LAWS2018 Law and Literature

6 points
Not available in 2020UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the English and Literary Studies; Law and Society major sequences
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Society and Culture
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
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.
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.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Kieran Dolin
Unit rules
Any level 1 Law and Society unit
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.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.