Law & Popular Culture (LAW-814-001)
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This course examines the way in which law is depicted in American and Western popular culture, specifically in mass marketed narrative film, "entertainment" television, mass journalism, popular literary fiction, social media and blogs. The central topic of the course is how the relationship between law and legal institutions on one hand, and justice on the other, is depicted across the wide array of popular culture texts. Is law depicted as a reliable means for attaining justice, or as a barrier to it? Is the answer to this question different in different types of popular media? Topics will also include: the depiction of legal education in popular fiction and in journalism and the “blogisphere”, lawbreakers as heroes, lawyers as both heroes and villains, whistleblowers and the “War on Terror” in pop culture, the mainstream journalistic depiction of law, lawyers and legal issues; and what all of these can teach us the way that the masses view the law and lawyers and what lawyers might do differently (or better) given this popular view.
Textbooks and Other Materials
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First Class Readings
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