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Using Classic and Contemporary Literature to Explore Themes in Law and Politics
Unformatted Document Text:  1Using Classic and Contemporary Literature to Explore Themes in Law and Politics Abstract: Many law schools offer courses in law and literature that examine legal themes in classic and contemporary fiction. Some political science departments offer undergraduate courses that explore political institutions and behavior by using great literary works. My area of concentration in political science is public law and I prepared a unique course last year that combines a study of law and politics using classic novels, short stories, plays, parables and poems. The course introduces students to the ways in which politics and law affect literature and how literary form and substance can help us understand legal concepts, political values, and the human condition. This paper discusses the benefits of using literature to explore themes in law and politics, describes the organization and content of the course, and identifies the print and online resources that are available to instructors. I also comment on the performance and reaction of the students and make recommendations based upon teaching the course the first time. John Fliter Department of Political Science Kansas State University Manhattan, KS 66506 (785) 532-0445

Authors: Fliter, John.
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1Using Classic and Contemporary Literature to
Explore Themes in Law and Politics
Abstract: Many law schools offer courses in law and literature that examine legal themes in
classic and contemporary fiction. Some political science departments offer undergraduate
courses that explore political institutions and behavior by using great literary works. My area of
concentration in political science is public law and I prepared a unique course last year that
combines a study of law and politics using classic novels, short stories, plays, parables and
poems. The course introduces students to the ways in which politics and law affect literature and
how literary form and substance can help us understand legal concepts, political values, and the
human condition. This paper discusses the benefits of using literature to explore themes in law
and politics, describes the organization and content of the course, and identifies the print and
online resources that are available to instructors. I also comment on the performance and reaction
of the students and make recommendations based upon teaching the course the first time.
John Fliter
Department of Political Science
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506
(785) 532-0445


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