Reading and the Law

1 May 2018, 17:00 - 19:00

Seminar Room SG2, Alison Richard Building. NB Different day

Jan-Melissa Schramm (University of Cambridge)
Rachel Holmes (University of Cambridge)

In Hilary Mantel’s novel Wolf Hall, Thomas Cromwell reflects that ‘[w]hen you are writing laws you are testing words to find their utmost power. Like spells, they have to make things happen in the real world, and like spells, they only work if people believe in them.’ Yet Cromwell must have been aware of the precise practices involved in legal reading to make such a statement. This seminar will consider the ways in which legal documents such as witness statements and constitutions are read, today and in the past, in order to consider what it means to read in a legal setting.


Papers are pre-circulated and should be read in advance.
Please contact Dr Ruth Jackson ( to sign up and receive the readings by email.


Open to all.  No registration required
Part of Theologies of Reading Research Group Seminar Series

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