12 weeks, Tuesdays, 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Writing about Henry James, T.S. Eliot commented that James had “a mind so fine that no idea could violate it.” However, despite Eliot’s and James’s prejudices, there are many literary works that do trade in ideas, especially ideas about politics. Can such works be political without ceasing to be literary? Does literature that allies itself with a particular position or cause thereby become propaganda? Is, on the other hand, all literature, even that of James, a reflection of the time in which it was created and thus of political import? Are there universal issues, such as human rights, the treatment of minorities, women, etc., that literature can explore in a particularly compelling way?