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Course Application

Law Through Popular Culture

Call for more information 495-649-2273

Note: this course covers different material each year, and can be taken twice, in two consecutive years, without overlapping content.

Course Objectives:

In this seminar course students will explore important United States laws and aspects of the United States legal system through the use of film and books. We will consider the interrelationship between law and popular culture. Throughout the course students will examine key areas of American jurisprudence, such the death penalty, toxic tort liability, corporate corruption, racial discrimination, class actions and civil procedure, and corporate mergers and acquisitions, all through  film and novels.   The course will examine the laws in the context of the narrative presented in the popular culture. Students will consider how popular culture, as a powerful manifestation of contemporary societal mores, reflects the contemporary views of the law and the legal system.  Class discussions will consider, among other things, how effective and compelling storytelling in film and novels can shape opinions about the law and the role of the legal system in society. 


The course will be taught by viewing films in class and reading selected novels outside of class followed by in class seminar discussions.

Exams:  There will not be an exam in this course. 

Final Grade: 

This course is graded as Pass/Fail only.    Whether you pass the course will be determined by your class participation.

Attendance and Timeliness:

Attendance is important and it is mandatory. Our semester is very short, only 6 classes.  If you miss a class, you will be required to read additional material - to be determined by the professor - and deliver a 15 minute presentation describing how the novel influenced the law and legal system or did not have an effect and why.  In no event may you miss more than one class, if you do so you will receive no credit for the course.


Arrive to class on time. If you are late, however, I still expect you to come to class.  Because we will be watching movies in this course, any lateness will be especially disruptive and substantially detract from the benefit you receive from the course.  Please be on time.  If you are more than 20 minutes late, you will be marked absent.  

 Contact Information: 

For a more detailed syllabus please contact Pericles and we will email it to you. 7-495-649-2273,