A Culture of Rights: Law, Literature, and Canada

A Culture of Rights: Law, Literature, and Canada

Weight 0.00 lbs
By Benjamin Authers
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2016
World Rights
208 Pages
ISBN 9781442625792
Published May 2016
Online discount: 25%
 $27.95    $20.96
ISBN 9781442631878
Published Jun 2016
Online discount: 25%
 $65.00    $48.75
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442625815
Published Jun 2016
Online discount: 25%
Full purchase $27.95

With the passage into law of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, rights took on new legal, political, and social significance in Canada. In the decades following, Canadian jurisprudence has emphasised the importance of rights, determining their shape and asserting their centrality to legal ideas about what Canada represents. At the same time, an increasing number of Canadian  novels have also engaged with the language of human rights and civil liberties, reflecting, like their counterparts in law, the possibilities of rights and the failure of their protection.

In A Culture of Rights, Benjamin Authers reads novels by authors including Joy Kogawa, Margaret Atwood, Timothy Findley, and Jeanette Armstrong alongside legal texts and key constitutional rights cases, arguing for the need for a more complex, interdisciplinary understanding of the sources of rights in Canada and elsewhere. He suggests that, at present, even when rights are violated, popular insistence on Canada’s rights-driven society remains. Despite the limited scope of our rights, and the deferral of more substantive rights protections to some projected, ideal Canada, we remain keen to promote ourselves as members of an entirely just society.

Benjamin Authers is an assistant professor in the School of Law and Justice at the University of Canberra and a visiting fellow at RegNet School of Regulation and Global Governance at the Australian National University.

Chapter One. “This is why Redress Matters”: Rights and National Belonging
Chapter Two. Excessive Rights: Freedom of Expression and Analogies of Harm
Chapter Three. “Nothing but the Pure, Entire, and Unblemished Truth?”: Trials, Counter Narratives, and Legal Rights
Chapter Four. Allegory, Interpretation, and Equality Rights
Chapter Five. “We don’t need anybody’s Constitution”: Indigenous Peoples and Resistance to Rights

A Culture of Rights is an important and timely book that will prompt serious rethinking about the strengths and limits of the rights revolution and of Canada’s role in its implementation. If anyone is looking for proof of the value of humanities research, then this book is it.”

Diana Brydon, Canada Research Chair in Globalization and Cultural Studies, Department of English, Film, and Theatre, University of Manitoba

‘This book is a good model of interdisciplinarity – Authers succeeds in marrying the different domains of law and literature in a complex and interesting analysis.’

G.A. McBeath, Choice, vol 54:04:2016