Browse Hierarchy LAW6024: Law, Knowledge, Power: Past and Present
This course explores the relationships between law, knowledge and power. It does so by theorising those relationships historically. The course asks two questions: First, what have been the material forms and technologies in which legal knowledge has existed? And second: what have been the political consequences of law existing in those material forms and technologies? These material forms and technologies are organised in part by references to different senses, e.g. 1) the look of law (typography, the page); and 2) the sound of law (e.g. alliteration in maxims of the law). The course also looks at the variety of ways in which knowledge of law has been stored, and the technologies devised for finding it: e.g. archives, filing systems, databases, and devices such as indexes, footnotes and search algorithms. Also examined are genres of legal knowledge (e.g. casebooks, treatises) and the material histories of commonly taken-for-granted concepts in legal knowledge (e.g. the material history of rules). Throughout, the course pays attention to the politics of these material forms and technologies, including the way many of them have tended to make law illegible (often literally illegible, e.g. through black-letter script) to the general population.
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