CfP for ‘Fictionality: Law. Literature. Science. Interdisciplinary Approaches’ at Yale

Yale WHCWG ‘Fictionality: Law. Literature. Science. Interdisciplinary Approaches’ invites presentation proposals for its concluding conference on 20-21 May 2015 at Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA. The Conference will consist of two whole-day panels: one on the role of Fictional Discourse in Legal Theory and Practice, and a second on the intersections and relations of Law and Fiction in general (a more traditional law and literature session) that is open to inquiries of all sorts. The keynote address will be given by  Professor Peter Brooks (Princeton/Georgetown Law/Yale).

Abstracts of maximum 500 words (single spaced) for 25-minute presentations and short academic resume (not more than 5 lines) that need to be both put on one single page, preferably as PDF, should be send to Hans Lind.  The e-mail subject needs to be: either ‘Session 1 CFP’ or ‘Session 2 CFP’ followed by your last name and the title of your proposal (for automatic filtering purposes). The deadline for proposals is 30 March 2015. A selection of papers is planned to be published.

Session 1: Fictional Discourse in Legal Theory and Practice

This whole-day session will address the question of fiction in law from theoretical and dogmatic standpoints. What function and form may have fictions in the legal world? What parts do they play in legal codifications, in trials or as part of legal thinking and legal theory? Questions of the relations of Law to Reality in general are as welcome as more specific enquiries (eg. the nature and purpose of the fictio iuris).

Papers could address:

  • Fictions as part of laws and codes / Fictional quality of Laws, legal examples, etc.
  • Questions of legal semiotics (Truth, Reality of the Law, legal concepts etc.); Law and Language
  • Question of Legal Interpretation and the search for a fixed or variable ‘truth’ (Originalism, etc.)
  • The nature and the reality of the Law
  • Law as Literature
  • Law as Fiction (LaRue, etc.)
  • Fictions as part of trials and investigation (eg. the story of the case as a fictional construct)
  • Fiction(s) as part of legal thinking
  • Fiction(s) as part of legal instruction
  • Relations of Law and Reality
  • The question and nature of the fictio juris/ fictio legis (legal fiction)
  • Historical or theoretical inquiries (e.g. Benthams Theory of Fiction, Locke, Fuller, etc.)
  • Reception and application of philosophical theories /literary theory on truth and fiction in the field of law (John Searle, Richard Rorty, Jacques Derrida, Michael Riffaterre, Niklas Luhmann, Gregory Bateson, Ernst von Glasersfeld, Heinz von Foerster, Roman Ingarden, Gans, Gottfried Gabriel, Marie-Laure Ryan, Wolfgang Iser)
  • Deconstruction and the Law
  • Constructivism and the Law
  • Neuroscience and the Law

Session 2: Law and Fiction

Papers are expected to address a great variety of approaches on the intersection of law and fiction.

The following are especially welcome:

  • legal narrative techniques and form in fiction
  • fiction as legal experiment: fictional stories that could serve as legal thought experiments
  • law in literature: what do we learn about the law in novels and drama (its nature, its status, its relation to truth, its value, its discontents)
  • fiction (novels, drama, etc.) as a forum/means to discuss the questions and discontents of the law (e.g. Franz Kafka’s ‘The Trial’, ‘Before the Law’, ‘The judgement’, ‘The Penal Colony’)
  • fictional quality of law, trials, etc. as a topic of storytelling (in novels, drama, etc.)
  • ‘novelists and poets’ as the principal teachers of law (John Wigmore, Benjamin Cardozo; Robert Weisberg)