Evidence and the Archive: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Emotion
Australian Feminist Law Journal 40(1) 2014
13 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2015 Last revised: 27 Mar 2015
Date Written: October 6, 2014
This essay engages with contemporary uses and considerations of the archive in interdisciplinary law and humanities scholarship, introducing the contributions the authors have selected to include in a special issue of the Australian Feminist Law Journal. Thinking of legal archives as both material and conceptual, it raises questions about researchers’ ethical, aesthetic and emotional relations with their sources. The authors identify some of the ways the archive is conceived in contemporary humanities scholarship and draw connections with material and conceptual approaches to law’s archive. In some contributions, legal sources are treated as a literal archive, raising questions about access, use and interpretation of archival materials. Other contributions engage with contemporary theoretical approaches to thinking archivally, involving processes of questioning, abstracting, and counter-archival imaginings.
Keywords: archives, law, evidence
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