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Leonard Wolfson Auditorium, Wolfson College, Linton Rd, Oxford
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 - 5:30pm


Law and Literature: a Dilettante's Dream?

William Twining, Professor of Jurisprudence, UCL

William Twining, Emeritus Quain Professor of Jurisprudence at University College London, will deliver the inaugural lecture in a new programme on Law, Film, and Literature. 

In the lecture, he will contend that the fields of ‘law’ and ‘literature’ are much too broad and amorphous to encompass one or even a few coherent sets of relations. If ‘interpretation’ of written texts is the most stable meeting point between legal and literary theory, what has this to do with socio-legal studies? Is not the main focus of this area on actual social relations and institutions in ‘the real world’? 
Rejecting a reductionist approach, Professor Twining will reveal how encounters with literary theory have influenced his own thinking as a jurist, in relation to standpoint and narrative. In the course of the lecture, he will also make the case for including Italo Calvino in the mainstream of canonical jurisprudence. 


Professor Twining has studied and taught in several leading UK and American law schools. A prominent member of the Law in Context movement, he has contributed especially to jurisprudence, evidence and proof, legal method, legal education, and intellectual history. His research interests include Narrative and Reasoning in Legal Contexts and Analysis of Evidence.
Eric HeinzeProfessor of Law and Humanities from Queen Mary University of London, will act as discussant for the lecture. Professor Heinze is convenor of the LLB courses on Democracy and Justice; Law, Justice and Ethics; and Law and Literature.

The lecture opens a new programme which will study the connections between law, film, and literature; and to question to what degree literature can enrich our understanding of the role of law in society. Incorporating issues of film, censorship, and free expression in developing countries, the programme will deliver a distinctly multidisciplinary perspective, offering opportunities for collaboration with the Cardozo School of Law, NY, and other leading institutions in the field.