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Abstract

Across the arts, social sciences, and the humanities there is a growing interest in the materiality of everyday experience. Feminist engagements with the social studies of science laid the foundations for a new generation of critical thinking that took a break from the hegemony of discourse to embrace the material practices that underpin knowledge, science, and power. (International) legal history, however, has been conspicuously absent from these discussions. For many scholars and practitioners, law is still a discipline that revolves around written texts limiting our engagements with its diverse material manifestations. Instead of outlining a single approach to materiality and international legal history, in this article I review several trends of 'new materialist' thinking, showing how each might enrich legal inquiries. International legal scholarship, which is undergoing a moment of theoretical openness, has much to gain from the engagement with the overlapping, contradictory, and unstable insights of the renewed materialisms.

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