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PLAI Courses

PLAI 500 (Winter 2014): Advanced Interdisciplinary Humanities Seminar

Law and Popular Culture

Instructor: Wendy Adams (Law) and guests

Mondays, 5:35-8:25 | 3610 McTavish St., room 21-6

The objective of this course is to provide both a theoretical account and specific experience of the relationship between law and popular culture. Much research and teaching in this area analyzes law in popular culture, e.g., representations of state law in movies and novels, or popular culture in law, e.g., how media representations of law affect jury expectations in criminal trials. Our departure is to examine popular culture and law as mutually constitutive discourses, an emancipatory approach that elides familiar disciplinary borders. In doing so, we seek to understand the full range of our normative possibilities, and the many different ways we consider ourselves bound by law. Students will participate in a Moot Court, with each student from the Faculty of Arts paired with a student from the Faculty of Law. Each team will draft materials for appellate court proceedings and take part in oral argument. In place of traditional and familiar legal materials, such as codes, cases, and legislation, the governing law is derived from works of popular culture. Students will also write reflective/analytical essays considering both the course materials and the Moot Court experience.