Symposium Archives

Imagining Legality

Imagining Legality: Where Law Meets Popular Culture

September 25, 2009

This symposium explores law’s representation and consumption in film, television, and literature. We use historical, sociological, and cultural analysis as well as legal theory to help understand law within the framework of popular culture. The focus is not on the accuracy of the presentation in popular culture but on the impact that popular culture has on law and law on popular culture.

“Imagining Legality: Where Law Meets Popular Culture” brings together legal scholars from across the country to consider these key questions: Why is law such a ubiquitous theme in popular culture? How and why do those representations circulate as they do? Who consumes these representations and to what effect?

Organized by Professor Austin Sarat, Justice Hugo L. Black Visiting Senior Faculty Scholar, The University of Alabama School of Law and William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political, Science Five College Fortieth Anniversary Professor, Amherst College.

Participants include:
Desmond Robert A. Manderson, McGill University
Anna McCarthy, Tisch School of Arts, New York University
Naomi Mezey, Georgetown University Law Center
Laurie Ouellette, University of Minnesota
Richard K. Sherwin, New York Law School

Welcome and Introduction ( Download MP3/Podcast)

Dean Ken Randall and Professor Austin Sarat

Session I ( Download MP3/Podcast)
Trust Us Justice: Law in ’24’

Desmond Manderson, Canada Research Chair in Law and Discourse, McGill University
Moderator/Commentator: Professor Montre Carodine, The University of Alabama School of Law 

Session II ( Download MP3/Podcast)
Real Justice: Law and Order on Reality Television

Laurie Ouellette, Professor in Communication Studies, University of Minnesota
Moderator/Commentator: Professor Grace Lee, The University of Alabama School of Law 

Lunch and Keynote ( Download MP3/Podcast)
Law’s Screen Life

Richard K. Sherwin, Professor of Law, New York Law School
Moderator/Commentator: Professor Michael Pardo, The University of Alabama School of Law 

Session III ( Download MP3/Podcast)
The Responsibilities of the Cyranoid Citizen

Anna McCarthy, Associate Professor, Tisch School of Arts, New York University
Moderator/Commentator: Professor David Patton, The University of Alabama School of Law 

Session IV ( Download MP3/Podcast)
Law’s Visual Afterlife: Thoughts on Law, Film, and Translation Theory

Naomi Mezey, Professor of Law, Georgetown Law Center
Moderator/Commentator: Professor Alan Durham, The University of Alabama School of Law

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