LANG 3059 Law, Literature and Culture

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102416

Coordinator Christopher Conti Opens in new window

Description This unit explores the common origin of law and literature in rhetoric, narrative, interpretation, and culture. Students will study literary representations of justice, violence and morality and explore an interpretive understanding of the law. Core unit texts will usually be drawn from 19th century world literature to the present, though Film and Television texts may also be selected for analysis.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Literature

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Restrictions Successful completion of 60 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Explore the diverse representations of the law in literature.
  2. Investigate the different ways law and literature address moral questions.
  3. Demonstrate the usefulness of literary studies and close reading to an understanding of law.
  4. Examine the idea of literature as critique of law.

Subject Content

Topics include but are not limited to:
- Force, Law and order in Melville
- Confession and testimony in Dostoevsky
- legal authority and interpretation in Kafka
- Distributive versus retributive justice in Coetzee
- literature as critique of Law
- The relation of justice and violence
- The use of literature to improve legal Understanding
- The modernist predicament of legal theory and Critical legal studies

Prescribed Texts

  • Franz Kafka, The Trial. Trans. Breon Mitchell. New York: Shocken, 1998.
  • J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace. London: Secker & Warburg, 1999.

Teaching Periods




Subject Contact Christopher Conti Opens in new window

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Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Christopher Conti Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window