Political Theory

Teaching Western Political Thought Through Western Literature

Douglas West Lakehead University
In this presentation I will begin by situating and accounting for my pedagogical decision to teach the Fall 2019 section of Modern Political Thought, through the lens of Western-European literature. This course focuses on the use of the novel in Western-European culture as a commentary on contemporary political experiences. For example, the novels that will be covered in this course aim to convey to the reader the power of political will, utopia and dystopia, ideological bias, gender politics, religion and civic engagement, among other political themes. Throughout the course we will read these books as they speak to their time and to our own, encouraging an historical perspective on the development of Western – European political ideas. The texts under consideration include; Utopia. Thomas More, Frankenstein. Mary Shelley, Darkness at Noon. Arthur Koestler, Continental Drift. Russell Banks, Linden Hills. Gloria Naylor