Rethinking Plurality: On Ethics and Storytelling in the Search for Justice
10 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2016 Last revised: 28 Mar 2019
Date Written: November 16, 2015
The essay takes as its starting point the observation that contemporary legal mechanisms and cultural institutions confront mass atrocity by turning to multiple acts of storytelling by the survivors. As I show, judicial tribunals, truth commissions, museums, historical archives, and film and literature have replaced the once-singular, authoritative voice of the Storyteller with a choir comprising a multitude of narrators and narratives of survival. Focusing on two historic legal processes in which survivors' storytelling played a key role, the Eichmann trial (1961) and the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (1995), I explore the underlying condition of plurality and its ethical implications from a joint perspective of law and the humanities.
Keywords: law and literature, law and the humanities, internatonal criminal law, witness testimony, mass atrocity
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