Summer Seminar: Law and Green Eggs and Ham


Chancellor Day Hall NCDH 316, 3644 rue Peel, Montreal, QC, H3A 1W9, CA

Each summer, the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law organizes a series of seminars to promote research of students from McGill and elsewhere. Attendance is open to all. For more information, please contact the Crépeau Centre: centre.crepeau [at]

Speaker: Phil Lord (McGill University)

Phil Lord's seminar explores the role and expressions of law in Green Eggs and Ham, the fourth best-selling children’s book of all time. It frames non-didactic children’s literature as constitutive of internal behavioural norms in the child-reader. It explores how the constitution of those norms is fundamentally different when it occurs away from the typical interplay of authority and positivism. The paper also casts Sam-I-am, the protagonist, as the lawyer par excellence, embodying such character traits as persistence, open-mindedness, and confidence. By distilling law and psychology down to basic concepts of social interaction, otherness, and agency; it deconstructs to reconstruct, framing children’s literature as a fundamental source of law.