Foot notes. Reflections on method and form

Laura Petersen

This piece offers some personal reflections on method and the communication of research undertaken in the area of law and humanities. It explores the idea of‘foot notes’ in two ways. 1 pay attention to the form of legal writing to notice how the footnote functions as a representation of authority in legal scholarship. However, I also use the term as a way to think about a grounded method for undertaking legal research outside of texts — literally as ‘foot notes’. As part of this, I describe the process of making a short video as part of my PhD project. This was intended as a way of recording — for myself — an experience of walking through a street in Berlin. However, it proved also to be a tool in trying to communicate my work to an audience. In this way, 1 use the idea of a foot note — in both meanings — to explore the potentials and difficulties of trying to express the connection between form and content in scholarly work.

Part one: in the margins

Form in legal scholarship

The verb ‘to craft’ is often used as a synonym for the practice of writing. All types of writing are the result of wordsmithing: crafting texts into forms, which themselves carry within them particular textual practices. This first section explores one textual practice used in legal scholarship: the footnote.

Thinking about form is not a new approach — as Adam Gearey begins his book on Lrin' and Aesthetics, ‘[f]orm bestows identity and coherence on the phenomenon of study. The idea of form is the prerequisite to the study of any discipline’.' But often the formal, structural dimensions of the text do not receive the attention they deserve. 1 am interested, in particular, in legal marginalia: in genres of commentary, such as the gloss, but also the textual practices of scholarship, including paratexts, headings and footnotes. What fascinates me is the tension between the vessel for knowledge, the form, as a way of necessarily setting limits and constraints but also having a ‘performative’ or ‘productive’ nature.4 For instance, in his seminal work on genre theory, John Frow draws our attention to that double quality which is provoked when one begins to examine the shape of a work: the shape is something that ‘both enables and restricts meaning and is a basic condition for meaning to take place’.’

Paying attention to form is not a neutral undertaking. In fact, it is a way to notice what may otherwise be taken for granted. Desmond Manderson, a scholar known for his attempts to explicitly perform and subvert formal constraints, writes:

Formal design or structure — whether of a poem or a statute — is not just the medium through which ideas are expressed but is itself an aspect of meaning. Form and style are not, then, just the receptacles into which abstract propositions of law are bundled but part of what the law says to us. Indeed, exactly because the form of something is often not on the conscious horizon of its authors, it provides us with a revealing glimpse into that which is accepted uncritically within a legal community’’

  • 3 Adam Gearey, Law and Aesthetics (Oxford: Hart, 2001), 4.
  • 4 John Frow. Genre, 2nd ed. (New York: Routledge, 2015), 10.
  • 5 Ibid.
  • 6 Desmond Manderson, Songs Without Music: Aesthetic Dimensions of Law and Justice (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), 33.

Paying attention to form is therefore a way to get texts to open up their different layers of meaning and ideological impulses. It follows Douzinas et al.’s approach to critique:

The critical scholar attends to the marginal, the peripheral or the surface precisely so as to recapture the politics which has escaped the text, or has been hidden beneath its ritual paraphernalia.

The footnote, therefore, is a minor but intriguing part of the ‘ritual paraphernalia’ of legal scholarship.8

The footnote

So if the philology of legal scholarship matters, where do footnotes come from? The historiographer Anthony Grafton tracks the footnote back to the Enlightenment era of the creation of social sciences and the beginnings of a particular methodology of history writing, beginning with Leopold von Ranke in the early 1800s.9 However, texts that could be defined as legal or jurisprudential in nature have footnotes which appear earlier than this, right from the beginning of printing.10 The print revolution also meant that the cross-referencing of books could begin with ease.11 Their placement at the bottom of the page led to a shift in understanding about the purpose of these types of annotations — they were now ‘subordinate’ to the main text.12 In any

  • 7 Peter Goodrich, Costas Douzinas and Yifat Hachamovitch, “Introduction. Politics, Ethics and the Legality of the Contingent,” in Politics, Postmodernity and Critical Legal Studies. The Legality of the Contingent, eds. Costas Douzinas, Peter Goodrich and Yifat Hachamovitch (London: Routledge, 1994), 16.
  • 8 Drawing attention to these forms of marginalia within a legal tradition also fits with other scholarship in different domains. In literary studies, for instance, Tribble argues that ‘[annotations - glosses in the margins and their eighteenth-century successors, footnotes - are consistently undervalued in studies of the history of authorship and publishing. Yet, if rendered visible, the page has much to tell us.’ Evelyn B. Tribble, “Like a Looking-Glass in the Frame’: From the Marginal Note to the Footnote,” in The Margins of the Text, ed. David C. Greetham (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1997), 229.
  • 9 Anthony Grafton, The Footnote: A Curious History (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University’ Press, 1997), 34ff.
  • 10 See, for example, Patrick Parkinson, Tradition and Change in Australian Law (North Ryde: Law Book Company, 1994), 34.
  • 11 Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change Vol. / (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979), 135.
  • 12 Lawrence Lipking, “The Marginal Gloss,” Critical Inquiry 3, no. 4 (July 1, 1977): 609-55, https://doi. org/10.1086/447910. See for example: ‘As with all aspects of the annotational phenomenon, these early forms were involved with the economics and technology’ of printing. It was a printing trend, not an authorial trend, that began in the eighteenth century to move annotational reference from the margins to the bottom of the page.’Thomas McFarland, “Who Was Benjamin Whichcote? Or, The Myth of Annotation,” in Annotation and Its Texts, ed. Stephen A. Barney (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 165. However perhaps the positioning of annotations will change once legal scholarship moves primarily onto the screen. In 2015, the Harvard Law Review website was updated with a new design: “Harvard Law Review,” Harvard University; accessed November 29, 2019, Fittingly, given the ancient legal tradition of annotations, the main text of article has been designed to appear in the middle of the screen, just like a folio of a medieval manuscript. The footnotes are signalled with subscript but appear alongside the relevant sentence, in the ‘margins’ of both sides of the webpage and not at the bottom of the page. See the design approach by the web designers: “No Photos in over 127 Years? No Problem,” Upstatement, accessed November 29, 2019, In this way, the internet has enabled legal annotation to go back in time before the printing revolution and return to a medieval visual layout which elevates the annotations back up to the same level as the main text.

case, today’s contemporary legal scholarship and judicial opinion writing are characterised by their copious use of footnotes.[1]

Regardless of their positioning on the page, footnotes result in an interruption of the reading experience of a text. As the oft-quoted (and mis-attributed) line by John Barrymore bemoans, ‘having to look at a footnote was like having to go down to the front door just as you were making love.’ Through the convention of a numbered subscript, the reader’s gaze is halted and drawn to a reference containing extra-textual material that is at the same time within the page of the work. This material could be personal to the author — an aside, a digression — but usually the footnote contains evidence (or contra-evidence) for the assertions made in the body of the text. These marks designating and linking to texts published beforehand are embedded within the strata of scholarly work; they conform to the geological ‘principle of inclusions’, where fragments in a rock are older than the rock itself.’ Legal scholarship is therefore always textually open, gesturing to extra-textual presences and absences in the margins. Footnotes, however, do not only result in a stratification of texts and a shifting of time as part of the reading experience. They also mark the text as being itself part of a particular context, and holding within it certain professional and institutional inheritances.' Footnotes in legal scholarship function to rhetorically and practically demonstrate that the writer belongs to a community of scholars and that their work conforms to an important ethos of attribution. Footnotes are the key textual practice which turns a writer into a scholar and the resulting text into an authoritative scholarly argument; they are necessarily ‘bound up, in modern life, with the ideology and the technical practices of a profession’. Footnotes, however marginal, are about representations of authority and institutional power.

Furthermore, it must be remarked that in common law judicial opinions, footnotes are the textual practice which gives a court its authority. They are the transmitter and rhetorical signi-fier of legal precedent — the medium through which a judicial decision represents itself as sound law. As Goodrich et al. remind us:

The half-said or more properly enigmatic quality of the citation, of the influence, borrowing or reception thus itself becomes a question of ethics and interpretation, a matter of the politics of institutional transmission, a question of justice.

Part two: beyond text

This next section takes a different approach and writing style. Here I am interested in what happens when one attempts to do legal scholarship in a genre which goes beyond the ‘page’. How do these same questions of authority and inheritance function in different genres? Or, more precisely, how do 1 present law and humanities research, which relies on a grounded, affective method, in a scholarly text, without losing the essence of what I am trying to express? What happens when I am using a different form of evidence, of footnotes, but just ones that are outside of a page — notes made on foot, notes made while moving, notes of moving?[2]

Schöneberg, Berlin

These questions come out of my research centred on an area of Berlin called the Bavarian Quarter in the suburb of Schöneberg. As part of my PhD on the legal and aesthetic practices of restitution, I became interested in public art monuments and memorials in Berlin. As such, 1 did field research walking the streets and neighbourhoods of Schöneberg over a series of days. In the resulting chapter in my PhD, I invoke the performative and ritualised nature of walking through these streets as a way to argue that walking could be a way of enacting everyday moments of law and of restitution.

I was interested in two memorials in Schöneberg which I will only describe briefly here. Both are deeply embedded within the streetscape. First, Places of Remembrance consists of 80 aluminium signs mounted on the side of lampposts which re-print excerpts from regulations from the Nazi regime. They are mounted in everyday locations. These locations are not necessarily ‘historical’ but are sites which are relevant for the present in a way that is connected with the law remembered on the sign. These sites range from the post office, shops in the shopping strip, apartment buildings in residential streets, as well as in front of institutions such as the courthouse, a church and a school. Present day buildings therefore become overlaid and imbued with spectres of the past, activated by a walker passing by. I follow the way that walking and moving in the streets of Schöneberg becomes a spatial and temporal ‘contact point’ for restitutive legal stories after the Nazi period: constructing sites which encourage past, present and future legal relations to become visible to the walker.

Second, 1 focus on the Stolpersteine (‘Stumbling Stone’) memorials by Gunter Demnig. In German stolpern means to stumble or to trip, so the name refers to an interrupted gait, an impeded movement. It also has a second meaning corresponding to the second meaning of stumble in English: to stumble across something, to come across something, often by chance. Stolpersteine are small brass plaques, directly inlaid into the footpath. They have a simple, consistent inscription hammered by hand stating details such as: Name, Year of birth, Date of Deportation and Place if known, and details about the fate of the person, which is usually ‘murdered’ or ‘missing’. They are made to be the same size as the cobblestones in the footpath and are inlaid in front of their entrance door or the closest place to their last known residence.

When it came to ‘write up’ the results of these ‘foot notes’ after coining home to Melbourne, however, 1 was struck by the inadequacy of my descriptions. How to capture these moments in text - how to make a textual mark — when I was contending that the whole point of these memorials and their legal posturing was that these were ephemeral personal experiences. In other words, if the method of undertaking my work is based on a sense of grounded affective methodology — trying to explore the way law can also be a form of bodily movement — what happens when this has to be represented through writing, especially using a mechanised font and standardised A4 page?[3]

Be Berlin

1 decided to deliberately write these concerns into the chapter, making sure there was a meta-level of commentary, in the footnotes at the bottom of the page, which attempted to draw attention to the performative shaping of the text. In addition, I structured the chapter as a walking tour, trying through this deliberate textual manoeuvre to draw attention to the artifice of the text itself. Academic writing is imbued with metaphors to do with movement — first step, second step; an excursion; a detour; a logical jump — and these have implications on the structure and expected ‘progression’ of an argument.’ I struggled to deploy these metaphors in my writing so that they were operating in a double-way and enabled me to speak about slipping between time, place, text and experience. I wanted to reflect the sense of Berlin and a city which is changing; the city slogan was at that time ‘Be Berlin’. 1 like this slogan because it captures the sense of becoming, openness and ‘freedom’ which is now possible. But it also captures the way individuals can craft a city (and also a memorial) through their moment of visiting: you — resident, visitor, migrant — can be Berlin, and whatever ‘Berlin’ is, it is constantly in flux. 1 wanted to try to make the reading experience, usually in English from left to right/up to down, also to be a form of wandering through a textual landscape.

In addition, 1 felt that to view a text as a monolith is to also ignore the agency of the reader and to underestimate the dynamic which evolves between a reader, a text and their time and place of reading it; it ignores the deep resonance which can develop between texts and readers. Keaders bring a text alive, completing it with their own memories, experiences and predilections that evolve through taking on the responsibility of reading. In this way, Peter Fitzpatrick, bringing the insights of reception studies across to legal theory, writes: ‘the work now in the

world cannot exist apart from the relation to its readers.’2 I had to try to remember that my text was an address and an invitation; it was not a one-way-street.

Moving images

In order to document some of the memorials, I had taken some short video footage walking through the neighbourhood streets of Schöneberg. I hoped that the video footage would be a reminder for me of how it was to ‘be there’, a souvenir — a reliable form of‘memory’ — which was to be forever captured by my pocket camera and taken to Australia.

The footage follows my pair of sandals as they walk on the footpath on a sunny day on a quiet neighbourhood street, then looks up at a sign of an adult holding the hand of a child. The camera’s gaze then follows the curve of a lamppost and takes in one of the Places of Remembrance signs, pivoting around in the streaming sun to offer a view of both sides of the sign, zooming in clunkily to see the text. Then the camera’s gaze zooms out and returns back down to the footpath, back to the sandals, as I walk a few metres down the street. Pausing again, facing downwards, the camera zooms in so that two of the Stolpersteine embedded at the edge of the footpath slowly fill the frame.

The video was made quickly and intuitively, the sequence was not planned. I did not intend to deliberately draw on the traditions and motifs of the language of cinema. Nevertheless, the footage does contain certain key elements which fittingly reflect (through both images and techniques) some of the processes which I am trying to get across. For example, the beginning with my own feet in the frame is a form of glorified ‘shoe selfie’. However, it means the footage immediately begins with feet, shoes, the ground and walking. It means the camera follows my standpoint, my perspective, and nothing outside of this. There are no establishing shots. In a way, this fits my approach to this material — 1 am not a neutral observer, I am always in the frame and now I am visually there, embedded in the presentation of my work. Also, on reflection, there is a certain amount of charm to the clunky zoom. It is a technique which reminds the viewer that this is not an edited or an official representation but rather a serendipitous one. It brings one back to the personal and somewhat haphazard experience which you may have if you encounter these memorials in the street.

Address and audience

The footage was meant to be just for my private use. But then 1 decided to integrate the film into a PowerPoint presentation about my research at Melbourne Law School. 1 added some music to the footage but did not edit it in any other way. The music was from the German band Fink, the song: Talking Daruin Blues (2003). 1 didn’t translate or explain the lyrics but left them foreign, in German, so this foreignness would be part of the process of viewing. I wanted to try, as much as possible, for a viewer to feel immersed for a few minutes in the experience of being in Germany, even though they were sitting in Australia.

I also didn’t translate for my audience the text of the Places of Remembrance sign which is shown in the video. This was a deliberate move. The German language of the memorial means it has a specific address. Compared to other memorials in Berlin which are frequented often by


Peter Fitzpatrick, “Reading Slowly. The Law of Literature and the Literature of Law,” in Reading Modem Law: Critical Methodologies and Sovereign Formations, eds. Ruth Buchanan. Stewart J. Motha and Sundhya Pahuja (New York: Routledge, 2012), 197.

tourists, Places of Remembrance is a de-centralised memorial designed for a specific neighbourhood. It is a memorial written in German and addressed to Germans, specifically to Germans living in the present, in those streets in Schöneberg.[4]

The reaction to the video footage was fascinating. Many members of the audience were from a law school but not necessarily used to some of the methods and techniques of undertaking law and humanities scholarship. The video was the main topic of conversation afterwards. The moving images, the music and, I suppose, the novelty of showing a form of ‘home-movie’ in a law seminar - there was something about the process of viewing that seemed to interrupt the standard presentation format. It was also a short, simulated moment of ‘being there’ which (I would like to think) enabled the audience to experience a different form of understanding of my research. 1 don’t think they would have had the same reaction if I hadn’t shown the footage; I don’t think I could have conveyed the same message through words alone.

Genre and medium

This reaction demonstrated to me two things about form and, in particular, designations of genre and medium. Presenting material which self-consciously names itself as being in a particular genre means to take a specific standpoint, to make an argument through form. For example, Frow emphasises the way ‘all genres possess historically specific and variable expressive capacities: they offer frameworks for constructing meaning and value in one or another medium’. As I have explained, part of the aim of my chapter in my PhD was to explore what happens when we move in those streets in Schöneberg and how we could view this walking as legal movement and restitutive posturing. This could be seen as a question of genre in law and humanities — or, more specifically, a question of what is at stake when we name the content of something as also forming part of a genre of‘law’.

What is your law question?

In addition, the effect of changing the format of my message away from a spoken and textual mode of presentation, to being transmitted through a film — through visuals and music — had a startling effect. But how to replicate that inside of the genre of a law PhD thesis? My question became whether I can remain tethered to and work within the constraints of a written text, acknowledging and attributing sources but not necessarily following the rigid style of traditional legal scholarship.3"

Scholarly precedents

Writing in a way which draws attention to form is to take seriously your positioning as a scholar. For example, coming out of traditions of feminist theory, where questioning methodologies has always been part of the feminist project,[5] Ann Genovese expresses her aim of accepting ‘the duties of my own personae, to understand precisely what the art of writing the self — its form and content — express as an historical practice’. For instance, Genovese reclaims the use of the first person, explaining the way it is formed through a persona in the text:

when in pursuit of the question “how should 1 live” and how that might be written, the “1” is not directed to an authoring of self, or disclosing an authentic self, through writing. Writing in this tradition is neither romantic nor confessional. Instead the “I” attaches to the persona — be it philosopher, historian, jurisprudent or as we shall see, feminist.

The vanguard of self-reflexive writing in legal scholarship was Patricia Williams. Williams creatively stages the encounter of self, institution and society in her texts, using different genres and styles to portray the everyday effects and affects of law, race and personhood. Indeed, the first line in Williams’ book The Alchemy of Race and Rights (now almost 30 years old) encapsulates her approach:

Since subject position is everything in my analysis of the law, you deserve to know it is a bad morning.

In the next paragraph comes the line:

So you should know that this is one of those mornings when I refuse to compose myself properly.'''

This phrase encapsulates how she intends to write about law in a performatively uncomposed, radical way. But it also reflects her refusal (and the difficulties) to keep a homogenous persona (‘myself’) together in a text and a world where she crosses through the identities of black female, sister, daughter, commercial lawyer and professor. Deploying a style of writing where ‘little bits of law and pieces of everyday life fly out in weird combinations’,

Williams describes her methodology as ‘a way that bridges the traditional gap between theory and praxis’.5. What is striking about Williams’work is the way her texts reflect different ways of doing legal scholarship — not only through their content, but also through their form.


  • 1 have offered some thoughts on form, medium and questions of standpoint in this piece.
  • 1 began by emphasising how we should pay attention to the ‘ritual paraphernalia’ of legal scholarship and how footnotes are a textual practice concerned with authority and institutional power. But 1 wanted also to draw attention to the way in which including them in scholarly writing always places a text into relation with other texts. Noticing the practice of writing with footnotes means thinking about what it means to practice a scholarly ethos and join a community of scholars. 1 also demonstrated how doing research in law and the humanities is oftentimes outside of the boundaries of typed words on a page. It can be about trying to do scholarship in a way which is embodied and experienced and takes its authority from a momentary experience on the ground — a foot note. Taking that idea further, I explored what happens when mediums change and words become moving images.

Throughout 1 am trying to pay attention to the power of the ‘interruption’. Footnotes are a mechanism which may disrupt an assertive monologue of legal scholarship; they are the small key to an archive, a link between the past and the present moment of reading. The film footage in my presentation was also a break in medium; luckily it was received as a welcome intrusion. And to join it all together, 1 note the way Lauren Berlant (another scholar highly attuned to the dynamics of form) describes the writing practice of Patricia Williams as performing and instituting an ‘ethics of interruption’.[6] Perhaps, to conclude, these are all moments of what Adam Gearey describes as the aim of legal aesthetics — ‘an interruption of the dialogue that the institution holds with itself’.

What is your law question? I hear this refrain now as a necessary provocation; I hear it as a shorthand method to try to teach a way of thinking about legal scholarship that finds value in trying to continually understand what the questions may be. While the content is important, it was the iteration of this phrase which meant I also started to think about the way legal questions come to be shaped and passed on. What is your law question? I now hear it as an invitation, ultimately, to pay attention to the inheritances and the potential held within different practices of doing legal scholarship. There was no way to write down a simple answer.


  • [1] The spoof or satirical article about the use of footnotes in law seems to be a common way for legal academics to let off steam. Surveying the situation in American law reviews, Joan Magat notes that ‘[cjriticism of the footnote is just about as old as the footnote itself’. Joan Ames Magat, “Bottomheavy: Legal Footnotes,"Journal of Legal Education 60, no. 1 (2010): 69. The obsession with footnotes extends to the German legal system, see: Herbert Grziwotz, “Glosse: Der FuBnotenwahn,” Legal Tribune Online, February 21, 2011, feuilleton/f/glosse-der-fussnotenwahn/. 2 On the somewhat ironic problems of verification and misattribution of this quotation to Noel Coward and even Austin himself, see Arthur Austin, “Footnote Skulduggery and Other Bad Habits,” University of Miami Law Review 44 (1990): 1012, footnote 20. 3 Steven Earle, Physical Geology (Victoria: BCcampus, 2015),'/. 4 They can also serve as subtle clues to scholarly allegiances; the omission of authors can be more telling than the inclusion. ‘To the inexpert, footnotes look like deep root systems, solid and fixed; to the connoisseur, however, they reveal themselves as anthills, swarming with constructive and combative activity* Grafton, The Footnote: A Curious History, 9. 5 ‘In documenting the thought and research that underpin the narrative above them, footnotes prove that it is a historically contingent product, dependent on the forms of research, opportunities, and states of particular questions that existed when the historian went to work.’ Ibid., 23. 6 Ibid., 5. 7 Peter Goodrich, et al., “Introduction: A Philosophy of Legal Enigmas,” in Derrida and Legal Philosophy, eds. Peter Goodrich, Florian Hoffman, Michel Rosenfeld and Cornelia Vismann (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), 10.
  • [2] On the role of walking as legal method, see the chapter in this Handbook by Olivia Barr, “Wayfaring Methods.” See also generally Olivia Barr, A Jurisprudence of Movement: Common Law, Walking, Unsettling Place (New York: Routledge, 2016). 2 The full title of the memorial (translated): “Places of Remembrance in the Bavarian Quarter: Exclusion and Deprivation of Rights, Expulsion, Deportation, and Murder of Berlin Jews from 1933 to 1945.” The memorial was created by Renata Stih and Frieder Schnock in 1993. 3 See Gunter Demnig, “Stolpersteine,” accessed November 29, 2019,
  • [3] I don’t pretend that this is a new dilemma or that the way I am presenting it here recognises the depth and complexity of such a question; this is a concern which stretches all the way back to the ontological and epistemological aspects of representation and scholarship. 2 There are a lot of similarities between going on a walking tour and reading an academic text. An academic text mirrors the role of a guide through the streets of a city - the author chooses the terrain, designs a route, speaks the narrative, and proscribes where the text pauses and the direction in which the reader is invited to look. 3 On the force of metaphor generally, see George Lakotf and Mark Johnson, Metaphors IVc Live By, 6th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011). See also Alison Young writing about the walking tour: ‘Whatever the format, walking tours trade upon the notion that walking-and-looking is an unmediated phenomenon.’ Alison Young, Street Art, Public City: Law, Crime and the Urban Imagination (New York: Routledge, 2014), 160. 4 See for example: ‘Their story begins on ground level, with footsteps. They are myriad, but do not compose a series. They cannot be counted because each unit has a qualitative character: a style of tactile apprehension and kinaesthetic appropriation. Their swarming mass is an innumerable collection of singularities. Their intertwined paths give their shape to spaces. They weave places together.' Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, vol. 1, trans. Steven Rendall (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), 97.
  • [4] Underneath every memorial sign there is another miniature sign that indicates it is part of a memorial project. This was due to concern and complaints from residents after their installation that the signs were part of Neo-Nazi propaganda. See for example, James Young: ‘Thus reassured that the public had taken notice, the artists pointed out that these same laws had been posted and announced no less publicly at the time - but had provoked no such response by Germans then. At least part of the artists point was that the laws then were no less public than the memory of them was now.’James E. Young, At Memory's Edge: After-Images of the Holocaust in Contemporary Art and Architecture (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000), 115. 2 Frow, Genre, 79 (emphasis in original). 3 As Patricia Williams states: ‘Legal writing presumes a methodology that is highly stylized, precedential, and based on deductive reasoning. Most scholarship in law is rather like the ‘old math’: static, stable, formal — rationalism walled in against chaos.’ Patricia Williams, The Alchemy of Race and Rights (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991), 7.
  • [5] For example, feminist scholar Wendy Harcourt is concerned to try to find ‘new methods that can “perform” and capture the fluidity of changing understandings of identities, bodies, emotions, networks, power relations, and knowledge. This is particularly important for the in-between places, cyberspaces, people, places, and events that refuse to be categorized.’ Wendy Harcourt, et al., “Assessing, Engaging, and Enacting Worlds: Tensions in Feminist Method/Ologies,” International Feminist Journal of Politics 17, no. 1 (January 2015): 160, /10.1080/14616742.2014.988451. 2 Ann Genovese, "Inheriting and Inhabiting the Pleasures and Duties of Our Own Existence: The Second Sex and Feminist Jurisprudence,” Australian Feminist Lain Journal 38, no. 1 (June 2013): 49-50, 13200968.2013.10854482. 3 Ann Genovese, “On Australian Feminist Tradition: Three Notes on Conduct, Inheritance and the Relations of Historiography and Jurisprudence,"Journal of Australian Studies 38, no. 4 (October 2014): 432,! 0.1080/14443058.2014.954137. 4 Williams, The Alchemy of Race and Rights, 3. 5 Ibid., 4. 6 Ibid., 14.
  • [6] Ibid., 6. Lauren Berlant describes how she ‘mixes up the theoretical voice with the observational as they are already in contact.’ Lauren Berlant, “She’s Having an Episode: Patricia Williams and the Writing of Damaged Life,” Columbia Journal of Gender and Law 27, no. 1 (2013): 35. 2 Berlant, “She’s Having an Episode: Patricia Williams and the Writing of Damaged Life,” 35. Parallel to this is the writing of Bonnie Honig, in Antigone, Interrupted, which is a text that stages a new approach to ‘interruption’. Bonnie Honig, Antigone, Interrupted (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013). 3 Gearey, Law and Aesthetics, 99.
< Prev   CONTENTS   Source   Next >