Legal Values: Law & Literature

Quick Info
(3590V.03)  Seminar
Professor K. Sutherland
3 credit(s)  2 hour(s);
Discussion and student presentations.
Upper Year Research & Writing Requirement

The field of law and literature is often divided into two strands: “law in literature” and “law as literature.” The “law in literature” strand explores representations of law in poems, short stories, novels, and other literary texts. The “law as literature” strand analyses legal texts through the lens of literary theory, examining the relationship between literary criticism and legal criticism, and between literary theory and legal theory. This seminar will delve into both strands in considering the broad question of how works of literature and literary theory might enhance our understanding of law. Topics of discussion may include: representations of law and legal institutions in fiction, the role of storytelling in law, rhetoric and legal argument, theories of interpretation, and literature and legal change. Readings will be comprised of literary and legal texts as well as scholarly works on law and literature.