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New Directions in Law and Literature$
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Elizabeth S. Anker and Bernadette Meyler

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190456368

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190456368.001.0001

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Globalizing Law and Literature

Globalizing Law and Literature

(p.210) Chapter 12 Globalizing Law and Literature
New Directions in Law and Literature

Elizabeth S. Anker

Oxford University Press

The globalization of law and literature has trained attention on the historical role played by law in institutions like slavery and colonization, at the same time prompting questions about the neoimperial effects of an array of contemporary legal constructs and practices. These emphases have often created the presumption that law should foremost be an object of critique, and many widely read and taught literary texts have reinforced that suspicion. This chapter reads M. NourbeSe Philio’s Zong!, a long poem that contends with the legal system’s facilitation of the slave trade, to contend with the historical violence licensed by law. Yet the status of law under globalization is more complicated, and this chapter also analyzes law as a networked, dispersed phenomenon that can be both capacitating and ripe for manipulation. Nuruddin Farah’s novel Gifts illustrates many of these alternate dimensions of law and legality in an increasingly enmeshed, interdependent world.

Keywords:   postcolonial studies, globalization, sovereignty, Nuruddin Farah, M. NourbeSe Philip

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