Narrative & Human Rights

Jan 2021

Wonderful class!!!! I took this as a poli sci major (never took a comp lit class in college), and loved it! Really fruitful discussions and everything Slaughter has to say is so interesting. Also props to him and the TAs for moving onto zoom so well and still allowing for so much class discussion. Pretty light workload, and super interesting essay topics that I honestly really enjoyed writing.

Dec 2020

This is one of the best classes I've ever taken at Columbia. Professor Slaughter is an incredible lecturer, his syllabus is a masterpiece, the readings are ALL fascinating, the essay prompts are inspiring. In every class, we read law, theory, and literature, that Professor Slaughter expertly weaves together in lecture. He's brilliant and quite a lovely man--he makes sure everyone meets with him individually in office hours, even though it's a 50+ person lecture. He also reads every one of our essays, even though he has the TA grade them. He makes an effort to take loads of questions and open the class up to class-wide conversation. He's totally brilliant and irreverent and causes us all to question ourselves and think extremely critically about everything we read. I can't recommend this class enough.

Jan 2015

Professor Slaughter is one of the best professors I've had at Columbia. While this class was taught as a lecture, Slaughter always encourages his students to ask questions, to challenge his interpretation and to participate in dialogue. He knows that some of the material he covers is difficult to grasp, and always makes sure students are following before he moves on to the next topic. If you are taking notes by hand, you'll come out of each class with cramps in your fingers from writing so much: everything he has to say is relevant and fascinating. The readings he assigns are equally great. Each class is centered around 1 or 2 legal texts along with a literary or creative work (novel, graphic novel, film, comic strip etc etc), with occasionally some responses to submit on line (approx every 2 weeks). There is definitely a lot of reading, but Slaughter knows you might not be able to get to all the secondary texts. Professor Slaughter's course helped me in all my classes, and has really challenged the way I understand literature, story-telling and human rights. TAKE THIS CLASS.

Jan 2011

This was easily the best class I've taken at Columbia. Professor Slaughter is absolutely brilliant, and he chose varied and interesting readings, tying together everything from international law to documentaries to novels, plays and literary theory. His lectures are mindblowing: be ready to take comprehensive notes, because he manages to draw from tons of material every class. He also managed to somehow make his large lecture class feel like a small discussion. The best part about the class, though, was that Professor Slaughter introduced as many questions as he answered, and he was legitimately interested in his student's creative interpretations. He gave us enough material to draw from, but left it open for discussion.

Jan 2006

I absolutely loved this class! The books that you read can be fairly depressing, but in most cases they are books you would never have found on your own. The novels are diverse and thought-provoking and the theoretical pieces fit together nicely with the novels. I highly recommend this class to anyone interested in human rights because it brought up many issues that are important, but often overlooked in other types of human rights classes. When I took this class it was offered as a seminar, but I believe in the future it will be a lecture. In some ways this is unfortunate because our discussion was generally wonderful, but at the same time I always wanted to hear more of what Joey had to say. TAKE THIS CLASS!!