The Power of Literature and Human Rights

Literature, specifically fiction, has a unique capacity to touch the hearts and minds of people and engage them in a way that is distinctly different from political or academic texts. It has the potential to lead to personal or social change. Thus, literature may offer an important tool to educate people about and promote human rights.

The discussion will explore the role of the authors in human rights work. Should literature be politically and socially engaged? Should authors take political or social stands? What consequences does it carry for their art? Can NGOs benefit by using literature in their human rights work? Should publishers have a moral obligation regarding the work they choose to publish?


 The event was moderated by SUSAN HITCH


 ROMA TEARNE, artist and novelist


The event was organised by Weidenfeld Scholars Yael Litmanovitz & Vilija Velyvyte in collaboration with Novel Rights ( and supported by an academic grant from Green Templeton College.