Skip to main content

Writing Human Rights, Studies in 20th-Century Literature(368-0-20)


Kalyan Sunder Sameer Nadiminti

Meeting Info

Online: Tues, Thurs, 9:30AM - 10:50AM

Overview of class

Over the last decade, posters announcing "Refugees Welcome Here" have appeared across the American landscape. What does the particular figure of the refugee tell us about the status of human rights in the twenty-first century? In other words, what are human rights and why do we care about them? Who gets to be a human and who doesn't? This course examines the logic behind both the dispensation and withholding of human rights through literary texts across genres (novels, short stories, and graphic novels) and political theory across global sites like Kashmir, Palestine, Guant?namo, and Manus Island. The course queries the role of empathy, citizenship, the category of the human, and protection from torture, genocide, and extralegal violence in representation by studying key figures such as the refugee, the undocumented migrant, the prisoner, and the animal.

Class Materials (Required)

Emile Habiby, The Secret Life of Saeed, or The Pessoptimist (translated text)
Michael Ondaatje, Anil's Ghost
Malik Sajad, Munnu: A Boy from Kashmir (graphic novel)
Sanjay Kak, Jashn-e-Azadi (documentary)
Indra Sinha, Animal's People
Behrouz Boochani, No Friend bu the Mountain (translated text)
Jer?me Tubiana and Alexandre Franc, Guant?namo Kid: The True Story of Mohammed El-Gharani (graphic novel)

Class Attributes

Literature & Fine Arts Distro Area
Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time