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219.4T sec. 1 - Courts, Lawyers, and Justice in Film (Spring 2014)Instructor: Laurent Mayali (view instructor's teaching evaluations | profile)
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Meeting Time: Tu 3:35-6:15
Meeting Location: 130
Course Start: January 07, 2014
Course Control Number (Non-1Ls): 49565
This course will examine comparatively the representation of judicial process and the image of the legal profession in films in various countries (Argentina, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, .U.K., U.S.A.) Courtroom dramas constitute an enduring and distinctive staple of American film culture. We will explore how this dramatic fiction influences a popular conception of justice that corresponds to a distinct model of civil society and is not simply limited to the resolution of disputes. Discussions will be based on partial screening and analysis of films produced within the last fifty years. In addition to discussing forms of representation of the adjudication process we will examine the role of lawyers and judges, their social status, the political function of courts as public forum, and the depiction of the relationship between legal rules, judicial process, and moral values.
Class requirement: One 20 pages paper that might be extended to 30 pages in order to satisfy the writing requirement. Choice of paper topics is not limited to films, countries and topics discussed in class.
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Instructor has indicated that no books will be assigned.