role of literature in social change? How can cultural representations influence real political struggles? Special focus was on contemporary media practices and the changing face of the current media environment. Texts included literature, theory, economics, film, and critical media studies. This course (JUPS-403) was taught by Henry Schwarz, Department of English, as a Doyle Seminar (small upper-level classes that foster deepened student learning about diversity and difference through research and dialogue).

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