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A change of heart: retraction and body

Jacob, Marie-Andrée and Macdonald, Anna (2020) A change of heart: retraction and body. Law Text Culture, 23 (1, Leg). pp. 262-275. ISSN 1322-9060

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Abstract

This intervention stems from Jacob and Macdonald's shared interest in lines as material, somatic and metaphorical forms. The line that we interrogate is the strikethrough: the line superimposed upon text in order to retract a meaningful or weighty statement in particular legal proceedings. We ask what this seemingly simple device of erasure can reveal about the transparent retraction of a statement, and its place within a dispositif attributed to law. Taking note of the editors’ explicit injunction not to necessarily equate the material with the physical, we mine the artefactual qualities of the typographical line of strikethrough: to us it constitutes a digital device, physical mark and affective embodied force. A device, a mark, a force: these are precisely what make the strikethrough a material of sort. We use materials to explore materials. We do this by bringing together socio-legal analysis and embodied practice-based research, using Macdonald’s moving image artwork Walk (strikethrough with pen) (2016) to refine how strikethrough registers as a distinctive legal material.

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