Literature possesses the ability to make us sympathize with and even champion characters whose actions we would abhor in real life, and some have declared this power to be socially dangerous. In this seminar we will read novels, poems, and plays that attempt to depict genuine criminals—not the falsely accused or the merely misunderstood, but honest-to-God rotters—as their heroes. While doing so, we will attempt to understand what aspects of our everyday morality these authors are asking us to reconsider, reject, or re-commit to. Readings will include Disgrace, Lolita, Brighton Rock, and poems by Byron and Browning. 3 hrs. sem.