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Parution : 08/2021
Editeur : Oxford University Press
ISBN : 978-0-1975-0937-1
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Cannons and Codes

Law, Literature, and America's Wars

Sous la direction de Alison L. LaCroix,  Jonathan S. Masur,  Martha C. Nussbaum,  Laura Weinrib

Présentation de l'éditeur

It can be said that western literature begins with a war story, the Iliad; and that this is true too of many non-Western literary traditions, such as the Mahabharata. And yet, though a profoundly human subject, war often appears to be by definition outside the realm of structures such as law and literature. When we speak of war, we often understand it as incapable of being rendered into rules or words. Lawyers struggle to fit the horrors of the battlefield, the torture chamber, or the makeshift hospital filled with wounded and dying civilians into the framework of legible rules and shared understandings that law assumes and demands. In the West's centuries-long effort to construct a formal law of war, the imperative has been to acknowledge the inhumanity of war while resisting the conclusion that it need therefore be without law. Writers, in contrast, seek to find the human within war—an individual story, perhaps even a moment of comprehension. Law and literature might in this way be said to share imperialist tendencies where war is concerned: toward extending their dominion to contain what might be uncontainable.

Law, literature, and war are thus all profoundly connected—and it is this connection this edited volume aims to explore, assembling essays by preeminent scholars to discuss the ways in which literary works can shed light on legal thinking about war, and how a deep understanding of law can lead to interpretive insights on literary works. Some of the contributions concern the lives of soldiers; others focus on civilians living in war zones who are caught up in the conflict; still others address themselves to the home front, far from the theatre of war. By collecting such diverse perspectives, the volume aims to illuminate how literature has reflected the totalizing nature of war and the ways in which it distorts law across domains.

Contributors: Elizabeth S. Anker teaches in the English Department and Law School at Cornell University ; Douglas G. Baird is the Harry A. Bigelow Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School ; William A. Birdthistle is Professor of Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law ; Jacob Corré served as a Partner in the litigation practice with a specialization in bankruptcy/corporate restructuring practice at Jenner & Block LLC. ; Tom Ginsburg is Leo Spitz Professor of International Law, Ludwig and Hilde Wolf Research Scholar, and Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago Law School ; Aziz Huq is the Frank and Bernice J. Greenberg Professor of Law and Mark Claster Mamolen Teaching Scholar at the University of Chicago Law School ; Alison L. LaCroix is Robert Newton Reid Professor of Law and an Associate Member of the Department of History at the University of Chicago ; Saul Levmore is the William B. Graham Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago ; Jonathan S. Masur is the John P. Wilson Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School ; Kate Masur is Associate Professor of History at Northwestern University ; Richard H. McAdams is the Deputy Dean and Bernard D. Meltzer Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School ; Tommie Shelby is the Caldwell Titcomb Professor of African and African American Studies and of Philosophy at Harvard University ; Nancy Sherman is University Professor and Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University ; Laura Weinrib is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Suzanne Young Murray Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study ; John Fabian Witt is Allen H. Duffy Class of 1960 Professor of Law at Yale Law School and head of Yale's Davenport College ; Paul Woodruff is Professor of Philosophy at The University of Texas at Austin.



Introduction, Alison L. LaCroix, Jonathan S. Masur, Martha C. Nussbaum, and Laura Weinrib

Chapter 1: Law, Literature, and War: A Plenary Panelm with Justice, Stephen G. Breyer, Judge Diane P. Wood, Paul Woodruff, and Martha C. Nussbaum


Chapter 2: Law and War in the New World: The Last of the MohicansThe Spy, and The PioneersDouglas Baird
Chapter 3: New Light on the Trial of Billy Budd, Richard H. McAdams and Jacob I. Corré
Chapter 4: Two Humanitarianisms in Ambrose Bierce's "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," John Fabian Witt
Chapter 5: Law and its Limits in Albion Tourgée's Bricks without StrawKate Masur


Chapter 6: Trenches, Cadences, and Faces: Social Connection and Emotional Expression in the Great War, Nancy Sherman
Chapter 7: Crucified by the War Machine: Britten's War Requiem and the Hope of Postwar Resurrection, Martha C. Nussbaum
Chapter 8: Undivided Loyalty: The Problem of Allegiance in the Literature of War, Alison L. LaCroix and William A. Birdthistle
Chapter 9: Law and Legitimacy in A Farewell to ArmsLaura Weinrib
Chapter 10: Lawmaking, Bilateral Rules, and a Debunking of Catch-22Saul Levmore
Chapter 11: Catch-22 and the Law of Large Organizations, Jonathan S. Masur


Chapter 12: Sympathizing with Both Sides: Racism and American Intervention in Vietnam, Paul Woodruff
Chapter 13: Paul Beatty, the Rhetoric of War, and the Selling Out of Civil Rights, Elizabeth Anker
Chapter 14: How War Makes (and Unmakes) the Democratic State: Reading The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Exit West In A Populism Age, Aziz Z. Huq
Chapter 15: Black Radicalism, Autobiography, and Prisoners of War, Tommie Shelby

336 pages.  £47.99

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