Maastricht, Netherlands

Law and Literature

when 19 August 2019 - 23 August 2019
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 EC
fee EUR 400

Law is a fundamental component of society and it also plays an important role in the creation of fictional scenarios within literature. The use of law in literature can serve as an anchor to create a reality that is familiar to readers and enables authors to effectively bridge fiction and reality. Sir Walter Scott, Honoré de Balzac, and Leo Tolstoy, to name a few authors, introduce readers to historical events. They skilfully transport readers to foreign lands and distant times, depicting a certain society during a certain era of time. They also tend to depict the legal aspects of a time that are often essential for their story telling. These authors enrich the genre of historical fiction (eg, epics, novels), a genre that has existed since the time of Ancient Greece. Students will explore how law is represented in popular literature, understand how it is depicted in fictional time and space, and where possible, compare it with the law that applied in "reality." Participants will therefore unveil the legal components in seminal novels, and assess the role of those components in the construction of fictional scenarios. Participants will conduct independent historical legal research that will assist in explaining the "real" law that is depicted in fictional scenarios. Contrasting reality and fiction helps to better assess the role of law in popular narrative, and ultimately assists to better identify the place that law occupies in society and in popular culture.

Course leader

A. Parise

Target group

None. The course is aimed at Bachelor, Master, and PhD students.

Course aim

At the end of this course, students will be able to: ▪ Identify and apply the main concepts of the Law and Literature movement. ▪ Acknowledge the development of law in society as reflected in the the genre of historical fiction. ▪ Understand the possible legal narratives behind the fictional writings by seminal authors. ▪ Identify and examine the legal narratives as a means to understand popular culture.

Credits info

2 EC
Maastricht Summer School awards academic credit (ECTS) for courses successfully completed during the programme. To include these credits in the curriculum of your degree, you need to obtain official approval from the responsible department at your home institution.

Upon completion of a course, the Maastricht Summer School issues a transcript. The transcript states the student’s name, student ID-number, the grade or Pass/Fail and the number of ECTS credits.

Fee info

EUR 400: This 1-week course costs €400,-.