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Vol 21 No 11 Nov/Dec 2016

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Law, Memory, Violence: Uncovering the Counter-Archive

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Edited by: Stewart Motha, Honni van Rijswijk

ISBN13: 9781138830639
Published: March 2016
Publisher: Routledge
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £85.00



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The demand for recognition, responsibility, and reparations is regularly invoked in the wake of colonialism, genocide, and mass violence: there can be no victims without recognition, no perpetrators without responsibility, and no justice without reparations. Or so it seems from law’s limited repertoire for assembling the archive after ‘the disaster’.

Archival and memorial practices are central to contexts where transitional justice, addressing historical wrongs, or reparations are at stake. The archive serves as a repository or ‘storehouse’ of what needs to be gathered and recognised so that it can be left behind in order to inaugurate the future. The archive manifests law’s authority and its troubled conscience. It is an indispensable part of the liberal legal response to biopolitical violence.

This collection challenges established approaches to transitional justice by opening up new dialogues about the problem of assembling law’s archive. The volume presents research drawn from multiple jurisdictions that address the following questions. What resists being archived? What spaces and practices of memory - conscious and unconscious - undo legal and sovereign alibis and confessions? And what narrative forms expose the limits of responsibility, recognition, and reparations? By treating the law as an ‘archive’, this book trace the failure of universalized categories such as ‘perpetrator’, ‘victim’, ‘responsible’, and ‘innocent’ posited by the liberal legal state. It thereby uncovers law’s counter-archive as a challenge to established forms of representing and responding to violence.

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Contents:
1. Stewart Motha and Honni van Rijswijk , Introduction
2. Jennifer L. Culbert, Storytelling and the Counter-Archive: Recollecting Hannah Arendt’s ‘Reflections on Little Rock’
3. Stacy Douglas, Constitutions Are Not Enough / The Museum as Law’s Counter-Archive
4. Miranda Johnson, Re-placing the native on the land: law’s archive and the preservation of Indian testimony on the 1970s development frontier in Canada
5. Sara Kendall, Archiving Victimhood: Practices of Inscription in International Criminal Law
6. Ari Hirvonen, Archives of Evil: Law, Gaze, and Body
7. Trish Luker, Animating the Archive: Legal Sources and the New Materialisms
8. Stewart Motha, The Indian Ocean as Archive of the Present
9. Sara Ramshaw and Paul Stapleton, Un-Remembering: Mistake and Apology in Ephemeral Performance
10. Jill Stauffer, What hearings fail to hear: Testimony and law’s counter-archive
11. Mayur Suresh, Recycled Legality: Documents, Files and the Many Lives of the Paper State
12. Karin van Marle, Memory and Metaphor
13. Honni van Rijswijk, The Figure of the Child and the Politics of Legal Responsibility
14. Jacques de Ville, Weisheit der Zelle: Rethinking the concept of the political