[We have the following call for a session at MLA.]
CFP: Desire for Narrative in Law and Literature: A Special Session at MLA 2014
White has suggested “proper histories” narrate a changing relationship
between a subject and a legal regime. As White states, “Where there is
no rule of law, there can be neither a subject nor the kind of
event which lends itself to narrative representation.” For White, law is
essential to narrative, historical or otherwise. The converse, however,
is also true: narrative is essential to law.
participants for a roundtable discussion and invite 250 word proposals
from scholars who study law and literature to explore topics such as the
aesthetics of both modes of cultural production, the representation
or influence of legal narratives in literature, and the influence of
literary narrative strategies on legal decision making. Questions to be
considered and addressed in brief, five-minute position statements might
include, but are not limited to:
• What constitutes a legal narrative and who are its authors?
What are the formal and aesthetic characteristics of legal narratives,
and how do they compare with the formal and aesthetic characteristics of
• How have legal narratives evolved in response to cultural, political, or technological shifts, and with what consequences?
How is the teaching of law or literature, or both, affected by calling
into question the distinctions we usually make between legal and
• What are the poetics of justice implicit in legal and literary narratives?
• Of what use are literary methodologies in the study of law, and vice versa?
Please submit proposals and a short bio by 5:00 pm on March 15, 2013. Contact info here.