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Law's Memories
Palgrave Socio-Legal Studies
Howard, Matt

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This book discusses the relationship between law and memory and explores the ways in which memory can be thought of as contributing to legal socialization and legal meaning-making. Against a backdrop of critical legal pluralism which examines the distributedness of law(s), this book introduces the notion of mnemonic legality. It emphasises memory as a resource of law rather than an object of law, on the basis of how it substantiates senses of belonging and comes to frame inclusions and exclusions from a national community on the basis of linear-trajectory and growth narratives of nationhood. Overall, it explores the sensorial and affective foundations of law, implicating memory and perceptions of belonging within this process of creating legality and legitimacy. By identifying how memory comes to shape and inform notions of law, it contributes to legal consciousness research and to important questions informing much socio-legal research.


Chapter 1: Introduction.. 1

Chapter 2: Law and memory. 16

The social significance of collective memory.. 18

Expansive understanding of law... 25

Chapter 3: Memory, time, and law.. 48

Expectations in memory.. 49

Juridical significance of expectations within the Anzac story.. 53

The mobilization of imaginaries of war: expectations and actions in COVID-19.. 67

Chapter 4: Being and meaning: the performance of historical truth.. 81

Meaning imbued in commemorative spaces. 82

Historical and mnemonic truth.. 84

Performing the past. 86

Performing a historical and commemorative narrative across mnemonic resources. 89

Chapter 5: Elasticity of co-ordinated belonging. 112

Elasticity.. 113

Expectations within the Anzac legend.. 115

Elasticity in the Anzac commemoration.. 121

Chapter 6: Conclusion.. 148

Stretching elasticity.. 150

Index. 154

Matt Howard is Lecturer in Law at the University of Kent, UK.