Law and the Humanities 1: Ethos and Scholarship

This module provides students with a solid grounding in law and the humanities – a dynamic and rapidly developing interdisciplinary field that offers alternative ways of understanding law by drawing upon humanities disciplines, such as political theory, literature, film studies, history and social theory. In employing this approach, key questions about law can be revisited from new and exciting perspectives and explored through a variety of novel methodologies.

The module is organized around three main questions. It begins by interrogating what is distinct about thinking of law as a humanities subject and what it means to utilise humanities based research methodologies in its study. We will examine these issues by focusing on the relationship between the legal scholar and their object of  inquiry – namely law – setting this relationship in the context of the legal tradition. The second question explores the notion of “critical” scholarship and looks at how a humanities approach can shape legal critique using as examples key topics relating to politics, ethics and justice. Finally, we ask whether the interaction between the humanities and legal scholarship can provide a distinctive answer to the question of responsibility of the scholar and of scholarship.

In imaginatively engaging with questions of law, critique and responsibility from a humanities perspective, this module broadens the horizons of the study of law in an original and creative way. The interdisciplinary insights it offers will cultivate and strengthen students’ skills of reading, critical analysis, writing, and argument-making across a range of different texts, cultural media, and legal questions. These skills will help students develop an incisive paradigm for their masters dissertation, whatever its subject or disciplinary orientation.

This module will be delivered in Paris as an intensive format, comprising of 8 x 2.5 hour seminars during one single week.