Leila NetiJul 6, 2022
Colonial Law in India and the Victorian Imagination
Cambridge University Press 2021
Situated at the intersection of law and literature, nineteenth-century studies and post-colonialism, Colonial Law in India and the Victorian Imagination (Cambridge UP, 2021) draws on original archival research to shed new light on Victorian literature. Each chapter explores the relationship between the shared cultural logic of law and literature, and considers how this inflected colonial sociality. Leila Neti approaches the legal archive in a distinctly literary fashion, attending to nuances of voice, character, diction and narrative, while also tracing elements of fact and procedure, reading the case summaries as literary texts to reveal the common turns of imagination that motivated both fictional and legal narratives. What emerges is an innovative political analytic for understanding the entanglements between judicial and cultural norms in Britain and the colony, bridging the critical gap in how law and literature interact within the colonial arena.
Leila Neti is an associate professor of English at Occidental College, Los Angeles.
Gargi Binju is a researcher at the University of Tübingen.