Duke University Press
  • Create a Reading List and include this title. Select Add to Reading List on the right.

  • Legal Fictions: Constituting Race, Composing Literature

    Author(s): Karla FC Holloway
    Published: 2014
    Pages: 176
    Illustrations: 3 photographs
  • Paperback: $21.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-5595-3
  • Cloth: $74.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-5581-6
  • Quantity
  • Add To Bag
  • Preface  ix
    Introduction: Bound by Law  1
    Intimate Intersectionalities—Scalar Reflections  5
    Public Fictions, Private Facts  9
    Simile as Precedent  13
    Property, Contract, and Evidentiary Values  17
    1. The Claims of Property: On Being and Belonging  23
    The Capital in Question  27
    Imagined Liberalism  35
    Mapping Racial Reason  41
    Being in Place: Landscape, Never Inscape  49
    2. Bodies as Evidence (of Things Not Seen)  55
    Secondhand Tales and Hearsay  59
    Black Legibility—Can I Get a Witness?  72
    Trying to Read Me  77
    3. Composing Contract  89
    "A novel-like tenor"  93
    Passing and Protection  96
    A Secluded Colored Neighborhood  102
    Epilogue. When and Where "All the Dark-Glass Boys" Enter  111
    A Contagion of Madness  113
    Notes  127
    References  139
    Acknowledgments  145
    Index  147
  • Permission to Photocopy (coursepacks)

    If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.com;

    If the Copyright Clearance Center cannot grant permission, you may request permission from our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Permission to Reprint

    If you are requesting permission to reprint DUP material (journal or book selection) in another book or in any other format, contact our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Images/Art

    Many images/art used in material copyrighted by Duke University Press are controlled, not by the Press, but by the owner of the image. Please check the credit line adjacent to the illustration, as well as the front and back matter of the book for a list of credits. You must obtain permission directly from the owner of the image. Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings. Please direct permission requests for these images to permissions@dukeupress.edu.
    For book covers to accompany reviews, please contact the publicity department.

    Subsidiary Rights/Foreign Translations

    If you're interested in a Duke University Press book for subsidiary rights/translations, please contact permissions@dukeupress.edu. Include the book title/author, rights sought, and estimated print run.

    Disability Requests

    Instructions for requesting an electronic text on behalf of a student with disabilities are available here.

    Rights & Permissions Contact Information

    Email: permissions@dukeupress.edu
    Email contact for coursepacks: asstpermissions@dukeupress.edu
    Fax: 919-688-4574
    Mail:
    Duke University Press
    Rights and Permissions
    905 W. Main Street
    Suite 18B
    Durham, NC 27701

    For all requests please include:
    1. Author's name. If book has an editor that is different from the article author, include editor's name also.
    2. Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of journal or title of book
    3. Page numbers (if excerpting, provide specifics)
    For coursepacks, please also note: The number of copies requested, the school and professor requesting
    For reprints and subsidiary rights, please also note: Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought
  • Description

    In Legal Fictions, Karla FC Holloway both argues that U.S. racial identity is the creation of U.S. law and demonstrates how black authors of literary fiction have engaged with the law's constructions of race since the era of slavery. Exploring the resonance between U.S. literature and U.S. jurisprudence, Holloway reveals Toni Morrison's Beloved and Charles Johnson's Middle Passage as stories about personhood and property, David Bradley's The Chaneysville Incident and Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man as structured by evidence law, and Nella Larsen's Passing as intimately related to contract law. Holloway engages the intentional, contradictory, and capricious constructions of race embedded in the law with the same energy that she brings to her masterful interpretations of fiction by U.S. writers. Her readings shed new light on the many ways that black U.S. authors have reframed fundamental questions about racial identity, personhood, and the law from the nineteenth into the twenty-first centuries. Legal Fictions is a bold declaration that the black body is thoroughly bound by law and an unflinching look at the implications of that claim.

    About The Author(s)

    Karla FC Holloway is James B. Duke Professor of English at Duke University, where she also holds appointments in the Law School, Women's Studies, and African & African American Studies, and is an affiliated faculty with the Institute on Care at the End of Life and the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine. She serves on the Greenwall Foundation's Advisory Board in Bioethics, and was recently elected to the Hastings Center Fellows Association. Holloway is the author of BookMarks: Reading in Black and White and Codes of Conduct: Race, Ethics, and the Color of Our Character, as well as Private Bodies, Public Texts: Race, Gender, and a Cultural Bioethics and Passed On: African American Mourning Stories: A Memorial, both published by Duke University Press.

Explore More
Share

Create a reading list or add to an existing list. Sign-in or register now to continue.