This course forms part of a new interdisciplinary and cross-College initiative. It introduces students to major research now undertaken that reflects the view that law is neither divorced from nor above the cultural forces and representations all around us. Whether as a lawyer, an activist, a politician, a writer, a diplomat, or a citizen, we face a global world whose enormous challenges will require of us the ability to understand the relationship between legal discourse and other discourses such as art, human rights and literature which responses to these challenges. Human rights offers a legal and moral framework that attempts to address experiences of injustice, suffering, and traumatic loss. To address these effectively we need to draw on a range of vocabularies and discourses, and be able to mediate between them—to compare, contrast and evaluate their meanings and impacts. In Literature Law and Human Rights, we study the representation, advocacy and critique of human rights in different genres, including their treatment in law and literature, including film and the visual arts. Each of these forms of storytelling are devised to solicit strong reactions in an audience. Whether in Palestine, Africa, or Alice Springs, law, literature and human rights are different languages for expressing injustice and for demanding redress. Each are powerful in their own way. A lawyer, an activist, a novelist, and a film-maker are all storytellers with specific means at their disposal, and specific goals in mind. But just what kinds of storytelling are they? How do they differ from one another, and how do they influence one another? In what ways does literature (in the broadest sense) help organize our understanding of human rights, and mobilize legal responses? And on the other hand, in what ways does law constitute a literature of human rights, and with what consequences?
Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Define and
critically analyse keywords and concepts shared across the disciplines of law,
literature and human rights, including testimony, witness, reconciliation,
memory, justice, and recognition
contemporary scholarship on and critical approaches to human rights and
humanitarian intervention from a range of disciplines and fields, including law
and literature, memory studies, and gender studies
- Use critical
methods, approaches and concepts to analyse case studies and materials
- Identify the
discourses and genres that intersect in constructing the relationship between
law, literature, and human rights
- Evaluate and
compare a complex variety of textual sources—laws, legal decisions, and
commissions of inquiry, as well as novels, films, and artworks—and critically
analyse and reflect on their strategies, blind spots, problems, and effects
- Conduct interdisciplinary research and analysis in law, literature and human rights
Short response essays, 3 x 300 words (5% each, total 15%) Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 4
Methods essay, 1,200 words (20%) Learning Outcomes 2, 3, 4, 5
Final research essay 2,500 words, (55%) Learning Outcomes 3, 5, 6
Class participation (10%) Learning Outcomes 1- 6
The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.
130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 18 hours of lectures and 12 hours of workshop and workshop-like activities.
b) 100 hours of independent student research, reading and writing
Requisite and Incompatibility
JM Coetzee, Disgrace (Penguin, 1999)
Aminatta Forna, The Memory of Love (2010)
Costas Douzinas, The End of Human Rights (Hart, 2000)
Wendy Hesford, Spectacular Rhetorics: Human Rights Visions, Recognitions, Feminisms (Duke, 2011)
Knowledge in fields of literature, gender studies, law, human rights
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Band 1
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.