Theatre and Law. Shakespeare and the Constitutional Law development

Paul Raffield,
Shakespeare’s imaginary constitution:
late Elizabethan politics and the theatre of law

Hart Publishing , 2010, 350 pp.
ISBN: 9781841139210.

Through an examination of six plays by Shakespeare, the author presents an innovative analysis of political developments in the last decade of Elizabethan rule and their representation in poetic drama of the period. The playhouses of London in the 1590s provided a distinctive forum for discourse and dissemination of nascent political ideas. Shakespeare exploited the unique capacity of theatre to humanise contemporary debate concerning the powers of the crown and the extent to which these were limited by law. The autonomous subject of law is represented in the plays considered here as a sentient political being whose natural rights and liberties found an analogue in the narratives of common law, as recorded in juristic texts and law reports of the early modern era. Each chapter reflects a particular aspect of constitutional development in the late-Elizabethan state. These include abuse of the royal prerogative by the crown and its agents; the emergence of a politicised middle class citizenry, empowered by the ascendancy of contract law; the limitations imposed by the courts on the lawful extent of divinely ordained kingship; the natural and rational authority of unwritten lex terrae; the poetic imagination of the judiciary and its role in shaping the constitution; and the fusion of temporal and spiritual jurisdiction in the person of the monarch. The book advances original insights into the complex and agonistic relationship between theatre, politics, and law. The plays discussed offer persuasive images both of the crown’s absolutist tendencies and of alternative polities predicated upon classical and humanist principles of justice, equity, and community.

‘It is now canon in progressive U.S. legal scholarship that to focus solely on the text of our Constitution is myopic. We look as well for «constitutional moments», moments when the zeitgeist is so transformed that our fundamental legal charter changes with it. In this breathtakingly erudite book, Paul Raffield argues that the late-Elizabethan period was such a «constitutional moment» in England, a moment literally «played out» for the polity by the greatest dramatist of all time. A lawyer and a thespian, Raffield handles both legal and literary sources with exquisite care. As with the works of the Old Masters, one dwells pleasurably on each detail until their cumulative force presses one backward to see the canvas in its sudden, glorious entirety. A major achievement.’Kenji Yoshino. Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law, NYU School of Law

Paul Raffield is Associate Professor in the School of Law at the University of Warwick, Chair of Undergraduate Studies

Trabajos más recientes

Raffield, P. (2010) ‘The Ancient Constitution, Common Law and the Idyll of Albion: Law and Lawyers in Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2’ , Law and Literature 22 (1), 18 – 47 (1535-685X)

Raffield P. (2009) »The Comedy of Errors’ and the Meaning of Contract’, Law and Humanities 3 (2), 207 – 229 (1752-1483) [article]

Raffield P. (2009) »Sunday’s Child’: Drama, Ensemble and the Community of Law’, Law and Humanities 3 (2), 231 – 235 (1752-1483) [article]

Raffield P. (2008) ‘»Terras Astraea reliquit»: Titus Andronicus and the Loss of Justice’ in Shakespeare and the Law, 203 – 220, Editors: Paul Raffield and Gary Watt (978-1-84113-825-1), Oxford: Hart Publishing

Raffield P. (2008) ‘Shakespeare’s Imaginary Constitution: Justice, Fairness and the Dramatic Representation of Law’ in Practising Equity, Addressing Law: Equity in Law and Literature, 207- 222, Editors: Daniela Carpi, Heidelberg: Winter


Political theology and in popular superhero fiction (graphic novel and science fiction cinema)

Peter Yoonsuk Paik
From utopia to apocalypse: science fiction and the politics of catastrophe
University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN, 2010, 232 pp. : ill.
ISBN 978-0-8166-5079-8


Revolutionary narratives in recent science fiction graphic novels and films compel audiences to reflect on the politics and societal ills of the day. Through character and story, science fiction brings theory to life, giving shape to the motivations behind the action as well as to the consequences they produce. In From Utopia to Apocalypse, Peter Y. Paik shows how science fiction generates intriguing and profound insights into politics. He reveals that the fantasy of putting annihilating omnipotence to beneficial effect underlies the revolutionary projects that have defined the collective upheavals of the modern age. Paik traces how this political theology is expressed, and indeed literalized, in popular superhero fiction, examining works including Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s graphic novel Watchmen, the science fiction cinema of Jang Joon-Hwan, the manga of Hayao Miyazaki, Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta, and the Matrix trilogy.
Superhero fantasies are usually seen as compensations for individual feelings of weakness, victimization, and vulnerability. But Paik presents these fantasies as social constructions concerned with questions of political will and the disintegration of democracy rather than with the psychology of the personal. What is urgently at stake, Paik argues, is a critique of the limitations and deadlocks of the political imagination. The utopias dreamed of by totalitarianism, which must be imposed through torture, oppression, and mass imprisonment, nevertheless persist in liberal political systems. With this reality looming throughout, Paik demonstrates the uneasy juxtaposition of saintliness and cynically manipulative realpolitik, of torture and the assertion of human dignity, of cruelty and benevolence.


Introduction: The god that succeeded
Utopia achieved: the case of Watchmen
The defense of necessity: on Jang Joon-Hwan’s Save the green planet
The saintly politics of catastrophe: Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind
Between trauma and tragedy: from The matrix to V for Vendetta

Peter Y. Paik, Ph.D., Cornell University (1999), is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Director of the Religious Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.


Libertad de expresión y libertad cómica

Dominique Avon (dir.)
La caricature au risque des autorités politiques et religieuses
Presses Universitaires de Rennes(Col. Histoire), 2010, 204 pp.
ISBN : 978-2-7535-1156-9

Cet ouvrage explore différentes modalités de l’usage de la caricature. Outil public placé sous le signe du « droit à la liberté d’expression », elle a été en 2005-2006 à l’origine d’une crise internationale à laquelle ont pris part des religieux, des chefs d’État, des intellectuels et des industriels. La caricature, d’usage universel, flirte avec l’interdit, entre l’appel « moderne » de la critique possible de l’autorité et la réplique « traditionnelle » du respect de celle-ci.

Outil public placé sous le signe du « droit à la liberté d’expression », la caricature appliquée au domaine politico-religieux a été, en 2005-2006, à l’origine d’une crise internationale à laquelle ont pris part des représentants de l’islam, du christianisme et du judaïsme, des chefs d’État, des intellectuels de tous bords… jusqu’aux industriels. La même année, un trio d’historiens, Michel Dixmier, Jacqueline Lalouette et Didier Pasamonik, revenaient par ce biais à l’affrontement du camp « laïque » et du camp « catholique » dans la France des XIXe-XXe siècles : La République et l’Église. Images d’une querelle.
Le médium, étroitement lié à son contenu, flirte avec la limite de l’interdit qui participe de la structuration de sociétés plus ou moins marquées par l’empreinte religieuse. Il semble d’usage universel ce qui, en soi, est déjà un signe remarquable. C’est à l’exploration des différentes modalités de son usage que voudrait s’attacher l’ouvrage collectif ayant pour thème : La caricature au risque des autorités politiques et religieuses. L’intérêt majeur du projet réside dans la confrontation des approches et des possibilités offertes par des milieux tendus entre l’appel « moderne » de la critique possible de l’autorité (d’un homme, d’une parole, d’une expression de foi…) et la réplique « traditionnelle » du respect de celle-ci. L’affrontement premier est celui d’élites qui maîtrisent le verbe, mais il connaît de vastes prolongements populaires tant semble forte la puissance de l’image.

Traditions de la caricature politique et religieuse
L’« affaire des caricatures de Mahomet » sous différents climats

Dominique Avon est professeur d’histoire contemporaine à l’université du Maine, enseignant à Sciences-Po, licencié d’arabe (INALCO) et spécialisé dans l’histoire comparée des religions. Il coordonne le réseau interdisciplinaire de recherche DCIE


Literature, Violence, and Politcs

Moira Fradinger
Binding Violence Literary Visions of Political Origins
Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif.
2010, xii, 333 pp.
ISBN-13: 9780804763301


Binding Violence exposes the relation between literary imagination, autonomous politics, and violence through the close analysis of literary texts—in particular Sophocles’ Antigone, D. A. F. de Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom, and Vargas Llosa’s The Feast of the Goat—that speak to a blind spot in democratic theory, namely, how we decide democratically on the borders of our political communities. These works bear the imprint of the anxieties of democracy concerning its other—violence—especially when the question of a redefinition of membership is at stake.

The book shares the philosophical interest in rethinking politics that has recently surfaced at the crossroads of literary criticism, philosophy, critical theory, and psychoanalysis. Fradinger takes seriously the responsibility to think through and give names to the political uses of violence and to provoke useful reflection on the problem of violence as it relates to politics and on literature as it relates to its times.

Table of Contents


Literature, Violence, and Politcs

Part. I: Sophocles’s Antigone or the invention of politics : we the city

Antogone and the Polis

The Most Modern of Tragedies: The Politics of Burial

Creon´s Edict: The Barbarians at Home

Dyging Democratically: Antigone´s Ritual


The Modern Tempo- Demcratic Overture, State Finale

Part II: D.A.F. de Sade’s One hundred and twenty days of Sodom or the re-invention of politics : we the people

Sade´s Text and Sade´s Times

The Libertine Alliance: No Ordinary Pact in Times of War

Necrophyliac Cannibals: Dismembering “Nonpeople”, Membering “The People”


Modern Sovereignty: Pervession of Democracy?

Part III. Mario Vargas Llosa’s The feast of the goat or sovereign politics: we the nation-state.

Vargas Llosa’s Appeal to History: Within and Beyond Latin America

Necropolitics I: From “African Horce” to a Modern Country: Trujillo´s Body Politic and the Haitian Enemy

Necropolitics II: Rebonding the Nation: Trujillo´s Body Natural and Speculaty of Enemity


The Force of Imagination



Moira Fradinger, Ph.D in Comparative Literature from Yale University, M.A in Women’s Studies from the Institute for Social Studies in Holland and a «Licenciatura» in Psychology from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina, is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Yale University.


Giustizia e letteratura (Law and Literature). Il caso Dreyfus

Il Centro Studi «Federico Stella» sulla Giustizia penale e la Politica criminale, dell´Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Sede di Milano), organizza per l’anno accademico 2010-2011 un ciclo di incontri sul tema Giustizia e Letteratura (Law and Literature)
Il Ciclo è composto da cinque incontri pomeridiani e un convegno conclusivo: La «presunzione di colpevolezza» come difesa del branco. Il caso Dreyfus: risonanze letterarie francesi 1896-1930; Giudici e giustizieri in Dürrenmatt; Defoe e la malavita; Musil, von Hofmannsthal e la responsabilità; La giustizia nelle canzoni di Bob Dylan, e Narrazioni della giustizia, giustizia della narrazione (Convegno conclusivo) .L’iscrizione offre agli studenti delle Facoltà di Giurisprudenza e di Scienze linguistiche e Letterature straniere dell’Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano.

Giovedì 28 ottobre 2010
Aula G.108 – Lazzati
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Largo A. Gemelli, 1 – Milano
Introduzione al ciclo seminariale «Giustizia e letteratura» (Law and Literature)

La «presunzione di colpevolezza» come difesa del branco.
Il caso Dreyfus: risonanze letterarie francesi 1896-1930
Ore 16.15
Registrazione degli iscritti
Ore 16.30
Relazione di presentazione del ciclo “Giustizia e Letteratura”
Gabrio Forti, Professore Ordinario di Diritto penale, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Direttore del Centro Studi «Federico Stella» sulla Giustizia penale e la Politica criminale
Ore 17.15
La «presunzione di colpevolezza» come difesa del branco
Ne discutono:
Marisa Verna, Professore Ordinario di Letteratura francese – Facoltà di Scienze linguistiche e Letterature straniere, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Remo Danovi, Avvocato del Foro di Milano
Matteo Caputo, Centro Studi «Fedrico Stella» sulla Giustizia penale e la Politica criminale
Ore 19.15
Interventi programmati e dibattito

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Narrativas del maternalismo.

Raymond D. Hilliard

Ritual Violence and the Maternal in the British Novel, 1740-1820

BucknellUniversityPress,Lewisburg. Pennsylvania, 2010

316 pp.

ISBN 0-8387-5750-5

This book brings to light a mythic dimension of seventeen important eighteenth and early nineteenth-century narratives that revolve around the persecution of one or more important female characters, and offers original readings of novels byRichardson,Fielding,Burney,Radcliffe,Godwin,Austen,Scott, and others. The myth in question, which Raymond Hilliard calls «the myth of persecution and reparation,» serves as a major vehicle for the early novel’s preoccupation with the «mother», a mythic figure distinct from the historical mother or from the mother as she is represented in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century maternal ideology. Hilliard argues that the myth of persecution and reparation derives fromthe topos of female sacrifice in the romance tradition,and shows that this topos is central to several kinds of novels – realist, Gothic, Jacobin, feminist, and historical. Hilliard contends that the narrative of persecution and reparation anticipatesthe twentieth-century maternal mythassociated with the work of Melanie Klein and other «relational model» psychoanalytic theorists, and he thus also examines the psychosexual significance of the «mother». Hilliard explores the relation of psychosexual themes to social representations, and delineates a new theory of plot -both tragic and comic plots- in the early novel.

Raymond F. Hilliardis Professor of English at the University of Richmond. In addition to serving for twelve years as Chair of the Department, he has taught a variety of courses on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature, as well as courses on the modern and contemporary novel and on narrative theory. He has published articles in SEL, Studies in Philology, PMLA, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, and Eighteenth-Century Life.


Gender and Medieval Literature

Sarah Alison Miller

Monstrosity and the Female Body

Routledge Studies in Medieval Religion and Culture

Routledge, Hew York, 2010, 226 pp.

ISBN: 978-0-415-87359-8 (hardback) 978-0-203-84491-5 (electronic)


The medieval monster is a slippery construct, and its referents include a range of religious, racial, and corporeal aberrations. In this study, Miller argues that one incarnation of monstrosity in the Middle Ages—the female body—exists in special relation to medieval teratology insofar as it resists the customary marginalization that defined most other monstrous groups in the Middle Ages. Though medieval maps located the monstrous races on the distant margins of the civilized world, the monstrous female body took the form of mother, sister, wife, and daughter. It was, therefore, pervasive, proximate, and necessary on social, sexual, and reproductive grounds. Miller considers several significant texts representing authoritative discourses on female monstrosity in the Middle Ages: the Pseudo-Ovidian poem, De vetula (The Old Woman); a treatise on human generation erroneously attributed to Albert the Great, De secretis mulierum (On the Secrets of Women), and Julian of Norwich’s Showings. Through comparative analysis, Miller grapples with the monster’s semantic flexibility while simultaneously working towards a composite image of late-medieval female monstrosity whose features are stable enough to define. Whether this body is discursively constructed as an Ovidian body, a medicalized body, or a mystical body, its corporeal boundaries fail to form properly: it is a body out of bounds.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction: The Monstrous Borders of the Female Body 1: Ovidian Poetry, Virgins, Mothers, and Monsters: Ovidian and Pseudo-Ovidian Bodies 2: Gynecology, Gynecological Secrets: Blood, Seed, and Monstrous Births in De secretis mulierum 3: Mystical Theology, Monstrous Love: The Permeable Body of Christ in Julian of Norwich’s Showings Conclusion: The Monstrous Borders of the Self Notes Bibliography Index

Sarah Alison Milleris as assistant professor of Classics at Duquesne University.


Narrativismo y criminología

Alfredo Verde & Cristiano Barbieri

Narrative del male. Dalla fiction alla vita, dalla vita alla fiction

Franco Angeli, Milano, 2010, 292 pp.

ISBN 13: 9788856817287

Il volume riflette, da un punto di vista criminologico, sui rapporti tra ciò che viene presentato come illecito – la fiction sul crimine– e ciò che intrinsecamente si rivela tale –il crimine reale–, così come viene messo in trama dalle narrative che istituzionalmente se ne occupano, e che sono presenti a diversi livelli come discorsi scientifici, mediatici, giudiziari, o a livello delle convinzioni diffuse a livello sociale


Quest’opera intende riflettere, da un punto di vista criminologico, sui rapporti tra ciò che viene presentato come illecito –la fiction sul crimine– e ciò che intrinsecamente si rivela tale –il crimine reale–, così come viene messo in trama dalle narrative che se ne occupano e che sono presenti a livello scientifico, mediatico, giudiziario e sociale.

Infatti ciò che «appare» reale, o viene presentato come tale, spesso non lo è, come può rivelarsi più veritiero proprio ciò che invece è frutto di immaginazione: il trait d’union tra realtà del crimine e fiction sul crimine è dato dalla possibilità di narrare, intesa non solo come disponibilità a porsi di fronte alle cose e a sé stessi con una competenza (auto)biografica, ma anche come modalità operativa che può sia originare una ricostruzione fantastica partendo da un evento concreto, sia gettare una luce chiarificatrice su molti dati fattuali prendendo le mosse dal mondo della fantasia.

Il campo delle narrative criminologiche quindi, collocandosi tra fiction e vita, può costituire una sorta di «territorio di mezzo», partendo dal quale diviene possibile sia utilizzare le narrative di fiction per comprendere gli eventi criminali reali, sia trattare le narrative degli eventi criminali reali connettendole al mondo della fiction.

Nella prima parte del testo vengono dunque presentati alcuni casi di fiction analizzati con le metodiche della scienza criminologica e nella seconda parte dai dati di cronaca si arriva alla teorizzazione criminologica qualitativa e alla fiction.

Nella misura in cui realtà e fiction si influenzano reciprocamente, la criminologia può infatti tentare di decifrare il senso della vita, tanto del criminale, quanto della vittima, in un processo di approfondimento che può dirsi incessante.

Indice:Premessa degli autori

Saggi introduttivi

Alfredo Verde, Il reale del delitto e i tre livelli della criminologia: criminologia folk, criminologia istituzionale e criminologia scientifica
Cristiano Barbieri, Ermeneutica e criminologia
Parte I. Dalla narrativa alla vita
Alfredo Verde, Premessa: dalla narrativa alla vita
Tiziana Scasso, Letteratura: il problema del male, Dostoevskij
Adolfo Francia, Letteratura: la costruzione di una trama adeguata, Maupessant
Maria Grazia Depau, Letteratura: il criminale e il suo doppio
Stefano Olivieri, Cinema: il serial-killer come anti-eroe
Cristiano Barbieri, Cinema: la mafia e l’identità mafiosa

Parte II. Dalla vita alla narrativa
Alfredo Verde, Premessa: dalla vita alla narrativa
Cristiano Barbieri, Il noir: genere letterario e cinematografico o stile di vita? Per una criminologia noir
Fabio Capurro, Una vita noir: la carriera criminale di James Ellroy, lo scrittore deviante
Silvio Ciappi, Una vita tragica: Edipo in città
Paola Berta, Cristiano Barbieri, Vite invisibili e pena dei congiunti: una rivisitazione della teoria della reazione sociale
Ilaria Aldrovandi, Vite da sballo: tossicodipendenti di ieri e di oggi
Ludovica Villa, Vite da cronaca nera: Erika e Omar come fenomeno mediatico
Alfredo Verde, Le difese della criminologia: criminologia e meccanismi di difesa collettivi
Gli autori.

Alfredo Verde, psicologo, psicoterapeuta a impostazione psicoanalitica, è professore associato di Criminologia presso la Facoltà di Scienze della Formazione dell’Università di Genova. Membro della Commissione Scientifica della Società Italiana di Criminologia, è stato presidente dell’Ordine degli Psicologi della Liguria.

Cristiano Barbieri, medico, medico-legale, criminologo-clinico e psichiatra-forense, psicopatologo di formazione antropo-fenomenologica, dottore di ricerca in Sanità pubblica, docente di Medicina legale nelle Facoltà di Giurisprudenza dell’Università degli studi di Pavia e dell’Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Piacenza, nonché di Criminologia clinica e Psicopatologia forense nelle Scuole di specializzazione in Medicina legale, Neurologia, Neurofisiopatologia e Neuropsichiatria infantile dell’Università degli studi di Pavia.


Minicurso «Direito e Literatura”. Grupo Literato. Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina. BRASIL. Florianópolis.

ASemana de Ensino, Pesquisa e Extensão – SEPEX-da UFSC ocorrerá entre os dias 20 e 23 de outubro. Dando continuidade à proposta de estabelecer espaços de diálogo com outros estudantes e com a comunidade em geral, o Grupo Literato ministrará, no dia 21,Minicurso entitulado «Direito e Literatura: uma análise a partir de textos literários».

Neste ano, a idéia é que se busque, ao longo do Minicurso, (re)construir na prática as variadas possibilidades oferecidas pelos estudos de Direito e Literatura. Para tanto, construiu-se a proposta de trilhar os caminhos possíveis entre o jurídico e o literário oferecendo textos que demonstrem os diálogos que podem ser construídos entre os dois saberes, percorrendo dinamicamente a teoria já construída dentro desse campo de estudo e estimulando a construção participativa destas investigações que buscam, sobretudo, incentivar o espírito crítico e a interdisciplinaridade.

Data: 21 de Outubro de 2010

Local:Sala 109 do CCJ (Centro de Ciências Jurídicas da UFSC)

Horário:18:00 horas

Asinscriçõessão gratuitas e poderão ser feitas no dia do evento. O certificado emitido pela própria SEPEX será de quatro horas-aula.

Conteúdo programático:

1) Direito e Literatura: especificidades e ligações;
2) Direito na Literatura: reflexos e reflexões;
3) Direito como Literatura: autores e possibilidades.
3.1- Direito e a literatura como narrativas instituintes;
3.2- O Direito como Narrativa Ficcional;
3.3- Direito e Mito;
3.4- Direito e Linguagem;
3.5- Direito, Literatura e História


Flávia BesenAluno de GraduaçãoDIREITO; Letícia Dyniewicz– Mestre em Direito pela UFSC; Liana Pauluka-Aluno de Graduação-DIREITO; Marina Delgado Caume-Aluno de Graduação DIREITO; Nayara Aline Schmitt Azevedo-Aluno de Graduação DIREITO; Rafaella Machado-Aluno de Graduação LETRAS-LÍNGUA PORTUGUESA E LITERATURAS



Novedad bibliográfica FRANCE. Droit et Cinéma. La Rochelle, Actes.

Magalie Flores-Lonjou-Agnès de Luget (dir.)

Lehuis clos judiciaire au cinéma,

Ed.Geste, 2010, 188 pp.


En 2008, l’université de La Rochelle en partenariat avec le FIFLR organisait les premières rencontres «Droit et Cinéma : regards croisés». (vid. )

Juristes amateurs de cinéma, cinéphiles avertis et spécialistes s’étaient retrouvés autour du thème inaugural Le huis clos judiciaire au cinéma. Un opus éponyme qui réunit les communications des intervenants sous la direction de Magalie Flores-Lonjou et Agnès de Luget, enseignantes chercheurs de l’université de La Rochelle qui ont initié ces rencontres, est paru en 2010 chez Geste Édition.


Exposé préliminaire

par Jean Tulard

Le huis clos judiciaire aucinéma: un défi cinématographique

par Agnès de Luget et Magalie Flores-Lonjou



10è chambre, Instants d’audiences :Un film de Raymond Depardon

par Jean-Paul Pancracio

«Ca n’y ressemble pas, mais vous êtes dans un tribunal !»A propos de The Outrage, de Martin Ritt, 1964

par Xavier Daverat



Sergeant Rutledgeou le huis clos impossible

par Jean-Marie Tixier



Sur Twelve angry men : le huis clos du délibéré aux Etats-Unis et en France

par Christian Guéry

Le huis clos dans Twelve angry men de Sidney Lumet : coupure vers le sacré ou l’enfer?

par Richard Vidaud

En guise de conclusion

par Françoise Thibaut