Document Type

Honors Project - Open Access


Merging literary criticism and political theory, this project explores the representations of refugees in contemporary fiction and human rights law. Through a close reading of reports and press releases published by human rights organizations, I trace how NGOs’ moral and expert authority creates a narrow emphasis on refugees’ fear and victimhood. As novels by Dave Eggers, Susan Choi, Caryl Phillips, and Chris Cleave show, literature is not bound by the same constraints. These novels reveal the internal borders that continue to compromise refugees’ belonging after resettlement. Employing a metanarrative that considers the uses and limits of its own project, literature can fill in the gaps in the stories law leaves untold.



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