Presentation Title

"We Were Not Free, Merely Licensed": Transforming Literature into Legislation

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

Watkins 2240

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Abstract

During the summer of 2016, Phylizia received a W.M. Keck Foundation Undergraduate Research Scholarship to conduct literary research. After being inspired by Toni Morrison’s investigation of society and history via fiction, Phylizia began Transforming Literature into Legislation in order to bridge the gap between literary research and policy analysis, fiction and reality. At their best, literature and legislation are forms of storytelling - media created for the entertainment, education, and/or preservation of society. That being said, socio-historical, comparative, and SWOT analyses were used extensively during the annotation of Toni Morrison's works, which included "Beloved," "The Dancing Mind," and an introduction from "Race-ing Justice, En-gendering Power." Additionally, critical articles such as Richard A. Posner's "Law and Literature: A Relation Reargued" were analyzed and distilled. As a result, Transforming Literature into Legislation seeks to make a case for fiction’s ability to influence more pro-people public policies by encouraging readers to exercise personal responsibility, authors to embody social accountability, and legislators to engineer more empathetic realities.

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Nov 12th, 10:15 AM Nov 12th, 10:30 AM

"We Were Not Free, Merely Licensed": Transforming Literature into Legislation

Watkins 2240

During the summer of 2016, Phylizia received a W.M. Keck Foundation Undergraduate Research Scholarship to conduct literary research. After being inspired by Toni Morrison’s investigation of society and history via fiction, Phylizia began Transforming Literature into Legislation in order to bridge the gap between literary research and policy analysis, fiction and reality. At their best, literature and legislation are forms of storytelling - media created for the entertainment, education, and/or preservation of society. That being said, socio-historical, comparative, and SWOT analyses were used extensively during the annotation of Toni Morrison's works, which included "Beloved," "The Dancing Mind," and an introduction from "Race-ing Justice, En-gendering Power." Additionally, critical articles such as Richard A. Posner's "Law and Literature: A Relation Reargued" were analyzed and distilled. As a result, Transforming Literature into Legislation seeks to make a case for fiction’s ability to influence more pro-people public policies by encouraging readers to exercise personal responsibility, authors to embody social accountability, and legislators to engineer more empathetic realities.