Sociologie, Theorie en Methodologie

European Network Law and Literature

The European Network for Law and Literature Scholarship has been founded as a vehicle for increasing communication and cooperation between individuals working on related topics within Europe. Founded by a judge and law professor working in the Netherlands and a literary scholar in Germany, this network aims to embrace the variety of disciplines and languages its participants work in as potential sources of scholarly richness and innovation.

About the network

It is our belief that work on Law and Literature in Europe can develop a profile that more clearly reflects and articulates the cultural identities and legal backgrounds of its participants. Specific goals of this network are to

  • Promote Law and Literature within the European context and to increase communication between scholars
  • To reflect on and thematize possible differences between European Law and Literature work and that of Anglo-American scholars (such differences might include different foci due to backgrounds in adversarial or inquisitorial law systems and related legal cultures)
  • To meet to exchange ideas, work, and viewpoints
  • To use this platform as a forum for discussion
  • To encourage comparative work as well as research on non-canonical texts and genres

We invite you to make this network a platform for announcements about Law and Literature activities and to use it as a place to introduce your ideas. Networks of Law and Literature scholars already exist in the Scandinavian countries, in Italy, France, and Britain. We wish not to compete with these groups but to add to them by placing an emphasis on transnational and cross-linguistic scholarly efforts. The Network is an initiative of Jeanne Gaakeer, professor at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Greta Olson, professor at the Justus-Liebig Universität Giessen. If you would like to know more about the European Network for Law and Literature, please get in touch with Jeanne Gaakeer or Greta Olson.

A Dialogue on Law and Literature

Since 2005, Jeanne Gaakeer and Greta Olson have been in a dialogue about the futures, prospects, and limits of Law and Literature. Our mutual interest in encouraging Law and Literature scholarship in Europe led us to found the European Network for Law and Literature Research in 2007.

Jeanne, a professor of legal theory at the Erasmus School of Rotterdam and a judge on the Appellate Court in The Hague (criminal law section), approaches the subject from the perspective of a legal practitioner who would like to see the study of law and literature integrated into judges' training, whereas Greta, a professor of English and American Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Giessen in Germany, approaches Law and Literature from the framework of critical theory and historiography. 

Greta published a comparative study on Law and Literature scholarship in the United States, the UK, and Germany in 2010  (“De-Americanizing Law and Literature Narratives,” Law & Literature 22.1), and Jeanne responded to this article in her 2012 essay for Helle Porsdam and Thomas Elholm's edited volume, Dialogues on Justice: European Perspectives on Law and Humanities (Law and Literature Series, Berlin and New York: De Gruyter). In the same volume, Greta was given the opportunity to respond to some of the criticisms of and feedback on the 2010 essay she had been given, including that of Jeanne. 

Call for Papers

Narratives in the Criminal Process

Dear colleague,

The international conference «Narratives in the Criminal Process» will be held in Bergen, Norway on 30 November – 1 December 2018. The conference is organized by the research project «A Narratology of Criminal Cases», situated at the University of Bergen and funded by the Norwegian Research Council’s SAMKUL program.

The theme of the conference will be narratives in criminal law and the criminal process. The theme is inspired by Peter Brooks’ claim that «law needs a narratology» and the realization that narratives are still a theoretically underdeveloped aspect of legal processes. Central questions are: What kinds of narratives are operative in the criminal process? What is the significance of narratives in the legal process? What kinds of narratives are most effective in the court room? How do narratives influence the decision making process of judges and jurors? What characterizes the court’s own narratives in judgements and judicial opinions? How do narratives shape press reports about criminal cases?

We welcome contributions on narrative aspects of the criminal process in all its stages: from the police investigation to the final judgement. The subject may be approached from a variety of perspectives, including that of law, literary and cultural studies, linguistics, psychology, criminology, anthropology, feminist studies or other approaches.  

Key note speakers are Jeanne Gaakeer (Rotterdam) and Matías Martínez (Wuppertal).

All papers should be planned for a maximum of 20 minutes in presentation length. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words long and include a brief 1-page CV. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 1 June 2018.

In connection with the conference we will organize a public debate at Litteraturhuset i Bergen (House of Literature in Bergen) on 29 November at 7 pm where a panel of invited speakers will discuss the significance of narratives for criminal law.

Your abstract should include the following information at the top of the page:

  • Name
  • Institutional Affiliation, if any
  • Audio-visual requirements, if any

Please submit your abstract with the subject line «Narratives in the Criminal Process 2018» to: frode.pedersen@uib.noMore information about our project is available on our website: do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions or concerns: or  

All the best,

Frode Helmich Pedersen
Project Leader


Beyond Gender: An Advanced Introduction to Futures of Feminist and Sexuality Studies

The Politics of Form

How to Do Things with Narrative

Introductory Law and Literature Bibliography

Law and Literature Bibliography Greta Olson & Jeanne Gaakeer:

Recent developments in Law and Literature research: the bibliography expanded:

External Links

Italian Society for Law and Literature

Nordic Network for Law and Literature

AIDEL (Associazione Italiana di Diritto e Letteratura)

Digitales Fundheft "Literatur und Recht", Edition 2011 Lorenz Franck


European Network for Law and Literature
Erasmus University Rotterdam
att. to: Professor Jeanne Gaakeer, room W-L-6-121
PO Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
the Netherlands
Telephone: +31-10-4082682

Professor Greta Olson
Institut für Anglistik
Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen
Otto-Behagel-Straße 10 B
35394 Giessen 

Law and Literature Anthologies


New book by Frans Willem Korsten, A Dutch Republican Baroque