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Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Advanced

Former School/College

Former School of Law and Justice

Pre-requisites

96 credit points in any university study

Unit aim

Investigates ways in which images of law in popular culture depict, distort and critique the legal process, the role of lawyers, even jurisprudence itself. Organised around the theme of 'speculative legalism', this unit reads select science fiction, fantasy and horror texts as juridical, each (re)writing the law with imaginative representations.  For example, vampires and zombies as legal persons, Panem and Westeros as law-ful(l) places and the Tolkien's Ring of Power and Pullman's alethiometer as nomological things.

 

Unit content

Topic 1: Legal Persons

(a) Lex Vampirica: The Law of the Undead in True Blood, the ‘Twilight’ series, and The Passage;

(b) The Litigating Dead: Zombie Jurisprudence in The Walking Dead, The Rising and World War Z

Topic 2: Law-ful(l) Places:

(a) Fantastic and Science Fiction Dystopias in Law and Literature: The Rite of Rights in The Hunger Games;

(bMachiavellian Fantasy and the Game of Laws: Lex, Rex and Sex in George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones

Topic 3: Nomological Things:

(a) Eee-vil is stirring in Morrrdorrr!’: Sauron, the Ring and the New Grundnorm; or Middle-earth-as-Empire;

(b) His Dark Legalities: Intellectual Property, the Creative Commons and the War in Heaven-as-a-Metaphor in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy

 

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: Intellectual rigour, GA2: Creativity, GA3: Ethical practice, GA4: Knowledge of a discipline, GA5: Lifelong learning, GA6: Communication and social skills, GA7: Cultural competence
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 Interpret cultural texts, such as literature, cinema, television, as legal fictions Creativity Cultural competence
2 Appraise how various cultural texts' representations of legal process, system and concepts critically reimagine law and jurisprudence Intellectual rigour Creativity Cultural competence
3 Demonstrate an understanding of how the examination of texts from two different fields gives a new cultural study of law and a new legal study of culture. Creativity Cultural competence

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Interpret cultural texts, such as literature, cinema, television, as legal fictions
    • GA2: Creativity
    • GA7: Cultural competence
  2. Appraise how various cultural texts' representations of legal process, system and concepts critically reimagine law and jurisprudence
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA2: Creativity
    • GA7: Cultural competence
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of how the examination of texts from two different fields gives a new cultural study of law and a new legal study of culture.
    • GA2: Creativity
    • GA7: Cultural competence