Meeting Time: Thursdays, 3:30pm-6:30pm
Instructor: Xudong Zhang | Frank Upham
This is a graduate seminar open to law students and graduate students in the Faculty ofArts and Sciences and the Institute for Law and Society who are interested in exploring the interdisciplinary area between law, culture, and society in modern China and Japan.Its main goals are to examine how cultural norms and social conventions constitute both the premise and subtext of law as positive codification and as public service; and to understand law in a larger, more holistic and practical setting. Therefore, the films are not only viewed and analyzed as visual representation of law at work in these societies, but more importantly, provide narrative, dramatic, symbolic, and allegorical cases in which law is comprehended and lived by ordinary people as well as those in power, in both legal and extra-legal terms that give substance to law as a social institution. While engaging in the filmic texts, our central concerns are the conflicts between the concrete and the abstract; the empirical and the theoretical; the customary or “natural” and the positivistic; and the moral, ethical sense of justice, and its delivery in the form of legal procedure and verdict. No previous experience with either Asia or film studies is necessary.