“Law and Literature” – Transcend “Law” and “Literature”

deadline for submissions: 
September 23, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Lung-Lung Hu
contact email: 

ACLA Conference 2017 Annual Meeting

Date: July 6th-9th, 2017

Place: Utrecht University in Utrecht, the Netherlands

Submission: ACLA website (http://www.acla.org) between September 1 and September 23 

Seminar: “Law and Literature” – Transcend “Law” and “Literature”

Law and Literature as an interdisciplinary research has different focuses in Law and in Comparative Literature.

From the perspective of law, literature can make law professionals, who are used to treat law as a self-sustained system of rules, more humane and discover some significant ideas about law from a literary point of view (James Boyd White). And law students can also learn language skills from literature, such as storying-telling, which are shared by law and literature (C. R. B. Dunlop). And literary criticism can help legal scholars to examine, or to improve, or even to correct law (Guyora Binder and Robert Weisberg). In Comparative Literature, the aim of Law and Literature is not to enhance researchers’ understanding of law. Law is a help for us to interpret literature about law from a different angle and find a new meaning that cannot be found without law’s help.

Even if “Law and Literature” is the common ground, law professors and literature professors lack of mutual understanding as mentioned by Julie Stone Peters in “Law, Literature, and the Vanishing Real: On the Future of an Interdisciplinary Illusion”. Law professors and literature professors seem still do their researches on their own and criticize and mistrust each other. Therefore, this seminar is to explore the possibility of a new discourse of “Law and Literature” both in law and in Comparative Literature. The topics to this seminar might include:

1. What is the difference and similarity between a legal case read from a legal perspective and from a literary perspective?

2. What is the difference and similarity between a literature about law read from a literary perspective and from a legal perspective?

3. Does literary interpretation of law really matter to law?

4. Does legal interpretation of literature really matter to literature?

5. Can any legal theories be applied in literary analysis?

6. Is it possible or necessary for “Law and Literature” to become a new discipline different from “Law” and “Comparative Literature”?

7. Is the collaboration between law and literature possible? And what can be achieved through this collaboration?

8. Methodology of Law and Literature beyond “Law” and “Literature”.

9. Any relevant topics.


Please submit your short bio and abstract around 250-300 words to ACLA websites during September 1 - 23. If you have any further questions, please contact the organizer (llh@du.se)