This edited collection is a cultural analysis of how law is shaped into procedure and principle by the conditions of everyday life. Law is constitutive of culture just as culture and cultural analyses shape, resist and interrogate legal regulation, exception and norms. So too does law have a dual capacity in the field of culture: it enables the formation of subjects and of cultural practices, and it constrains those very formations. This book uses the animating critical concerns of Cultural Studies over the last 20 years—that is, the symbolic, material, economic, and political practices and power relations that are inscribed in everyday life—to analyze the assembly of practices, procedures, sites, interactions and agents of law. The chapters in this collection accordingly examine the conditions of law’s everyday life, in situations ordinary and extraordinary, to show it in the moment of its working.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Cultural Studies.
1. The force of meaning: cultural studies of law Sara L. Knox and Cristyn Davies 2. Memory and echo: pop cult, hi tech and the irony of tradition Desmond Manderson 3. Temporal horizons: On the possibilities of law and fatherhood in To Kill a Mockingbird Austin Sarat and Martha Merrill Umphrey 4. Entertaining torture, embodying law Peter J. Hutchings 5. Instrumental and gratuitous violence: The torture and death of Gul Rahman in the CIA Salt Pit Joseph Pugliese 6. Constructing ‘decency’: government subsidized cultural production during the culture wars Cristyn Davies 7. Weapons of sex, weapons of war: Feminisms, ethnic conflict and the rise of rape and sexual violence in public international law during the 1990s Rana Jaleel 8. Legitimating transphobia: the legal disavowal of transgender rights in prison John Nguyet Erni