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:1. Critically analyse the relationship between law and the humanities.
2. Research and critically analyse the conceptual foundations of law within the humanistic intellectual tradition.
3. Critically reflect on the assumptions and aspirations of law.
4. Synthesise, critically evaluate and reflect, in written and oral form, on legal materials.
5. Formulate and execute interdisciplinary research in the area of law and the humanities.
Indicative AssessmentThere are three compulsory items of assessment:
Seminar Participation (worth 10% of overall mark)
Reflection Paper (worth 30% of overall mark)
Research Paper (worth 60% of overall mark)
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.
WorkloadThree contact hours per week. Students are generally expected to devote at least 10 hours overall per week to this course.
Requisite and Incompatibility
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.