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ENGL 4561: Literature and Human Rights

Research guide for students in Chris Krentz's Spring 2021 ENGL4561 course.

Subject Liaison

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Sherri Brown
Kerchof 102

Reference Source

Example Streaming Videos in Virgo

Example Online Sources

Helpful URLs

Research Using Library Databases

The UVA Library subscribes to hundreds of databases that contain scholarly resources not available on the free web. Access to most of these databases is restricted to current members of the UVA community. Since you will be accessing materials from off Grounds, you will be prompted to sign in with NetBadge when using these resources. For some resources, you may need to use the VPN - see tab on left side menu (also see the Off-Grounds Access link for more information).

The best way to connect to the library's databases is through the research portal. This page provides a  list of recommended databases, ebooks, and streaming media for your assignment. There are many more resources available that might be useful.

If you would like research help, I am available for meetings virtually using Zoom. You can schedule an appointment with me by clicking the button in my information box to the left, by selecting a day/time on my Make an Appointment page, or by
contacting me directly at When you make an appointment, I will send you a Zoom link for us to meet. If Zoom will not work for you, please email me and we will find another option for meeting. Need help right away? Please contact a librarian using one of our Ask a Librarian options. ​

Databases for Finding Articles about Literature & Human Rights

The MLA International Bibliography (MLAIB) indexes the broadest range of resources about literature in all languages, as well as film, television, and popular culture, including over 4,000 journals as well as books and dissertations.For articles not available full-text in MLA, click on “Find article @ UVa Libraries,” or look up the journal title in VIRGO.

ProQuest One Literature contains 3 million literature citations from thousands of journals, monographs, dissertations, and more than 500,000 primary works – including rare and obscure texts, multiple versions, and non-traditional sources like comics, theatre performances, and author readings.

JSTOR includes older issues of scholarly journals, from the start to 3-5 years ago.

Project Muse provides full-text searching of recent articles from major scholarly journals, including roughly 120 journals about literature. Like JSTOR, Project Muse is not as comprehensive as the MLAIB, but offers the advantages of full-text searching and instant access to PDFs.

Databases for finding Articles and other Sources for Broader Context

Humanities International Complete indexes over 2000 journals as well as books and other publications. Topics covered include archaeology, art, dance, drama, ethnic and women's studies, history, literature, music, philosophy, poetry, religion. 

Academic Search Complete
 is a large general database of articles from scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers on many topics. Also includes reference books, biographies, speeches, images, and other primary source documents. 

Historical Abstracts indexes articles about the history of the world from 1450 to the present, published in over 2,000 journals from many countries. Includes book reviews. Does not include articles about the US or Canada. For these see America: History & Life.

Legal Collection is a large collection (over 250) of law journals plus some case studies and documents. 

Peace Research Abstracts 
provide bibliographic records covering topics related to peace analysis including conflict resolution, international affairs and peace psychology.

The UN iLibrary 
is the first comprehensive global search, discovery, and viewing source for digital content created by the United Nations. It provides a single digital destination for seamlessly accessing publications, journals, data, and series published by the United Nations Secretariat, and its funds and programs. Every year around 500 new titles are planned to be added to United Nations iLibrary, approximately 70% of which are in English.

Filmmakers Library Online provides award-winning documentaries with relevance across the curriculum—race and gender studies, human rights, globalization and global studies, multiculturalism, international relations, criminal justice, the environment, bioethics, health, political science and current events, psychology, arts, literature, and more. It presents points of view and historical and current experiences from diverse cultures and traditions world-wide. This release now provides 1,018 titles, equaling approximately 803 hours.

Women's Studies International allows you to find journal articles, books, conference proceedings, reports, theses & dissertations, documents and other materials on all aspects of women's studies

Women and Social Movements International, 1840 to Present  is a collection of primary materials. Through the writings of women activists, their personal letters and diaries, and the proceedings of conferences at which pivotal decisions were made, this collection lets you see how women’s social movements shaped much of the events and attitudes that have defined modern life.

Biography & Biocritical Databases

Dictionary of Literary Biography (DLB) traces the lives and careers of selected authors, critics, screenwriters, journalists, scholars, and publishers from all eras and genres, with lists of recommended books and articles. Search for the author you want and choose the Biographies tab. The DLB link above will take you to Gale Literature, a larger collection where you can also find criticism, reviews, and more. 

Scribner's Writers Online includes brief biographies and critical studies of authors, mostly of literary works in English. 

Twayne Author Series includes full text of ca. 600 books on the lives and works of U.S. and international authors. Recommended books and articles.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) provides articles on the lives of British persons from the earliest times to the end of the 20th century. Note: We only have limited access so please close your browser when finished with this resource

Finding items using Virgo

Virgo, the UVA Library’s primary search tool, contains catalog records for books, print journals, DVDs, maps, and digitized materials, as well as links to online articles from our rich array of subscription journals. You can search catalog materials and articles together, or view those results separately, using the facets provided to limit your results by author, format, publication period, and more. To find online content in the catalog, use Format limiters like EBook, Streaming Video, or Online to limit your catalog search results. 

Example subject terms:

  • Human Rights in Literature
  • Human Rights - Language
  • Humanitarianism in Literature 
  • Law and Literature
  • Literature and Society
  • Social Justice in Literature 

Example E-Books of Interest

Below are just a few of many examples of ebooks available that discuss literature and human rights. Try searching for a particular novel or work, for an author, or use the subject term recommendations above to get started searching in Virgo for relevant materials. Limit your format to EBook to find books available for online reading. Most ebooks have a search feature and/or index that will help you find sections relevant to your research topic.