February 29, 2016

Olson on the Future of Law and Literature (and Other "Law-And") Movements

Greta Olson, Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen, has published Futures of Law and Literature: A Preliminary Overview from a Culturalist Perspective in Recht und Literatur im Zwischenraum/Law and Literature In-Between: Aktuelle inter- und transdisziplinäre Zugänge/Contemporary Inter- and Transdisciplinary Approaches 37-69 (Christian Hiebaum, Susanne Knaller, and Doris Pichler, eds., Bielefeld, 2015). Here is the abstract.
Two meta-narratives concerning developments in Law and Literature currently prevail. One suggests that the post-1970 movement that was spearheaded by reformist US American legal teachers such as J. B. White, Richard Weisberg, Robin West, and the moral philosopher Martha Nussbaum is no longer viable. Accordingly, the movement is adjudged to be politically and methodologically passé. Further, a discourse is emerging within legal theory that says that since law once housed all of the disciplines currently used to interrogate it, it does not need literature (or anthropology or sociology for that matter) to reflect on its practice. The other narrative says that the historical and geographical moment that marked Law and Literature as US American has been replaced. “Law and Literature” has metamorphosed into a number of different interdisciplinary local and transnational ventures. Accordingly, a polysemic Law and Literature needs to develop a new form of self-reflection about its practice.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

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