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Images in Law by Willian Pencack


Images in Law by Willian Pencack

What does 'the law' look like? While numerous attempts have been made to examine law and legal action in terms of its language, little has yet been written that considers how visual images of the law influence its interpretation and execution in ways not discernible from written texts. This groundbreaking collection focuses on images in law, featuring contributions that show and discuss the perception of the legal universe on a theoretical basis or when dealing with visual semiotics (dress, ceremony, technology, etc.). It also examines 'language in action', analyzing jury instructions, police directives, and how imagery is used in conjunction with contentious social and political issues within a country, such as the image of family in Ireland or the image of racism in France.


'A collection of fascinating studies of not only what the law is, but, more so, what the law looks like. Medical metaphors relating to political systems, Chinese characters and legal tradition, lawyers'
dress code, digitally

-produced evidence, racial discrimination in France, and the presentation of the family in Irish law are just some of the images discussed in the book.
Dennis Kurzon, University of Haifa, Israel

'This edited book is comprehensive, accessible, and insightful. The editors have assembled and organized a first-rate anthology which surely will be both source material as well as an exceptionally accessible introduction to the study of law by the use of semiotics. The well-versed scholar as well as the uninitiated in the semiotics of law will find it tremendously useful in gaining or extending his/her understanding in this discipline. This book will be a mainstay for some time to come.'
Dr Dragan Milovanovic, Professor, Northeastern Illinois University, USA

'This collection could profitably be drawn across a range of disciplines and at both under- and postgraduate levels. It sets up a range of spaces for discussion and I hope that there are additional volumes that maintain its eclectic approach to a fascinating area.'
International Journal for the Semiotics of Law

About the Author

Anne Wagner, is an Associate Professor in Applied Linguistics., Universite du Littoral CA'te d'Opale, France. She is the President of the International Roundtables for the Semiotics of Law and board member of the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law (Springer). Her main research interests include legal language, law and semiotics, contemporary legal theory, law and literature. She is one of the co-editors of Contemporary Issues of the Semiotics of Law (2005, Hart Publishing, London), and editors of special issues published in the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law. She has also published extensively on these issues in a variety of scholarly venues. William Pencak is Professor of History at Penn State University, USA. He received his Ph.D. degree from Columbia University in New York City in 1978. Although his major field is early United States history, he has written extensively on semiotics and served as President of the Semiotic Society of America in 2000-2001.

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Book Info

Publication date

16th October 2006


Willian Pencack

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Ashgate Publishing Limited an imprint of Taylor & Francis Ltd


328 pages


Law & society
Jurisprudence & philosophy of law



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