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Journal Articles Journal of the History of International Law Year : 2020

Turntablism in the History of International Law

Abstract

This article uses the metaphor of turntablism to shed light on the confinement of international lawyers’ engagement with history to the terms, vocabularies, and categories of the very historical narratives they seek to evaluate, disrupt, or displace. For the sake of this article, turntablism is understood here as the art of creating new music and sound effects by using one or several turntables on which a record is placed. This article argues that twenty-first century international lawyers engaging with the history of international law are talented turntablists in that the many historiographical works of international lawyers produced since the so-called ‘historical turn’ have remained confined to the very terms, categories, and vocabularies of the histories whose creation they have been discoursing and theorising. This article ultimately shows that turntablism is not the inevitable fate of international lawyers engaging with history, and that a radical historical critique is possible and should be promoted.

Dates and versions

hal-03972020 , version 1 (03-02-2023)

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Jean d'Aspremont. Turntablism in the History of International Law. Journal of the History of International Law, 2020, 22 (2-3), pp.472-496. ⟨10.1163/15718050-12340142⟩. ⟨hal-03972020⟩
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