Monday, June 12, 2006

Law and Literature/Law and Pop Culture Resources

With summer upon us, I thought I'd go looking for material about the relationship between the law and literature, pop culture, film, etc. A neat way to compile a reading list or a list of movies to rent.

I came across a few interesting sites:
  • The Law & Humanities Institute "focuses on law and literature, law and narrative, legal history, sociology of law, and other fields of study involving the humanities and law". Among other things, it has compiled a list of works of literature with legal themes (e.g. Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale, Franz Kafka, The Trial, etc.) as well as a page of law and literature course syllabi
  • The Law in Popular Culture Collection at the Tarlton Law Library (University of Texas School of Law) "consists of works of fiction in all genres, as well as legal humor, plays, comics, pulp magazines, and feature films on video. The primary criteria for an item's inclusion is that it must either include a lawyer as a central character or have been authored by a lawyer". The collection covers everything from Shakespeare to Danielle Steele, from Hitchcock to Tom and Jerry. It includes a bibliography, a filmography, a history of the legal thriller, "lawyerly quotations from popular culture" and a collection of movie posters
  • The John Grisham Room (University of Mississippi) contains papers and materials donated by the Mississippi State University alumnus and best-selling novelist
  • Lawyers and the Legal Process in the Movies (University of California at Berkeley) contains annotated descriptions of dozens of law-themed films and links to bibliographies on the topic
  • Picturing Justice (University of San Francisco School of Law) looks at the ways in which law, the legal profession and the practice of law are portrayed or represented in film and television from Adam's Rib to West Wing
  • Finally, on the very serious, scholarly, I'd almost say nerdy side, the Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture (University at Albany) publishes scholarly reviews of books and movies about criminal justice and original essays pertaining to the intersection of popular culture and the court system. It deals with such themes as the popularity of Hannibal Lecter, the serial killer in Silence of the Lambs, what the movie Serpico can tell us about whistleblowing in the Los Angeles Police Department's corrupt Ramparts Division, the meaning of the lyrics of Rage Against the Machine for radical criminology, etc.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:51 pm


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