Criminals and Enemies
Austin Sarat University of Massachusetts Press, 2018 Library of Congress K5019.C75 2019 | Dewey Decimal 345.001
Key binaries like public/private and speech/conduct are mainstays of the liberal legal system. However, the pairing of criminal/enemy has received little scholarly attention by comparison. Bringing together a group of distinguished and disciplinarily diverse scholars, Criminals and Enemies, the most recent volume in the Amherst Series in Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, addresses this gap in the literature. Drawing on political philosophy, legal analysis, and historical research, this essential volume reveals just how central the criminal/enemy distinction is to the structure and practice of contemporary law.
The editors' introduction situates criminals and enemies in a theoretical context, focusing on the work of Thomas Hobbes and Carl Schmitt, while other essays consider topics ranging from Germany's denazification project to South Africa's pre- and post-apartheid legal regime to the complicating factors introduced by the war on terror. In addition to the editors, the contributors include Stephen Clingman, Jennifer Daskal, Sara Kendall, Devin Pendas, and Annette Weinke.
Guns in Law
Austin Sarat University of Massachusetts Press, 2019 Library of Congress KF3941.G88 2019 | Dewey Decimal 344.730533
Weapons have been a source of political and legal debate for centuries. Aristotle considered the possession of arms a fundamental source of political power and wrote that tyrants "mistrust the people and deprive them of their arms." Today ownership of weapons—whether handguns or military-grade assault weapons—poses more acute legal problems than ever before. In this volume, the editors' introduction traces the history of gun control in the United States, arguing that until the 1980s courts upheld reasonable gun control measures. The contributors confront urgent questions, among them the usefulness of history as a guide in ongoing struggles over gun regulation, the changing meaning of the Second Amendment, the perspective of law enforcement on guns and gun control law, and individual and relational perspectives on gun rights.
The contributors include the editors and Carl T. Bogus, Jennifer Carlson, Saul Cornell, Darrell A.H. Miller, Laura Beth Nielsen, and Katherine Shaw.
Law and Mourning
Austin Sarat University of Massachusetts Press, 2017 Library of Congress GT3390.L38 2017 | Dewey Decimal 393.9
Law and Mourning brings together a distinguished group of scholars to explore the many and complex ways that law both regulates and gives meaning to our experience of loss. The essays in this volume illuminate how law helps us to absorb and contend with loss and its reverberations, channeling the powerful emotions associated with death and protecting those vulnerable to them. At the same time, law creates a regulatory framework for death as it establishes the necessity for a clear demarcation of the boundary between life and death, defines what we can and cannot do with the remains of the dead, and creates both privileges and disabilities for survivors. The contributors to the volume also explore how mourning generates critiques of existing legal and political orders which seem compelled by calls from the dead, unleashing an indifference to legal consequences in survivors that can undermine or destroy law.
In addition to the editors, the contributors include Andrea Brady, Catherine Kellogg, Shai Lavi, Ray Madoff, Ann Pelligrini, and Mark Sanders.
Law and Performance
Austin Sarat University of Massachusetts Press, 2018 Library of Congress K376.L3554 2018 | Dewey Decimal 340.115
Drawing on the rich field of performance studies, this volume, the most recent contribution to the distinguished Amherst Series in Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, offers fresh insights and a provocative mix of multidisciplinary topics and methodologies to explore the theatricality and performativity of law as more than a metaphor.
In considering law through the lens of performance studies, the contributors in this volume emphasize the embodied, affective, and reiterative qualities that move law off the printed page and into the thick world of lived experience. They consider the blurring of lines between performance and the enactment of law, the transformative exchanges between the law and its many and varied stagings, and the impact or resonance of performativity in situations where innocence and guilt may be determined. In addition to the editors, the contributors include Joshua Chambers-Letson, Catherine M. Cole, Ryan Hartigan, Lara D. Nielsen, Julie Stone Peters, Ann Pellegrini, and Karen Shimakawa.
Law and the Visible
Edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey University of Massachusetts Press, 2021 Library of Congress KF8947.5 | Dewey Decimal 345.73064
If you take a video of police officers beating a Black man into unconsciousness, are you a witness or a bystander? If you livestream your friends dragging the body of an unconscious woman and talking about their plans to violate her, are you an accomplice? Do bodycams and video doorbells tell the truth? Are the ubiquitous technologies of visibility open to interpretation and manipulation? These are just a few of the questions explored in the rich and broadly interdisciplinary essays within this volume, Law and the Visible, the most recent offering in the Amherst Series for Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought.
Individual essays discuss the culpability of those who record violence, the history of racialized violence as it streams through police bodycams, the idea of digital images as objective or neutral, the logics of surveillance and transparency, and a defense of anonymity in the digital age.
Contributors include Benjamin J. Goold, Torin Monahan, Kelli Moore, Eden Osucha, Jennifer Peterson, and Carrie A. Rentschler.
Austin Sarat University of Massachusetts Press, 2016 Library of Congress KF9756.L39 2016 | Dewey Decimal 347.7312
From false convictions to botched executions, from erroneous admission of evidence in a criminal trial to misunderstandings that arise in the process of creating contracts, law is awash in mistakes. These mistakes can be unintentional deviations from expected practices or the result of intentional actions that produce unintended negative consequences. They may become part of a process of response and correction or be accepted as an inevitable cost of action. Some mistakes are external to law itself, such as errors in an agreement made by two private parties. Others are made by legal actors in the course of their work; for example, a police officer's failing to obtain a search warrant when one was required.
The essays in Law's Mistakes explore the things that law recognizes as errors and the way it responds to them. They identify the jurisprudential and political perspectives that underlie different understandings of what is or is not a legal mistake, and examine the fraught, contested, and evolving relationship between law and error. And they offer templates for thinking about what mistakes can tell us about the aspirations and limits of law, and for understanding how our imagining of law is enabled and shaped by its juxtaposition to a condition labeled mistake.
In addition to the volume editors, contributors include Paul Schiff Berman, Sonali Chakravarti, Jody L. Medeira, Stewart Motha, Kunal Parker, and Jordan Steiker.
Fifty years after the release of the film version of Harper Lee's acclaimed novel To Kill a Mockingbird, this collection of original essays takes a fresh look at a classic text in legal scholarship. The contributors revisit and examine Atticus, Scout, and Jem Finch, their community, and the events that occur there through the interdisciplinary lens of law and humanities scholarship.
The readings in this volume peel back the film's visual representation of the many-layered social world of Maycomb, Alabama, offering sometimes counterintuitive insights through the prism of a number of provocative contemporary theoretical and interpretive questions. What, they ask, is the relationship between the subversion of social norms and the doing of justice or injustice? Through what narrative and visual devices are some social hierarchies destabilized while others remain hegemonic? How should we understand the sacrifices characters make in the name of justice, and comprehend their failures in achieving it?
Asking such questions casts light on the film's eccentricities and internal contradictions and suggests the possibility of new interpretations of a culturally iconic text. The book examines the context that gave meaning to the film's representation of race and how debates about family, community, and race are played out and reframed in law.
Contributors include Colin Dayan, Thomas L. Dumm, Susan Sage Heinzelman, Linda Ross Meyer, Naomi Mezey, Imani Perry, and Ravit Reichman.
A collection of wide-ranging critical essays that examine how the judicial system is represented on screen
Historically, the emergence of the trial film genre coincided with the development of motion pictures. In fact, one of the very first feature-length films, Falsely Accused!, released in 1908, was a courtroom drama. Since then, this niche genre has produced such critically acclaimed films as Twelve Angry Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Anatomy of a Murder. The popularity and success of these films can be attributed to the fundamental similarities of filmic narratives and trial proceedings. Both seek to construct a “reality” through storytelling and representation and in so doing persuade the audience or jury to believe what they see.
Trial Films on Trial: Law, Justice, and Popular Culture is the first book to focus exclusively on the special significance of trial films for both film and legal studies. The contributors to this volume offer a contemporary approach to the trial film genre. Despite the fact that the medium of film is one of the most pervasive means by which many citizens receive come to know the justice system, these trial films are rarely analyzed and critiqued. The chapters cover a variety of topics, such as how and why film audiences adopt the role of the jury, the narrative and visual conventions employed by directors, and the ways mid-to-late-twentieth-century trial films offered insights into the events of that period.