This course studies how cultural texts broach questions of justice and can be understood to be in an (implicit) dialogue with the juridical questions and legal trials of their times. Literary texts, films, works of drama, and popular songs explore notions of justice that challenge hegemonic ideas or express grievances that cannot be articulated in juridical terms, thereby offering a supplement to the legal sphere.
This year’s seminar focuses on the intersection of law, culture, and (media) technology. Technological innovations in the military sphere (such as the rise of drone warfare), in the medical world, or in communication technology have radically redefined key legal categories and concepts, such as that of personhood, responsibility, territory, and sovereignty. In part one of the course, we will study a series of key legal and moral concepts (such as justice, humanity, sovereignty, animality). In part two, we will study a selection of fictional texts (novels, games, comics, films) that revolve around the legal, political, and ethical issues that are raised by recent changes in technology.
This course introduces students into the interdisciplinary field of Law, Culture and Literature; a field that is well established in the Anglo-Saxon world but much less so in Europe. The goals of the course are:
To be aware of the pitfalls and possibilities of interdisciplinary research in this field;
To have knowledge of the field’s recent history and historical breakthroughs;
To develop conceptual clarity about pivotal concepts in the debates that dominate the field;
To know the different modes of research by means of which the two fields have been related thus far;
To be able to start to move independently in this field on the basis of a productive relation between the two disciplines, i.e., not using one as an illustration for the other but as partners in dialogue or confrontation;
To further develop practical skills such as close reading or the contextualisation of both primary texts and theories.
Mode of instruction
Please indicate here how the course is assessed.
Possibilities (Note that in case of mid-term examinations the weighting must be specified and how the final mark is established):
Written examination with closed questions (eg multiple choice)
Written examination with short open questions
Written examination with essay questions
Take home examination
Abstract, oral presentation.
To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following:
the final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average
the final mark for the course is established by (i) determination of the weighted average combined with (ii) additional requirements. These additional requirements generally relate to one or more of the subtests always be sufficient
Please describe how the resit will be arranged. The resit may consist of the same subtests as the first opportunity, but this is not compulsory. The alternative is to combine subtests for the resit. Offering a resit is mandatory.
Validity of exams: An additional sub-header (#### Validity of exams) could state the validity of passed course grades will be limited to ten years, due to societal relevance or outdated knowledge. This option is only available in concurrence with the Board of Examiners. Starting academic year 2020-2021, restricting the validity of exams will be possible again.
Mid-term paper (40%);
Final paper (60%)
The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average.
Should the overall mark be unsatisfactory, the student will have to consult with the instructor.
Inspection and feedback
How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.
Readings will be made available on Brightspace. These include theoretical texts by (among others), Butler, Derrida, Agamben, Esposito, Vissman, Deleuze, and Galloway, as well as a selection of literary texts, comics, and films.
Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs