October 13, 2015

Law and Literature In Discourse: Literature and Legal History

Steven Howe, University of Lucerne, has published Literature and Legal History: A Neglected Dialogue,  Recht und Kultur 3-27(Steven Howe and Jessica C. Lai, Zurich, 2015)(Rechtsgeschichte und Rechtsphilosophie). Here is the abstract.

Recent decades have witnessed a significant surge in critical cultural studies of law and legal phenomena. As cultural theorists and historians have increasingly turned attention to the reality-constituting potential of narratives, symbols, images and rituals, so too has renewed interest come to be placed on the dependencies of law and law-forming processes on cultural and symbolic practices, not only in terms of the intrinsic relation between law, communication and media, but also with regard to the performative figuration of law in imaginative texts. Drawing on such perspectives, the present essay makes the case for a new understanding of the potential value of literature to an integrated cultural history of law. In particular, it aims to show how modern approaches to the study of imaginary and narrative cultures might provide the material for fresh approaches that go beyond a straightforward view of literature as the other of law – that is to say, as a counter-discourse distinct from and exterior to the legal order – and take fuller account of the cross-linkages between the fields of law and literature as circulating discourses and constitutive elements of a shared symbolic system.

Here is a link to the book at the publisher's website.

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