Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
New Directions in Law and Literature$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 December 2020

Ornament and Law

Ornament and Law

(p.229) Chapter 13 Ornament and Law
New Directions in Law and Literature

Anne Anlin Cheng

Oxford University Press

Who constitute “natural persons”? How do we move from a biological person to a legal standing? And what does a superficial, minor, and feminized category like the ornament have to do with these large questions? This chapter introduces a case that is little known but arguably one of the most significant habeas corpus cases in the nineteenth century in order to track the surprisingly critical role that racialized and feminized objects played in forming juridical ideas of natural and unnatural persons, legal and illegal subjects, citizenship and criminality. What this case reveals about how a body comes to be legally discernible holds profound implications and challenges for how we conceptualize citizenship and civil rights today.

Keywords:   ornament, legal personhood, immigration, Asiatic femininity, citizenship, anti-Chinese discrimination, aesthetic criminality, habeas corpus, racial legibility, orientalism

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .