Narrative and Moral Crisis


It is often said that literature encourages ethical reflection, and even that it somehow fortifies our disposition to behave in ethical ways. This class will consider a different possibility, that literature, or narrative more generally, often represents or provokes circumstances of extreme moral uncertainty. Such uncertainty, sometimes focused in a moment of decision and sometimes arising from a clash of perspectives, can gather around characters, narrators, authors, and even readers. We will be focusing on a few works of literary and cinematic art, ranging from the Book of Genesis to Ian McEwan’s Atonement, in which moral issues emerge with particular urgency and complexity. Instructor: Harpham
Curriculum Codes
  • EI
  • ALP
  • CZ
Cross-Listed As
  • ETHICS 320S
Typically Offered
Spring Only