The course aims to introduce students to a cultural study of law, by exposing students to the humanistic intellectual tradition within the liberal arts. The course will be interdisciplinary. The topics and readings will be centred on the theme of the ‘Foundations of Law’. The theme bears an allusion to the first-year compulsory course that all law students at the ANU have to take: the ‘Foundations of Australian Law’. However, in this elective course, we are interested in a different kind of foundation. We will interrogate not the foundations of any particular legal system, but the foundations of law itself. Whereas the ‘Foundations of Australian Law’ equips students with the foundational skills of legal reasoning, this elective course invites students to take a step back to consider and interrogate the foundational mythologies of law. We will explore the ‘Foundations of Law’ through the humanistic disciplines of classics, literature, philosophy and theology: we will read classical plays (e.g. Antigone), contemporary novels (e.g. Lord of the Flies), philosophical works (e.g. Genealogy of Morals), and theological writings (e.g. Genesis and Exodus). These texts present different modes and means of inquiring into the assumptions and aspirations that we ascribe to law.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Demonstrate coherent and advanced knowledge of the relationship between law and the humanities;
- Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the conceptual foundations of law within the humanistic intellectual tradition;
- Exercise critical thinking and judgment concerning the assumptions and aspirations of law;
- Engage with legal materials as a critical and creative reader;
- Participate in intellectual discussions about the foundations of law through a clear and coherent exposition of knowledge and ideas;
- Formulate an interdisciplinary research topic with some independence; and
- Be accountable for their own learning by presenting a theoretically informed and well-structured research paper, with some independence.
- There are three compulsory items of assessment: (null) [LO null]
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- Seminar Participation (worth 10% of overall mark) (10) [LO null]
- Reflection Paper (worth 30% of overall mark) (30) [LO null]
- Research Paper (worth 60% of overall mark) (60) [LO null]
- (null) [LO null]
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WorkloadThree contact hours per week. Students are generally expected to devote at least 10 hours overall per week to this course.
Requisite and Incompatibility
To be confirmed.
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:
- 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.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.