Law and Literature

Julia Shaw

The core assumptions derived from the implementation of socio-linguistic mechanisms and imagistic language transform the nature of legal analysis, and are embedded within a diverse interplay of meanings; yet, as Peter Goodrich suggests in Law in the Courts of Love: literature and other minor jurisprudences: ‘Law is a literature which denies its literary qualities. It is a play on words which asserts an absolute seriousness; it is a genre of rhetoric which represses its moments of invention or fiction; it is a language which hides its indeterminacy in the justificatory discourse of judgment; it is a procedure based upon analogy, metaphor and repetition, and yet lays claim to being a cold or disembodied prose, a science without either poetry or desire; it is a narrative which assumes the epic proportions of truth; it is, in short, a speech or writing which forgets the violence of the word and the terror or jurisdiction of the text’.  Far from being mere embellishment or decoration, the application of allegorical terminology, imagery and metaphor is fundamental to the formation of legal principles, concepts and judgment; without which law would lose most of its persuasive force.  Papers and performances are welcomed on any aspect of what is loosely defined as law and literature.

Full papers (8,000 – 10,000 words) received by no later than 31 July 2016 will be considered for publication.

Abstracts may only be submitted via the Easy Chair Platform. They must be no longer than 300 words and should include your title, name and institutional affiliation and your email address for correspondence.

The deadline for submissions is Monday 18th January 2016.