Course description

This class is about the use of storytelling in advancing restorative and transformative justice endeavors and practices. In Greater Boston a powerful restorative justice movement has been growing at the intersection of justice and healing. Restorative justice practices are holistic community-focused and usually involve dialogue among victim offender and their families and communities. It is a reparative rather than punitive approach to justice. On the global stage transitional or transformational justice efforts in post-conflict post-colonial societies have included truth commissions and reparative processes. This course looks at the role of storytelling as a tool for the transformation of individual lives and communities. Students read and write on the topic of restorative justice at the local criminal justice level or transitional/transformational justice on the global stage such as in South Africa Rwanda and Northern Ireland. Readings begin with memoir in order to experience the role of empathy in telling one's story and listening to others'. From there we work outward to other nonfiction approaches straight journalism and research personal journalism and opinion/advocacy essay. Students' writings come from personal reflection observation of local and global peace and justice movements including visits to their local community as well as assigned reading and research.


  • Professor of the Practice and Honors Writer in Residence, University Honors Program, Northeastern University

Associated Schools

  • Harvard Division of Continuing Education

  • Harvard Summer School

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