First Advisor

Kate Partridge

Second Advisor

Khahn Le


Regis College

Degree Name


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

41 pages


This thesis argues that literature is a valuable tool in examining issues of justice, and teaching ethics through literature is a way to build critical thinking skills and awareness of the world. In this thesis, I examine research and teaching methods that have already been studied and implemented in the teaching of ethics and justice in companionship with literature, and use these resources to propose my own syllabus for a community college class on Ethics in Reading. The syllabus is broken into 7 units: an overview of justice in literature, five specific justice issues (race, feminism, queer studies, eco-criticism, and poverty), and a final unit for the application of the concepts in a holistic way that reach beyond the class.

There is a balance between how justice issues can be taught through literature, and how literature can be read in an ethical way. Everyone deserves access to a good education, and education of any kind holds inherent value. Narrative and stories are central to how we construct everything about ourselves that shapes how we influence and perceive the outside world, including our conception of justice. Teaching certain stories in certain ways allow for the teaching of justice, increased awareness of the world, and the creation of a self that wants to improve the world.

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Location (Creation)

Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)

Rights Statement

All content in this Collection is owned by and subject to the exclusive control of Regis University and the authors of the materials. It is available only for research purposes and may not be used in violation of copyright laws or for unlawful purposes. The materials may not be downloaded in whole or in part without permission of the copyright holder or as otherwise authorized in the “fair use” standards of the U.S. copyright laws and regulations.