Christopher L. Tomlins, Foreword: 'Law As...' II, History as Interface for the Interdisciplinary Study of Law, 4 UC Irvine L. Rev. 1 (2014)
This issue of the UC Irvine Law Review contains sixteen articles based on papers originally presented at the second "Law As ... " symposium, held March 9-11, 2012, at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. Those works join eighteen articles published by the UC Irvine Law Review in September 2011, following the inaugural "Law As ... " symposium held in April 2010. Together, the two collections (and those to come) comprise a body of research that I believe represents the beginnings of a distinct trajectory in interdisciplinary legal scholarship. This trajectory deploys history as an interpretive practice-that is, as a theory, a methodology, and even a philosophy-by which to engage in research on law. Simultaneously it proposes history as a substantive arena in which other interpretive research practices-those of anthropology, literature, political economy, political science, political theory, rhetoric, and sociology-can engage with law. The result is a capacious interdisciplinary jurisprudence inflected by history rather than by the positivism of the social sciences, which holds out the possibility, a century after their divorce, of reuniting metaphysics with materiality.