Looking for Law in All the Wrong Places: Justice Beyond and Between

Looking for Law in All the Wrong Places: Justice Beyond and Between, Fordham University Press (2019)

Posted: 29 May 2019

See all articles by Marianne Constable

Marianne Constable

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Rhetoric

Leti Volpp

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law; University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Bryan Wagner

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: May 2, 2019

Abstract

For many inside and outside the legal academy, the right place to look for law is in constitutions, statutes, and judicial opinions. This book looks for law in the “wrong places”— sites and spaces in which no formal law appears. These may be geographic regions beyond the reach of law, everyday practices ungoverned or ungovernable by law, or works of art that have escaped law’s constraints.

Looking for Law in All the Wrong Places brings together essays by leading scholars of anthropology, cultural studies, history, law, literature, political science, race and ethnic studies, religion, and rhetoric, to look at law from the standpoint of the humanities. Beyond showing law to be determined by or determinative of distinct cultural phenomena, the contributors show how law is itself interwoven with language, text, image, and culture.

Many essays in this volume look for law precisely in the kinds of “wrong places” where there appears to be no law. They find in these places not only reflections and remains of law, but also rules and practices that seem indistinguishable from law and raise challenging questions about the locations of law and about law’s meaning and function. Other essays do the opposite: rather than looking for law in places where law does not obviously appear, they look in statute books and courtrooms from perspectives that are usually presumed to have nothing to say about law.

Looking at law sideways, or upside down, or inside out defamiliarizes law. These essays show what legal understanding can gain when law is denied its ostensibly proper domain.

Note: Contributors: Kathryn Abrams, Daniel Boyarin, Wendy Brown, Marianne Constable, Samera Esmeir, Daniel Fisher, Sara Ludin, Saba Mahmood, Rebecca McLennan, Ramona Naddaff, Beth Piatote, Sarah Song, Christopher Tomlins, Leti Volpp, Bryan Wagner Editors: Marianne Constable, Leti Volpp, Bryan Wagner

Keywords: law and humanities, legal history, legal anthropology, law and rhetoric, law and culture, political theory of law, law and literature

Suggested Citation

Constable, Marianne and Volpp, Leti and Wagner, Bryan, Looking for Law in All the Wrong Places: Justice Beyond and Between (May 2, 2019). Looking for Law in All the Wrong Places: Justice Beyond and Between, Fordham University Press (2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3381476

Marianne Constable

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Rhetoric ( email )

7409 Dwinelle
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
510 642-2176 (Phone)

Leti Volpp (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

Bryan Wagner

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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