Tag Archives: CMEMLL

CMEMLL Annual Report 2014/15

CMEMLL Annual Report 2015/16

We are pleased to share a report of CMEMLL’s activities for the academic year 2014/15 here.

As you can see, we were rather busy last year with three conferences, a regular programme of reading groups and research events, and the inauguration of the new Institute of Legal and Constitutional Research.

We are half-way through our programme for 2015/16 with a great deal to look forward to in second semester.

See the programme of events and the Annual Report for further details.


Reading Group: Interpreting Literature, Law, and Constitution (I)

Tuesday 6 October, 12:30-2 pm
Old Seminar Room, 71 South Street, School of History

The first CMEMLL Reading Group and the first meeting of the Institute of Legal And Constitutional Research will take place next Tuesday lunchtime (6th October). We’ll meet in the Old Seminar Room on the first floor of 71 South Street at 12.30pm for a sandwich lunch, with the Reading Group on ‘Interpreting Literature, Law, and Constitution (I)’ starting soon after 1pm and finishing in time for people to teach at 2pm.

The Reading Group will involve an introduction by John Hudson and Lorna Hutson followed by discussion on the theme of ‘Literature, Law and Constitution’.

The background reading is Chapter 1 of Christopher Warren, Literature and the Law of Nations, 1580-1680 (Oxford: OUP, 2015), available at:


We look forward to seeing you there.


Research Lecture: Professor Bradin Cormack (Princeton University)

‘In the Time of Example: Case Thinking in Shakespearean Drama’

Thursday 15 May, 2014, 3.15 pm
Garden Seminar Room, Kennedy Hall, School of English

Bradin Cormack, Professor of English at Princeton University and Corresponding Professor of CMEMLL, will give a paper entitled ‘In the time of example: case thinking in Shakespearean Drama.’

As Professor Cormack explains:

‘This paper places Shakespeare’s comedies, in particular The Comedy of Errors and The Merchant of Venice, in the double context of case-jurisprudence in the sixteenth-century common law and of exemplarity in sixteenth-century historiographical writing. It suggests that Shakespeare’s comedies are marked microtextually and structurally by the consideration not only of the rhetorical impact of examples but, more basically, of what, logically, the example is such that it might constitute knowledge. I will be considering in particular the question of how examples or cases relate to time, and, in addition to Shakespeare, I will consider some passages in Sidney’s Defense, which is of course notorious for the case it makes for the case.

My talk, which will focus on Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors with some attention to Sidney, will be self-explanatory. If you would like to read something in advance, I suggest Agamben’s essay “What is a Paradigm,” which informs some of the ways in which I am thinking about example.’

Professor Cormack is author of A Power to Do Justice: Jurisdiction, English Literature, and the Rise of Common Law, 1509-1625 (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2007) and of Book Use, Book Theory, co-authored with Carla Mazzio (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Library, 2005).

He is co-editor, with Leonard Barkan and Sean Keilen, of The Forms of Renaissance Thought: New Essays on Literature and Culture (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) and, with Richard Strier and Martha Nussbaum, of Shakespeare and the Law: A Conversation among the Disciplines and Professions (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2013).

He has published on issues of sovereignty in Shakespeare Quarterly, and he is currently working on two books, a philosophical study of Shakespeare’s sonnets and a short monograph on Shakespeare and Law.


Research Lecture: Professor Mark Godfrey (University of Glasgow)

‘Courts and Councils: Litigation and Jurisdiction in Late Medieval Scotland’

Thursday 8 May, 2014, 5.15 pm
Garden Seminar Room, Kennedy Hall, School of English

Mark Godfrey, Professor of Law at the University of Glasgow, will give a paper entitled ‘Courts and Councils: Litigation and Jurisdiction in Late Medieval Scotland.’

Note from the speaker: “If I were to recommend one piece of background reading which would introduce the topic well it would probably be: A. M. Godfrey, ‘Parliament and the Law’, in Keith M. Brown and Alan R. Macdonald (eds.), The History of the Scottish Parliament. Volume 3: Parliament in Context 1235-1707 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010), pp 157-185.”

Professor Mark Godfrey is author of Civil Justice in Renaissance Scotland: the Origins of a Central Court (Series: Medieval law and its practice, 4) (Leiden; Boston, MA: Brill, 2009). He is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College, and has also served on the Council of the Stair Society, the Scottish Record Society, the Editorial Board of The Records of the Parliament of Scotland to 1707, as Secretary of the Scottish Legal History Group, and in 2011-12 as National Adjudicator for the English Speaking Union / Essex Court Chambers National Mooting Competition.

Mark’s research interests are in legal history and the law of obligations. His main research field is the history of central justice, courts, jurisdiction, private law and dispute settlement in medieval and early modern Scotland. He has published extensively on the origins and development of the Court of Session, and on the foundation of the College of Justice in sixteenth-century Scotland.