Rather than stand down the naysayers with a nihilistic credo of the humanities for its own sake, this essay examines the apparently weak resources of “justification” as a set of rhetorical procedures that navigate that which is ungrounded or untranslatable. Justification, as a problem of translation and material embodiment emerges as a transversal theoretical project in its own right for the contemporary comparative humanities. It also continues to name the problem of procedure and procedural new beginnings in a more strictly legal frame.

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