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    Carrier Bag Law

    Keenan, Bernard (2021) Carrier Bag Law. In: Goodrich, P. and Zartlaoudis, T. (eds.) The Cabinet of Imaginary Laws. Discourses of Law. Routledge. ISBN 9780367566586.

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    Cornelia Vismann’s media-technical account of law’s grammatical form exposes and unsettles the relationship between subjects and the world as presupposed by legal systems: agency is assigned to subjects who act in the world to change the world, and the law places limits upon their actions. When law is re-imagined, this underlying grammatical form is usually reinscribed: the subject still projects objects into the world, like throwing a spear. How might this imaginary be imagined otherwise? Describing her approach to speculative fiction, Ursula le Guin invoked the figure of the carrier bag as a counterpoint to the figure of the hero’s spear. The carrier bag theory of fiction is anthropological: whereas the hero is the totemic reference for cultures that assume the world is first of all something to conquer, control, and convert, the carrier bag theory assumes that culture depends on cultivating a liveable life together. This essay gently places Le Guin and Vismann in the bag, in the hope that the reader’s imagination might respond.


    Item Type: Book Section
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Law School
    Research Centres and Institutes: Law and the Humanities, Centre for
    Depositing User: Bernard Keenan
    Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2022 13:26
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:17


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