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CFP:: 3rd Annual Legal Studies Graduate Conference: Law, Language and the Archive
March 1, 2018
Language is a conduit of information, a reflection of the social and political constructions of bygone eras, as well as our present. It can be deployed in the service of beauty, expression, liberation, punishment, control, and /or shame. Moreover, language, an essential tool of the law, is ordered and organized according to an often contradictory sedimentation of norms, assumptions, and customs. As legal scholars, we employ a number of methodologies to confront and interpret the messy entanglements of language, law, and lived experience. The legal archive, like law and language, “straddles the material and the ideational,” sometimes tracking these myriad modes of legal speech, sometimes itself symbolically producing ‘the law’ as a heavily guarded and precise linguistic apparatus, filled with loopholes and traps.
The Brown Legal Studies initiative invites paper submissions on the subject of “Law, Language, and the Archive” for its third annual graduate student conference. At a moment when important political and legal institutions in the United States are challenged from within and without, our conference will consider the interaction of language and the law, contemporarily and in broader historical and comparatist contexts, and the ways we, as scholars, interact and interpret the language of the law in the archival sources we use.