Red Leaves and the Dirty Ground: The Cannibalism of Law and Economics
33 American Indian Law Review 33 (2008-2009)
20 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2007 Last revised: 26 Jan 2016
Date Written: October 16, 2007
William Faulkner's short story, "Red Leaves," is a classic tale of cannibal, slave-and-plantation-owning Indians in the antebellum South. These Indians were figments of Faulkner's imagination that he used as a literary tool to critique the South - and perhaps America. But "Red Leaves" is also a tale of economic theory, with these fictional Indians making a serious effort (in a fantastical setting) to analyze slavery and cannibalism from an economic perspective. My paper, prepared for the 4th Annual Indigenous Law Conference at Michigan State University College of Law, argues that Faulkner's stark portrayal of Indian people offers both a means of reconsidering Indian affairs policy and critiquing the emerging use of the law and economics method of study to analyze and even decide Indian law cases.
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