Friday, May 24, 2013

Narrative, court decisions, and critical theory

Edwards LLegal writing professor Linda Edwards of UNLV has written an article exploring the relationship between critical theory and law. As her abstract explains, the piece “uses narrative theory and cognitive science to help traditionalists begin to understand critical theory—specifically, why critical theory insists on telling stories and why those narrative critiques are legitimately a part of law.” Edwards presents the story of Yaser Esam Hamdi, an American citizen who was detained for years at Guantanamo Bay, as an instance where narrative can inform a legal decision. She frames the Supreme Court's real choice in that case as one “between the story of the nation’s founding and the story of redemptive violence,” which she explains as the notion that revenge will heal.


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