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Legal Radicals in Madonna's Closet: The Influence of Identity Politics, Popular Culture, and a New Generation on Critical Legal Studies

Legal Radicals in Madonna's Closet: The Influence of Identity Politics, Popular Culture, and a New Generation on Critical Legal Studies

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Stanford Law Review
Legal Radicals in Madonna's Closet: The Influence of Identity Politics, Popular Culture, and aNew Generation on Critical Legal StudiesSexy Dressing Etc.: Essays on the Power and Politics of Cultural Identity by Duncan KennedyReview by: Naomi Mezey
Stanford Law Review,
Vol. 46, No. 6 (Jul., 1994), pp. 1835-1861Published by:
Stable URL:
Accessed: 29/05/2013 23:02
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This content downloaded from 200.10.244.14 on Wed, 29 May 2013 23:02:52 PMAll use subject toJSTOR Terms and Conditions
 
BOOKNOTELegalRadicalsnMadonna'sCloset:TheInfluence fIdentityolitics,opularCulture,nd a NewGenerationnCriticalegal Studies
NaomiMezey*
SEXYDRESSING ETC.: ESSAYSON THEPOWER AND POLITICSOFCULTURALIDENTITY.
ByDuncanKennedy.Cambridge,Mass.:HarvardUniversityPress.1993.258pp.$24.95.In this ooknote,NaomiMezeyxplores othheontentnd the ontextof
Sexyressingtc.:Essaysnheowernd oliticsfCulturaldentity,
byDuncanKennedy,leading igurentheriticalegaltudiesCLS)move-ment.Ms.MezeyeesKennedysengagedntwoelatedrojects:irst,e-spondingocriticismsfCLS byfeministnd critical acetheorists,ndsecond,evitalizingadicalefthoughtornewgenerationfculture-con-sciouscholars.Ms.Mezey ocusesnKennedy'snalysisf heopularer-formeradonna norder odiscusshowpopularultureanbe a siteorstrategiceinterpretationfraditionalarrativesboutacendgenderhatin turnnfluencehe awandegaltheory.s.Mezeyuggets hatrapplingwithopculture otonlyffersluesabouthowcommunitiesefine hem-selves, ut an alsoadd vitalorcendattractivenessoradicalegaltheory.
Behind heprovocativendglossyook acketf DuncanKennedy'sew
book,SexyDressing Etc.:Essays onthePowerandPoliticsofCulturalden-
tity,sa culturalndpoliticalattleground,lreadycarredndmokingromongoing ebatesboutace,lass, ndgender,boutawandegalntitlements,aboutowernddeology.nthecantilyladnarrativeersona fa (radical)Americanladiator,ennedyraverseshiserrainithudacitynd kill,x-
*Third-yeartudent,tanfordawSchool. I wouldike othanknumberfpeoplewhohelpedmetoformulatearlydeas or torefine hosedeaswithommentsndrafts:Matthewaul, MelindaSarafa,asonoviglio,om Grey,anetalley,MarkKelman,obGordon, eggyRadin. Thankslsototheensitiveditingork fthetanfordawReviewNotesDepartment.ithouthe imeffordedby anunsuccessfulanceaudition orMadonna's1993 WorldTour, hisnotewouldneverhavebeenwritten.
1835
This content downloaded from 200.10.244.14 on Wed, 29 May 2013 23:02:52 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
 
1836STANFORD AWREVIEW [Vol.46:1835ploringoints fntersectionmonghese ebatesndnvariablytirringpnewcontroversy.Thevery ompositionf thebook,ourreviouslyublishedssaysbyawell-establishedcholar,'uggestshehresholduestion:Whybook?Morespecifically,hy hisookof thesessays?WhileKennedylaims hat achessaysanattemptoocateplaceforhe adical ntellectualndentityoli-tics,2 oth hetructurendcontentfthebook uggesthat e sdoingmuchmore.propose hatwoargerrojectshreadhisollectionogether. hefirst, hichaddressnPart,isaresponseo theritiquesf criticalegalstudiesCLS)posedbycriticalace heoryndfeministheory.discuss hesubstantiveritiquesfCLSvoicedbythesechools,3swellas the ess-ar-ticulateddeauthorization"fCLS thathealiency f hese heoriesmplies.lookmostlyo thetructurendrhetoricalropes f thebook odentifyen-nedy'sesponseo thesehallenges.The secondndmore ubstantiverojectfthebook,whichtakeupinPartI, isarevitalizationfcriticalegal tudiespecifically,ndradicalefttheoryenerally,imedt a newgenerationfpotentiallyadical)MTV-bredintellectualsndegalcholars.contendhathisetoolingsmainlymethod-ological,indingnpopularulturenterpretivenspiration-alacewhere helargerocial ndpoliticalystemseproducehemselves,s wells whereheyencounteresistancendreinterpretation.dealsubstantivelyithhebook'sfinalndcentralssay nsexydressing,ocusingnKennedy'siscussionfMadonna. concludehe ectionyxaminingennedy'sotivesormakingtheadicalntellectualntopostmodernulturalheoreticianndbydiscussingthevalueofculturalnterpretationnegalnalysisndscholarship. his n-quiryinksarts andIbydentifyingopculturesa vitallaceofsubcul-tureormationndpointfdynamicialogueetweenhe awandome f tsmostenegadeubjects.
I.
DELEGITIMATING THEDELEGITIMATORS: CLS ANDITSCRITICALALLIES
A. ASketch fCriticalegalStudiesIn theorganizingetter orheir irstormalathering,hefounders"fcriticalegal tudiesincludingennedy)oughtobringogethereftntellec-tualswhoviewedawas "annstrumentfocial, conomicndpoliticalomi-nation."4hey wanted odemonstrateall themyriadays nwhichhe
1.See DuncanKennedy,CulturalluralistCase forAffirmativectionnLegalAcademia,1990
DUKE
L.J.705;DuncanKennedy, adicalntellectualsnAmericanulture ndPolitics, rMyTalk at theGramscinstitute,
RETHINKING
MARXISM00(1988); DuncanKennedy, exualAbuse,SexyDressingnd theEroticizationfDomination,6NEW
NG.
L.
REV.
13091992);DuncanKen-nedy,TheStakes fLaw,orHale andFoucault!,5
LEGALSTUD.
F.327(1991).2.P. viii.3. Forthepurposesfthis eviewndtheake ofsimplicity,treatothritical acetheoryndfeministheorysbeingmoreohesive ndntellectuallynanimoushanitherctuallys.4.
MARKKELMAN,
A
GUIDE TO CRITICALLEGALSTUDIES
297 n.11987)(quoting herganizingletter).For a morextensive iscussionf theriticalegalstudiesmovement,eegenerallyuncanKennedyKarl E.Klare,ABibliographyf CriticalegalStudies,4
YALE
L.J.461(1984);Sympo-sium,Criticalegal Studiesymposium,6
STAN.
L.
REV.
1(1984).
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