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:
- Critically analyse the relationship between law and the humanities.
- Research and critically analyse the conceptual foundations of law within the humanistic intellectual tradition.
- Critically reflect on the assumptions and aspirations of law.
- Synthesise, critically evaluate and reflect, in written and oral form, on legal materials.
- Formulate and execute interdisciplinary research in the area of law and the humanities.
- Seminar Participation (10) [LO null]
- Reflection Paper (30) [LO null]
- Research Paper (60) [LO null]
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- Classes offered in non-standard sessions will be taught on an intensive base with compulsory contact hours (approximately 26 hours of face to face teaching). The course will also require advanced preparation through assigned readings. In total, it is anticipated that the hours required for completion of this course (class preparation, teaching and completion of assessment) will not exceed 120 hours.
- Classes offered during semester periods are expected to have three contact hours per week.
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Requisite and Incompatibility
Students must rely on the approved Class Summary which will be posted to the Programs and Courses site approximately two weeks prior to the commencement of the course. Alternatively, this information will be published in the Program course list when known.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
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Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
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