January 12, 2017

Law and Literature Stream at SLSA 2017

Law and Literature

Historically, in an era of discontent characterised by political and economic uncertainty, legal scholarship has often taken an aesthetic turn, at least in part as a response to a yearning for the beautiful which belongs to the imagery of liberation. The aesthetic dimension constitutes the raw material of human experience and represents free play of the imagination which in turn enables our understanding of the world through the senses as alternately beautiful and monstrous, alluring and repellent. Without the influence of aesthetics in the construction of legal concepts and practices, law would lose much of its persuasive power. Equally, our sensate relation to these enduring symbols and metaphors constitutes a productive force which underpins the formation, and signals the legitimacy, of legal principle and judgment. The influence of those aesthetic forms which rely primarily on imagistic language – such as poetry and the novel – is at least partially due to their cultural embeddedness, just as the legal tradition is itself simultaneously a co-producer, by-product and a significant constituent of modern culture. Papers are welcomed on issues of interpretation, identity, values, authority, obligation, resistance, resilience and justice, the place of law in modern culture, or on any aspect of law in literature or law as literature. ​ 

Conveners Julia J A Shaw and David Gurnham

More here.

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