Sunday, January 22, 2017

Women Perpetrators of Rape in War

NYU Press has published Laura Sjoberg’s Women as Wartime Rapists: Beyond Sensation and Stereotyping. From the description:
Very few women are wartime rapists. Very few women issue commands to commit sexual violence. Very few women play a role in making war plans that feature the intentional sexual violation of other women. This book is about those very few women. Women as Wartime Rapists reveals the stories of female perpetrators of sexual violence and their place in wartime conflict, legal policy, and the punishment of sexual violence. More broadly, Laura Sjoberg asks, what do the actions and perceptions of female perpetrators of sexual violence reveal about our broader conceptions of war, violence, sexual assault, and gender?

This book explores specific historical case studies, such as Nazi Germany, Serbia, the contemporary case of ISIS, and others, to understand how and why women participate in rape during war and conflict. Sjoberg examines the contrast between the visibility of female victims and the invisibility of female perpetrators, as well as the distinction between rape and genocidal rape, which is used as a weapon against a particular ethnic or national group. Further, she explores women’s engagement with genocidal rape and how some orchestrated the ethnic cleansing of entire regions. A provocative approach to a sensationalized topic, Women as Wartime Rapists offers important insights into not only the topic of female perpetrators of wartime sexual violence, but to larger notions of gender and violence with crucial cultural, legal, and political implications.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Crusade Propaganda and Chivalric Literature, 1100-1400

Forthcoming from the University of Pennsylvania Press is Stefan Vander Elst’s The Knight, the Cross, and the Song: Crusade Propaganda and Chivalric Literature, 1100-1400. From the description:
The Knight, the Cross, and the Song offers a new perspective on the driving forces of crusading in the period 1100-1400. Although religious devotion has long been identified as the primary motivation of those who took the cross, Stefan Vander Elst argues that it was by no means the only focus of the texts written to convince the warriors of Western Christianity to participate in the holy war. Vander Elst examines how, across three centuries, historiographical works that served as exhortations for the Crusade sought specifically to appeal to aristocratic interests beyond piety. They did so by appropriating the formal and thematic characteristics of literary genres favored by the knightly class, the chansons de geste and chivalric romance. By using the structure, commonplaces, and traditions of chivalric literature, propagandists associated the Crusade with the decidedly secular matters to which arms-bearers were drawn. This allowed them to introduce the mutual obligation between lord and vassal, family honor, the thirst for adventure, and even the desire for women as parallel and complementary motivations for Crusade, making chivalric and literary concerns an indelible part of the ideology and practice of holy war.

Examining English, Latin, French, and German texts, ranging from the twelfth-century Gesta Francorum and Chanson d’Antioche to the fourteenth-century KrĂ´nike von PrĂ»zinlant and La Prise d’Alixandre, The Knight, the Cross, and the Song traces the historical development and geographical spread of this innovative use of secular chivalric fiction both to shape the memory and interpretation of past events and to ensure the continuation of the holy war.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Hong Kong Surveillance Film and Hitchcock’s Rear Window Ethics

Forthcoming from Stanford University Press is Karen Fang’s Arresting Cinema: Surveillance in Hong Kong Film. From the description:
When Ridley Scott envisioned Blade Runner’s set as “Hong Kong on a bad day,” he nodded to the city’s overcrowding as well as its widespread use of surveillance. But while Scott brought Hong Kong and surveillance into the global film repertoire, the city’s own cinema has remained outside of the global surveillance discussion.

In Arresting Cinema, Karen Fang delivers a unifying account of Hong Kong cinema that draws upon its renowned crime films and other unique genres to demonstrate Hong Kong’s view of surveillance. She argues that Hong Kong’s films display a tolerance of – and even opportunism towards – the soft cage of constant observation, unlike the fearful view prevalent in the West. However, many surveillance cinema studies focus solely on European and Hollywood films, discounting other artistic traditions and industrial circumstances. Hong Kong’s films show a more crowded, increasingly economically stratified, and postnational world that nevertheless offers an aura of hopeful futurity. Only by exploring Hong Kong surveillance film can we begin to shape a truly global understanding of Hitchcock’s “rear window ethics.”

Friday, October 21, 2016

Law and Emergency as Mutually Reinforcing Paradigms

Forthcoming from SUNY Press is Yoav Mehozay’s Between the Rule of Law and States of Emergency: The Fluid Jurisprudence of the Israeli Regime. From the description:
Contemporary debates on states of emergency have focused on whether law can regulate emergency powers, if at all. These studies base their analyses on the premise that law and emergency are at odds with each other. In Between the Rule of Law and States of Emergency, Yoav Mehozay offers a fundamentally different approach, demonstrating that law and emergency are mutually reinforcing paradigms that compensate for each other’s shortcomings. Through a careful dissection of Israel’s emergency apparatus, Mehozay illustrates that the reach of Israel’s emergency regime goes beyond defending the state and its people against acts of terror. In fact, that apparatus has had a far greater impact on Israel’s governing system, and society as a whole, than has traditionally been understood. Mehozay pushes us to think about emergency powers beyond the “war on terror” and consider the role of emergency with regard to realms such as political economy.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Critical Moments in the History of Juridical Space

Routledge has published Leif Dahlberg’s Spacing Law and Politics: The Constitution and Representation of the Juridical. From the description:
Examining the inherent spatiality of law, both theoretically and as social practice, this book presents a genealogical account of the emergence and the development of the juridical. In an analysis that stretches from ancient Greece, through late antiquity and early modern and modern Europe, and on to the contemporary courtroom, it considers legal and philosophical texts, artistic and literary works, as well as judicial practices, in order to elicit and document a series of critical moments in the history of juridical space. Offering a more nuanced understanding of law than that found in traditional philosophical, political or social accounts of legal history, Dahlberg forges a critical account of the intimate relations between law and politics that shows how juridical space is determined and conditioned in ways that are integral to the very functioning – and malfunctioning – of law.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Literary Depictions of Anticolonial Insurgency in the Caucasus

Yale University Press has published Rebecca Gould’s Writers and Rebels: The Literature of Insurgency in the Caucasus. From the description:
Spanning the period between the end of the Russo-Caucasian War and the death of the first female Chechen suicide bomber, this groundbreaking book is the first to compare Georgian, Chechen, and Daghestani depictions of anticolonial insurgency. Rebecca Gould draws from previously untapped archival sources as well as from prose, poetry, and oral narratives to assess the impact of Tsarist and Soviet rule in the Islamic Caucasus. Examining literary representations of social banditry to tell the story of Russian colonialism from the vantage point of its subjects, among numerous other themes, Gould argues that the literatures of anticolonial insurgency constitute a veritable resistance – or “transgressive sanctity” – to colonialism.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Germ Panics, Law, and Public Health

Michael Sinha and Wendy Parmet have posted “The Perils of Panic: Ebola, HIV, and the Intersection of Global Health and Law,” American Journal of Law and Medicine, Vol. 42, pp. 223-255 (2016), on SSRN. The abstract:
This Article explores the connections between emerging infectious diseases, domestic disease panics, global health, and the law by comparing the American response to Ebola to the initial American response to the AIDS epidemic. We demonstrate that in both cases the arrival of a new deadly disease was initially met with fear, stigma and the use of law to “other” those associated with the disease. We begin by reviewing the initial responses to the AIDS epidemic. We then offer a brief history of emerging infectious disease scares over the past few decades, highlighting the problematic rhetoric that paved the way for the Ebola panic. We then review the 2014 Ebola outbreak, noting its similarities and distinctions from the early AIDS epidemic. Finally, we examine United States policies regarding HIV and Ebola in Africa. We conclude with some tentative observations about the relationship between germ panics, law, and public health.