Professor Carl Stychin, director of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, introduces a selection of articles that describe how the humanities provide a vital sensibility for cutting edge legal scholarship today.
The contributors to this issue of Talking Humanities can be located at the intersection of the discipline of law and the humanities. In his contribution (The humanities and law: more intertwined than you might think), Professor David Sugarman skilfully locates the role of law historically, exploring the often uneasy and complex relationship to the broader disciplines of the humanities. He points also to the growth and development of influences from the humanities within legal scholarship.
The three responses to Professor Sugarman vividly demonstrate the diversity within interdisciplinary legal analysis today: Dr Mara Malagodi (How legal briefs find new life in celluloid) focuses on the relationship between law and film, and its role in enabling our understanding of ‘justice’; Professor Jill Marshall (The power of listening: how survivors’ voices can transform human rights) explores the importance of narrative and storytelling in fostering a victim-centred approach to International Human Rights Law and International Criminal Law; Professor Michael Thomson (From ‘heartbeats’ to bounty hunters – the legal complexities of abortion) situates the current American challenge to the constitutional right to abortion through a historical analysis of the relationship between law and medicine, while connecting this to the histories of slavery which continue to leave their imprint.
Taken together, these interventions provide an important sample of how the humanities provide a vital sensibility for cutting edge legal scholarship today.
Professor Carl F Stychin is director of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study. He research focuses on law, gender and sexuality, and he has published three monographs, co-edited three collections and published numerous articles in the field. In 2014, he was made a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in recognition of his contribution to the socio-legal study of gender and sexuality.