September 29, 2006

A Collection of Law and Popular Culture Essays

The Law and Popular Culture "subdiscipline" is beginning to acquire a healthy number of volumes of essays containing proceedings of colloquia and symposia. Among them: Law and Popular Culture, edited by Michael Freeman, and published by Oxford, the collected pieces delivered at one of University College London's annual international "law and" get-togethers. Divided into nine sections, this book presents such topics as "Reel Justice" "The Novel", "Music", "Law, Sexuality, and Popular Culture", and "Human Rights", and includes pieces like Paul Bergman's "Emergency! Send a TV Show to Rescue Paramedic Services!" Stefan Machura's "Procedural Unfairnes in Real and Film Trials: Why Do Audiences Understand Stories Placed in Foreign Legal Systems?", Marlene Tromp's "Popular Fiction and Domestic Law: East Lynne, Justice and the `Ordeal of the Undecidable'", David Ray Papke's "Re-Imagining the Practice of Law; Popular Twentieth-Century Fiction by American Lawyer-Authors," Milner S. Ball's "Doing Time and Doing It in Style," Jenni Milbank's "It's About This: Lesbians, Prison, Desire," Christian Delage's "Image as Evidence and Mediation: The Experience of the Nuremberg Trials," Rex J. Ahdar's "`Do You Want Fries With That?' The Franchise as a Cultural and Legal Phenomenon," and Philip N. Meyer's "Adaptation: What Post-Conviction Relief Practitioners In Death Penalty Cases Might Learn From Popular Story Tellers About Narrative Persuasion." The coverage of issues is extensive and those who find law and pop culture of any interest at all should find something that piques their curiosity in this volume. One of my favorites was Michael Robertson's "Seeing Blind Spots: Corporate Misconduct in Film and Law", in which he discusses why Hollywood rarely makes movies about corporate misconduct. Given the number of corporations that have imploded recently, that might be about to change.

The book has tables of cases and statutes, and a helpful index, and it is a fat 696 pages long. But it's also $175.00, which will, unfortunately, I think, put it beyond the reach of most interested individual buyers.

Law and Popular Culture, edited by Michael Freeman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005 (Current Legal Issues; 7)

September 22, 2006

We'll Always Have Parrots, Too....

My colleague Pat Martin notes that Jay Dardenne, a 1979 LSU Law graduate, won the "Vile Puns" category in the 2005 Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest, run by the Department of English at San Jose State University. Here is Senator Dardenne's winning entry.
Falcon was her name and she was quite the bird of prey, sashaying past her adolescent admirers from one anchor store to another, past the kiosks where earrings longed to lie upon her lobes and sunglasses hoped to nestle on her nose, seemingly the beginning of a beautiful friendship with whomsoever caught the eye of the mall tease, Falcon.

September 21, 2006

Crime and the Songs of Bruce Springsteen

David Ray Papke, Marquette University Law School, has published "Crime, Lawbreaking and Counterhegemonic Humanism in the Songs of Bruce Springsteen" as Marquette Law School Legal Studies Paper 06-13. Here is the abstract:

Bruce Springsteen has demonstrated a topical interest in crime and lawbreaking throughout his career as a singer-songwriter. His creative practice in this area challenges how we treat and understand criminals, and his counterhegemonic humanism powerfully reminds us of the fundamentals of a genuinely humanitarian social order.

Download the entire paper from SSRN here.