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Law and Literature Seminar, Wayne State University

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posted on 2022-07-06, 16:22 authored by Post Discipline AdminPost Discipline Admin
This seminar will examine the connections between law and literature, with a focus on stories of adoption. Topics will include: the role of narrative in legal arguments and in legal decision making; the role of narrative and law, respectively, in constructing identity and literary criticisms of the law and of the legal profession. By examining these topics through the lens of stories of adoption, we will also consider several questions specific to the theme of adoption, such as: shifting definitions of parenthood; the debate over nature vs. nurture; and the ways in which stories of adoptions also raise issues of class, race, gender and national identity. We will address these questions by analyzing novels, short stories, films, memoirs and legal cases from both the 19th century and the modern day. Authors will include Charles Dickens, George Eliot, P.D. James and Louise Erdrich. In addition to in-class presentations, students will be required to write a paper on a topic related to the subject matter of the course. 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

East North Central

University or College

Wayne State 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)

34931; 38124

Course Title

Law and Literature Seminar

Terminal Degree of Instructor(s)

JD and PhD English Literature

Position of Instructor(s)

Associate Professor of Law

Academic Year(s) Active

2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20, 2020/21, 2021/22

Course Enrolment


Primary Works on Reading List

Works by Charles Dickens, George Eliot, P.D. James, and Louise Erdrich.

Usage metrics

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