University of Cambridge > > Wolfson College Humanities Society talks > Liberalizing Contracts: Nineteenth Century promises through literature, law and history

Liberalizing Contracts: Nineteenth Century promises through literature, law and history

Add to your list(s) Download to your calendar using vCal

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Rachel E. Holmes.

Rosenberg examines nineteenth-century liberalism, as developed through, and as it developed, the concept of contract, by placing canonical realist novels in conversation with contracts histories. Current understandings, it is argued, need reconstructing from both ends of Henry Maine’s famed “status to contract.” On the side of contract, histories have been oscillating between atomism and social-collective approaches, missing out on forms of relationality in Victorian liberal conceptualizations of contracts. On the side of status, the expectation of a move “from status” has led to a split along the liberal/radical fault line, which overlooks the possibility that liberalism functioned as a historical reinterpretation of status hierarchies – particularly gender and class – rather than either an effort of their elimination, or preservation.

This talk is part of the Wolfson College Humanities Society talks series.

Tell a friend about this talk:

This talk is included in these lists:

Note that ex-directory lists are not shown.


© 2006-2023, University of Cambridge. Contact Us | Help and Documentation | Privacy and Publicity