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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.
Contents: Linda Myrsiades: Introduction – Jane B. Baron: Storytelling and Legal Legitimacy – Michael Brooks: Stories and Verdicts: Bernard Goetz and New York in Crisis – Anne E. Shaw/Alane C. Spinney: Rhetoric, Repetition, and Violence: A Case Study of Clinic Conflict in Milwaukee –Jennifer K. Wood: Refined Raw: The Symbolic Violence of Victim’s Rights Reforms – Frances J. Ranney: Posner on Legal Texts: Law, Literature (Economics), and «Welcome Harassment» – Lesley Higgins/Marie-Christine Leps: «Passport Please»: Legal, Literary, and Critical Fictions of Identity – Theron Britt: Narrative Pragmatics and the Genius of the Law in Lyotard’s Just Gaming – Richard H. Weisberg: Antonio’s Legalistic Cruelty: Interdisciplinarity and The Merchant of Venice – Dennis R. Klinck: Shakespeare’s Richard II as Landlord and Wasting Tenant – Richard Clarke Sterne: The Trial in A Passage to India: «Justice» Under Colonial Conditions – Linda Myrsiades: Law, Medicine, and the Sex Slave in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale – Paula Jean Reiter: Husbands, Wives, and Lawyers: Gender Roles and Professional Representations in Trollope and the Adelaide Bartlett Case – Patrick Colm Hogan: Fictive Tales, Real Lives: Problems With Reading Law as Literature.