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Law and the Humanities

This is an emerging area of research from the School, led by Dr Julia J.A. Shaw and includes law and literature, legal semiotics, law and aesthetics and critical legal theory.  Dr Shaw has published extensively across these areas in a range of books and internationally-recognised peer reviewed journals.  She is particularly interested in the relationship between law and culture in the widest sense, as a system for ordering social life by constructing meaning and shaping individual and group identities.  For example, she has written ‘Against myths and traditions that emasculate women: Language, literature, law and female empowerment’, published by the Liverpool Law Review, a journal of contemporary legal issues, and a recent article examines the relationship between law and poetry, entitled ‘The Continuing Relevance of Ars Poetica to Legal Scholarship and the Modern Lawyer’, and is published by the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law.  Dr Shaw has guest-edited two themed special editions of Contemporary Issues in Law, Vol. 9(4) 2009 and Vol. 10(4) 2010, consequent upon selecting the best papers from those presented at the annual Socio-Legal Studies Association conference. 

Dr Shaw regularly presents her research at international conferences and has also convened the Law and Literature stream at the Social-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) Annual Conference since 2008.  She is also to convene the a stream at the ‘Being Before the Law’ Critical Legal Conference to be held in September 2011.  Dr Shaw was recently invited by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies to present her research on ‘Reimagining the humanities within socio-legal Studies in an Age of Disenchantment’ at a one-day conference ‘Exploring the 'socio' of socio-legal studies’, which is due to be published as a book chapter in the Palgrave Macmillan Socio-Legal Studies Series.  She was invited to present her research on ‘Law, Narrative and Literary License: An Anatomy of the Judicial Imagination’ at the International Law, Language and Literature Colloquium, hosted by University Paris Ouest-Nanterre, France in 2011.  She has also been invited to write a paper on the authoriality of religious law – a semiotic inquiry, for a special edition of the ‘International Journal for the Semiotics of Law’ to be published at the end of the year.  Dr Shaw is currently working on her proposal for a monograph, with the working title ‘A Discrete History of Law and the Passions’.  She has also been invited to write a textbook on jurisprudence to be published in 2014.

Dr Shaw has published papers in, and is on the editorial board of, Social Responsibility Journal and she is regularly invited to review articles for a range of law and law-related journals.  She also developed a new undergraduate module Contemporary Issues in Jurisprudence and Legal Theory, running since 2008, which complements this particular area of research activity. 

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