Skip to main content

Literature & Social Justice

Justice image


In 2009, the Lehigh English Department made a commitment to literature and social justice (LSJ) as the central intellectual emphasis of our department. Through this focus, we explore the distinctive contributions that literary works (and other forms of expressive culture) have made to movements for social justice over many centuries, as well as the ways in which literary texts have represented and often legitimated unjust social arrangements. Through cross-period, cross-disciplinary and theoretically varied modes of inquiry, we seek to understand how the study of literature can assist us in addressing urgent ethical, social and political questions. The literature and social justice initiative has influenced all our faculty hires over the last decade; it has systematically reshaped our graduate program; and it is redefining our undergraduate major.

LSJ Mission Statement