LAWS2018 Law and Literature

6 points

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

Not available in 2021UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Law and Society major sequence
  • 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 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.