Mark S. Weiner

Archive for 2017|Yearly archive page

The Final Days of Law’s Picture Books

In Books and libraries on November 13, 2017 at 6:03 pm

“Law’s Picture Books” has been hailed as “fascinating” by The New Yorker, “eye-opening” by the Wall Street Journal, and “courageous” by the Frankfurter Allgemeine, and now it’s been praised as exceptional by The New Criterion—and it’s still on display at the Grolier Club until November 18!

If you can’t make it, my co-curator and I have just completed our digital gallery tour of the exhibit on the blog Concurring Opinions. Here are links to all the stops along the way:

  1. Our introduction
  2. Symbolizing the Law
  3. Depicting the Law
  4. Diagramming the Law
  5. Measuring the Law
  6. Staging the Law
  7. Inflicting the Law
  8. Arguing the Law
  9. Teaching the Law
  10. Laughing—and Crying—at the Law
  11. Beautifying the Law

Climate Change Denial as Historical Consciousness

In Environment, Legal Philosophy on November 10, 2017 at 7:25 am

Today in the Open Society series of the Niskanen Center, I argue that climate change denial is a central form of historical consciousness under Trumpism. You can find the essay here.

A Virtual Tour of Law’s Picture Books

In Aesthetics, Books and libraries on October 17, 2017 at 8:20 am

Over at Concurring Opinions, Mike Widener and I are conducting a virtual tour of our “Law’s Picture Books” exhibit at the Grolier Club. We introduce the tour here.


I hope you can join us!

A Lovely Review; a Small Addendum

In Books and libraries on September 26, 2017 at 8:47 pm

This kind review of “Law’s Picture Books” appeared online today in the Wall Street Journal (on a gated site) and will be published in print tomorrow. The review, by the esteemed critic Edward Rothstein, calls the exhibit “unusual” and “eye-opening,” and it’s quite insightful about our intentions—hurrah!

Also today, these photographs of the exhibit have been posted to the Grolier Club Flickr gallery.

A small addendum for professional historians following up on the review and finding themselves here. In his completely understandable enthusiasm for the dramatic story of David S. Terry, Rothstein writes that the exhibit “tells us” that he was shot and killed by Justice Stephen Field. Scholars familiar with the details of the case will appreciate that we instead write that “Terry was shot and killed”—of course, Terry in fact was killed by Justice Field’s bodyguard, giving rise to the case of In re Neagle (1890). The case is a confusing one, as is the passive voice. My hat’s off to Rothstein for his insightful review, which brings together a great body of complex historical material.

***

[update October 24, 2017]

Our exhibit has now been reviewed in the New Yorker—which hails it as “fascinating”—the Wall Street Journal—”eye-opening”—and the Frankfurter Allgemeine—”courageous.”

The Political Philosophy of “Fire or suspend!”

In Constitutional law, Corporations, Freedom of speech, Legal Philosophy on September 25, 2017 at 3:15 pm

My latest post for the Niskanen Center, about President Trump’s encouraging fans to boycott the NFL, is here.

Law’s Picture Books—on Video (with open captions for the deaf)

In Aesthetics, Aesthetics, narrative, form, Books and libraries, Law and film, Video on September 13, 2017 at 11:07 am

On the occasion of the public opening of “Law’s Picture Books” at the Grolier Club in New York, I’m posting all five of the exhibition videos, created under the imprint of Hidden Cabinet Films. In the exhibition hall, the video appear on a big-screen monitor through a nifty digital interface, but you can watch them at home, too. And if you can’t stroll up to the corner of 60th and Park to see the exhibit, you can order its accompanying 200-plus-page, full-color catalogue.

“Explore the mystery of law and sight.” With a soundtrack by Moby! This video explores some big questions that the exhibit poses about law and visual culture. ~ 5 minutes.

 

“How does the purpose of a legal illustration shape its relation with its accompanying text?” This video considers one of the exhibit’s underlying analytic themes. ~ 3 minutes.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Trumpism and the Philosophy of History

In Aesthetics, narrative, form on August 21, 2017 at 9:06 am

In a short opinion piece today in Project Syndicate, I reflect on Stephen Bannon’s departure.

Law’s Picture Books

In Aesthetics, Books and libraries on August 17, 2017 at 12:38 pm

I’m delighted to announce that the catalogue for “Law’s Picture Books” is now available directly through The Lawbook Exchange or through other online booksellers. The 220-page volume is based on an exhibition that I’ve co-curated with rare book librarian Mike Widener for the Grolier Club in New York. The exhibit opens to the public on September 13. If you can’t come and see the exhibit in person, the book includes images of every book on display, as well as their accompanying captions—plus more.

From the publisher:

“Illustrated law books” may seem like an oxymoron. After all, law is conceptual, analytic, and so very wordy! Yet for the past decade, over a thousand illustrated law books have been assembled in the Yale Law Library — spanning eight centuries and four continents. Law’s Picture Books began as a major exhibition of that collection at the Grolier Club in New York City, curated by Rare Book Librarian Michael Widener and legal historian Mark S. Weiner. In challenging the stereotype of legal literature as a dreary expanse of dry text, this book will surprise and delight both bibliophiles and members of the legal community. This handsome full-color book is enhanced by the essays “Collecting Yale Law Library’s Picture Books,” (Michael Widener), “Reflections on an Exhibition,” (Mark S. Weiner), “Ars Memoria in Early Law: Looking Beneath the Picture,” (Jolande E. Goldberg, Law Library of Congress), and “Law’s Picture Books and the History of Book Illustration,” (Erin C. Blake, Folger Shakespeare Library).

Narrative, Deconstruction, and Counter-terrorism

In Aesthetics, Aesthetics, narrative, form, Guest Posts, Islam, Law and literature, narrative on February 17, 2017 at 8:52 am

My colleagues at the strategy, national security, and military affairs journal The Bridge published my review today of some recent works by Ajit Maan, who brings a background in post-structuralist literary theory to her work in counter-terrorism. The post includes an extended close analysis of a recent ISIS video to highlight the care Daesh takes in producing and editing its propaganda (warning: the video is very graphic). Maan’s work points the way toward how high-level literary theory can help guide the use of “soft power” on behalf of democratic, post-colonial, and multi-cultural ideals—a fascinating and important blend of the philosophical and the practical.

 

Individual Liberty and the Power to Exclude

In Constitutional law, Guest Posts, Individualism, Supreme Court on February 16, 2017 at 3:59 pm

My friends at the libertarian Niskanen Center kindly gave me a forum to meditate on the President’s recent executive order about immigration. The post is here. The think tank has been publishing terrific critiques of the administration from a libertarian and center-right perspective, though it’s contributors are wonderfully hard to classify, forging a new political and ideological space—do keep an eye on these folks!