ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Storytelling in the Time of Hate

Deciphering Law(s) through Literature

From laws on sedition and censorship to the vitality of resistance literature in times of struggle, creative writing and performance have played a critical role in shaping the public conscience. The ways in which law weaves into and through creative writing as also the ways in which literary criticism and literary debates crosspollinate ideas of law, consciously or implicitly, need to be better understood. Where does justice figure in relation to law in literature? Do literatures constitute the commons? And what are the boundaries and limits of literary commons, and who are the keepers of these boundaries?

This paper was presented as the 12th Dr Ambedkar Memorial Lecture, Centre for the Study of Social Systems, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, 31 March 2015 and subsequently at the Council for Social Development, Hyderabad on 2 April 2015. I am grateful to V Sujatha for the invitation to deliver the lecture and to Raj Mohan Tella, Sachidananda Mohanty, S Anandhi and Upendra Baxi for their comments on the paper.

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