Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Owensby and Ross Interviewed on "Justice in a New World"

Every month or so the Toynbee Prize Foundation posts interviews with the authors of books on comparative and global history.  Just up is its interview of Brian Owensby and Richard Ross about their edited volume, Justice in a New World: Negotiating Legal Intelligibility in British, Iberian, and Indigenous America (2018).  Writes the moderator, Nicholas Sy, University of the Philippines Diliman:

How intelligible were colonial legal norms to indigenous Americans and how intelligible were indigenous legal norms to settlers? Responding to a historiography that describes either a dynamic of gradual understanding or a dynamic of continuing incomprehension, legal historians Professors Brian Owensby and Richard Ross have crafted the prodigious edited volume Justice in a New World. Resting on nuanced comparison, the volume argues for a less homogenizing view, and highlights instead the degree to which various indigenous communities were integrated into different early modern empires.

In our conversation, we discuss the genesis of their work and its key concepts. We also explore the different comparative axes along which we may examine both indigenous and settler notions of intelligibility.

--Dan Ernst