December 14, 2022

Call For Proposals: Workshop on World Literature and Law


From Marco Wan, Professor of Law and Director, Law and Literary Studies Programme, University of Hong Kong: 

Workshop on World Literature and Law

Date: 13th and 14th August, 2023

Venue: Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York

Organized by the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and the University of Hong Kong


How might we situate the interdiscipline of Law and Literature in a world where countries are increasingly connected through technological networks and trade ties on the one hand, and increasingly distant as geopolitical tensions and ideological differences become ever more apparent, on the other? In recent years, the ‘global turn’ has become a key term in the humanities, and scholars of international law and literature, human rights and literature, and postcolonial law and literature, amongst others, have investigated how we might analyze legal-literary relations beyond national or regional boundaries.

This workshop explores what it would mean to approach Law and Literature in a more expansive, global frame by bringing it into conversation with the study of World Literature, and by fostering international dialogue amongst jurists, literary scholars, historians, and other scholars in the interpretative humanities. It asks how legal ideas travelling into new environments become registered by literary texts, what legal-cultural consequences arise when texts cross national boundaries, in what ways emergent technologies might disrupt existing legal-literary relations, and how practices of translation might impact upon longstanding discussions about interpretation within Law and Literature.

We welcome proposals on the following (non-exhaustive list of) topics:


§  The role of literature and art in conceptualizing and challenging borders, asylum, and entrance

§  The circulation of legal ideas and texts into new literary contexts

§   Linguistic and cultural translations of law

§  Transnational writers and law

§   Literary citations in diverse judicial settings

§   Indigenous notions of literature and law

§  Overlaps and distinctions between cognate terms such as ‘the globe’, ‘the world’, ‘the planet’, and ‘the transnational’

§    Literary and legal cosmopolitanism


Proposals (max 150 words) should be sent to Marco Wan and by or before April 1st. Papers on the Global South are especially welcome.





December 5, 2022

Newly published: Elizabeth S. Anker, On Paradox: The Claims of Theory (Duke University Press, 2022) @dukepress

Newly published:

Elizabeth S. Anker, On Paradox: The Claims of Theory (Duke University Press, 2022). Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's contents.

In On Paradox literary and legal scholar Elizabeth S. Anker contends that faith in the logic of paradox has been the cornerstone of left intellectualism since the second half of the twentieth century. She attributes the ubiquity of paradox in the humanities to its appeal as an incisive tool for exposing and dismantling hierarchies. Tracing the ascent of paradox in theories of modernity, in rights discourse, in the history of literary criticism and the linguistic turn, and in the transformation of the liberal arts in higher education, Anker suggests that paradox not only generates the very exclusions it critiques but also creates a disempowering haze of indecision. She shows that reasoning through paradox has become deeply problematic: it engrains a startling homogeneity of thought while undercutting the commitment to social justice that remains a guiding imperative of theory. Rather than calling for a wholesale abandonment of such reasoning, Anker argues for an expanded, diversified theory toolkit that can help theorists escape the seductions and traps of paradox.

December 2, 2022

Rains on Lady Audley's Secret Crimes @DickinsonLaw

Robert E. Rains, Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson Law School, has published Lady Audley's Secret Crimes. Here is the abstract.
The great Victorian “sensation novel,” M. E. Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret (1862) is a complex tale of deception and worse by a seemingly innocent lady of society. The story raises many questions of class, loyalty, subterfuge, sexuality, etc. These questions have been deeply explored in literary criticism, but, until now, it appears that no one has directly addressed the numerous legal issues created by Lady Audley’s one-woman crime spree. This essay seeks to fill that void in a somewhat light-hearted manner.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.