Constructing the Enemy: Empathy Antipathy in U.S. Literature by Rajini Srikanth

By Rajini Srikanth

In her enticing publication, developing the Enemy, Rajini Srikanth probes the concept that of empathy, trying to comprehend its differing types and the way it isoor isn'togenerated and maintained in particular conditions. utilizing literary texts to light up problems with energy and discussions of legislation, Srikanth makes a speciality of case studiesothe internment of eastern voters and jap americans in global battle II, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the detainment of Muslim american citizens and members from a variety of countries within the U.S. criminal at Guantanamo Bay. via basic files and interviews that demonstrate why and the way legal professionals get entangled in protecting those that were detailed "enemies," Srikanth explores the complicated stipulations below which engaged citizenship emerges. developing the Enemy probes the seductive promise of felony discourse and analyzes the emergence and manifestation of empathy in attorneys and different involved electorate and the broader outcomes of this empathy at the associations that keep an eye on our lives.

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Extra resources for Constructing the Enemy: Empathy Antipathy in U.S. Literature and Law

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Literature seemed, to the legal scholar longing for the critical-humanist real, a sphere in which language could stand outside the oppressive state apparatus, speaking truth to the law’s obfuscations and subterfuges” (448; emphasis added). Empathy and Law In appealing to judges, lawyers broadly employ one of two approaches, directed at either the judges’ formalistic or humanistic predilections. Of course, the same judge may exhibit one predilection in one case, and the other in a different instance, but in general it is fair to say that judges’ decisions show them as falling into one or other category.

Aeschylus’s Oresteia, Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Albert Camus’s The Stranger, Franz Kafka’s The Trial, Richard Wright’s Native Son, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Nadine Gordimer’s House Gun); (2) the deployment of rhetoric in both the construction of a literary world and the construction of a legal argument; and (3) the parallels between literary interpretation and adjudication—for instance, between literary interpretation that focuses closely on the text (formalist and structuralist approaches, for example) and adjudication that turns to precedent and established legal rules in preference to contextual and social/economic considerations (the distinction that Jean Stefancic and Richard Delgado explain in their book How Lawyers Lose Their Way).

Likewise, she distinguishes between individual victims and communities that were victimized through the recruitment by the apartheid government of collaborators. Borer’s taxonomy is not just a matter of assigning labels. She stresses that only through a nuanced understanding of people’s diverse and differentiated reactions to their racial privilege and subordination can a society begin to assess appropriate accountability, recover from the haunted past, and move forward to build a more transparent and just future.

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