David Papke

David Papke's picture
David Papke's picture

David Papke

Professor of Law
Courses Taught Family Law, Legal History, Property, Jurisprudence
Areas of Law Family Law, Law in American Culture, Legal History, Property


David Papke joined the Marquette University Law School faculty in 2002 after serving on the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis faculty for eighteen years. Professor Papke worked earlier as Dean of Yale University's Davenport College, and he has been a visiting professor at the University of Illinois and Indiana University-Bloomington. In 1986-87, he was a Fulbright professor at Tamkang University, Taipei, and he has lectured in Australia, Denmark, Switzerland, St. Kitts, Uganda, and Vietnam. Professor Papke teaches Property, Family Law, Jurisprudence, Legal History, and a range of courses and seminars in law and the humanities. He has a special scholarly interest in the role of law in American culture. He is the author or editor of Framing the Criminal: Crime, Cultural Work, and the Loss of Critical Perspective (1987), Narrative and the Legal Discourse: Storytelling and the Law (1991), Heretics in the Temple: Americans Who Reject the Nation's Legal Faith (1998), The Pullman Case: The Clash of Labor and Capital in Industrial America (1999), Law and Popular Cultre: Text, Notes, and Questions (2007; 2nd Edition, 2012), and Law and Popular Culture: International Perspectives (2014). His most recent book is Containment and Condemnation: Law and the Oppression of the Urban Poor (2019).

Recent Lectures, Papers, and Presentations:

"The Limits of Law: Neoliberalism and Health Law Reform," International Society for the Semiotics of Law; Coimbra, Portugal; May, 2019.

"Criminal Voices in American Popular Music," International Society for the Semiotics of Law; Orebro, Sweden; May, 2018. 

"John Grisham's View of Legal Education," Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities; Washington, D.C; March, 2018.

"Addressing Health Inequities: Law and Social Justice for the American Urban Poor," International and Comparative Urban Law Conference, Hong Kong, June, 2016. 

"The Communistic Inclinations of Sir Thoma More," Utopia 500 Lecture Series; McGeorge Law School; Sacramento, California; March, 2016.

"Postmodern Decline?  The American Belief in the Rule of Law," 12th Annual Conference on Law and Legal Scholarship; Athens, Greece; July, 2015.

"Law in the Hollywood Cinema," the University of Wollongong; Wollongong, Australia; July, 2014.

"The Adoption of Asian Children by American Whites," Third Biennial Interdisciplinary Conference on Race, Monmouth University; West Long Branch, New Jersey; April, 2013.

"Evolutionary Functionalism:  A Viable Approach to American Legal History?" Stawa University; Kampala, Uganda; August 2012.

"Transracial Adoption in the Contemporary United States," International Society of Family Law North American Conference; Nassau, The Bahamas; March, 2011.  

"Contain, Condemn, and Criminalize: The Functions of Law and Legal Institutions for the Underclass," Loyola Law School -New Orleans; New Orleans, Louisiana; November, 2010. 

"Muffled Message: Capital Punishment and Hollywood Films," Center for the Study of Film and History Annual Conference; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, November, 2010.

Recent Publications


"A Foe More Than a Friend: Law and the Health of the Urban Poor" (with Elise Papke), 44 FORDHAM URBAN LAW JOURNAL 1 (2017).

"The Communistic Inclinations of Sir Thomas More," 48 UNIV. OF THE PACIFIC LAW REVIEW 29 (2016).

"Cinematic Anti-Legalism: Recent Hollywood Movies' Rejection of the Belief in Law," 44 JOURNAL OF POPULAR FILM AND TELEVISION 68 (2016)

"Postmodern Decline? The Belief in the Rule of Law As a Tenet of American Ideology," 1 ATHENS JOURNAL OF LAW 221 (2015).

"All It Ever Does Is Rain: Bruce Springsteen and the Alienation of Labor," 4 JOURNALISM AND MASS COMMUNICATION 593 (2014).

"Perpetuating Poverty: Exploitative Businesses, the Urban Poor, and the Failure of Reform," 16 THE SCHOLAR 223 (2014).

INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON LAW & POPULAR CULTURE (ed. with Michael Asimow & Kathryn Brown (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2014).

"Oil and Water Do Not Mix: Constitutional Law and American Popular Culture," in LAW, CULTURE & VISUAL STUDIES (ed. Anne Wagner & Richard Sherwin) (Springer Publishing, 2014).

"Transracial Adoption in the United States: The Reflection and Reinforcement of Racial Hierarchy," 2013 UTAH LAW REVIEW 1041 (2013).