Law and the Humanities

AHA Session 227
Sunday, January 4, 2015: 2:30 PM-4:30 PM
Empire Ballroom West (Sheraton New York, Second Floor)
Judith Surkis, Rutgers University–New Brunswick
Islamic Law and the Humanities: Reflections on Egypt
Hussein Ali Agrama, University of Chicago
Clues, Evidence, Detection: Law Stories
Peter Brooks, Princeton University
David L. Eng, University of Pennsylvania
The Search for Transhistorical Legal Concepts
Camille Robcis, Cornell University
“What is Law?” in the Age of Empire
Miranda Frances Spieler, American University of Paris

Session Abstract

This panel explores the intersection of law and the humanities from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective. Exploring such key concepts as the human, the problem of reference, detection and narrative, imperial subjects of law, and Islamic law, panelists will situate their own contributions to the historiography of the legal sciences within a broader meta-analytic framework. Tracing genealogies of knowledge production that traverse the boundaries both of the West and the non-West, panelists reflect critically upon the universalist assumptions and presentist agendas that have marked the study of the law and legal practices in the modern era. Mobilizing insights from anthropology, comparative literature, and history, panelists address questions of colonialism, sovereignty, violence, narrative structures, and the alleged transhistoricity of the law.

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