Law and Love
Listed in: Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, as LJST-349
Formerly listed as: LJST-49
Martha M. Umphrey (Section 01)
(Research Seminar) At first glance, law and love seem to tend in opposing directions: where law is constituted in rules and regularity, love emerges in contingent, surprising, and ungovernable ways; where law speaks in the language of reason, love’s language is of sentiment and affect; where law regulates society through threats of violence, love binds with a magical magnetism. In this seminar, placing materials in law and legal theory alongside theoretical and imaginative work on the subject of love, we invert that premise of opposition in order to look for love’s place in law and law’s in love. First we will inquire into the ways in which laws regulate love, asking how is love constituted and arranged by those regulations, and on what grounds it escapes them. In that regard we will explore, among other areas, the problematics of passion in criminal law and laws regulating sexuality, marriage, and family. Second we will ask, how does love in its various guises (as, philia, eros, or agape) manifest itself in law and legal theory, and indeed partly constitute law itself? Here we will explore, for example, sovereign exercises of mercy, the role of equity in legal adjudication, and the means that bind legal subjects together in social contract theory. Finally, we will explore an analogy drawn by W. H. Auden, asking how law is like love, and by extension love like law. How does attending to love’s role in law, and law’s in love, shift our imaginings of both?
Requisite: LJST 110 or consent of the instructor. Open to juniors and seniors. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Professor Umphrey.
If Overenrolled: LJST Majors given preference
Cost: 38.00 ?
Offerings2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2009, Fall 2011