Module Catalogue 2014/2015
Law and Literature - LW581
Credits (ECTS) : 15 (7.5)
Convenor: Dr. Anne Bottomley. Kent Law School
So much of law is about text and the manipulation of language: Becoming sensitive to the construction of narratives in judgements, learning to read argument in its many forms, recognising the ways in which words, and patterns of words, can be used to create effect, playing with ambiguities or seeking to express an idea with clarity, all these are fundamental skills for a lawyer. Law is also about performance, the roles which are assigned to us and the drama of the court room. And law, as text and performance, carries fundamental cultural messages about the society we live in and the values we aspire to. During this module, we will examine some of the many ways in which reading, viewing and listening to, ‘the arts’ helps us to think more concisely as well as more imaginatively about law. Our preliminary ‘reading list’ is longer than usual, it is designed to give prospective students a taste of the range of material we will cover, as well as to suggest that it will be helpful to have undertaken some preliminary work before starting the module. We welcome on to the module anyone who shares, with us, an enjoyment of reading, viewing and listening – this is a chance to be introduced to material you may not be familiar with as well as a chance to pursue an interest you may already have. Although the module is designed primarily for law students, it is also open to undergraduates from other degree programmes.
This module appears in:
• Social Sciences Undergraduate Stage 2 & 3
20 contact hours (combined 2-hour lecture seminar)
Method of assessment
100% coursework consisting of an essay question take from a takeaway examination paper worth 90% and a set of questions worth 10%.
• Peter Goodrich Languages of Law (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1990)
• Gilles Delueze Negotiations (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995)
• Charles Dickens Bleak House
• Franz Kafka The Trial
• Patricia Highsmith City of the Owl
• Shakespeare Titus Andronichus, Merchant of Venice and Measure for Measure
• Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice
• Oscar Wilde Ballad of Reading Gaol
• Chester Himes A Rage in Harlem
• JG Ballard High Rise
• Jean Anouilh Antigone
• Preliminary Viewing - Titus, 1999, Dir Julie Taymor
• Preliminary Viewing - The Trial, 1963, Dir Orson Wells
• Preliminary Viewing - Jagged Edge,1985, Dir Richard Marquand
• • to develop an understanding of law as a text, susceptible to manipulation.
• • to understand the origin of law in humanities rather than in social science.
• • to consider the contemporary representation of lawyers in imaginative media.
• • to develop an appreciation of how law intersects with the arts generally.
• • to develop a critical understanding of law’s claim to be truthful.
Kent Law School: http://www.llmstudy.com/University_of_Kent_Kent_Law_School/department/5664/ http://www.kent.ac.uk/law/
The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ