November 24, 2015

Anat Rosenberg On the History of Genres in Law and Literature

Anat Rosenberg, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah, Radzyner School of Law, has published The History of Genres: Reaching for Reality in Law and Literature at 39 Law & Social Inquiry 1057 (2014). Here is the abstract.
Genres are historical formations; their ability to generate knowledge depends on their interrelationships within a culture. Since law, too, can be viewed as a genre, studies of specific historical relationalities between law and other genres are necessary for law’s own history and theory. This essay discusses differentiations between Victorian law and literature, starting out from the recent publication of Ayelet Ben-Yishai’s Common Precedents: The Presentness of the Past in Victorian Law and Fiction (2013), which reveals some of that history. I examine two points: differentiations in legal and literary approaches to probabilistic knowledge, and differentiations in the author functions in law and literature. These differentiations bear multiple implications. I discuss implications for evidence-law debates about probabilistic evidence, for contract-law debates about the centrality of autonomy and self-authorship, and for understandings of legal reasoning itself — the elusive notion of “thinking like a lawyer.”
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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