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In the Grip of the Law

Trials, Prisons and the Space Between

Monika Fludernik and Greta Olson

This book contributes significantly to Law and Literature studies. Arguing for the political relevance of their work, the editors open the volume with an introduction that summarizes topical developments in law enforcement and penal politics including the ‘prisonization’ of American society and popular support for «no tolerance» approaches to crime. The fourteen essays that follow – six on trials and eight on prisons – discuss subjects ranging from the political ramifications of Captain Kidd’s trials for piracy to a reading of South African prison memoirs and include treatments of prison films, courtroom dramas and works by Dickens, Shakespeare and Scott. The volume demonstrates powerfully how concepts of criminality are constructed and how literature participates in, and sometimes enhances, general discursive traditions of adversarial litigation and carcerality.
Contents: Monika Fludernik/Greta Olson: Introduction – Anna-Christina Giovanopoulos: Captain Kidd and the King: Piracy and Politics in Restoration England – Thomas Lederer: «Thereupon There Were Produced Three False Witnesses...»: Trial Scenes in Elizabethan Sacred Biography – Greta Olson: Law as Thought Pattern and Ordering Principle in Shakespeare’s Trial Scenes – Beatrix Hesse: Representations of the British Legal System in Twentieth-Century Popular Courtroom Drama – Martin A. Kayman: Trials of Law and Language: Caleb Williams and John Horne Tooke – Christoph Houswitschka: Circulating Ideas of Democracy: The Legal Culture of the High Treason Trials of 1794 – Frank Lauterbach: Errands into the Carceral Wilderness: Fictions of Imprisonment as Narratives of Social Alterity – Monika Fludernik: Prison Metaphors - The Carceral Imaginary? – Harry E. Shaw: Realities of the Prison: Dickens, Scott, and the Secularization of their Eighteenth-Century Inheritance – Carol Colatrella: The Innocent Convict: Character, Reader Sympathy, and the Nineteenth-Century Prison in Little Dorrit – Heidi Slettedahl Macpherson: Prison, Passion, and the Female Gaze: Twentieth-Century Representations of Nineteenth-Century Panopticons – Jacqueline Berben-Masi: Percival Everett’s Glyph: Prisons of the Body Physical, Political, and Academic – Jan Alber: Bodies Behind Bars: The Disciplining of the Prisoner’s Body in British and American Prison Movies – Monika Fludernik: Caliban Revisited: Robben Island in the Autobiographical Record.