Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


Law and literature are two of the oldest and most influential bodies of writing in Western culture. With a shared basis in rhetoric, they have often functioned in parallel, with law influencing literature and vice versa, but they have also sometimes had an oppositional relationship, with literature critiquing the law or law censoring literary expression. This unit will explore the various relations between these two fields, and their cultural functions, through readings drawn from past and contemporary cultures. Issues to be studied will include literary treatments of the law, narrative in the law, and legal language.

6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of the interactions between law and literature and their effect on society and culture; (2) develop a critical awareness of the forms of legal language and their effects; (3) assess the significance of literary reflections on questions of law and justice; and (4) analyse the various cultural functions of law.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) critical analysis or review; (2) research essay; and (3) tutorial presentation and participation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Kieran Dolin
Unit rules
Any level 1 Law and Society unit
or any level 1 English unit
Contact hours
3 hrs per week (1 lecture
1 two-hour tutorial) in teaching weeks
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.