1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Cultural Legal Studies

Edited By Karen Crawley, Thomas Giddens, Timothy D Peters Copyright 2024
    480 Pages 35 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This handbook provides a comprehensive introduction to the cutting-edge field of cultural legal studies.

    Cultural legal studies is at the forefront of the legal discipline, questioning not only doctrine or social context, but how the concerns of legality are distributed and encountered through a range of material forms. Growing out of the interdisciplinary turn in critical legal studies and jurisprudence that took place in the latter quarter of the 20th century, cultural legal studies exists at the intersection of a range of traditional disciplinary areas: legal studies, cultural studies, literary studies, jurisprudence, media studies, critical theory, history, and philosophy. It is an area of study that is characterised by an expanded or open-ended conception of what ‘counts’ as a legal source, and that is concerned with questions of authority, legitimacy, and interpretation across a wide range of cultural artefacts. Including a mixture of established and new authors in the area, this handbook brings together a complex set of perspectives that are representative of the current field, but which also address its methods, assumptions, limitations, and possible futures.

    Establishing the significance of the cultural for understanding law, as well as its importance as a potential site for justice, community, and sociality in the world today, this handbook is a key reference point both for those working in the cultural legal context – in legal theory, law and literature, law and film/television, law and aesthetics, cultural studies, and the humanities generally – as well as others interested in the interactions between authority, culture, and meaning.

    1. Cultural Legal Studies: Methodologies of Reflexive Attunement 

    Thomas Giddens, Karen Crawley and Timothy D Peters 

    Part I: Methods or Orientations 

    2. Imagination 

    Mark Antaki and Kirsten Anker 

    3. It’s Law: Towards a Form of the Cultural Legal 

    Dale Mitchell 

    4. Law and the Unconscious 

    Daniel Hourigan 

    5. “It is Not a Question of Drawing the Contours, but what Escapes the Contour”: Aesthetics, Provisionality, Finitude 

    Karin van Marle 

    6. Testify! Reflections on Cultural Legal Studies and Indigenous Legal Orders 

    Rebecca Johnson 

    7. The Aesthetics of Sovereignty 

    Daniel Matthews 

    8. Jurisography: A Report on Cultural Legal Study, Australia 

    Ann Genovese and Shaun McVeigh 

    Part II: Readings 

    9. Law and Horror 

    Penny Crofts 

    10. Prohibition, Contract and Nomoi for the Future in Star Trek: Picard 

    Kieran Tranter 

    11. The Use of Superheroes for Cultural Legal Studies: Batman’s Two Bodies and the Political Theology of the Corporate Image 

    Timothy D Peters 

    12. Cultural Legalities of Social Media 

    Cassandra Sharp 

    13. Scribbling on the Moon: The Melancholia of Lunar Nullius 

    Thomas Giddens 

    14. Law, Poetry and the Voice of Nature 

    Mariëlle Matthee 

    15. The Parallel Lives of Legal Persons and Video Game Avatars 

    Ashley Pearson 

    16. Alien Nation: Redefining the Alien in Law and Science Fiction 

    Susan Bird and Jo Bird 

    Part III: Performance and Performative Legalities 

    17. “The Working of Time”: Transitional Justice and Body Memory in Rithy Panh’s Cinema 

    Maria Elander 

    18. Staging the Judicial Figure: The Parallels between Legal and Operatic Interpreters 

    Ryan Kernaghan 

    19. Pluralising Judicial Authority: The Double-Voiced Opinion 

    Julen Etxabe 

    20. A Legal Frame-work of Urban Modernity: The Court of Criminal Appeals, Chicago (1927) Style 

    Leslie H Abramson 

    21. The Evidence of Juridical Documentaries 

    Mónica López Lerma 

    22. Sovereign Signatures: Australian First Nations Petitions 

    Trish Luker 

    23. Doing Theatrical Jurisprudence 

    Marett Leiboff 

    Part IV: Cinematic Legalities 

    24. Cinelegal Techniques 

    Suzanne Bouclin 

    25. Picturing the Judiciary, Telling the Story of the Judge: The Discursivity and Narrativity of Judicial and Legal Culture in 21st Century Chinese Film 

    Agnes S Schick-Chen 

    26. The Myth of the Big, Bad Narco: Cinematic Jurisprudence and U.S-Mexican Drug Wars 

    Luis Gómez Romero 

    27. Film and the Re-imagination of Kinship: Graham Kolbeins’s Queer Japan (2019) 

    Marco Wan 

    28. Tanya’s Last Resort: On Law, Justice and Enclosure 

    Emma Patchett 

    29. Can I Have your Hands? The Use of Bodies in the Horror Genre and Refugee Law 

    Justine Poon 

    30. Terror Nullius (2018): Queering the Australian Colonial Imaginary 

    Karen Crawley and Kim Weinert 


    Karen Crawley is Senior Lecturer at Griffith Law School, Brisbane, Australia.

    Thomas Giddens is Chair of Jurisprudence at Dundee Law School, Dundee, UK.

    Timothy D Peters is Associate Professor of Law at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.