Werner Gephart (Bonn): Aesthetics of Law, Legal Kitsch and Iniquity of Spheres. On the relationship between the legal and the aesthetic sphere (opening of the new research year)

The fifth year of research of the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities “Law as Culture” with the topic “Cultural Forms of Law: Literature, film and architecture” focuses on the interaction between law and the arts in a comparative perspective beyond the law and literature movement. Where does the underlying relationship of law and literature come from? From the fact that it is just as necessary to be able to narrate a case as it is to narrate Boccaccio’s novella on the “falcon”? What are the commonalities between qānūn (Arabic for law) and canon in the musical sense? Why is there such a wealth of paintings of law (from Daumier to Klimt etc.) but such a dearth of legal music? How is law and aesthetic representation conveyed in a non-Western context? And what does Shakespeare’s “measure for measure” teach us about law?

These are but some of the research questions we will investigate over the course of this research year. As part of the “Forum Law as Culture”, Prof. Dr. jur. Werner Gephart will open the Center’s yearly topic with an introductory lecture.