Sorting Flesh, Making Waste: A Lawscape of Human Remains
My dissertation should develop legal theory as it conceptualises legal relations that emerge from the “legal status, treatment and disposition of human remains” (Marsh 2015, 1). In particular, I am interested in how law mediates the classification of some human remains as waste and others as non-waste, and the consequences that follow for how those remains are treated. To make sense of how law contributed and contributes to the classification of human remains, I anticipate bringing theoretical literature on law and the body into conversation with legal geography and legal materialism. Legal geography and materialism—supplemented by interdisciplinary literatures—should allow me to critically re-examine property law, health law and other discrete doctrinal areas which are traditionally used to comment on the legal significance of human remains. I also hope components of this project will assist me with my general research interests in assessing the place of the body—in this case, human remains—in what I see as more-than-human forms of law and theory.