ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Friday, November 12, 2004

Law and popular culture—without jargon

Asimow Michael Asimow (UCLA) has an interesting new course book out, co-authored with film historian (and UCLA law grad) Shannon Mader. Law and Popular Culture—A Course Book is being published this year by Peter Lang.

It’s not Asimow’s first venture into the field; he co-authored the popular Reel Justice: The Courtroom Goes to the Movies in 1996.  The abstract of the new book:

This forthcoming book explores the interface between two subjects of enormous importance to everyone—law and popular culture. It can be used in teaching either undergraduate or graduate courses and raises issues of interest to instructors in film studies, American studies, history, law, and many other disciplines. A teachers' manual is available to assist prospective teachers.

Law and popular culture pervade our lives. Students need to learn a lot more about both of them and how they influence each other. The book bridges the gap between the study of law and popular culture. It will expose students of popular culture to the study of law and law students to the study of popular culture.

Each chapter takes a particular legally themed film or television show, such as Philadelphia or Dead Man Walking, treating it as both a cultural text and a legal text. The book is written in plain English, without theoretical jargon, and it can be taught by anyone who enjoys pop culture and is interested in law.

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