Law and Literature

1950F [CRN: 15301]

This seminar explores the conceptual, psychological and rhetorical connections between literature and law, examining how both disciplines shape the imagination but also aim to elicit response and responsibility. We will consider how literary works, legal writings, and legal opinions inform each other, but also illuminate each other’s blind spots. Looking beyond trial scenes, the course invites students to think about how principles and notions in law structure, and are structured by, literature and language. Authors include Walter Benjamin, Joseph Conrad, Albert Camus, Rebecca West, and Chinua Achebe; legal texts by Holmes, Bentham, Cover and a number of judicial opinions. Limited to 20 senior English concentrators.
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