Teaching Law and Literature

  • Editors: Austin Sarat, Cathrine O. Frank, Matthew Anderson
  • Pages: viii & 510 pp.
  • Published: 2011
  • ISBN: 9781603290937 (Paperback)
  • ISBN: 9781603290920 (Cloth)
Teaching Law and Literature Cover

“Students in undergraduate humanities courses will benefit from studying the way legal realities help shape and inform literary works. Law teachers may usefully assign chapters from the text to explore law’s narrative drama.”

—Richard Sherwin, New York Law School

This volume provides a resource for teachers interested in learning about the field of law and literature and shows how to bring its insights to bear in their classrooms, both in the liberal arts and in law schools. Essays in the first section, “Theory and History of the Movement,” provide a retrospective of the field and look forward to new developments. The second section, “Model Courses,” offers readers an array of possibilities for structuring courses that integrate legal issues with the study of literature, from The Canterbury Tales to current prison literature. In “Texts,” the third section, guidance is provided for teaching not only written documents (novels, plays, trial reports) but also cultural objects: digital media, Native American ceremonies, documentary theater, hip-hop. The volume’s contributors investigate what constitutes law and literature and how each informs the other.

Philip Auslander
Ayelet Ben-Yishai
Mary Flowers Braswell
Peter Brooks
Kieran Dolin
Florence Dore
Alex Feerst
David H. Fisher
Nan Goodman
Chaya Halberstam
Susan Sage Heinzelman
Peter C. Herman
Diane Hoeveler
Harold Joseph
Valerie Karno
Lenora Ledwon
Nancy S. Marder
Bridget M. Marshall
Alyce Miller
D. Quentin Miller
Harriet Murav
Victoria Myers
Linda Myrsiades
Jacqueline O’Connor
Julie Stone Peters
Greg Pingree
Ravit Reichman
Lisa Rodensky
Hilary Schor
Richard Schur
Caleb Smith
Cristine Soliz
Simon Stern
Nomi Stolzenberg
Brook Thomas
Zoe Trodd
Elliot Visconsi
Patricia D. Watkins
Richard H. Weisberg
Robert Weisberg
Robin West
James Boyd White
Theodore Ziolkowski

 Introduction (1)

Austin Sarat, Cathrine O. Frank, and Matthew Anderson

Part I: Theory and History of the Movement

The Cultural Background of The Legal Imagination (29)

James Boyd White

Law and Literature as Survivor (40)

Richard H. Weisberg

Law, Literature: Where Are We? (61)

Peter Brooks

Law, Literature, and the Vanishing Real: On the Future of an Interdisciplinary Illusion (71)

Julie Stone Peters

Law, Literature, and Cultural Unity: Between Celebration and Lament (86)

Robert Weisberg

Literature, Culture, and Law at Duke University (98)

Robin West

Part II: Model Courses

Where the Evidence Leads: Teaching Gothic Novels and the Law (117)

Diane Hoeveler

Making Crime Pay in the Victorian Novel Survey Course (126)

Lisa Rodensky

Teaching Legal Realism: A Senior Seminar on the Realist Novel and the Law (136)

Ayelet Ben-Yishai

American Undead: Teaching the Cultural Life of Civil Death (147)

Caleb Smith

Teaching Legal Fiction: Law and The Canterbury Tales (155)

Mary Flowers Braswell

Teaching Early Modern Literature through the Ancient Constitution (162)

Peter C. Herman

Law and Drama in the Romantic Era: A Model Course (172)

Victoria Myers

Immigration, Law, and American Literature (180)

Alex Feerst

Vital Visions: On Teaching Prison Literature (189)

D. Quentin Miller

Using Critical Race Theory to Teach African American Literature (197)

Patricia D. Watkins

The Legal and Literary Animal (206)

Alyce Miller

Native American Literature, Ceremony, and Law (217)

Cristine Soliz and Harold Joseph

Free Speech and Free Love: The Law and Literature of the First Amendment (225)

Hilary Schor and Nomi Stolzenberg

“The Gollum Problem”: Teaching Performance and/as Intellectual Property (234)

Philip Auslander

Literary Evidence and Legal Aesthetics (244)

Simon Stern

An Introduction to Law and Literature for English Majors (253)

Brook Thomas

Law and Literature as Cultural and Aesthetic Products: Studying Interdisciplinary Texts in Tandem (262)

Valerie Karno

Literature and Law Lite: Approaches in Surveys and General Education Courses (268)

Bridget M. Marshall

Part III: Texts

Measure for Measure: No Remedy (279)

Elliott Visconsi

Bleak House and the Connections between Law and Literature (288)

Kieran Dolin

Guilty Reading: Obscenity Law, American Modernism, and the Case for Teaching Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie (296)

Florence Dore

Literature in Its Legal Context: Kafka (307)

Theodore Ziolkowski

Dostoevsky and the Law (314)

Harriet Murav

Law and Literature of the Hebrew Bible (323)

Chaya Halberstam

Law and Revenge Violence: From Saga to Modern Fiction (333)

David H. Fisher

Teaching Eighteenth-Century Law and Literature: The Adventures of Rivella (345)

Susan Sage Heinzelman

Law, Literature, and Feminism: Broadening the Canon with New Texts (354)

Nancy S. Marder

Neutrality in Law and Literature: Reading the Supreme Court with Joseph Conrad (366)

Ravit Reichman

How Rhetoric Shapes Cultural Legitimacy: Teaching Law Students the Moral Syllogism (375)

Greg Pingree

Roger Williams and the Law and Literature of Colonial New England (385)

Nan Goodman

Sangrado and the Cloven Foot: A Case in Teaching Eighteenth-Century Law (394)

Linda Myrsiades

Performing the Law in Contemporary Documentary Theater (407)

Jacqueline O’Connor

“Fight the Power”: Hip-Hop in the Law and Literature Classroom (415)

Richard Schur

Ten Kinds of Law and Literature Texts You Haven’t Read (425)

Lenora Ledwon

American Blueprints: Alternative Declarations and Constitutions in the Protest Tradition (436)

Zoe Trodd

Notes on Contributors (447)

Works Cited (453)

Index (497)