Monday, March 18, 2024

Shane Chalmers and Desmond Manderson on Vortext (Law & Literature)

Shane Chalmers and Desmond Manderson
Law & Literature
Published online: February 2024

Abstract: This article introduces the special issue of Law & Literature on “Colonial Legal Imaginaries | Southern Literary Futures”. The aim is to advance two imperative tasks. The first, analytic, task is to pay attention to the diversity of colonial imaginaries across the very different terrains, literatures, and epistemologies of the so-called South. Rather than continue to impose a Eurocentric canon on the domain of law and literature, the argument here is that we need to better immerse ourselves in the diversity of colonial imaginaries from places whose experiences were as different as Indigenous Australia, India under the Raj, African game reserves, or the post-conquest Americas. The second, ethical and aesthetic, task is to accept literature’s invitation not simply to document colonial, or for that matter post-colonial, ideologies, but to reimagine them. The realms of literature and art represent a crucial opportunity to talk back to power through the very modalities of fantasy and imagination, myth and story, that have been so indispensable to its maintenance. Each author in this collection wholeheartedly contributes to these two tasks, combining an analytical expansion of the past with a creative ethical engagement with the present and the future.

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