Legal Humanities Research Focus Group

Legal Humanities Research Focus Group

Legal humanities views law and culture as mutually constitutive domains. Law, after all, is the site where theory meets practice, where ideals wrestle with norms, and morality and ethics confront politics and regulation. Legal humanities seeks to understand how law makes meaning and produces effects within and across cultures – which, in turn, constantly make and remake law. Legal humanities is thus particularly concerned with how justice, power, representation, and participation are inflected by indigeneity, “race,” gender, class, sexuality, age, national origin, and cognitive or physical ability.

Crucially, legal humanities offers much more than a culturalist critique of law. Scholars in the field are deeply committed to demonstrating how marginalized, dispossessed, and disenfranchised individuals and communities have wielded – and, in the process, transformed – law to promote equity and justice. Legal humanities explores how we all engage law to transform culture (or create culture to transform law), whether as legal professionals, scholars, teachers, social service providers, community organizers, political activists, or simply as residents or citizens of the U.S. Focusing on the epistemology, transmission, and transformation of law in and through culture (and vice versa), legal humanities encompasses legal history, classics, legal anthropology, political theory, legal philosophy/jurisprudence, law and literature, critical race theory, and queer and feminist legal studies, among other approaches.

Conveners:
Ahmad Atif Ahmad, Religious Studies
aahmad@religion.ucsb.edu

Jeannine DeLombard, English
jdelombard@ucsb.edu

Elizabeth DePalma Digeser, History
edepalma@history.ucsb.edu

Greg Johnson, Religious Studies
gjohnson@ucsb.edu

Kathleen Moore, Religious Studies
kmoore@religion.ucsb.edu

Giuliana Perrone, History
gperrone@ucsb.edu