Introduction to Littoral Readings: Representations of Land and Sea in Law, Literature, and Geography

Law & Literature, Vol. 27, Iss. 2, pp. 167-177, 2015

ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 15-26

Posted: 9 Dec 2015

See all articles by Desmond Manderson

Desmond Manderson

ANU College of Law; ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences; McGill University - Faculty of Law

Honni van Rijswijk

University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law

Date Written: December 7, 2015

Abstract

This essay introduces a collection of new work that addresses law, literature, and geography. Organized around the relationship between land and sea, and in that sense building on the book of that title by Carl Schmitt, the collection recognizes the importance of geographic spatial phenomena in the contours of our literature, and as these play out in legal concepts. But we need to pay attention to the particular contours of this relation, the highly specific -- indeed incorrigibly plural -- forms and fantasies such a relationship takes in specific places and concerning specific jurisprudential issues. The first axis involves recognizing the role of the imaginary in transforming social and legal conditions, and in delineating legal responsibility. The second axis invites us to recognize how closely connected are legal structures and practices to the material experience of concrete spaces and environments. The fictional nature of literature, the non-fictional nature of geography, and the normative nature of law are constantly refracting each other. The way to understand law as culture is to see how its modes and strategies pass through literature and the imaginary on the one hand, by way of geography and the material on the other. In this essay and the collection that it introduces, the particularities of Australia -- its law, its geography, and its literature -- are used as case studies through which to develop this interdisciplinary methodology.

Keywords: law and literature, law and geography, Carl Schmitt, Mad Max, Australia

Suggested Citation

Manderson, Desmond and van Rijswijk, Honni, Introduction to Littoral Readings: Representations of Land and Sea in Law, Literature, and Geography (December 7, 2015). Law & Literature, Vol. 27, Iss. 2, pp. 167-177, 2015; ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 15-26. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2700406

Desmond Manderson (Contact Author)

ANU College of Law; ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://https://researchers.anu.edu.au/researchers/manderson-dra

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Canada

HOME PAGE: http://https://researchers.anu.edu.au/researchers/manderson-dra

Honni Van Rijswijk

University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law ( email )

Sydney
Australia

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