German 39P, Section 1

Law and Literature (4 units, LG)

Professor Chenxi Tang
Monday, Wednesday & Friday 10:00-11:00, 2066 Valley Life Sciences Building, Class number: 30372

For many people, law is the subject of law school, while literature belongs to the humanities. In this seminar, we will see that law and literature, professional school and the humanities, are in fact closely related. We will read some great authors in world literature (including Aeschylus, Sophocles, Shakespeare, Melville, Kleist, Kafka), watch a number of classic films, and discuss how they engage with the key issues of law—legitimacy and legality, justice and equity, rights and obligation, crime and punishment. At the same time, we will read legal texts and see how law operates by telling stories.

Instructor Bio

Chenxi Tang studied comparative literature, German literature, and philosophy at Peking University, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, and Columbia University (PhD 2000). He taught at the University of Chicago before joining the Berkeley faculty in 2007. Professor Tang’s research and teaching interests include modern German literature and intellectual history, legal humanities, and comparative literature.

Faculty web site:

Breadth Information

This seminar may be used to satisfy the Arts and Literature or Philosophy and Values breadth requirement in Letters and Science.