Humanity and Law
University of Pennsylvania Law Review PENNumbra, Vol. 160, No. 1, 2011
9 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2011
Date Written: September 27, 2011
The University of Pennsylvania Law Review’s 2010 symposium issue on “Trafficking in Sex and Labor” begins with a personal memoir, entitled Run, by writer and visual artist Christine Stark. Run is creative writing at its finest — an engaging and insightful first-person narrative depicting the author’s experience as a sex trafficking victim. Notwithstanding Run’s artistic value, however, its placement in a law review is most unusual. Law reviews are not known for their creativity or willingness to experiment when it comes to the words they print, especially when the words are those of an artist. Thus, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review’s decision to publish Run is a noteworthy attempt to integrate creative writing and legal scholarship in a meaningful way.
In this Response, I argue that the experiment was successful. By opening with a powerful, victim-oriented narrative, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review achieved a unique synthesis of humanity and law that gave context, relevance, and immediacy to the human trafficking articles that followed. After analyzing the interaction between the creative and analytical forms of expression in the 2010 symposium issue, I suggest that there is material value in this form of hybrid publication, and I encourage other law reviews to experiment with similar creative means of communication to complement the scholarship they publish.
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