March 31, 2014

The Development of the Theory of Enterprise Liability From the Late Nineteenth Century through the 1970s

Edmund Ursin, University of San Diego School of Law, has published Holmes, Cardozo, and the Legal Realists: Early Incarnations of Legal Pragmatism and Enterprise Liability in volume 50 of the San Diego Law Review (Summer 2013).  Here is the abstract.

Enterprise liability is a term associated with the tort lawmaking of the liberal “Traynor era” California Supreme Court of the 1960s and 1970s. Legal pragmatism, in turn, is associated with the conservative jurist Richard Posner. This manuscript examines the evolution of each of these theoretical movements from Holmes’s great 1897 essay, “The Path of the Law,” to the present day. Its focus is on the great judges and scholars whose views have shaped our own: Holmes, Cardozo, the Legal Realists Leon Green and Karl Llewellyn, Traynor, and Posner.
Stated simply, the shared jurisprudential view of these great judges and scholars is that in our system judges are legislators as well as adjudicators — and policy plays a role in their lawmaking. In the common law subjects, in fact, judges are the primacy lawmakers. In constitutional adjudication they are also lawmakers but lawmakers aware of the general need for deference to other branches. No fancy formulas such as “neutral principle “or “original meaning” can capture this role. Indeed, the leading academic theorists of the past century — and today — have been out of touch with the reality of judicial lawmaking as it has been expressly articulated by these great judge. We also see in the works of these judges and scholars the origins of the enterprise liability doctrines that the pragmatic Traynor era court of the 1960s and 1970s, would adopt, including the doctrine of strict products liability and expansive developments within the negligence system.

Download the article from SSRN at the link. 

March 29, 2014

Beethoven, Unity, and a Flash Mob in a Fish Market

Hobart Earle, the Odessa Philharmonic, and the Odessa Opera Chorus performed Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" (which is also the EU's anthem), via flash mob at the very busy Privoz Fish Market this week. It was both a musical and a political statement. See the impressive result and the crowd's enthusiastic reaction in the video here (coverage from WQXR-FM). 

March 27, 2014

Inviting In the Social Sciences

Nicolette M. Priaulx, Cardiff University, University of Wales System, Cardiff Law School, and Martin Weinel, Cardiff School of Social Sciences, are publishing Behavior on a Beer Mat: Law, Interdisciplinarity & Expertise, in the Journal of Law, Technology and Policy. Here is the abstract.

In this paper we seek to offer an original theoretical platform for thinking about the nature of legal knowledge produced through ‘legal interdisciplinarity.’ The context for our discussion is the emergence of a ‘behavioural boom’ in the field of law where researchers increasingly turn to fields like behavioural economics to encourage shifts in legal and social governance architecture. Using a case study which explores the application of a sub-branch of psychology to civil law, we highlight serious concerns attending the capacity of lone legal researchers to meaningfully navigate non-legal domains. Central to our analysis, is the sociology of expertise and experience, and it is from this perspective that we explore the interdisciplinary process. Drawing attention to the extent to which largely “unwritten” practices and conventions inhabit disciplines and how these govern knowledge, we point to the insurmountable barriers confronting lone legal interdisciplinarians. We illustrate why that work, by contrast with genuine collaborative/interactional interdisciplinary research, should be regarded as lacking value from a policy/political perspective. This is not, however, to diminish the potential value of works of a non-collaborative nature. Noting the value of interdisciplinary work of a more provisional and creative character, and its critical importance to the legal project, we draw a critical distinction between interactional research and simulated research. This distinction we argue proves critical to identifying what interdisciplinary work can lend itself to policy application and that which cannot, as well as accommodating the fullest range of interdisciplinary research efforts to flourish.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Rights, Language, and Law

Dimitry Kochenov, University of Groningen Faculty of Law, and Fernand De Varennes, University of Hong Kong, University of Pretoria, Vytautas Magnus University, are publishing Language and Law, in Research Methods in Language Policy and Planning (F. Hult and D. Johnson eds., Wiley, 2014). Here is the abstract.

This elementary introduction into the difficult relationship between language and law written for non-lawyers outlines some key steps in the development of the legal approaches towards allowing people to speak their own language and outlines several key trends in the recent developments relevant in this field: a shift from the culture of authority to the culture of justification and the acceptance of the ethos of rights in approaching the relationship between law and language as opposed to the ethos of duties prevalent in the past.

Download the essay from SSRN at the link. 

March 25, 2014

Call For Papers, Special Issue: International Journal for the Semiotics of Law

From Anne Wagner, Editor-in-Chief, International Journal for the Semiotics of Law

Special Issue Call for Papers "Marginalised Bodies (Re)imagining the Law" When the law regulates, it also marginalises. Indigenous people, the GLBTI community, women, children, the homeless and others are all victimised by the force of this regulation. For many people belonging to these communities, the law has left them with a sense of abandonment – the law does not recognise the realities that they live out on a day to day basis. In so doing, sites of contest are opened up in which marginalised bodies attempt to challenge law makers and law enforcers. Semiotics allows us useful methods for exploring these interactions. For instance, the signs of both groups (literal and metaphorical), the language employed by groups (how they complement and contrast each other in differing legal and social realities) and acts deterrence and defiance are all possible areas of inquiry. This issue        draws  attention        to       the     many  different          ways marginalised    groups attempt         to       redress         or       ‘(re)imagine’ the law. This special issue for the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law invites high quality contributions from scholars of all disciplines that undertake rhetorical, hermeneutic, sociolinguistic, discourse, aesthetic or semiotic analyses of the law and marginalised and/or disadvantaged groups. Of particular interest are papers discussing indigenous rights, homeless rights, rights of women and children rights, GLBTI rights, refugee and asylum seeker rights and the intersections between law and philosophy, visual arts, music, poetry and literature. Submissions to be made in English only. Guest Editor: Ben Hightower (Legal Intersections Research Centre, University of Wollongong, Australia) Submissions: send paper proposal (max. 400 words) by 15 July 2014 to Selection: selected authors will be invited by 15 August 2014 to submit a full paper Final submissions: papers (max. 9,000 words) to be sent by 15 March 2015 for double-blind peer         review Publication: it is anticipated that papers will be published in Volume 28/4 of the IJSL (December 2015) 

March 24, 2014

Call For Fiction!

From Alafair Burke, Professor of Law, Hofstra University School of Law, comes news of a competition:

Mystery Writing Competition

Have you ever thought about writing crime fiction? Hofstra Law, along with Professor Alafair Burke and Mulholland Books, is offering you the unique opportunity to have your short story read by best-selling crime novelists and published online. See below for the official rules and regulations. View the competition flyer.


1. Your story must feature a lawyer as a main character.
2. Your story must be original, unpublished, and less than 3,500 words.
3. Submissions must be in Microsoft Word, using a 12-point font and double-spaced. The document must be emailed as an attachment to by May 1, 2014, with the subject line “mystery writing competition.”
4. The first-place story will be published on the website of Mulholland Books, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company devoted to publishing the best in suspense fiction. All authors will retain copyright.


FIRST PRIZE: $500 and Online publication and promotion by Mulholland Books


LEE CHILD is the No. 1 internationally best-selling author of 18 Jack Reacher thrillers. He went to law school in Sheffield, England, and had a long career in television production
before deciding to write his first novel. The 2012 film Jack Reacher was based on his novel One Shot and starred Tom Cruise.
MARCIA CLARK is the best-selling author of three novels featuring Los Angeles Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight. Her books have been optioned for a one hour drama series by TNT. Marcia is attached as an executive producer and the pilot is currently in production. She is a former Los Angeles deputy district attorney, and was the lead prosecutor in the OJ Simpson murder case.
ALAFAIR BURKE is a professor of law at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. She is also the bestselling author of ten novels, including the Ellie Hatcher series. Her next book, All Day and a Night, features a wrongful conviction case and will be published by HarperCollins in June.

What James Bond's Dad Did in the War

From Oxford University Press, new in paperback:

Ian Fleming's Commandos

The Story of the Legendary 30 Assault Unit

Nicholas Rankin

  • Tells the story of how Fleming's life inspired the creation of the ultimate spy: James Bond
  • A thrilling look at espionage in WWII, filled with fascinating characters and vivid stories
  • A page-turning history that reads like a novel

  • Cover for Ian Fleming

Reviews from the publisher's website

"It is, first of all, chock-a-block full of wonderful stories and odd characters, and secondly awash in wonderful, arcane knowledge of the seamy and secret side of World War Two...suavely blended, like one of Bond's Martinis... Rankin has taken wonderful material, and made it into a compellingly readable book, one which Ian Fleming himself would have read with sardonic pleasure." --Michael Korda, The Daily Beast
"A kind of cousin to Rankin's own A Genius for Deception: How Cunning Helped the British Win Two World Wars, this will appeal to all readers interested either in Ian Fleming or World War II secret operations." - Library Journal
"Nicholas Rankin's fascinating book is an account of the 30AU's progress through the war. From time to time it reads like a Boy's Own story, so flamboyant are the characters and so vivid Rankin's accounts of the deadly scrapes and firefights the commandos found themselves involved in. The research is prodigious and lucid - now I finally understand how an Enigma machine works - and one gains a real sense of how these maverick units functioned, very much akin to the Long Range Desert Group and the fledgling SAS." - William Boyd, The Guardian
"Rankin has produced, as my father would have said, a ripping good yarn." -- The Washington Independent Review of Books

March 22, 2014

Rediscovering Crime Fiction of the Golden Age

Nice blog here, called the Passing Tramp, devoted to mystery and crime fiction, particularly of the Golden Age, with many illustrations. The author is Curtis Evans, who has written numerous books on crime fiction and detective stories, including Masters of the "Humdrum" Mystery (2012) and the forthcoming Mysteries Unlocked: Essays in Honor of Douglas G. Greene (2014).  If you like Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and John Dickson Carr, let Mr. Evans introduce you (or re-introduce you) to their colleagues.

Here's an interview with Mr. Evans, posted at the Past Offences Blog (itself also a worthwhile "virtual" destination).

March 20, 2014

Call for Papers: International Journal for the Semiotics of Law

Call for Papers from Anne Wagner, Editor in Chief, International Journal for the Semiotics of Law
Special Issue Call for Papers “Signs in and of place: Indigenous issues in legal semiotics”

Colonization is both a contest of force and a struggle over semiotics. Signs of possession (such as cultivation or fences), representations of entitlement (savages and empty maps) and linguistic replacement (naming places, people and things, enforcing education in colonial languages) were part of the arsenal of colonial law. Semiotics is also central in the modern era of the recognition of Indigenous rights, through translation of Indigenous relationships to territories and social and political organization into the language of property and self-government, as well as in the resignification of the place of law (and the law of places) in the discourses of nationhood, resource development and environmental justice.
This special issue for the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law invites high quality contributions from scholars of all disciplines, in English or French, that undertake rhetorical, hermeneutic, sociolinguistic, discourse or semiotic analyses of Indigenous issues. Of particular interest are papers discussing Indigenous law, philosophy, art, music, narrative, ceremony, languages and acts of care for the land.
Guest Editor: Kirsten Anker (Faculty of Law, McGill University, Canada) Submissions: send paper proposal (max. 400 words) by 30 June 2014 to
Selection: selected authors will be invited by 31 July 2014 to submit a full paper Final submissions: papers (max. 9,000 words) to be sent by 15 December 2014 for double-blind peer review Publication: it is anticipated that papers will be published in Volume 28/2 of the IJSL (June 2015)

Publication spéciale : Appel à contributions « L’empreinte des lieux : la sémiotique et les enjeux autochtones » La colonisation est à la fois un concours de force et une lutte sémiotique. L’occupation (pensons à la culture de champs, ou à l’érection de clôtures), l’appropriation sans vergogne (des « sauvages », de l’espace « vide ») et le remplacement linguistique (nommer les lieux, les personnes et les choses, instruire dans les langues coloniales) faisaient partie de l’arsenal du droit colonial. Aujourd’hui, la sémiotique joue toujours un rôle fondamental dans la reconnaissance des droits autochtones qui se fait par la traduction de la relation que les peuples autochtones entretiennent avec leurs territoires ancestraux et leur organisation sociale et politique, en termes de propriété et auto gouvernance. Elle est également essentielle à l’élaboration d’une nouvelle manière de comprendre le lieu du droit (et droit des lieux) dans les discours actuels de la « nation », du développement des ressources naturelles et de la justice environnementale.
Cette publication spéciale de la Revue internationale de Sémiotique Juridique invite les chercheurs de haut niveau et de tous les domaines, qui s’intéressent aux enjeux autochtones d’un point de vue critique (analyse du discours, rhétorique, herméneutique, sociolinguistique, sémiotique) à proposer des textes en anglais et en français. Un intérêt particulier sera accordé aux textes qui discutent les perspectives et les pratiques autochtones, le droit, la philosophie, l’art, la musique, les récits, les cérémonies, les langues et les différents rapports aux territoires.
Éditrice invitée : Kirsten Anker (Faculté de Droit, Université McGill, Canada) Soumissions : envoyer une proposition de texte (400 mots max.) avant le 30 juin 2014 à Sélection : les auteurs sélectionnés seront invités à soumettre leur texte au plus tard le 31 juillet 2014 Soumission finale : les textes finaux (9,000 mots max.) devraient être envoyés au plus tard le 15 décembre 2014 pour soumission au comité de lecture
Publication : il est anticipé que les articles seront publiés dans le volume 28/2 du RISJ (juin 2015)

Anne Wagner, Ph. D., Associate Professor, Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale (France) Centre Droit et Perspectives du Droit, Equipe René Demogue - Université de Lille II (France) Research Professor, China University of Political Science and Law (Beijing - China)
 Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Series Editor, Law, Language and Communication - Ashgate Publisher ( President of the International Roundtables for the Semiotics of Law -

March 17, 2014

Application Deadline Extended: International Summer Institute on the Cultural Study of the Law

Application Deadline Extended Until April 6, 2014

 * Contested Properties: Culture, Rights and the Humanities*
 International Summer Institute on the Cultural Study of the Law *Invitation*
 The fifth International Osnabrueck Summer Institute on the Cultural Study of the Law will be held from August 4 to 16, 2014, at the University of Osnabrueck, Germany. Hosted by the Institute of English and American Studies (IfAA), the Osnabrueck Summer Institute seeks to bring together advanced graduate, doctoral, and postdoctoral students of the humanities and/or the law from around the world to promote and examine the interdisciplinary study and research of law and culture.
 During the two week program, students will partake in a unique experience of scholarly collaboration and exchange through workshops, public lectures, panel discussions, excursions and a final symposium. Participating faculty in this year's Summer Institute include:
 * Rosemary J. Coombe (York University, Toronto)
* Helle Porsdam (University of Copenhagen)
* Fiona Macmillan (Birkbeck School of Law, University of London)
* Karen-Margrethe Simonsen (Aarhus U)
* Joseph Slaughter (Columbia U)
* Leti Volpp (U of California, Berkeley)
 with more faculty to be announced in the upcoming weeks.
 The Institute will offer a total of four workshops for 20-30 international participants (doctoral, post-doctoral and advanced M.A. – see below for eligibility) over a two-week period. The first workshop will be concerned with basic theories, concepts and perspectives within the emerging field of cultural legal studies, focusing specifically on the range and potential of interdisciplinary studies and approaches. The remaining three workshops will focus on key areas of critical inquiry that have been central to the dynamic development of the field:

* The tripartite relationship between culture, cultural rights, and the nation state
* The historical development and current debates about culture as heritage, property and as a resource and its legal definition and regulation (including concepts such as copyright, intellectual property and authorship)
* The cultural presence and representation of the law and the role of culture in the representation and dissemination of the concept of rights (e.g. law and literature, life writing and human rights, visual culture and rights rhetoric) *Participant Eligibility* The Summer Institute aims at advanced graduate, doctoral, and postdoctoral students from various academic fields whose research interests and projects are situated at the interface between law and the humanities and who are concerned with a better understanding of the interdependence of law and culture.
Even though the Institute strongly invites students from a broad variety of disciplines and academic backgrounds, it focuses almost exclusively on questions and issues related to research done in the humanities and legal studies.
Doctoral candidates in literature, the law, the arts, the humanities, and the related social sciences are invited to apply, as are advanced students pursuing a J.D. or its equivalent (such as the L.L.B). Young scholars or junior faculty members who have received a Ph.D. or corresponding degree in the last five years are also eligible. While applications by doctoral/post-doctoral students are prioritized, the Summer Institute also encourages applications from advanced Master students about to conclude their studies and with a strong interest in interdisciplinary research. There are openings for 20-30 students to participate in the Summer Institute.
Due to its international audience, the Summer Institute will be completely conducted in English. It does not offer language instruction classes, either in German or in English.
*Application Process*

Applicants should complete:

* The application form on our website
There, they will have to upload
* A statement of purpose no more than two pages long, describing current scholarly interests, previous research, and plans for how the Summer Institute would specifically further these interests and plans.
* An up-to-date curriculum vitae.

Students interested in taking part in the Summer Institute should submit their applications no later than April 6, 2014. Detailed information about the Institute, the workshops, international faculty, admission and fees can be found at:


Please direct all inquiries and questions to Dr. Sabine N. Meyer, the coordinator of the Osnabrueck Summer Institute, at

Blackstone's Influence On Quebec's Legal Regime

Michel Morin, University of Montreal, is publishing Blackstone and the Birth of Quebec's Legal Culture 1765-1867 in Re-Interpreting Blackstone's Commentaries: A Seminal Text in National and International Contexts (Wilfrid Prest, ed.; Hart Publishing, forthcoming). Here is the abstract.

Blackstone’s commentaries were soon translated in French and became, prior to the French Revolution, the principal reference on British constitutional and criminal law. In Quebec, his work was known as early as 1767 and was used to buttress arguments for the preservation of French civil law. He was quoted in court proceedings and in a draft petition. In 1773, François-Joseph Cugnet sent documents concerning these issues to Blackstone, who forwarded them to the British Government. This probably convinced the ministry that the francophone population had no objection to English Criminal Law and to testamentary freedom. Thus, the Quebec Act of 1774 expressly preserved these parts of English Law, while restoring the laws in force prior to the Conquest concerning “Property and Civil Rights”. French versions of the Commentaries were available in Quebec as early as 1784. After the creation of an Assembly, politicians who opposed the Government and wanted to assimilate the provincial Assembly to the British House of Commons regularly quoted Blackstone. His Commentaries, which had benefitted from an improved translation by Chompré in 1822, remained a model for the first legal authors in Quebec. He clearly was part of Quebec’s legal culture and facilitated the understanding of arcane rules of English Law, both because of the clarity of his writings and of various translations of his work made in Europe.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link. 

March 14, 2014

Pi Day!

It's Pi Day! March 13 (3/14) is celebrated around the world as the day for venerating the mathematical ratio of a circle's diameter to its circumference. Remember that nugget from your early education? It's (sort of) 3.14 (if you want to calculate it yourself, see some methods here). While various organizations suggest ways to honor the irrational number, including baking Pi pies, there is at least one law and humanities link to Pi.

Now, I have heard at least two different stories purporting to be the truth here (some suggesting that the Indiana legislature was involved and some that it was the Kentucky legislature that tried to redefine the value of Pi). Here's what I have tracked down. In 1897, an Indiana physician and amateur (really amateur) mathetician named Edward J. Goodwin thought he had succeeded in squaring the circle and also demonstrated that the value of Pi was actually effectively 3.2. Now, squaring the circle is a mathematical impossibility, as Ferdinand von Lindemann showed in 1882. However, Dr. Goodwin thought he had done it, and copyrighted his proof. Further, he really wanted children to be educated to understand his great discovery (despite his desire to collect royalties on his proof), so he decided that he would ask the state of Indiana to accept the truth of his discovery. Thus, the state wouldn't have to pay royalties, which would probably have been prohibitive.

He got the attention of some Indiana legislators who introduced House Bill 246 (the Indiana Pi Bill)  during the 1897 session. Then the fun began. The debate on the floor over the advisibility of accepting a set value for Pi got national attention. It also caught the attention of a math professor, Clarence Abiathar Waldo, at Purdue University, who proceeded to educate some of the members of the Indiana Senate on the basics of math, which they seemed to have forgotten. They were successful in putting off a vote on the bill, enthusiasm for it faded away, and as a result, Pi in Indiana does not have an official value of 3.2.

More here from Mental Floss Magazine, here from a personal page by Mark Brader at the University of Michigan.  Read the text of the bill here. 

March 12, 2014

The Development of Western Law After Justinian

M. Stuart Madden has published Paths of Western Law after Justinian in volume 22 of the Widener Law Journal (2013). Here is the abstract.

This article relates the story of three principal paths of law in Western Europe from the periods preceding the gradual dissolution of the Western Roman Empire following the death of Justinian I in 565 A.D. through and including the several centuries thereafter. The period witnessed an acceleration of the absorption of Roman law into the customary law of the various Germanic groups that occupied and ruled the former Roman territories, and the recitation of such law in the form of new law codes promulgated by three of the major Gothic groupings: the Lombards, the Burgundians, and the Salian Franks.

In the main, the Germanic rulers were attentive to the need for laws that would suit not only German customary law as had been followed for many centuries, but also the Roman law to which their Roman constituencies, now under Germanic rule, had adhered. Importantly, even such Roman law as would be applied was only a bowdlerized version of Justinian's contributions, as the Digests and other interpretative parts of the comprehensive Corpus Juris Civilis were somehow lost, only to be recovered some centuries later. Thus, for the first several centuries of Germanic rule, the only remnant of written Roman law available was the blunt-edged summarization contained in the Code of Justinian.

Germanic law was revolutionized by its new application to the governance of stable agricultural communities. The Gothic codes also advanced continental law in many ways that today can be seen as building blocks of emerging western law. Perhaps most significantly, the three law codes studied here demonstrate a preference for resolution of disputes by means of composition (compensation), and included monetary incentives therefore. By such means, the Goths were largely successful in turning their culture away from violent retributive justice towards systems of composition for injury.

Further to this end were the adoptions of wergeld as an appropriate compensation for a homicide, and also the widespread use of codified tables of composition to be associated with particularized lesser wrongs. These changes in Germanic law gave an increased likelihood of even-handed administration of justice, and provided also a monetized incentive for the family of a victim to forego mayhem in resolving disputes. As to the incidence of violent justice, many ancient Germanic practices, such as blood feud or trial by boiling water, were tamed or eliminated in the development of new agricultural societies. The Gothic codes also adopted remarkably modern distinctions between intentional and accidental harm, as well as negligence standards that assigned uncannily familiar significance to concepts of duty and proximate cause.

In sum, the law codes of the Lombards, the Burgundians, and the Salian Franks provided a civilizing legal bridge between the fall of the Western Empire and the more westernized law codes that would follow in the later Middle Ages.

The text of the article is not available for download from SSRN. 

March 10, 2014

Call For Papers: International Journal for the Semiotics of Law

From Anne Wagner, Editor in Chief, International Journal for the Semiotics of Law


Visualizing Law in Comics and Cartoons


Deadline to submit papers: 31 AUGUST 2014

Papers should not exceed 10,000 words (references included)
Instructions for authors are available at:

Only papers submitted online will be evaluated:

Papers submitted to the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law should evaluate how legal meanings are produced, distributed and construed. Legal culture is being transmitted through another medium of analysis.

The International Journal for the Semiotics of Law welcomes innovative papers in French or in English to document the diverse historical, cultural and communicative links that bind together Law and Comics/Cartoons under a comprehensive research analysis on legal visual semiotics.

March 6, 2014

Free Books From the University Press of Kentucky!

Great news from the University Press of Kentucky. It has started up its free book giveaways again. Once a month, the Press offers a special book of interest to readers. This month the title is In Peace and Freedom: My Journey In Selma, by Bernard LaFayette Jr. and Kathryn Lee Johnson.

Check out this link for news from the Press, and sign up here for free ebooks (in EPUB or MOBI formats). Such a wonderful idea, and if you like what you see, you should look over UPK's other offerings--you are certain to find other interesting publications for purchase in political science, history, philosophy, regional studies, and other subjects.

March 5, 2014

A Symposium on Art, Life, and the Rule of Law at Lund University

Upcoming Conference at Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Symposium - Art, Life and the Rule of Law

International Colloquium in Lund, Sweden, March 13-14 2014

This is an interdisciplinary scholarly meeting about creativity, law and human biology. Art and law are in many ways opposites. Law is rule making, restrictive and aims at a common standard for all, while art is norm breaking and seeks the exceptional and unique. And yet art and law mirror each other. Art issues aesthetic regimes and semiotic rule systems. The authority of law, in turn, depends on a creative, performative declaration: “This is the law!” In the last instance, law and art compete for sovereignty, refusing subservience.
Into this superimposition and tension between creativity and rule, the colloquium inserts the question of human biology. Biopolitics has emerged as a cornerstone for understanding modern society, from the invention of health care systems to the construction of concentration camps. Law divides human life into citizens and aliens, through postulating citizenship as a birthright and through granting or refusing migrants and refugees legal protection and access to healthcare. On another level, the biosciences’ dismantling of the body into parts and particles—from kidneys to stem cells and neurons—has legal institutions struggling to regulate organ trade and to find new definitions of human dignity, as seen in the recent EU ban on patents based on embryonic stem cell research. Law faces a human biology that transgresses bodily and national boundaries alike; perhaps it is not surprising that legal and biological meaning merge in theoretical concepts such as “immunity”.
Art, in turn, has always held its gaze on the human body. For Renaissance and Enlightenment culture, the depicted anatomical body served as conceptual model for imagining cosmos and society as harmonious unities. During World War II, painters like Fautrier and Bacon channelled the despair of the era into explorations of the human as a vulnerable and mute body-thing. Today, artists like Abramović, Hatoum, Stelarc, and Catts and Zurr investigate new meanings of bodily existence in late modernity—from commoditized biology to machine-animal hybridity.

The colloquium will bring together around twenty scholars from around the world in a dialogue about art and law, each with its inherent tension between rule and creativity, how they shed light on each other, and how they inform our understanding of the facts, politics and aesthetics of human biology, today and in history.

Conveners: Leif Dahlberg, The School of Computer Science and Communication, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.
Max Liljefors, the Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences, Lund University.
Susanne Lundin, Deniz Kirik, Håkan Hydén, Max Liljefors, The human stem cell: Hope, health, bioeconomy project, Lund University.

Max Liljefors, Lund University. max.liljefors .se

A New Book From Ian Ward

Sex, Crime and Literature in Victorian England

Ian Ward

The Victorians worried about many things, prominent among their worries being the 'condition' of England and the 'question' of its women. Sex, Crime and Literature in Victorian England revisits these particular anxieties, concentrating more closely upon four 'crimes' which generated especial concern amongst contemporaries: adultery, bigamy, infanticide and prostitution. Each engaged questions of sexuality and its regulation, legal, moral and cultural, for which reason each attracted the considerable interest not just of lawyers and parliamentarians, but also novelists and poets and perhaps most importantly those who, in ever-larger numbers, liked to pass their leisure hours reading about sex and crime. Alongside statutes such as the 1857 Matrimonial Causes Act and the 1864 Contagious Diseases Act, Sex, Crime and Literature in Victorian England contemplates those texts which shaped Victorian attitudes towards England's 'condition' and the 'question' of its women: the novels of Dickens, Thackeray and Eliot, the works of sensationalists such as Ellen Wood and Mary Braddon, and the poetry of Gabriel and Christina Rossetti. Sex, Crime and Literature in Victorian England is a richly contextual commentary on a critical period in the evolution of modern legal and cultural attitudes to the relation of crime, sexuality and the family.

Ian Ward is Professor of Law at Newcastle University, and the author of a number of books on law, literature and history including 'Law and Literature: Possibilities and Perspectives' (Cambridge University Press, 1995), 'Shakespeare and the Legal Imagination' (Cambridge University Press, 1999), ‘The English Constitution: Myths and Realities' (Hart Publishing, 2004), 'Law, Text, Terror' (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and most recently 'Law and the Brontes' (Palgrave, 2011).

Introduction: Dark Shapes 1
Angels in the House 4
At Home with the Dombeys 9
The Disease of Reading 16
Pleasing and Teaching 24
1 Criminal Conversations 29
One Person in Law 32
Newcome v Lord Highgate 38
Carlyle v Carlyle 46
Oh Reader! 51
2 Fashionable Crimes 58
The Sensational Moment 61
Fashionable Crimes 66
Mrs Mellish’s Marriages 73
The Shame of Miss Braddon 81
3 Unnatural Mothers 88
The Precious Quality of Truthfulness 90
Hardwicke’s Children 95
R v Sorrel 101
The Lost and the Saved 108
4 Fallen Angels 118
Walking the Streets 121
The Murder of Nancy Sikes 127
Contemplating Jenny 134
Because Men Made the Laws 142

Index 149

Hart Publishing (2014) (available in hardcover and various ebook formats)