Queen Mary School of Law lecturesOct 12, 2022
The UK IVR Neil MacCormick Memorial Lecture, 2022
How do legal theorists read each other’s work? What are the joys and pleasures, but also the burdens and responsibilities, of reading each other? And what are the different ways in which we can read the work of a theorist: what difference, for instance, does it make if we read the entire corpus rather than one or only a few selected pieces? Does it matter if we ignore that theorist’s childhood, education, and involvement in activities beyond academia, such as politics? Conversely, what is gained when we do read contextually – engaging with that theorist’s life? What are the benefits, but also what are the limits, of reading the work of a single theorist, rather than, say, the series of conversations that theorist engages in, or rather than the work of the many communities and institutions they are part of? This lecture will raise these, and other questions, concerning reading theory, and explore them in the context of the life and work of Neil MacCormick.