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Law and Literature, Duke University.pdf (133.63 kB)

Law and Literature, Duke University

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posted on 2022-07-06, 16:23 authored by Post Discipline AdminPost Discipline Admin
This course concentrates on possible relationships between law and literature. The major themes will be the depiction of law and lawyers in popular and highbrow fiction; the relationship between the interpretation of legal and literary texts; law in utopia and dystopia; crime, punishment and racial justice and the romantic conception of authorship. Fair warning: the course involves considerable reading – but almost all of it consists of works of fiction. For the final exam, which you will have 2 weeks to complete, you will be given a list of very broad essay topics brought up by the books we have read, and will write 2, 2000 word essays on the topics of your choice. This information has been collected for the Post-Discipline Online Syllabus Database. The database explores the use of literature by schools of professional education in North America. It forms part of a larger project titled Post-Discipline: Literature, Professionalism, and the Crisis of the Humanities, led by Dr Merve Emre with the assistance of Dr Hayley G. Toth. You can find more information about the project at Data was collected and accurate in 2021/22.


Subject Area


Geographic Region

South Atlantic

University or College

Duke University

Funding Status


Endowment (according to NACUBO's U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change* in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20) ($1,000)


Annual Tuition and Mandatory Fees 2021-2022 ($) (Resident; Non-resident, where applicable)


Course Title

Law and Literature

Terminal Degree of Instructor(s)


Position of Instructor(s)

Professor of Law

Academic Year(s) Active

2021, 2020, 2019, 2017, 2016

Primary Works on Reading List

Auden, Law Like Love; “Slave Come to my Service” – Akkadian poetry from the 10th century B.C.; Jean-Paul Sartre, The Words (excerpts); Herman Melville, Billy Budd; Sophocles, Antigone; Jean Anouilh, Antigone; Charles Dickens, Bleak House (2 classes); Ursula le Guin, The Dispossessed; George Orwell, 1984; Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad; Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale; Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (novella); Blade Runner (ideally “The Director’s Cut,” but any version will do); James Boyle, “The Line” (Additional readings packet); Kazuo Ishiguro, Remains of the Day; Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird; Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman; Fyodor Dostoievsky, Crime and Punishment; Jack Abbott, In the Belly of the Beast; Supplementary materials on Abbott; Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich; Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow and Its Critics (excerpts); Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities (2 classes); Franz Kafka, The Trial; and Herman Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener.

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