An exciting special issue on law and literature is forthcoming from University of Toronto Quarterly. The issue, due out in August, is being edited by Greig Henderson (Dept. of English, University of Toronto), Cheryl Suzack (Departments of English and Aboriginal Studies, University of Toronto), and Simon Stern (Dept. of English and Faculty of Law, University of Toronto). As far as I know, all of the pieces were invited submissions. A fuller description of the issue is available here.
The articles are as follows:
Elizabeth S. Anker (English Dept. at Cornell): “In the Shadowlands of Sovereignty: The Politics of Enclosure in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Babel”
Mark Antaki (Faculty of Law at McGill): “Genre, Critique and Human Rights”
Dale Barleben (Dept. of English at John Jay College, CUNY): “Law’s Empire Writes Back: Legal Positivism and Literary Rejoinder in Wilde’s De Profundis”
Todd Butler (Dept. of English at Washington State University): "Victim Impact Statements, New Media Technologies, and the Classical Rhetoric of Sincerity”
Gregg Crane (English Dept. at Michigan): “The Hard Case: Billy Budd and the Judgment Intuitive”
Ann E. Tweedy (Hamline Law): “How Allotment-Era Literature Can Inform Current Controversies About Tribal Jurisdiction and Reservation Diminishment”
Nicole M. Wright (Postdoctoral Scholar at Chicago): “‘A More Exact Purity’: Legal Authority and Conspicuous Amalgamation in Eighteenth-Century English Law Guides and the Oxford Law Lectures of Sir Robert Chambers and Samuel Johnson.”
My piece responds to the Supreme Court's practice of justifying denials of tribal jurisdiction over non-members in current cases based on the presumed expectations of non-Indian settlers during the allotment-era that reservations would disappear (thus eliminating any possibility of tribal jurisdiction). In a recent piece in the Seattle University Law Review, I examined historical newspaper articles from the allotment era that addressed the opening of Sioux reservations in South Dakota. I argued that, because many of these articles revealed injustices to tribes in the takings of their lands, settlers who read the articles--or who were privy to the information in them-- could not have formed justifiable expectations that the reservations would disappear. In this new piece, I examine some works of allotment-era literature set in South Dakota and nearby areas to see if these works similarly provide notice of such injustices. The results in the case of the literature are more mixed, but some works--particularly those of Zitkala-Sa and Doane Robinson--provide notice of the injustices inherent in land takings.