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Law, Literature, Language

Law is a linguistic product and the implications and possibilities of that fact have only recently started to be explored by scholars around the world. This Emerging SRT aims to make HKU a leader in the region in this cutting-edge field of research.

Law has traditionally been studied as a set of rules and doctrines, but what of the linguistic and rhetorical devices used to express these? Consider the example of gender identity. In some cases, courts have had to decide whether a male-to-female transsexual would count as a 'woman' in the context of marriage, a question that lies at the intersection of law, language, history, and culture. This Emerging SRT investigates issues such as this to bring new perspectives on the nature, contemporary relevance and interdisciplinary connections of the law.

Participants from the Faculties of Arts and Law are combining their strengths and interests in a unique way, by bringing their respective modes of interpretation to bear on common legal-cultural texts and events. The outcome is expected to be an interdisciplinary dialogue and a sharing of insight and expertise.

Several projects are planned to help build momentum for this Emerging SRT, including a joint conference with Oxford University and New York University, a forum on the use of language and the law, and the publication of at least one volume of research.

CONVENORS:

Professor C.M. Hutton* (English)

Dr M.M.H. Wan (Law)

* Corresponding Co-Convenor