Law and Literature

The details
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Sunday 17 January 2021
Friday 26 March 2021
05 June 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This module will examine the interrelationship between law and literature from a variety of perspectives. The module reflects research interests of staff in the Law School and Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies. There is increasing academic interest in interdisciplinary study in law, and there is an established body of scholarship examining the relationship between law and literature from a variety of perspectives.

The perspectives examined in the module will include, but not be confined to, the representation of law in literature, legal texts as literature and how techniques of literary interpretation can inform the study and understanding of law. The module will also present the opportunity for students to examine the nature of interdisciplinary work, exemplified by the study of law and literature.

Module aims

The aim of this module is to explore introductions to relevant literary theory and legal theory, examining issues of textuality, authorship and interpretation as well as contexts. In addition to close reading of selected texts, seminars will explore such issues as justice, morality, and reasoning, trials and courts, campaigns for legal reform, anarchy, crime and punishment, the concepts of race, human rights, migration and theatre and international crimes.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

1) Write essays which analyse topics exploring the relationship between literature and law, making use of appropriate vocabulary and techniques, appropriate to this level of study.
2) Demonstrate an awareness of theoretical contexts and frameworks for the study of literature and law.
3) Demonstrate an awareness of the implications of the interdisciplinary study of literature and law
4) Illustrate through comparative analysis the way in which literature and law may be related.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Anticipated teaching delivery for 2020-21: Weekly 1-hour lecture plus 1-hour seminar plus online portfolio activities


  • Glaspell, Susan. (2010) A Jury of Her Peers, Stilwell: Neeland Media LLC.
  • Tert?s?, Abram; Hayward, Max; Dennis, G. Ravenscroft. (1982) The trial begins and On socialist realism, Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Glaspell, Susan; Bigsby, C. W. E; Dymkowski, Christine. (1987) Plays, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Thomas Ross. (1989) 'The Richmond Narratives', in Texas Law Review, Austin, TX: University of Texas at Austin School of Law.
  • McEwan, Ian. (©2014) The children act, London: Vintage.
  • Foucault, Michel. (1979) Discipline and punish: the birth of the prison, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.
  • Solórzano, Daniel G.; Yosso, Tara J. (2002-02) 'Critical Race Methodology: Counter-Storytelling as an Analytical Framework for Education Research', in Qualitative Inquiry. vol. 8 (1) , pp.23-44
  • Rupert Bazambanza. (2009) Smile Through the Tears: Soul Asylum Poetry.
  • Capstick, Tom. (2018) 'Migration and Belonging', in Thinking home : interdisciplinary dialogues., pp.185-206
  • Murav, Harriet. (©1998) Russia's legal fictions, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  • (no date) Re E, [1993] 1 FLR 386.
  • Sophocles; Jebb, Richard Claverhouse. (c2019) Oedipus Rex, [Brentford, London]: Compass Circle [Compass Independent Publishing Services].
  • Hillary Chute. (1889-) 'Comics as Literature? Reading Graphic Narrative', in Publications of the Modern Language Association of America. vol. 123 (2) , pp.452-465
  • Freud, Sigmund. (2018) Civilization and its discontents, [Scottsvalley, California]: [CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform].
  • (2013) 'Property Rights in Whiteness : Their Legal Legacy, Their Economic Costs', in Critical race theory: the cutting edge, Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
  • Frosh, Stephen. (2010) Psychoanalysis outside the clinic: interventions in psychosocial studies, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Mukimbiri, J. (2005-08-12) 'The Seven Stages of the Rwandan Genocide', in Journal of International Criminal Justice. vol. 3 (4) , pp.823-836

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Reflective log (1,500 Words)    20% 
Coursework   Online Portfolio    20% 
Coursework   Essay (2,500 words)     60% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Katharine Cockin, email:
Dr Clotilde Pegorier, email:
LiFTS General Office - Tel. (01206) 872626



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 27 hours, 22 (81.5%) hours available to students:
5 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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