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Saturday, March 30, 2013

STEFANIA GIALDRONI on Law and Literature

Statue of Portia, University of Michigan (Martha Cook building)
Dear all, next week we will analyse “the Shakespearean play most closely linked in the popular mind with law”, THE very classic of the Law and Literature studies: "The Merchant of Venice". The play will give us imputs to think about some important legal issues and to better unserstand the perception of key legal problems in a certain historical period. To sum up, we will use the MOV to ask questions rather then give answers.
On Friday April 5th there will be no lesson.
Brief Outline:The lesson will be focused on the following questions:
1) What was the role of Jewes in 16th/17th century Europe? /What does it mean not to be admitted in a community?
2) What was the discipline of usury? / What does usury mean?
3) What was the relation between law and equity in Shakespeare’s England? / What does equity mean?
4) Is the procedure described in the play historically accurate? Is it important?

D.J. Kornstein, Fie Upon your Law!, in “Cardozo Studies in Law and Literature”, 5.1 (1993): A Symposium Issue on “The Merchant of Venice”, pp. 35-56.
Suggested reading (not compulsory!)
Forthcoming: S. Gialdroni, La clausola penale tra finzione e realtà. Il caso limite di Shylock alla prova del diritto veneziano, del diritto comune e del common law, in La pena convenzionale nella prospettiva storico-comparatistica (Collana del centro di eccellenza in diritto europeo - G. Pugliese), Napoli: Jovene, 2013.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

MIDTERM EXAM:Power point groups

Dear students,
as you already know, you will have to prepare a power point presentation for your Midterm Exam. As the number of students has changed since the beginning of the course, you have been devided into 6 groups of 7 students. Each group will have 45 minutes time. You have to freely choose a topic but you have to inform me and prof. Conte about it 2 weeks before the presentations (by April 18th), which will take place on May 2nd, 3rd and 5th. You have all the emails of your collegues in the mailing list I use to send you the materials but if you have any problem in getting in touch with someone please contact me. Of course we remain at your disposal for any kind of question. Ah! Have a nice , even if short, Easter Break!

May 2nd: group 1 and 5 (yes 5!)
1. Abdoul Zamil Zeenath*
2. Aller Federica
3. Antuofermo Mattia (?)
4. Apreda Alex
5. Bordoni Francesco
6. Borsacchi Alice
7. Sobel Isabel Gail*

1. Luft Niklas*
2. Marcantonio Marika
3. Merlini Edoardo
4. Michalczyk Angelika
5. Mottironi Camilla
6. Nobili Diana Oro
7. Serranti Marco

May 3rd, group 2 and 3
1. Brocco Gianluca
2. Cecconi Diana
3. Chiaramonte Emilia
4. Cicchelli Nicola
5. Colaninno Andrea Nicolas
6. Shair Maya Sivan*
7. Pikata Agnieszka*

1. Coronas Ylenia
2. D'Agostino Vincenzo Gabriele
3. De Carlo Irene
4. Di Lorenzo Roberta
5. Di Patrizio Matteo
6. Disario Alessandro
7. Formose Mailys

May 8th: group 4 and 6
1. Frattini Francesca Romana
2. Hamer Sigrid*
3. Kulik Katherine*
4. Lombardi Chiara
5. Loricchio Angela
6. Lotito Chiara
7. Lucidi Mariolina

1. Pelino Alissa
2. Pompei Martina
3. Renda Francesco
4. Lewis Salomé
5. Lopez Timothy
6. Strazza Giordana
7. Toschi Eva

Sunday, March 24, 2013

KAIUS TUORI on Law and Anthropology

Illustration for TIME by Olaf Hajek

Dear students,
next week will be devoted to the issue of Law and Anthroplogy, with prof. Kaius Tuori from the University of Helsinki.
Legal anthropology attempts to give a different view of law.  Through the examination of culture and tradition, legal anthropology has studied both the traditional others, such as indigenous peoples, as well as more familiar subjects such as Western lawyers. The lectures offer three viewpoints of law and anthropology, the first historical, the second and third contemporary. The historical part examines how lawyers and anthropologists struggled to study societies without law, whereas the second illustrates the tensions between traditionalism and the modern human rights discourse. The final instalment discusses the rights of indigenous peoples through the issue of land tenure.  
Class Schedule
1) Legal Anthropology: Disputes and Culture
2) Claiming Rights Against Tradition: Activism in and around Science
3) How the Natives Lost Their Land: Customary Land Tenure and Colonialism
Each class consists of two parts: a) an introductory lecture, followed by a discussion, and b) a case study involving the reading material and discussion.
1) Bronislaw Malinowski, ‘Primitive Law and Order’, Nature 117 (1926), pp. 9-16 
2) Sally Engle Merry and Rachel E. Stern, ‘The Female Inheritance Movement in Hong Kong: Theorizing the Local/Global Interface’, Current Anthropology 46 (2005), 387-409.
3) Pauline Peters, ‘Challenges in Land Tenure and Land Reform in Africa: Anthropological Contributions’, World Development 37 (2009), pp. 1317–1325.

Prof. Tuori's CV
Dr. Kaius Tuori holds a doctorate in Law and a M.A. in History from his studies at the universities of Helsinki, Finland, and La Sapienza in Rome, Italy. His research interests include legal history, Roman law, legal anthropology, and classical archaeology. In his work on intellectual history he has studied how modern law affected the history of ancient Roman law during the nineteenth century and how American Legal Realism influenced the study of early law during the mid-20th century. Currently he is finishing a book project on the early history of legal anthropology. He is now Academy of Finland Research Fellow. His work has been published in the Journal of Legal Pluralism, Law, Culture and the Humanities, The Journal of Legal History, Revue Internationale des Droits de l'Antiquite and the Legal History Review.


I have received, and really pleased to publish, this research on representations of Lady Justice all around the world that a group of students of the Law and the Humanities 2013 class has just sent me. The paper was attached to the following email:
"We decided to adress further more the issue on Lady justice. This is our group work. Hopefully it will be so interesting for you as it was for us. Our idea was to publish it on the blog, but for the length of the text and for the images, we decided to send it.
However we would like to read it the rest of our classmates.
Good Sunday!
Your students"
I think it should definetly be published (click on read more at the end of this post: there are a lot of pictures and interesting information).



1. Following the artist’s brush; 2. The united stated supreme court’s lady justice; 3.Lady justice statue on the central criminal court of England, London (called old bailey); 4. The fountain of justice, Gerechtigkietsbrunnen; 5. Lady justice fountains in Germany: Nuremberg & Frankfurt; 6. Brasilia: the flowing lady; 7. Australia: court of Brisbane & Victorian court; 8. The lady justice in France: lady legal code; 9. The lady justice in Japan: the titan lady; 10. Ottawa: the lady with two-edged sword; 11. Lady justice in Czech; republic: the power of law; 12. Concluding with the Italian justice experience
Federica Aller

Gianluca Brocco

Diana Cecconi

Nicola Cicchelli

Ylenia Coronas

Roberta Di Lorenzo

Marika Marcantonio

Edoardo Merlini

Diana Oro Nobili
Francesco Renda
Lady Justice is a symbol that represents Justice as a divine concern. Since the ancient Greece period, justice is considered not a simple value, but a supreme governing principle of human society. In fact Dike was one of the three Horai, mythical and divine personification of the seasons by the Greeks. The Horai had the function to subtract the human becoming arbitrariness and disorder. The concept of order refer the names of three Horai: Dike (justice); Eunomia (good governance); Irene (peace). They were daughters of Zeus and Themis. The Romans became 12, as the division of the day. Dike is the justice of the State, which was called Iustitia by the Latins. But the Roman Iustitia is different from the Greek Themis. She’s also a goddess of justice, but justice of single man: the sense of justice in each of us (Inside Justice). Similar to Iustitia is instead Dike, also called Astrea. About this there is a source in Le Opere e I Giorni, written by Esiodo, a Greek ancient poet lived during the VIII-VII centuries. He says that there was a gold ilk before. Men lived as the gods: they didn’t know the old age, but they remained intent on banquets and parties. When was the time to die, they gently feel asleep. People did not have to work and the goods belong to all spontaneously. So talked about Golden Age: this was the reign of justice and peace. But with the following Reign of Zeus, also called the Iron Age, disappeared this breed. Then the men were prey of emptiness: Victa iacet pietas, et Virgo caede madentes, ultima caelestum, terras Astraea reliquit (Won lies the pity, and the Virgin Astrea leale the last of the land drenched in blood), Ovidio, Metamorfosi, I, vv. 149-150. So the crimes of humanity did escape Iustitia and forced to leave the Land, refuges herself in the sky, where she became the constellation Virgo. And Astrea is, in fact, the name of Virgo constellation. Also Virgilio talk about Astrea as a virgin, in his fourth eclogue of the Bucoliche: (vv. 5.7): magnus ab integro saeclorum nascitur ordo. Iam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna; iam nova progenies caelo demittitur ab alto (Already the Virgins returns, the reign of Saturn returns; already the new progeny descends from heaven).

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bring a document with you tomorrow!

Bring a document with you to enter the Supreme Court. They may ask your idcard or passport.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A question on Law and History

Dear all,
can you explain the meaning of the title of James Whitman's article "Bring back the glory!"? What does prof. Whitman think about the role and development of legal historical studies?
I remind you that you can post comments about the different topics discussed using the post in which the topic is presented.

STEFANIA GIALDRONI on Law and Architecture

Dear students,
next week's classes will be devoted to the meaning and function of the Italian Court of Cassation's building, better known to the people of Rome as "il Palazzaccio". On Thursday March 21st we will visit the Supreme Course together while on Friday we will discuss your impressions and analyze the use of the building in cinema.

Temple of Justice or "Palazzaccio"? Giuseppe Zanardelli's Idea of Justice in Unified Italy


Terry Rossi Kirk, The Politicization of the Landscape of Roma Capitale and the Symbolic Role of the Palazzo di Giustizia, in "Mélanges de l'Ecole française de Rome: Italie et Méditerranée", 109.1 (2006), pp. 89-114.
Dr. Gialdroni's CV
Stefania Gialdroni graduated cum laude in 2003 from the University of RomaTre (Law faculty), where she immediately started a collaboration with Prof. Conte, the chair of Medieval and Modern Legal History. In 2004 she did an Internship at the Italian Senate and in October 2005, and after having finished her legal apprenticeship in Rome, she started the International Max-Planck Research School for Comparative Legal History (Germany). By 2005 she had obtained two scholarships from the Max-Planck Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte, Frankfurt am Main (MPIER). In 2006 she started the Marie-Curie European Doctorate in History, Sociology, Anthropology and Philosophy of Legal Cultures in Europe. In the framework of the European Doctorate she spent one year (2006-2007) as a visiting Ph.D. student at the London School of Economics (LSE) and one year as a visiting Ph.D. student at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris (EHESS).
On February 11th 2009 she received her Ph.D. en cotutelle between the Universities Milano-Bicocca (Private Law and History of Private Law Legal Science) and EHESS, Paris (History and Civilisations). Since 2008, she has been coordinating the course Law and the Humanities (RomaTre University), directed by prof. E. Conte. In 2011 she published her first book, based on her PhD thesis: East India Company. Una storia giuridica (1600-1708), Bologna: Il Mulino.

NOTICE: Evaluation Criteria

Dear students,
in order to answer a question that many among you asked during the first weeks of the course, I would like to inform you that you can find a complete description of the course (including evaluation criteria) on the RomaTre University wesite, both in Italian and in English (please click here).
In order to sum up, you will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
1) participation both in class and on the blog. In class we will be able to evaluate your speaking and interaction skills while on the blog you will have the opportunity to share more pondered comments or little researches and thoughts.
2) Outcome of the Midterm Exam. As you already know, you will be divided into groups in order to develop a power point presentation. At the end of March we will create the groups while the midterm will take place on May 2, 3 and 8. You will probably divided into groups of 5 people. Each group will have 30 minutes to present the research. It will be a way to evaluate how you manage a group project. Anyway, we will talk about the Midterm in class. You can freely choose a topic related to Law and the Humanities: that means that you don't have to choose a topic discussed before (e.g. you can talk about Law and Cinema even if we haven't discussed the topic together).
3) Outcome of the final exam (May 20th, except for Arcadia Students), which will take place as follows: you will be asked to write two texts (1 page each) on two topics chosen  among the topics discussed during the course.
In order to get your note you will have to register for the exams as usual (June/July and September 2013). During the day of the exam, we will have a brief chat (in English!) on the course.
I remind you that, for the final evaluation, participation will be considered particularly importantas well as the final written exam.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A book in Italian for L&H lovers!

If anyone of you is able to read Italian, a very good book came out recently on our topics. It is the Italian version of a German book by Marie Theres Fögen, Il canto della legge. It is short, evocative and well written. I have asked to Libreria Le Storie to get some copies, just in case you are interested on something to read on the bus.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

EMANUELE CONTE and PAOLO NAPOLI on "Law and History/Philosophy"

Dear all,
next week's classes (March 13-14-15) will be devoted to the in-depth analysis of the interactions between Law and History by Prof. Emanuele Conte, who will focus on the role of legal historical studies from the 19th century onwards. The classes will be enriched by the participation of Prof. Paolo Napoli (EHESS, Paris), who will teach, on Friday, a class on Law and Philosophy, with particular reference to the concept of Legal Geneaology.
Suggested readings:
- James Q. Whitman, "Bring back the Glory!", in "Rechtsgeschichte", 4 (2004), pp. 74-81.
- Mathias Reimann, "Nineteenth German Legal Science", in "Boston College Law Review", 31.4 (1990), pp. 842-897, especially par. II and III.
- Michel Foucault, "Nietzsche, la généalogie, l'histoire", Hommage à Jean Hyppolite, Paris, P.U.F., coll. «Épiméthée», 1971, pp. 145-172, available online:
Prof. Conte's CV
Professor of Legal History at the Università degli Studi di Roma Tre and Directeur d'etudes at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris).
He graduated cum laude in 1983 at the University La Sapienza of Rome, and received his Ph.D. in Medieval Legal History at the University of Milan. He has done research at the Max-Planck-Institut für Europäische Rechtsgeschichte Frankfurt am Main, and at the University of California at Berkeley.
He has held visiting professorships at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain), the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris (France), the University of Paris II Panthéon (France), the University of Toulouse I (France), the University of Paris X Nanterre and the Ecole Normale Superieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines, Lyon. He has been visiting fellow at Berkeley University (US) and Cambridge University (Peterhouse).
He serves as a member of the board of direction of many academic journals and series in Italy, France, Spain, the UK.
He has given many papers and lectures in Italy, Germany, France, United Kingdom, USA, Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, Argentina and Spain. His books and other publications focus mainly on medieval and early modern legal history, on philology of legal texts and on the relationship between history and law in the 19th ant 20th century.
Prof. Napoli's CV
Prof. Paolo Napoli is currently Directeur d’études at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales – EHESS, in Paris (since 2010), where he directs the Centre d'étude des normes juridiques “Yan Thomas” – CENJ. In 1987 he graduated at the Faculty of Law of the University La Sapienza (Rome), with a degree thesis on power and law in Michel Foucault’s works. He afterwards began his research on the notion of police during the modern era in Italy (CNR), France (EHESS), Germany (Max Planck Institut für Europäische Rechtsgeschichte Frankfurt am Main) and USA (Berkley). In 1997 he received his first Ph.D in Legal philosophy at the University of Bologna and in 2002 he received a second Ph.D. in Law and Social Sciences at the EHESS (Title of the PhD thesis: La police en France à l’âge moderne (XVIII-XIX siècle). Histoire d’un mode de normativité.
He is the author of many articles and two books:
- Naissance de la police moderne. Pouvoir, normes, société, La Découverte, Paris 2003.
- Le arti del vero. Storia, diritto e politica in Michel Foucault, La città del sole, Napoli 2002.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Legal Storytelling: Focus on Patricia Williams' "Benetton Story"

Dear all,
today prof. David Skeel talked about the third strand of the Law and Literature movement, the so called "Law and Narrative/Legal Storytelling" strand. He focused in particular on what could be considered the most powerful example of legal storytelling, the "Benetton Story" by Patricia Williams.
You will certainly find the story and comments about it on the web.

As a first little "homework" of the Law and the Humanities course, we ask you to find the story, read it, and possibly answer a question that was asked in class today: what was the reaction of Benetton to Patricia Williams' writing? Was there a reaction at all? Why?

You could also read one of the articles published by prof. Williams on The Nation and write something about them on the blog:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Dear students,
today Prof. David Skeel (University of Pennsylvania Law School), will begin his week of lessons on the most important strand of the Law and the Humanities movement: Law and Literature. Don't forget that the class will start at 2:00 pm on Wednesday and at 10:00 am on Thursday and Friday.
See you soon

Brief Outline: 
In this class, we will briefly explore the history of law and literature scholarship in the United States, and consider the prospects of this movement for the future. We will focus in particular on three recent strands of law and literature scholarship, which are often referred to as 1) law as language (associated with James Boyd White); 2) literature as empathy (associated with Robin West and Martha Nussbaum) and 3) law and narrative (associated with Patricia Williams).

Suggested Readings:
- D.A. Skeel, Lawrence Joseph and Law and Literature, in "University of Cincinnati Law Review", 77.3 (2009), pp. 921-939.

Prof. David Skeel's CV:
David A. Skeel is currently the S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School (2004-), after having been Associate Professor of Law at the Temple University School of Law (1993- 1998) and Professor of Law at University of Pennsylvania Law School (1999- 2003) .
He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina (B.A. 1983) and the University of Virginia (J.D. 1987). His poems have appeared in Boulevard, Kansas Quarterly and elsewhere. He has written on law and literature or related issues for Columbia Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Legal Affairs, Wallace Stevens Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer, and other publications; and he served as an advisory editor of Boulevard in the 1990s.
He also is the author of two books:
- Icarus in the Boardroom: The Fundamental Flaws in Corporate America and Where They Came From (Oxford U. Press, 2005)
- Debt’s Dominion: A History of Bankruptcy Law in America (Princeton University Press, 2001) .
In 1999 & 2002 he received the Harvey Levin Award for Excellence in Teaching and in 2004 the Lindback Award (university-wide “Great Teacher” award).

For a complete overview on Prof. Skeel’s CV and his extensive list of publications see: