This seminar aims to introduce the students to the movement of "Law and Literature" and discuss its potential contributions to jurisprudence and legal scholarly.
In the first part of the course, we will discuss the main directions of studies in this field: "law in literature" (which examines the phenomenon of law and legal-philosophical issues in literary texts), and "law as literature" (which aims to contribute to the study of law as a literary text). Finally, we will discuss some critical responses to these projects. During this part, we will learn about and discuss the views of significant figures in the law and literature movement (e.g., Benjamin Cardozo, James Boyd White, Jane Baron, Martha Nussbaum), including famous legal philosophers (Ronald Dworkin and Richard Posner).
In the second and central part of the seminar, we will take the "law in literature" perspective. We will read and discuss a selection of relevant works of literary fiction or their fragments (e.g., William Shakespeare, Albert Camus, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Charles Dickens, Franz Kafka, Vladimir Nabokov, Bernhard Schlink, Harper Lee). During this part, we will discuss and interpret the works of fiction together regarding their potential legal-philosophical messages. We will end the seminar with a general discussion on whether and how the pieces of literary fiction (like the one discussed during the class) can contribute to legal thinking and legal practice.