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"Law's Outsiders": An interview with Alex Sharpe
Retfӕrd (2012)
  • Linnéa Wegerstad, Lund University
  • Niklas Selberg, Lund University

In May 2012 Alex Sharpe, Professor of Law at Keele University, UK, visited Lund University where she participated in a series of seminars and workshops organised around a central motif in her work: the legal outsider. As part of her visit she presented a version of a paper recently published in the Modern Law Review titled “Transgender Marriage and the Legal Obligation to Disclose Gender History.” The paper focused on and challenged the legal and wider cultural framing of non-disclosure of gender history as harmful and as unethical. The paper is her latest intervention and forms part of a substantial body of writing around transgender/law issues. This corpus includes her book: Transgender Jurisprudence: Dysphoric Bodies of Law (2002), the first to offer a critical treatment of the subject. In a separate workshop she approached the legal constitution and regulation of outsiders through the lens of the monster. This event served to introduce her latest book, Foucault's Monsters and the Challenge of Law. In contrast to a focus on one specific group of legal outsiders (transgender people), Foucault’s Monsters offers instead a deeper theoretical analysis and a much broader historical sweep. Drawing on Foucault, the book presents a theoretical framework for understanding the legal production of outsiders and a history of the legal category monster. The history presented works both as a history of the past, but also, and more importantly, as a history of the present whereby sense is made, through the monster template, of contemporary outsider figures: admixed embryos, conjoined twins and transgender people. This interview with Professor Sharpe focuses on these two aspects of her scholarly work: transgender/law relations specifically and the legal constitution and regulation of outsiders more generally understood through Foucault’s monster template.

  • Alex Sharpe,
  • transgender jurisprudence,
  • Foucault,
  • monsters,
  • law,
  • gender,
  • sexuality,
  • anti-discrimination
Publication Date
Citation Information
Linnéa Wegerstad and Niklas Selberg. ""Law's Outsiders": An interview with Alex Sharpe" Retfӕrd Vol. 138 Iss. 3 (2012)
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