Law and Literature 2019: A Course at the University of Ghent

An interdisciplinary group of distinguished faculty from around the world is offering a course on Law and Literature in April and May at the University of Ghent. Some details below; more, including information about the faculty and organizers, at this website.


Law and Literature 2019


Organising Committee

The course is co-organized by prof. dr. Elizabeth Amann (Literary Studies, Ghent University), prof. dr. Andrew Bricker (Literary Studies, Ghent University) and prof. dr. Georges Martyn (Legal History, Ghent University).

The members of the scientific committee are: Sascha Bru (Literature, KU Leuven), Vivian Liska (Literature, University of Antwerp), Gertrudis Van de Vijver (Philosophy, Ghent University).


Storytelling is ubiquitous in the law, and the law is the focus of many canonical texts and popular literary genres. In the past few decades, the intersection between these two fields has attracted the interest of legal and literary historians alike and has given rise to a wide range of approaches. The goal of the course is to help students to make their way in the heterogeneous and interdisciplinary field of “Law and Literature” and to introduce them to methodologies useful for analysing the relations between law and literature. Through lectures and seminar-style discussions with experts in the field, the course will encourage doctoral students to apply insights from “Law and Literature” to their research.


• to teach students to analyse representations of legal concepts, institutions and procedures in literary texts (“law in literature”) 
• to familiarize students with narratological approaches to legal texts and genres (“law as literature”) 
• to clarify the role of the law and legal institutions in the literary field (censorship, trials, regulation)
• to introduce students to the complicated legal issues surrounding new media
• to explore the intersection between law and literature and new critical theoretical fields such as ecocriticism and the anthropocene.

Dates and programme 

(detailed descriptions of the sessions will be posted in February)

  • Monday 04/03, 14:00-17:00: Gary Watt (University of Warwick) and Eva Brems (Ghent University): Introduction to the field of law and literature. This session will be followed by a social event in the evening.
  • Tuesday 05/03, 9:30-12:30: Greta Olson (University of Giessen): Law as literature: legal narratology
  • Wednesday 20/03, 14:00-17:00: Martin Zeilinger (Anglia Ruskin University) and Eva Lievens (Ghent University): New technologies and the law. This session will be followed by a happy hour.
  • Wednesday 27/03, 9:30-12:30: Kevin Curran (University of Lausanne), Geert Van Hoorick (Ghent University) and Hendrik Schoukens (Ghent University): Law, literature and the environment
  • Thursday 23/05, 14:00-17:15: Simon Stern (University of Toronto), Sebastiaan Vandenbogaerde (Ghent University), Caroline Laske (Ghent University) and Elizabeth Amann (Ghent University): Law in literature
  • Tuesday 28/05, 14:00-17:00: Catherine O’Leary (University of Saint Andrews), Marc Cools (Ghent University) and Andrew Bricker (Ghent University): Censorship, press regulation and literature on trial. This session will be followed by a happy hour.


Ghent University, Law Faculty, Voldersstraat, Facultaire Raadzaal