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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Two claims are made by Veit Erlmann in his chapter on sound and violence in the legal imagination. The first claim is that, certainly as regards sound, the concept of the object is ill-defined. Instead, Kristeva’s notion of the abject should be used to describe the place of sound, as there is a repression of the initially ambiguous nature of the subject-object relation. The sonic abject is to be found within the unstable boundary between subject and object. The second claim is that, in law, sound can be seen as an abject. Discussing the prominent role of sound in two cases from international criminal law and US constitutional law, Erlmann demonstrates that sound sits uneasily amid legal discourse about agency and intention.

Keywords: sound object, abjection, legal imagination, speech, abject

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