The Law and Literature, Past and Present LC has been cancelled for Fall of 2014. Please contact the LC Staff with any questions you may have.

How far does the law express what is just or good? What role do laws play in defining what it means to be a man or a woman, a citizen or a slave? Who has the right to make the law or to say what "justice" means? In this Learning Community you will explore questions like these, and the conflicts that arise from them.

In "Literature and the Law" (CLCS 339) you will develop your skills in close reading and investigative writing. You will be able to analyze how ethical and legal questions have been asked and answered in different times and places by poets, philosophers, lawyers, architects, and other writers. In "Classical World Civilizations" (CLCS 181) you will examine ancient and modern urban landscapes, learning how to understand ancient societies from the archaeological remains that survive today from Classical Greece and Rome. Classical antiquity lies at the heart of our two courses, but we will think about how the law relates to political, religious, aesthetic, and ethical traditions in a variety of ancient and modern societies, including 20th-century South Africa.

Outside of the classroom, activities in the local community illustrate how law and justice operate in Tippecanoe County. Other cultural events and tours of Lafayette landmarks relate to illuminate the course content. Past activities have included a service trip on National Archeology day at the Children's Museum in Indianapolis; volunteering at a Jailhouse Haunting event for local children; and a trip to the Tippecanoe Battlefield Museum. In the fall of 2013, students visited a Circuit Court and watched a variety of proceedings, after which the students met with the proceedings' legal practitioners to share insights and ideas over pizza.

There are no prerequisites for these courses; all readings are in English and this Learning Community is open to first-year students in any school or college at Purdue.

Law and Lit



  • First-time beginning students admitted to any college/school/major
  • This LC is available to Honors College participants; those students will live in Shreve Hall with the Honors College and participate in the course(s) and activities of the LC.

Residential Component

  • OPTIONAL in Wiley Hall
  • If you choose this option, your roommate in most cases will be a member of the LC
  • Completing a housing contract is a separate process from applying for the LC



Fall 2014 Semester

Associated Classes

Fall – CLCS 18100, CLCS 33900

Events and Activities May Include:

  • Welcome social event
  • Introduction to Purdue campus resources and libraries
  • Movie night
  • Periodic meals with faculty members
  • Museum outing
  • Circuit court visit/meeting with legal practitioners
  • Service project for Jailhouse Haunting
  • Indianapolis Children's Museum Archaeology Day service project


Information above is subject to change. If you are placed in the LC, the associated courses will be on your schedule prior to you registering for the rest of your courses.

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