Literature and Politics


Course Description

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?

In this course, we will examine these and other relevant questions as we explore the complex relation between literature and politics. We will read texts by Yeats, Auden, Orwell, Swift, and others, as well as novels by Atwood and Coetzee.

Please note, that all courses have a maximum enrollment of 18 students.

Priority is given to students who pay upon registration.

For fully registered courses, a waiting list will be created. Should vacancies develop, those on the waiting list will be contacted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please note that we do not allow participants to audit courses for free.

Course Details

First Session: Tuesday, April 2nd 2019

Course Length: 12 weeks, Tuesdays, 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Discussion Team: Munirah Amra, David Dussault and Michael O'Brien.

Course Fee: 

$150.00 (tuition fee)

$100.00 (promotion for new students)


Reading and Administration Fee:



$185.00 (tuition fee)

$135.00 (promotion for new students)

NOTE: Reading Fees are included in the total price of the course.

Please note, degree students must schedule an appointment with the Admissions and Accreditation Committee to register for courses for this term. Degree students should not register online.

The course fees are refundable in full before the second session. After the second session, an administrative fee of $50 for the withdrawal will be applied. Refunds will not be issued after the third session.