Spring 2022

Experiments in Legal and Cultural Production

Listed in: Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, as LJST-224


Michaela J. Brangan (Section 01)


The idea of law as experimental runs counter to the common view of law as well settled and historically rooted. Yet, under the federal system in the United States, states have long been regarded as "laboratories" for law. Moreover, Supreme Court decisions arise as “test cases” that painstakingly mix plaintiffs, procedures, and venues and are timed to move law in a hoped-for direction. What is a test case but a kind of experiment? This course examines legal experiments alongside experimental aesthetic works. Convention may “govern” art and literature, but both are also regulated by real laws, like copyright and obscenity. When artists go beyond the norms of their fields, they may also test the limits of the law. Artistic experimentation can suggest new ways to think about property, identity, sex, work, power, and language. How are different forms of experimentation connected? How do they challenge or extend our visions of what society might be otherwise?

Limited to 30 students. Spring Semester.  Visiting Assistant Professor Brangan.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Class interaction (large/small groups); writing (formal/informal); research; presentation; study course materials Students with documented disabilities who will require accommodations in this course should be in consultation with Accessibility Services and reach out to the faculty member as soon as possible to ensure that accommodations can be made in a timely manner.


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2022