University of Pittsburgh

Literature and Law Seminar

Catalog Number: 5843
3.0 Credits
Priority: Seminar - 3rd Year Priority
Catalog Requirements: Upper-Level Writing, "W" Writing.

Law both affects and reflects cultural values and norms. In this seminar we will investigate the degree to which the law represents and interprets fundamental societal values and norms as expressed in selected literary works. We shall read an eclectic sample of 19th and 20th Century novels in a search for the expression of fundamental cultural values, norms, and prohibitions to determine how they find expression or rejection in the law. Particular attention will be paid to whether the principles of property, contract, tort and criminal law promote or contradict the values found in the literary sources. By so doing, we should gain a richer understanding of how law embodies fundamental human needs and desires.

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