The Center in Law, Society and Culture presents

"The Imagination of Discovery: The Historical Novel and the Origins of Literary Property"
with Peter Schneck, Professor for English and American Studies, Osnabruck University, Germany; Visiting Scholar, UCI

Friday, April 20, 2012
12:00 to 1:15 PM
LAW 3500H

The specific formation of U.S.-American literature during the first half of the 19th century was largely due to the emergence and the success of the historical novel. As a genre which could be used to define and legitimate literary practice as an indispensable investment in the construction of a national culture and identity, the success of the historical novel must also be seen in its alignment with other forms of imagined histories - in particular those of the law.

The alliance between the literary and the legal 'histories' of the early decades of the 19th century is not only due to their shared interest in questions of property. More substantially, the obsessive negotiation of property in law and literature during the time can be – or even must be – read in its impact on notions of literary property in relation to discourses on discovery, development and real estate.

As part of a larger project which attempts to investigate the elementary yet also changing relation between notions of literary property vis-a-vis concepts of collective cultural property and identity, my presentation will focus on the particular convergence of 'properties' in Catherine Maria Sedgwick's novel /Hope Leslie/ (1827) in contrast and opposition to James Fenimore Cooper's / The Pioneers/ (1823).

The Socio-Legal Studies Workshop is an interdisciplinary seminar that meets one Friday each month over lunch (12-1:15 pm) in the Law School.

Lunch will be provided.

All interested law faculty members, faculty members from outside the Law School, law students and graduate students are welcome.

Conveners: Catherine Fisk and Chris Tomlins

For further information, please contact Akhila L. Ananth,


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