English 120 - Winter, 2016

Law & Literature

Class Information

Instructor: Dolan, Frances
CRN: 43590
Time: TR 1:40-3:00
Location: 1204 Haring


    This course welcomes majors and non-majors. It fulfills the following General Education Requirements: Arts & Humanities; American Cultures, Governance & History; Domestic Diversity; Oral Skills; World Culture; and Writing Experience.

    We will think about how the law inspires literature, including plays, poems, short stories, novels, and a graphic novel, as well as how literature anticipates, resists, critiques, upholds, transforms, and evades the law. The reading will be varied and rewarding but not overwhelming. Topics addressed will include murder, evidence, detection, and criminal law; sexuality; inheritance and marriage law; racial justice; and outlaws. While students may write conventional critical papers if they choose, there will also be opportunities to draw on legal texts to shape their own creative works.


    Paper/project #1: 20%
    Oral presentation (one-on-one with instructor): 15%
    Quizzes and attendance: 15%
    Paper/project #2: 25%
    Final: 25%


    Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare
    To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
    Watchmen, Alan Moore
    Bad Beginning, Lemony Snicket
    Gross Indecency , Moises Kaufman
    Sherlock Holmes stories, Arthur Conan Doyle
    Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood