Hall of Fame

Winners of the Penny Pether Prize

2017 Winners

2017 Penny Pether Prize Winner

Masculinity and the Trials of Modern Fiction

By Dr Marco Wan

Marco Wan’s monograph, Masculinity and the Trials of Modern Fiction (Routledge, 2016), is an exemplary work of law and literature. In Wan’s layered reading of five obscenity trials in 19th-century England and France, this book realises some of the most vital aims of the field. Wan’s command of law, and of literature, enables him to appraise the reading practices and pretensions of each, and to illuminate the courtroom conversations that take place between them. Wan asks a question at the heart of law and literature, how does the law read not just the texts but the novels that come before it? He answers this question by attending not only to final judgment, but to an original archive of trial transcripts, prosecution and defence submissions and oral argument. Wan’s reading of law’s encounter with these novels as shaping and preserving hegemonic forms of masculinity deepens his argument and extends the already impressive reach of this book. This is an exceptionally meticulous and beautifully crafted text: alongside its contribution of the fields of law, literature and masculinity and gender studies, Wan prosecutes his case with clarity and authority, and with the pleasure of the reader in mind.

2017 Penny Pether Prize Winner

Masculinity and the Trials of Modern Fiction

By Dr Marco Wan

Marco Wan’s monograph, Masculinity and the Trials of Modern Fiction (Routledge, 2016), is an exemplary work of law and literature. In Wan’s layered reading of five obscenity trials in 19th-century England and France, this book realises some of the most vital aims of the field. Wan’s command of law, and of literature, enables him to appraise the reading practices and pretensions of each, and to illuminate the courtroom conversations that take place between them. Wan asks a question at the heart of law and literature, how does the law read not just the texts but the novels that come before it? He answers this question by attending not only to final judgment, but to an original archive of trial transcripts, prosecution and defence submissions and oral argument. Wan’s reading of law’s encounter with these novels as shaping and preserving hegemonic forms of masculinity deepens his argument and extends the already impressive reach of this book. This is an exceptionally meticulous and beautifully crafted text: alongside its contribution of the fields of law, literature and masculinity and gender studies, Wan prosecutes his case with clarity and authority, and with the pleasure of the reader in mind.

2017 Penny Pether Prize (ECR) Winner

Acoustic Jurisprudence: Listening to the Trial of Simon Bikindi

By Dr James E. K. Parker

James Parker’s Acoustic Jurisprudence takes as its archive the trial for genocide of the renowned musician Simon Bikindi at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Paying outstanding attention to his source material, and writing in a style which is always lucid and engaging, Parker mounts an ambitious case for the broader significance of technologies of sound—recording, radio-broadcasting and live performance—to questions of legal responsibility, thought, theory and practice. In its scope, diversity, and detail, Parker’s work reshapes the field of law and music towards what the author terms ‘acoustic jurisprudence,’ creating a bold and original contribution to law and humanities literature which will stimulate much work in the future.

2017 Penny Pether Prize (ECR) Winner

Acoustic Jurisprudence: Listening to the Trial of Simon Bikindi

By Dr James E. K. Parker

James Parker’s Acoustic Jurisprudence takes as its archive the trial for genocide of the renowned musician Simon Bikindi at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Paying outstanding attention to his source material, and writing in a style which is always lucid and engaging, Parker mounts an ambitious case for the broader significance of technologies of sound—recording, radio-broadcasting and live performance—to questions of legal responsibility, thought, theory and practice. In its scope, diversity, and detail, Parker’s work reshapes the field of law and music towards what the author terms ‘acoustic jurisprudence,’ creating a bold and original contribution to law and humanities literature which will stimulate much work in the future.

2015 Winner

2015 Penny Pether Prize Winner

Street Art, Public City: Law, Crime and the Urban Imagination

By Dr Alison Young

 

Street Art, Public City (Routledge, 2014) is the culmination of ten years’ work by an accomplished interdisciplinary scholar, and displays everywhere the elegance, the authority, and the intellectual agility earned over time. It casts street art at the centre of debates about public life, giving form to the ways in which it has both disrupted and renewed accounts of living in the city. The panel was impressed by the way in which the book’s theme addressed many disparate facets of public life, weaving a tapestry of law, aesthetics, criminology and ethics that has been persuasively enriched by oral testimony, public policy, art and textual criticism. Street Art, Public City, shows a keen sensitivity to the many different constituencies with which it seeks to open a conversation. It makes a distinct contribution to public scholarship in law, literature and the humanities, re-joining an investigation of the arts of political association to the arts of urban life.

 

2015 Penny Pether Prize Winner

Street Art, Public City: Law, Crime and the Urban Imagination

By Dr Alison Young

 

Street Art, Public City (Routledge, 2014) is the culmination of ten years’ work by an accomplished interdisciplinary scholar, and displays everywhere the elegance, the authority, and the intellectual agility earned over time. It casts street art at the centre of debates about public life, giving form to the ways in which it has both disrupted and renewed accounts of living in the city. The panel was impressed by the way in which the book’s theme addressed many disparate facets of public life, weaving a tapestry of law, aesthetics, criminology and ethics that has been persuasively enriched by oral testimony, public policy, art and textual criticism. Street Art, Public City, shows a keen sensitivity to the many different constituencies with which it seeks to open a conversation. It makes a distinct contribution to public scholarship in law, literature and the humanities, re-joining an investigation of the arts of political association to the arts of urban life.

 

2013 Winner

2015 Penny Pether Prize Winner

Novel Judgements: Legal Theory as Fiction

By Dr William P. MacNeil

 

Novel Judgements is a book about nineteenth century Anglo-American law and literature. But by redefining law as legal theory, Novel judgements departs from ‘socio-legal’ studies of law and literature, often dated in their focus on past lawyering and court processes. This texts ‘theoretical turn’ renders the period’s ‘law-and-literature’ relevant to today’s readers because the nineteenth century novel, when “read jurisprudentially”, abounds in representations of law’s controlling concepts, many of which are still with us today. Rights, justice, law’s morality; each are encoded novelistically in stock devices such as the country house, friendship, love, courtship and marriage. In so rendering the public (law) as private (domesticity), these novels expose for legal and literary scholars alike the ways in which law comes to mediate all relationships―individual and collective, personal and political―during the nineteenth century, a period as much under the Rule of Law as the reign of Capital. So these novels pass judgement―a novel judgement―on the extent to which the nineteenth century’s idea of law is collusive with that era’s Capital, thereby opening up the possibility of a new legal theoretical position: that of a critique of the law and a law of critique.

 

2013 Penny Pether Prize Winner

Novel Judgements: Legal Theory as Fiction

By Dr William P. MacNeil

 

Novel Judgements is a book about nineteenth century Anglo-American law and literature. But by redefining law as legal theory, Novel judgements departs from ‘socio-legal’ studies of law and literature, often dated in their focus on past lawyering and court processes. This texts ‘theoretical turn’ renders the period’s ‘law-and-literature’ relevant to today’s readers because the nineteenth century novel, when “read jurisprudentially”, abounds in representations of law’s controlling concepts, many of which are still with us today. Rights, justice, law’s morality; each are encoded novelistically in stock devices such as the country house, friendship, love, courtship and marriage. In so rendering the public (law) as private (domesticity), these novels expose for legal and literary scholars alike the ways in which law comes to mediate all relationships―individual and collective, personal and political―during the nineteenth century, a period as much under the Rule of Law as the reign of Capital. So these novels pass judgement―a novel judgement―on the extent to which the nineteenth century’s idea of law is collusive with that era’s Capital, thereby opening up the possibility of a new legal theoretical position: that of a critique of the law and a law of critique.