A sleepy Southern US town in the 1930s. Scout Finch, an unconventional and observant girl, is jolted out of an idyllic childhood: Her father, lawyer Atticus Finch, is appointed to defend a black man accused of rape. Both adults and children try, in their own ways, to deal with dramatic situations. – Pulitzer-Prize winning author Harper Lee's novel, published in 1960, has become a classic of American literature. It discusses timeless themes like racism, bigotry, violence and the need for courage. The Black Lives Matter protests and the obviously deep divisions in American society show the enduring relevance of the issues raised in the novel. At the end of the course we shall watch the Oscar-winning film version with Gregory Peck.
Participants are requested to read parts of the text at home for the discussion in class (please read chapters 1-3 for the first evening).