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Un-Disciplining Literature

Literature, Law, and Culture

Kostas Myrsiades and Linda Myrsiades

This collection offers fresh and challenging essays by scholars in law, English and comparative literature, social and political thought, and communication studies. It explores unique angles of vision that allow us to read legal opinions as well as criminal cases, abortion clinic violence, trial testimony (victim impact statements), legal authority, and legal fictions of personal and national identity (passports). The literature it analyzes ranges from Shakespeare's Richard II and The Merchant of Venice to Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, E. M. Forster's A Passage to India, Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient, Anthony Trollope's Orley Farm, and Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway. Providing a breadth of material, this collection breaks through disciplinary boundaries as new voices challenge old paradigms, pushing marginalized questions into the center of the literature and law enterprise.
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Splitting the Baby

The Culture of Abortion in Literature and Law, Rhetoric and Cartoons

Linda Myrsiades

Splitting the Baby is one of the few cultural approaches to the study of abortion. It considers abortion culture in the variety of its faces in American history and law through the literary and visual arts – poetry, short fiction, cartoons, advertising, and rhetoric. Examining the expressive world of cultural products presents a more human side to the abortion wars, interrupting our hold on singular ideas to more fully engage abortion as a conversation. Intended for students of literature and law, cultural studies, women’s studies, and interdisciplinary studies, this book capitalizes on the richness of abortion culture without limiting it to a singular political or disciplinary perspective. Because it accesses the deep well of care and concern behind the legal and political problems that arise from the abortion debate, it opens its readers to an experience that is fundamental to the human condition – an experience that touches both life and death, the cradle and the grave.