Book cover for Laws Infamy Edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha M. Umphrey
Law's Infamy: Understanding the Canon of Bad Law

“From the murder of George Floyd to the systematic dismantling of voting rights, our laws and their implementation are actively shaping the course of our nation. But however abhorrent a legal decision might be―whether Dred Scott v. Sanford or Plessy v. Ferguson―the stories we tell of the law’s failures refer to their injustice and rarely label them in the language of infamy. Yet in many instances, infamy is part of the story law tells about citizens’ conduct. Such stories of individual infamy work on both the social and legal level to stigmatize and ostracize people, to mark them as unredeemably other.”

“Law’s Infamy seeks to alter that course by making legal actions and decisions the subject of an inquiry about infamy. Taken together, the essays demonstrate how legal institutions themselves engage in infamous actions and urge that scholars and activists to label them as such. They highlight the damage done when law itself acts infamously and focus of infamous decisions that are worthy of repudiation. The authors ask when and why the word infamy should be used to characterize legal decisions or actions. This is a much-needed addition to the broader conversation and questions surrounding law’s complicity in evil.”

NYU Press: title to be released in December of  2021


Book cover for Law And The Visible Edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha M. Umphrey
Law and the Visible

Law and the Visible interrogates the broad set of ethical, jurisprudential, and epistemological questions tied to the increasingly universal presence of digital evidence. This is cutting-edge and very smart work by a highly qualified and careful group of scholars.”―John Gilliom, author of Overseers of the Poor: Surveillance, Resistance, and the Limits of Privacy

University of Massachusetts Press 2021


Books cover for Death Penalty On The Ballot Austin Sarat with John Malague and Sarah Wishloff
The Death Penalty on the Ballot: American Democracy and the Fate of Capital Punishment

“Sarat and his collaborators bring deep expertise on the American death penalty to bear in this fascinating and comprehensive exploration of ballot questions regarding the abolition or retention of capital punishment over the past century. They uncover a treasure trove of materials that span quite different political moments - a rich historical record that sheds light on both the grisly practice of state executions and on the promise and perils of democracy itself.” Carol S. Steiker, Henry J. Friendly Professor of Law, Harvard University

Cambridge University Press 2019


Book cover for Guns In Law Edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha M. Umphrey
Guns in Law

“This edited volume makes a significant contribution to at least a couple of different scholarly literatures [including] recent originalist assumptions informing Second Amendment jurisprudence.”―William D. Rose, professor and chair of the Political Science Department at Albion College

“This collection of new research from leading scholars in the fields of history, sociology, public policy, and law offers no easy solutions but recognizes that the future of gun regulation in America will be as fraught as its past.”―Nathan Kozuskanich, coeditor of The Second Amendment on Trial: Critical Essays on District of Columbia v. Heller

“A collection of six essays by a diverse group of authors, Guns in Law . . . will be of interest not just to those studying Second Amendment law, but also to historians, political scientists, and sociologists seeking to explore the dynamic intersection of guns and the law.”―CHOICE

University of Massachusetts Press 2019


Book cover for Trial Films On Trial Edited by Austin Sarat, Jessica Silbey, and Martha M. Umphrey
Trial Films on Trial: Law, Justice, and Popular Culture

Trial Films on Trial successfully brings together distinguished and emerging scholars to engage important questions about law’s representation in film and, fascinatingly, film’s law-like logic.”
—Daniel LaChance, author of Executing Freedom: The Cultural Life of Capital Punishment in the United States

“A marvelously generative text which will, I am certain, stand as an important and defining contribution to the field of law and film.”
—Patricia Ewick, coauthor of The Common Place of Law: Stories from Everyday Life

University of Alabama Press 2019


When the State Kills

Austin Sarat 
When the State Kills

“Is capital punishment just? Does it deter people from murder? What is the risk that we will execute innocent people? These are the usual questions at the heart of the increasingly heated debate about capital punishment in America. In his bold and impassioned book, Austin Sarat seeks to change the terms of that debate.”

Princeton University Press 2018


Book cover of Law, Violence and the Possibility of Justice Austin Sarat
Law, Violence, and the Possibility of Punishment

“Law punishes violence, yet law depends on violence. In this book, a group of leading interdisciplinary legal scholars seeks to map the inexorable but unstable relationships of law to violence.”

Princeton University Press 2018


Law in the Liberal Arts

Austin Sarat
Law in the Liberal Arts

“Should a liberal arts education exclude the study of law? In this fascinating collection, leading law and society scholars argaue that the study of law raises basic moral, philosophical, and political questions. They offer provocative ideas about where and how law should fit into a liberal arts education. This book is essential reading for anyone seeking a new perspective on liberal arts education or the possibilities of education in the law.” — Sally Engle Merry, Wellesley College

Cornell University Press 2018


Book cover for Criminals and Enemies Edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha M. Umphrey
Criminals and Enemies

“A bold new collection of essays that weaves together political philosophy, legal analysis, and historical research.”―Laura A. Dickinson, author of Outsourcing War and Peace: Preserving Public Values in a World of Privatized Foreign Affairs

University of Massachusetts Press 2018


book cover for Law And Performance Edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha M. Umphrey
Law and Performance

“Here is a pathbreaking law book that picks up on the emerging interest in affect theory, sensory studies (including forays in synesthesia studies) in conjunction with the cultural and political implications of law in action. It invites novel modes of analysis, and in the process brings into view previously unobserved phenomena pertaining to law, the perception of law, and law's efficacy and legitimation.”―Richard K. Sherwin, author of When Law Goes Pop: The Vanishing Line between Law and Popular Culture

“This collection is a must read for scholars of performance studies as well as legal studies researchers and practitioners.”―CHOICE

University of Massachusetts Press 2018


book cover for The Lives of Guns Edited by Austin Sarat, Jonathan Obert, and Andrew Poe
The Lives of Guns

“The Lives of Guns is a theoretical book with tremendous practical relevance. It centers guns and gun paraphernalia in the production of violence and culture in the US. The meticulous factual details and conceptual insights herein will inspire new, probably more effective, Oxford University Press methods for addressing the social ill of gun violence. Lawyers, activists, police, public health workers, and others will benefit from learning how particular kinds of ballistic weapons and their accessories shape both particular settings and particular actions taken by gun users, manufacturers, and sellers.”—Heidi Li Feldman, J.D., Ph.D., Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center

“This book does something remarkable: it strikes out in a new direction on the gun issue. Guns and similar devices that result in destruction aren't just passive devices or simple tools, say the authors; guns have a moral agency, aside and apart from their human handlers, that reaches from interpersonal relations to the authority of the state. The new thinking reflected in this volume will be a welcome addition to serious writing on the role of guns in America.”—Robert J. Spitzer, Distinguished Service Professor, SUNY Cortland, and author of Guns across America

Oxford University Press 2018


Book cover for Law And Mourning Edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha M. Umphrey
Law and Mourning

“These essays lead the reader progressively deeper into the relationship between law and mourning, considering last testaments that restrict a beneficiary's marriage, sperm preservation, public rituals of mourning (and their suppression), melancholic judges, and the lamentations of scholars who mourn the loss of justice itself.”―Linda Ross Meyer, author of The Justice of Mercy

“This volume demonstrates how varied and extensive the conjunction of mourning and law is, and it also makes a powerful case for how this intersection needs to be examined through an interdisciplinary lens. The contributors, all impressive and productive scholars, come from a broad range of fields, speaking across methodological and scholarly divides and opening avenues for further inquiry by inviting scholars to think creatively and ambitiously about our critical practices.”―Ravit Reichman, author of The Affective Life of Law: Legal Modernism and the Literary Imagination

University of Massachusetts Press 2018


book cover for Racial Reconciliation Edited by Austin Sarat and Charles J. Ogletree Jr.
Racial Reconciliation and the Healing of a Nation: Beyond Law and Rights

“For critical readers wondering whether racial reconciliation is possible in the United States, whether many in the country are committed to curing the nation's racial divisions, and what strategies might move the nation towards healing, Ogletree and Sarat's new volume presents an extraordinary collection of modern essayists, looking back at de Tocqueville and Myrdal and forward to myriad lingering barriers to equal citizenship in American life. This compelling book lays bare the many challenges to and opportunities for reconciliation in this age of systemic racial disadvantage.”—Bryan K. Fair, author of Notes of a Racial Caste Baby

“At a time when we sorely need it, this book challenges us not only to confront the painful state of race relations in this country but also to do the difficult work necessary to heal the deep wounds caused by our divisions. This collection of essays, written by a dynamic group of preeminent scholars, tackles some of the toughest social problems of our day, from discrimination and mistreatment of black and brown youth in public schools and in the criminal justice system to seemingly impenetrable segregation in the pews of churches across the country on Sunday morning.”-- Montré D. Carodine, Professor of Law, The University of Alabama School of Law

NYU Press 2017


Book cover for Final Judgments Edited by Austin Sarat
Final Judgments: The Death Penalty in American Law and Culture

Final Judgments: The Death Penalty in American Law and Culture explores the significance and meaning of finality in capital cases. Questions addressed in this book include: how are concerns about finality reflected in the motivations and behavior of participants in the death penalty system? How does an awareness of finality shape the experience of the death penalty for those condemned to die as well as for capital punishment's public audience? What is the meaning of time in capital cases? What are the relative weights according to finality versus the need for error correction in legal and political debates? And, how does the meaning of finality differ in capital and non-capital (LWOP) cases? Each chapter examines the idea of finality as a legal, political, and cultural fact. Final Judgments deploys various theories and perspectives to explore the death penalty's finality.

Cambridge University Press 2017


Book cover for Rhetorical Processes And Legal Judgments Austin Sarat
Rhetorical Processes and Legal Judgments: How Language and Arguments Shape Struggles for Rights and Power

“… this volume brings together strong essays upon a broad range of topics … Despite being focused primarily upon U.S. law and society, these essays will be of note for anyone concerned with arguing for civil rights, and more broadly, with the development of law.”—James Campbell, SCOLAG Legal Journal

Cambridge University Press 2016


book cover for The Time Of Catastrophe Edited by Austin Sarat, Christopher Dole, Robert Hayashi, Andrew Poe, and Boris Wolfson
The Time of Catastrophe: Multidisciplinary Approaches to the Age of Catastrophe

“Pervasive reporting of events has brought us back to the catastrophe as central to governing. This imaginative collection refuses to define catastrophe as exceptional, or by its limits in time and space. The chapters pose the times of catastrophe as multiple, integrating catastrophic events with the everyday and with how we envision futures. The authors creatively cross critical theory with historical and cultural analyses, generating a rich research agenda and teaching us all why we ought to turn to disaster to understand governing.”—Susan Sterett, Virginia Tech, USA

“The Time of Catastrophe poses critical questions about how we think about events, conditions, and practices that have located humanity on the threshold of total destruction. The chapters develop exciting and innovative bridges between theory and everyday life, and offer compelling new possibilities for understanding the past, present, and future.”—Sylvia Schafer, University of Connecticut, USA

“This timely collection shifts from the places of human catastrophes to a consideration of their temporality. Innovative and challenging, the collection considers how catastrophes are endured, remembered, and projected. Far from being a moment in time, whether inside or outside history, the chapters in this book establish the catastrophes as trajectories: passages in time that mark our era.”—Ronen Shamir, Tel-Aviv University, Israel

Routledge Edition 2016


Book cover for Gruesome Spectacles Austin Sarat
Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions and America's Death Penalty

“America has no more incisive scholar of capital punishment than Austin Sarat, who always has something fresh to say. Gruesome Spectacles offers readers new and provocative insights.”-- Scott Turow ― author of Ultimate Punishment: A Lawyer's Reflections on Dealing with the Death Penalty

Stanford University Press 2014

 

Teaching%20Law%20%26%20Literature

Edited by Austin Sarat, Catherine O. Frank, Matthew Anderson
Teaching Law and Literature

This volume provides a resource for teachers interested in learning about the field of law and literture and shows how to bring its insights to bear in their classrooms, both in the liberal arts and in law schools. 

"Students in undergraduate humanities courses will benefit from studying the way legal realities help shape and inform literary works.  Law teachers may usefully assign chapters from the text to explore law's narrative drama."
Richard Sherwin, New York Law School

Modern Language Association 2011


Who%20Deserves%20to%20Die

Edited by Austin Sarat and Karl Shoemaker
Who Deserves to Die?

“An important work. In a country in which the justification for the continued execution of criminals is based on the collective goals of deterrence and order, it is refreshing to step back and remember that individuals are executed and that the executable subject is the means to achieve the polity’s stated collective goals. Who Deserves to Die? is a wonderful, timely, and overdue addition to the debate over capital punishment.”

—Beau Breslin, author of From Words to Worlds: Examining Constitutional Functionality

University of Massachusetts Press 2011


When Law Fails

Austin Sarat
When Law Fails 

Reveals the dramatic consequences as well as the daily realities of breakdowns in the laws ability to deliver justice swiftly and fairly, and calls on us to look beyond headline-grabbing exonerations to see how failure is embedded in the legal system itself. Once we are able to recognize miscarriages of justice we will be able to begin to fix our broken legal system.

NYU Press 2009


Pain, Death, and the Law

Austin Sarat
Pain, Death, and the Law

“This collection of essays examines the relationship between pain, death, and the law and addresses the question of how the law constructs pain and death as jurisprudential facts. The empirical focus of these essays enables the reader to delve into both the history and the theoretical complexities of the pain-death-law relationships. This volume will fundamentally alter the terms of the debate about the right to live or die.”

The University of Michigan Press 2009


Lives in the Law

Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey
Lives in the Law

Lives in the Law” is a provocative collection of essays considering from a variety of perspectives and disciplinary backgrounds the myriad ways in which legal categories come to constitute the lives and identities of people and groups."—Paul Schiff Berman, University of Connecticut School of Law.

University of Michigan Press 2009



Book cover of The Cultural Lives of Cause Lawyers

Austin Sarat and Stuart Scheingold
The Cultural Lives of Cause Lawyers  

This book seeks to illuminate what we call the cultural lives of cause lawyers by examining their representation in various popular media (including film, fiction, mass-marketed non-fiction, television, and journalism), the work they do as creators of cultural products, and the way those representations and products are received and consumed by various audiences. By attending to media representations and the culture work done by cause lawyers, we can see what material is available for citizens and others to use in fashioning understandings of those lawyers. This book also provides a vehicle for determining whether, how, and to what extent cause lawyering is embedded in the discourses and symbolic practice around which ordinary citizens organize their understanding of social, political, and legal life. This book brings together research on the legal profession with work that takes up the analysis of popular culture. Contributors to this work include scholars of popular culture who turn their attention to cause lawyers and experts on cause lawyering who in turn focus their attention on popular culture. This is a joining of perspectives that is both long overdue and fruitful for both kinds of scholarship.

Cambridge University Press 2008


Trauma & Memory book cover Edited by Austin Sarat, Nadav Davidovitch, and Michal Alberstein
Trauma and Memory: Reading, Healing, and Making Law (Cultural Sitings)

Trauma and Memory explores different dimensions of trauma, both its relationship to the social sphere and to group identity, in order to open up new approaches to trauma from a healing perspective. The book's specific focus is doubly unique: first, because of its interest in the tension between collective and individual trauma (in trauma as socially constructed and related to identities of ethnicity, nationality, gender, and class); and second, because of its interest in the legal and medical professions (in their construction of trauma, their ways of treating it, their failures, and even their production of trauma). Trauma and Memory reflects the ways in which, over the last several decades, a growing interest in the social and cultural contexts of law and medicine has transformed the study of both these professions. The authors provide new readings of social and political phenomena—such as immigration, public health, gender discrimination, and transitional justice—in terms of trauma. Finally, they address the therapeutic dimensions of trauma and their relationship to reconciliation via alternative processes such as mediation, truth committees, and other new forms of justice.

Stanford University Press 2007


Book cover of Law and Catastrophe

Edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey
Law and Catastrophe

“Law and Catastrophe is an edited collection that explores this inextricable and symbiotic relationship between these two concepts in the short span of five chapters. It presents to the reader a witty and often engaging group of literary essays that dissect various guises of how law and catastrophe interpenetrate.”—Law and Politics Book Review

“Law and Catastrophe offers a diverse and fascinating set of essays. There has never been a more urgent need for such a work on catastrophe and law.” —Anthony J. Sebok, Brooklyn Law School

“This cogent work is based on the insight that, even when it proves itself palpably unable to deal with catastrophe, law can yet reassert itself, reproducing the bases of its authority over and over again. Indeed, this very act of reassertion is revealed to be the basis of legal authority itself. This book is a must read for any scholar interested in seeing the performance of law when its veneer of total control and stability have been stripped away.” —James R. Martel, San Francisco State University

Stanford University Press 2007


Forgiveneas, Mercy, and Clemency book cover

Austin Sarat and Nasser Hussain
Forgiveness, Mercy, and Clemency

“[The] reader is offered a substantial number of questions to ponder regarding the powerful tools available to leaders responsible for obviating inconsistencies or injustices in the law. Such questions are useful for a continued and vital debate about how, and to what extent, these powers should be used at all.”—The Law and Politics Book Review

“Forgiveness, Mercy, and Clemency is a welcome addition to our understanding of the political and legal world. The book is unique insofar as it addresses many of the nuances associated with a topic that, for many, is isolated to the action taken by Governor Ryan to empty Illinois's death row in January 2003.”—Beau Breslin, Skidmore College

Stanford University Press 2007


From Lyncg Mobs to the Killing State book cover

Austin Sarat and Charles Ogletree, Jr.
From Lynch Mobs to the Killing State: Race and the Death Penalty in America (The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute Series on Race and Justice)  

“Expertly dissects the racist underpinnings of capital punishment while pushing some intellectual boundaries.” —International Socialist Review

“The authors give the nation an unflinching view of the shameful influence of racism in death penalty cases. This is a must-read for anyone who cares about fairness in application of the death penalty and respect for the rule of law in our modern society.”—Senator Edward M. Kennedy

“Ogeltree and Sarat combine the most severe criminal punishment with the bugaboo of racial class and prejudice in their book From Lynch Mobs to the Killing State. The professors astutely note that the death penalty is often used as a club to keep poor and desperate minorities in line in the larger white society.”—Black Issues Book Review.

Stanford University Press 2006


Book cover of Law and the Sacred

Edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey
Law and the Sacred

“[An} interesting collection, worthy of attention by scholars in a variety of fields.”—CHOICE

“Law and the Sacred brings together original and stimulating interdisciplinary work on the complex interdependence of law and religion. Indeed, the authors expand well beyond simple categories of law and religion to explore the more interesting and novel nuances of laws of the sacred and the sacrilization of law.”—David Mednicoff, University of Massachusetts

“The essays in this volume push well beyond the boundaries of more familiar research on the relationship between politics and religion. Exploring topics as diverse as Islamic legal theory, the 2000 U.S. presidential election, Kafka's The Trial, and the contemporary constitution of sovereign political power, the contributors call into question any easy opposition between the sacred and the secular, and so unsettle a central myth of Enlightenment modernism.”—Timothy V. Kaufman-Osborn, Whitman College

Stanford University Press 2006


Book Cover of How Law Knows

Edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey
How Law Knows 

“This work raises new questions while also reexamining standard socio-legal issues in refreshing ways. The result is a rich and innovative look at the routines of truth seeking and fact finding.”—Patricia Ewick, Clark University

“How Law Knows is a useful and interesting collection addressing law’s ways of knowing. The authors reveal that the establishment and organized use of legal facts is varied, historical, and amenable to a rich and diverse set of methods of inquiry.”—Jon Goldberg-Hiller, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Stanford University Press 2006


Book cover of Cause Laywers and Social Movements

Austin Sarat and Stuart Scheingold  
Cause Lawyers and Social Movements  

“This work examines the unique position of lawyers committed both to profession and to cause. The wide variety of social movements described in the book offers a natural setting for asking how politically committed collective clients shape the lawyer's role and the tension this poses for professional responsibility.”—Richard Abel, UCLA School of Law

“Cause Lawyers and Social Movements presents a rich range of case studies of the interaction between lawyering and social movement.”—Lucie White, Harvard Law School

“Together with their previous collaborative works on cause lawyers, Austin Sarat and Stuart Scheingold have taught us a great deal about the utility of lawyers and legal rights for social and political change, usefully highlighted the political significance of studying the practices of public interest lawyers in a politics of rights, and helped set an agenda for exciting and politically relevant research.”—The Law and Politics Book Review

Stanford University Press 2006


Dissent in Dangerous Times

Austin Sarat
Dissent in Dangerous Times

“Dissent in Dangerous Times presents essays by six distinguished scholars, who provide their own unique views on the interplay of loyalty, patriotism, and dissent. Dissent in Dangerous Times examines the role of political opposition in our times, the nature of political repression in liberal societies, the political and legal implications of fear, and how past generations responded to similar situations. It is also a reminder of the fragility and enduring power of freedom, and will inspire readers to think about, and beyond, September 11.”

University of Michigan Press 2005


Mercy on Trial

Austin Sarat
Mercy on Trial

On January 11, 2003, Illinois Governor George Ryan—a Republican on record as saying that “some crimes are so horrendous . . . that society has a right to demand the ultimate penalty”—commuted the capital sentences of all 167 prisoners on his state's death row. Critics demonized Ryan. For opponents of capital punishment, however, Ryan became an instant hero whose decision was seen as a signal moment in the "new abolitionist" politics to end killing by the state.

In this compelling and timely work, Austin Sarat provides the first book-length work on executive clemency. He turns our focus from questions of guilt and innocence to the very meaning of mercy. Starting from Ryan's controversial decision, Mercy on Trial uses the lens of executive clemency in capital cases to discuss the fraught condition of mercy in American political life. Most pointedly, Sarat argues that mercy itself is on trial. Although it has always had a problematic position as a form of “lawful ” it has come under much more intense popular pressure and criticism in recent decades. This has yielded a radical decline in the use of the power of chief executives to stop executions.

From the history of capital clemency in the twentieth century to surrounding legal controversies and philosophical debates about when (if ever) mercy should be extended, Sarat examines the issue comprehensively. In the end, he acknowledges the risks associated with mercy—but, he argues, those risks are worth taking.

Princeton University Press 2005


The Cultural Lives of Capital Punishment

Austin Sarat and Christian Boulanger
The Cultural Lives of Capital Punishment: Comparative Perspectives

How does the way we think and feel about the world around us affect the existence and administration of the death penalty? What role does capital punishment play in defining our political and cultural identity?

After centuries during which capital punishment was a normal and self-evident part of criminal punishment, it has now taken on a life of its own in various arenas far beyond the limits of the penal sphere. In this volume, the authors argue that in order to understand the death penalty, we need to know more about the "cultural lives"—past and present—of the state's ultimate sanction.

They undertake this “cultural voyage” comparatively—examining the dynamics of the death penalty in Mexico, the United States, Poland, Kyrgyzstan, India, Israel, Palestine, Japan, China, Singapore, and South Korea—arguing that we need to look beyond the United States to see how capital punishment “lives” or “dies” in the rest of the world, how images of state killing are produced and consumed elsewhere, and how they are reflected, back and forth, in the emerging international judicial and political discourse on the penalty of death and its abolition.

Stanford University Press 2005


The Worlds Cause Lawyers Make

Austin Sarat and Stuart Scheingold
The Worlds Cause Lawyers Make

The study of cause lawyering has grown dramatically and is now an important field of research in socio-legal studies and in research on the legal profession. The Worlds Cause Lawyers Make: Structure and Agency in Legal Practice adds to that growing body of research by examining the connections between lawyers and causes, the settings in which cause lawyers practice, and the ways they marshal social capital and make strategic decisions.

Stanford University Press 2005


Law on the Screen

Edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey
Law on the Screen

The proliferation of images of law, legal processes, and officials on television and in film is a phenomenon of enormous significance. Mass-mediated images are as powerful, pervasive, and important as are other early twenty-first-century social forces—e.g. globalization, neo-colonialism, and human rights—in shaping and transforming legal life. Yet scholars have only recently begun to examine how law works in this new arena and to explore the consequences of the representation of law in the moving image. Law on the Screen advances our understanding of the connection between law and film by analyzing them as narrative forms, examining film for its jurisprudential content—that is, its ways of critiquing the present legal world and imagining an alternative one—and expanding studies of the representation of law in film to include questions of reception.

Stanford University Press 2005


The Limits of Law

Edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey
The Limits of Law

This collection brings together well-established scholars to examine the limits of law, a topic that has been of broad interest since the events of 9/11 and the responses of U.S. law and policy to those events. The limiting conditions explored in this volume include marking law's relationship to acts of terror, states of emergency, gestures of surrender, payments of reparations, offers of amnesty, and invocations of retroactivity. These essays explore how law is challenged, frayed, and constituted out of contact with conditions that lie at the farthest reaches of its empirical and normative force.

Stanford University Press 2005


The Place of Law

Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey
The Place of Law

“Recent scholarship has rediscovered the spatial dimension of society. This volume brings together some of the leading lights of that revival with some of the most innovative scholars in sociolegal studies, to reconsider the place of law and law's capacity to put people in their place. At a time when power relentlessly promotes a generic version of the rule of law as a mandatory salvation for all peoples and places, The Place of Law offers a vital rejoinder.” -Jonathan Simon, University of California, Berkeley

“The Place of Law is a worthy successor to an outstanding series of edited collections on law and culture. The essays range from the Stalinist Soviet Union to the scientific laboratory, from the Internet to the nation-state and back; they explore why places and metaphors of places seem to matter so much to law, and how new structures of freedom may produce new forms of control.” — Jack M. Balkin, Yale Law School

University of Michigan Press 2003


Law's Madness

Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey
Law's Madness

“A thoroughly engaging collection of essays that plumbs the nuances of an important topic. While many have observed law's role as a bulwark against passion and chaos, the essays in Law's Madness suggest that law and madness actually constitute each other. Thus, what we think of as 'law' always emerges from the unstable effort to distinguish official legal doctrine from that which is repressed as something other than law. This book will be a 'must have' for numerous scholars interested in interdisciplinary examinations of law, from sociolegal studies to law and humanities to legal behavioralism.” — Paul Schiff Berman, University of Connecticut School of Law

University of Michigan Press 2003