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Law and Literature


After its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, many wondered whether the law and literature movement would retain vitality. Within the last decade there has, however, been an explosion of energy in the field, which has expanded beyond the boundaries of the literary text narrowly conceived and incorporated a range of other genres and humanistic approaches. Several recent or forthcoming books survey the range of emerging scholarship and the potential for new directions within the field.  Using one of these--New Directions in Law and Literature (Oxford, 2017)--as a guide, this course will delve into a variety of topics that law and literature approaches can illuminate. These include, among others, conceptions of sovereignty and non-sovereign collectivities, the construction of the citizen and refugee, competing visions of marriage and its alternatives, law and the rhetorical tradition, and theoretical perspectives on intellectual property. Nearly every session will pair recent scholarship in the field with a literary or artistic work, ranging from Claudia Rankine's Citizen to Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice. Students taking the course for R credit can take the course for either 3 or 4 units, depending on the paper length.  This class is limited to 22 students, with an effort made to have students from SLS (16 students will be selected by lottery) and six non-law students by consent of instructor.  Elements used in grading:  Attendance, Class Participation, Written Assignments, Final Paper. Cross-listed with the Law School (LAW 3517).

Course ID: 
219 993
Letter or Credit/No Credit