The University of Chicago Chronicle reports that an upcoming conference entitled “Shakespeare and the Law” will be attended by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Justice Breyer will join Martha Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics in the Law School, Philosophy Department and the Divinity School; Richard Posner, Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Senior Lecturer in Law; and Richard Strier, Frank L. Sulzberger Distinguished Service Professor in English Language & Literature in leading the conference. The illustrious group will hold panels on May 15-16 exploring legal topics explored in Shakespeare’s work and even participate in staging some scenes. (Justice Breyer will play the Ghost in Hamlet!)
From the Chronicle article:
- “The Law and Literature movement has made important contributions to scholarship on both law and literature, and Shakespeare is at the heart of what anyone working on law and literature would care about, so bringing people together from literature, law, and philosophy to talk about the legal dimensions in Shakespeare’s plays seemed to us like a great way to promote good new work on law and literature,” said Martha Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics in the Law School, Philosophy Department and the Divinity School, and one of the conference organizers.
The two-day conference will examine Shakespeare’s exploration of legal topics from canon laws and the rule of law, to law enforcement and land law, but also will explore larger themes such as the nature of mercy and the nature of authority.
The conference begins Friday, May 15, at 10 a.m. with a student panel, followed by additional panels and performances through Saturday, May 16. Saturday’s events also feature Diane Wood, Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Senior Lecturer in the Law School, and Shakespeare scholar David Bevington, the Phyllis Fay Horton Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Humanities and the College.