'Passing Through the Mirror': Dead Man, Legal Pluralism and the De-Territorialization of the West

Law, Culture and the Humanities, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 289-309, 2011

22 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2011

See all articles by Ruth Buchanan

Ruth Buchanan

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Abstract

The failures of Western law in its encounter with indigenous legal orders have been well documented, but alternative modes of negotiating the encounter remain under-explored in legal scholarship. The present article addresses this lacuna. It proceeds from the premise that the journey towards a different conceptualization of law might be fruitfully re-routed through the affect-laden realm of embodied experience – the experience of watching the subversive anti-western film Dead Man. Section II explains and develops a Deleuzian approach to law and film which involves thinking about film as ‘‘event.’’ Section III considers Dead Man’s relation to the western genre and its implications for how we think about law’s founding on the frontier. Finally, the article explores the concept of ‘‘becoming’’ through a consideration of the relationship between the onscreen journey of the character Bill Blake and the radical worldview of his poetic namesake.

Keywords: Law and film; affect; Deleuze; Western genre; legal pluralism; imperialism; William Blake

Suggested Citation

Buchanan, Ruth, 'Passing Through the Mirror': Dead Man, Legal Pluralism and the De-Territorialization of the West. Law, Culture and the Humanities, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 289-309, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1878672

Ruth Buchanan (Contact Author)

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

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