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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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The Flowers Are Vexed

The Flowers Are Vexed

Gender Justice, Black Literature, and the Passionate Utterance

(p.252) Chapter 14 The Flowers Are Vexed
New Directions in Law and Literature

Imani Perry

Oxford University Press

This work, at the intersection of feminist jurisprudence, critical race theory, and African American literary studies, challenges the concept of the reasonable man which informs Anglo-American jurisprudence. The argument revolves around a politics of relation that challenges the hierarchies of membership that are an integral part to the development of the American legal order. The chapter draws on Hortense Spillers’s germinal concept of vestibularity (standing at the threshold) as well as Stanley Cavell’s concept of the “passionate utterance” to furnish alternatives to the reasonable man. It concludes with readings of Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon and Ayana Mathis’s The Twelve Tribes of Hattie.

Keywords:   gender representation, recognition, citizenship, personhood, race

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