Comics, Law, and Aesthetics: Towards the Use of Graphic Fiction in Legal Studies

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Abstract:

This article argues for the inclusion of comics amongst the resources considered in the interdisciplinary study of law. Law and humanities enriches understanding of the human and experiential dimensions of justice through engagement with a variety of aesthetic discourses; the comics medium, however, remains under-researched in this context. Comics are distinct in their interaction of word and image, existing at the borderline between the textual and the visual, and between the rational and the aesthetic; they can thus assist in navigating the limits of rational language, a key issue for legal knowledge and debate which are deeply ingrained with this means of representation. The 'in-betweenness' of comics not only challenges the idealised use of text for the articulation of legal issues, but enables engagement with a wider set of interacting knowledges beyond the rational that can help triangulate issues surrounding justice in a human world inhabited by sensual beings.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5235/175214812800745672

Publication date: June 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Law and Humanities is a peer-reviewed journal, providing a for for scholarly discourse within the arts and humanities around the subject of law. For this purpose, the arts and humanities disciplines are taken to include literature, history (including history of art), philosophy, theology, classics and the whole spectrum of performance and representational arts. The remit of the journal does not extend to consideration of the laws that regulate practical aspects of the arts and humanities (such as the law of intellectual property). Law and Humanities is principally concerned to engage with those aspects of human experience which are not empirically quantifiable or scientifically predictable.
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