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School of Law

LAW6171 The Art of Law

The Art of Law offers an introduction to the ways in which law and the visual arts come together now and in the past. The module explores how law appears in artworks including painting, sculpture, photography, and installations. We study representations of inter alia colonial rule, slavery, migration, human rights, and the laws of war. It considers when, how and why works of art appear in state institutions like prisons, courthouses, Inns of Court, government buildings, and international organisations.

Students will acquire skills of visual analysis and will learn how to contextualize their analyses in different historical and socio-cultural contexts of production and reception. We will also employ specific Art Historical lenses including psychoanalytic, feminist, Marxian, post- and anti-colonial, and queer approaches in our analyses. 

Students get the chance to make their own artworks, attend expert lectures, make external visits (e.g. to the UK Supreme Court), and undertake an independent research project on a topic of their choice. No expertise and experience necessary- just enthusiasm and curiosity!

Mode of assessment

  • 75%: 4000-word essay
  • 25%: Individual creative project (e.g. a 5-minute film; or an A2 poster; or 5-frame photo-essay) plus a 500-word self-reflection.

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