A special issue of the Canadian Journal of Law and Society has been published, which includes three articles from two of our Law & Legal Studies faculty and a PhD candidate.

Follow the links below for these great reads!

Sheryl Hamilton, Professor

Hands in Cont(r)act: The Resiliency of Business Handshakes in Pandemic Culture 

Abstract: This article examines the persistence of the handshake in business circles despite its implication in the spread of communicable disease in contemporary pandemic culture. An examination of business etiquette discourse suggests that even during disease outbreaks or flu season, the business handshake remains an important visual and haptic legal gesture. While it may no longer produce a binding legal contract, it stages the parties as contractable subjects, as claiming the status of autonomous individuals committed to defining their intersubjective relationship through the norms of contract. The business handshake thus operates as a cultural site for the complex interaction of bodies and law, and the production of masculine, haptic-legal subjectivity.

Christiane Wilke, Associate Professor

High Altitude Legality: Visuality and Jurisdiction in the Adjudication of NATO Air Strikes

Abstract: Air strikes are the signature modality of violence used by NATO militaries. When civilian victims of NATO air strikes have turned to courts in NATO countries, they have generally not been successful. What are the legal techniques and legal knowledges deployed in Western courts that render Western aerial violence legal or extralegal? The article analyzes the responses by European courts to two sets of NATO bombings: the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia and a September 2009 air strike near Kunduz, Afghanistan. The judgments rely on two forms of “legal technicalities”: the drawing of jurisdictional boundaries that exclude the airspace taken up by the bombers and the ground on which victims stood when they were killed as well as particular visual regimes that facilitate not seeing people on the ground as civilians.

Safiyah Rochelle, Phd Candidate

Encountering the “Muslim”: Guantánamo Bay, Detainees, and Apprehensions of Violence 

Abstract: This article focuses on the underlying sensorial entanglements that linger in spaces and moments of encounter between state violence and its targets. It argues that in Guantánamo Bay, these entanglements become routed through the bodies of the camp’s detainees, and they rely upon a particular reading of religion as being borne by bodies in such ways as to necessitate the use of specific techniques of detention and incapacitation. This discussion is framed using the notion of “apprehension,” in its affective and material forms, wherein perception, dread, and physical encounters in the camp unfold within a framing of Muslims as ontologically and materially distinct, and as being embodied in particular ways. In these processes of apprehension, the techniques and logics of violence deployed in the war on terror become further legitimated, and work reflexively to shape the ways in which the Muslim is known, encountered, and met with violence.