7th Melbourne Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory

Monday 1st December – Tuesday 2nd December 2014

Call for Papers 

borderlines posterMelbourne Law School will host the seventh annual Melbourne Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory on 1–2 December 2014. The Forum brings together research students from all academic disciplines to engage with social, political, theoretical, and methodological issues raised by law and legal theory.  The workshop is a welcoming, collegial and supportive forum that aims to foster intellectual and  personal relationships between researchers and to help build a community of new scholars engaging  with interdisciplinary approaches to law and legal theory.


Borderlines constitute the boundaries between and within legal orders. While borders assert their permanency and inviolability, guarding who the law protects and who it disregards, we know that they are contingent, moveable, transient and above all human creations. The word ‘borderline’ evokes many conflicting meanings — sharp divides, permeations and transgression, centre and periphery, the invisibility of some distinctions and the starkness of others, abnormality and a lack of normalcy, and the imprecision and vagueness of resting ‘on the borderline’ — each of which speaks to the relations between different legal orders that take on many forms, all of varying permanency. This year’s theme challenges participants to think about law legal theory in its transnational and domestic orders and forms through the concept of the borderline.

Where do the borders fall between and within the transnational and domestic, and why?  Transnational legal orders are wary of and antagonistic towards the borderline even as they assert its  irrelevance. The domestic might be seen as the target, the market, or the audience of transnational  law. Yet transnational law in an older, more strictly international sense treated the domestic as  secluded; bordered away and free from international norms in all but the most serious of actions.  How, where and why are these borders collapsed or reasserted? For domestic law the transnational can be welcomed as wisdom and cooperation or feared as threat and challenge. How does it border itself from the outside world? Why and how does the domestic subsume and contort that which it asserts is foreign? How does it ‘tame’ those things, behaviours, norms, and peoples it calls ‘savage’ or ‘wild’? Where does the transnational and domestic lay their borders? Who proclaims and perpetuates them? How are the borderlines imagined and drawn in the academy, the court, the ministry and the legislature? And how do activists, peoples and social movements respond?

How should we theorise the way the interactions between these orders take place? Borderlines might at first seem a sharp ‘/’ that divides and excludes. But those sharing divisive  borders can also be linked and unified by them. When might the borderline between legal orders be  better read as a confluence, congruence, harmony, interaction, influx, encounter, tension, intrusion,  conflict, or indifference? Should legal orders be imagined spatially: as bordered shapes, levels, webs,  spheres or something else? Where do legal scholars draw their borders, and how do legal ideas  move across intellectual, cultural and political borders? Should the jurist position herself as domestic  or transnational? And what might we learn from examining and taking up how other academic  traditions — the humanities, social and empirical sciences — approach the domestic and  transnational?

How do different legal traditions and cultures deal with the transnational and domestic? The civil and common law traditions locate domestic law within the nation-state and transnational laws  across the borders states. But in what ways do we think beyond and against laws of the state? How is  the transnational and domestic treated in other legal orders — religious, customary, indigenous — and where do they lay their own borders? How does the domestic and transnational respond to the  non-national? Do these terms carry or connote different meanings for peoples, governments and  organizations in the Global South/North, or East/West? And what treatment of those laws made other  is needed for an order to function, to maintain its claim to authority over a body of people or law?


We invite graduate students to consider the theme in relation to both in their own work and the scholarship and materials with which they engage. Higher research degree students in any discipline anywhere in the world may apply to present at the Forum or attend. Applicants must submit an  abstract of 500 words by 31 August 2014 to law-mdflt@unimelb.edu.au. Invited papers of 2,000–5,000 words are due on 2 November 2014, and the Melbourne Journal of International Law has expressed interest in publishing select full papers. Visit law.unimelb.edu.au/mdflt for full details.

Queer Objects: A Symposium

Robyn Wiegman

Annamarie Jagose

Thursday 16th to Friday 17th October, 2014

Conference Room, Level 1 A D Hope Bldg (14), ANU

Gender Institute & SLLL, ANU

dreamstate‘The rejection of essentialism,’ David Halperin writes in How to be Gay (2012), ‘did not prevent the original founders of queer theory from asking “What do Queers want?”’. In her Object Lessons (2012), Robyn Wiegman explores the political and institutional effects of scholarly attachments to objects of knowledge. Queer theory is, for Wiegman, one of several ‘identity knowledges’ that share a commitment to social justice and that can teach us lessons about what and how we want. More than two decades after queer theory’s emergence, presenters at this symposium are invited to engage with queer as an object and with the object lessons of queer theory.

  • Camp objects and aesthetics
  • Screens and closets
  • Queer knowledge: secrets and revelations
  • Queer archives and ephemera
  • Queer bodies and voices
  • Antinormativity
  • Queer as death drive / form of life.

For further information and to register your attendance please contact symposium convenor Monique Rooney. Monique.Rooney@anu.edu.au. Tel (02) 6125 0531


Australian Feminist Law Journal – Call for Papers for General Issue

Volume 41.1, June 2015

Deadline of September 30th, 2014

AFLJ cover

The Australian Feminist Law Journal is seeking articles for publication for the next General Issue of the Journal, namely Volume 41.1 (June 2015). The journal focuses upon scholarly research using critical feminist approaches to law and justice, broadly conceived. As an international Critical Legal Journal we publish research informed by critical theory, cultural and literary theory, jurisprudential, postcolonial and psychoanalytic approaches, amongst other critical research practices. The length of an article should be from 8,000 to 12,000 words, although shorter articles are welcome. We particularly wish to encourage interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary writing focusing on law.  Prospective authors are encouraged to submit a proposed abstract to the Managing Editors at an early stage before final submission.

Articles should be submitted electronically to the Managing Editors at: aflj@griffith.edu.au and should include an abstract (300 words), and a brief separate statement regarding their use of critical research methodologies or critical theory.

Refereeing of Articles

The Australian Feminist Law Journal referees all manuscripts submitted for publication as an article and follows the double-blind refereeing procedure. Referees will be selected with expertise in the author’s area of scholarship. Authors are requested to place their name and affiliation on a separate page, and eliminate any self-identifying citation of one’s own work. The journal will not accept manuscripts for consideration that are already under consideration by another journal. The AFLJ has Green Open Access status within national research funding policy.

Manuscript Style and Presentation

The journal style should be followed as closely as possible, to eliminate delays at the time of printing where an incorrect style would necessitate changes.

An electronic version of the journal style guide can be found on the AFLJ website:  http://www.griffith.edu.au/criminology-law/australian-feminist-law-journal/contributor-guide.

Academic and subscription enquiries may be forwarded to aflj@griffith.edu.au

Editor-in-Chief – Judith Grbich – Griffith Law School

Managing Editors – Karen Crawley & Joanne Stagg-Taylor – Griffith Law School

From 2014 the Australian Feminist Law Journal is published by Routledge, Taylor & Francis. www.tandfonline.com/rfem

Law Literature and the Humanities Association of Australasia Conference 2015

Dates: 9-12 December 2015 – with 9 December as postgraduate day

University of Technology Sydney Law School, Sydney, Australia


Complicity is a state of being complex or involved, and no matter where we are, or what we do, law is part of our entanglement in the world. This conference will explore the complexity of law, and law’s labryinthine relations with culture, politics and capital. It will investigate law as an accomplice, as well as law’s role in shaping (and resisting) certain problematic moral, political and material positions.
The conference invites consideration of the following questions:
  • What does complicity reveal about law’s methods and modes, its affects and effects?
  • How are law’s genres, narratives, processes and images complicit in the creation of particular imaginaries, materialities and practices of the everyday?
  • How might we work within visual, narrative, creative and textual domains and devise strategies to reveal and counter law’s complicities, and acknowledge our own?
Of course, to live with law, and our intertwined complicities, is not an easy task. As law and humanities scholars, whether we accept or reject complicity, we cannot abandon law or lawful thought. As such, the challenge becomes one of how we might live with law yet continue to navigate our politics, ethics and forms of protest with critical and creative agency.
Please save the date. We will send a full call for papers and reminder later in 2014.
For more information, please email llh@uts.edu.au

Law Text Culture Vol. 19 (2015) Call for Proposals

Deadline 1 August 2014

The Editorial Board of Law Text Culture is seeking proposals for the 2015 special edition of the Journal (Volume 19), due for publication in December 2015.

Law Text Culture is an interdisciplinary journal which aims to produce fresh insights and knowledges along three axes of inquiry:

Politics: engaging the relationship of force and resistance;

Aesthetics: eliciting the relationship of judgment and expression;

Ethics: exploring the relationship of self and other.

Law Text Culture publishes a broad range of work from artwork and fiction to the traditional scholarly essay.  The Journal is trans-continental and peer reiewed and proposals are encouraged to incorporate work that is both domestic and international.

Proposals should include:

  • a concise description of the proposed theme;
  • a draft call for papers;
  • brief details of the guest editor(s);
  • an indication of the intended authors and how they are to be identified/contacted (eg. whether the proposal arises out of a seminar series, conference or workshop); and
  • the range of genres (ie. poetry, scholarly essays, artwork etc.) expected to be included in the edition

Proposals should be no more than 500 words and should be emailed to the Managing Editor by close of business Friday 1 August 2014

Details on the editors and themes of previous editions of Law Text Culture are available at: http://ro.uow.edu.au/ltc/all_issues.html

Associate Professor Marett Leiboff

Managing Editor of Law Text Culture

Legal Intersections Research Centre

School of Law

University of Wollongong NSW 2522 AUSTRALIA

Email: marett@uow.edu.au


Legal Intersections Research Centre (LIRC): Through the Looking Glass – The Framing of Law and Justice through Popular Imagination

Legal Intersections Research Centre (LIRC), University of Wollongong

Date: Friday 4 July 2014

Time: 9am-5pm

Location: 67.202 – Moot Court

Register: Online by 27 June.  Registration is free.  Places are limited.

aliceFollowing Alice, who contemplates, and then explores, the world on the other side of the looking glass, this symposium calls upon participants to reflect on and encounter the concepts of law and justice as broadly framed within popular imagination via the portal of popular cultural texts. Under this banner, presenters will investigate and revisit issues that map the different dimensions of a cultural legal studies approach to popular culture and its relationship with legal knowledge, law practice and jurisprudence covering issues such as:

  • The role of legal storytelling in transforming, mirroring, creating, and sustaining legal consciousness.
  • The framing and/or distortion of law within popular images and narratives.
  • The transformation of meaning in relation to justice, and/or how justice (dis)connects with law.
  • The (de)mystification of law through popular stories.

Keynote Speaker: Jessica Silbey

silbeyJessica Silbey is a law professor at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Professor Silbey’s scholarly interests and expertise is in the cultural analysis of law, exploring the law beyond its doctrine to the contexts and processes in which legal relations develop and become significant for everyday actors.  Professor Silbey has published widely in the field of law and film, exploring how film is used as a legal tool and how it becomes an object of legal analysis in light of its history as a cultural object and art form. She recently co-edited a book about law and television entitled Law and Justice on the Small Screen (2012).

Other presenters: Jason Bainbridge, Penny Crofts, David Papke, William MacNeil, Cassandra Sharp, Kieran Tranter

Convenor: Dr Cassandra Sharp, Senior Lecturer, School of Law

Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts, UOW, e: csharp@uow.edu.au


Law and the Visual: Transitions and Transformations

Humanities Research Centre

Australian National University

7-8 July 2014image002

This remarkable two day event brings together outstanding new research and an exceptional international line-up.  Scholars and higher degree research students with research interests in law and the humanities, representation, law and culture, and visual theory will not want to miss this event.  It indicates new directions and frames new questions in an exciting new area of interdisciplinary scholarship.

Keynote speakers

  • Peter Goodrich – Faces and Frames of Government: Vision and the Common Law
  • Desmond Manderson – Blindness made Visible: Dimensions of Time in Brueghel’s Justice
  • Richard Sherwin – What Authorises the Image?  Visualizing Law as Imitation and Event
  • Alison Young – Situating the Image in Law: Space, Genre, Encounter

Plus international panels on: technologies of surveillance; law, history and colonialism; the artist speaks; the body as signifier; justice and visibility

Including papers from Australia, England, United States, Canada, Belgium and Thailand

Register Now.

For further information, please contact the Convenor, Professor Desmond Manderson, Future Fellow, ANU College of Law / Research School of Humanities and the Arts, ANU, Canberra.  desmond.manderson@anu.edu.au

Griffith Law School Public Lecture: Picturing Moral Arguments in a Fraught Legal Arena: Fetuses, Photographic Phantoms and Ultrasounds

Professor Jessica Silbey, Suffolk University, Boston

Wednesday 9th July 2014   6-7pm

Griffith Film School, South Bank Campus

Since photographs and film were available to everyday people they have been part of the legal system and its factual evaluations with the goal of justice. Not without controversy, photographs and film have been used to prove the existence and nonexistence of liability, guilt or innocence. This lecture canvasses the use of film and photographs as legal tools for proof and then situates that history in the contemporary legal and moral debate over abortion. In particular, this lecture describes the rhetoric concerning the value and purpose of ultrasound technology as a kind of film with a particular focus on the ideology of the image to tell a compelling story on behalf of the “Right to Life” movement.

As the lecture will describe, images obscure as much as they may clarify or persuade. Although anti-abortion activists may rely on ultrasound imaging to support its position that abortions are forms of infanticide, the movement’s reliance on these uncertain and phantasmal photographs is misplaced and may backfire. Comparisons to other uses of filmic technology in legal settings will be made. After a brief history of the epistemology of the photographic image and its place and function in legal disputes and legislative debates, this paper situates within that history the contemporary cultural and legal debate over reproductive choice in terms of medical imaging technology.

Jessica Silbey is a law professor at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, teaching in the areas of intellectual property and constitutional law. Professor Silbey received her BA from Stanford University and her JD and PhD (Comparative Literature) from the University of Michigan. After clerking for Judge Robert E Keeton on the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts and Judge Levin Campbell on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, she practiced law in the disputes department of the Boston office of Foley Hoag LLP focusing on intellectual property, bankruptcy and reproductive rights.

Professor Silbey’s scholarly interests and expertise is in the cultural analysis of law, exploring the law beyond its doctrine to the contexts and processes in which legal relations develop and become significant for everyday actors. Professor Silbey has published widely in the field of law and film, exploring how film is used as a legal tool and how it becomes an object of legal analysis in light of its history as a cultural object and art form. Some of her publications in this field include, Judges as Film Critics: New Approaches to Filmic Evidence (2004), Filmmaking in the Precinct House and the Genre of Documentary Film (2005) and Criminal Performances: Film, Autobiography, and Confession (2007). She recently co-edited a book about law and television entitled Law and Justice on the Small Screen (Hart, 2012). In the field of intellectual property, Professor Silbey’s scholarship focuses on the humanistic and sociological dimension of the legal regulation of creative and innovative work.

Date: Wednesday 9 July 2014
Time: 6.00 to 7.00pm (light refreshments from 5.30pm)
Venue: Griffith Film School, Griffith University, Cnr Dock & Vulture Sts, South Brisbane
RSVP: Please register online by 2 July 2014

CFP: Architecture, Law and the Senses Symposium

University of Technology, Sydney
The Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building and the Faculty of Law
3 – 4 September 2014

Architectural scholars have long argued that the sensory bias of architecture towards sight is problematic, reducing habitable space and architectural form to mere images disengaged from a richer experience of space. Socio-legal and critical scholars have similarly argued that lawyers’ obsession with the word and text limits their appreciation of how law is experienced, or authority is generated, through performance.

This symposium will explore the phenomenology of the built environment and law by attending to the full panoply of their sensory dynamics. By facilitating a broader engagement with the sensory experience of civic spaces and buildings associated with the production of justice, the symposium will move beyond existing paradigms to consider how spatial experience, scale, depth, sound, tactility and other phenomena inform, or reflect, the engagement of citizens in the rituals and procedures of justice. By examining legal spectacles such as the opening of the legal year or swearing in ceremonies alongside everyday legal rituals in the trial and on the street, it challenges us to consider law’s pungency, feel and rhythm. In this symposium we ask: how does architecture respond to law, and how does law respond to architecture?

This symposium is inherently inter-disciplinary and aims to interrogate the various ways in which the disciplines of architecture, design and law can breach conventional academic boundaries. The following questions might provide stimuli for contributors:

  • What is the agency of law in the production of space and contextual arrangement of urbanism?
  • What is the role of the architect, and the place of architectural agency, in an era of increased regulation, litigation and overly prescriptive design guidance formulated by committees?
  • How can buildings reflect or shape cultural and political relationships by prescribing certain types of relationships between subject and environment?
  • What can design and art tell us about the ways in which law lays claim to authority and legitimacy, or is experienced as chaos?
  • How are bodies controlled through the production of space?

Registration Fee: $55.00 (including GST)

Keynote speaker: Professor Linda Mulcahy, London School of Economics and Political Science and UTS Distinguished Visiting Scholar in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building. Professor Mulcahy is currently Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) where she is the Director of the LSE Doctoral Training Centre and the Doctoral Program in the Law Department. Her most recent book, Legal Architecture: Justice, Due Process and the Place of Law, has received critical acclaim and has prompted invitations to deliver plenary lectures at conferences across the UK, Australia, USA, France, Portugal and China.

Call for papers
Please send by 26 May 2014 a 300-word abstract and a short cv to Dr Emma Rowden (Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building) by email (emma.rowden@uts.edu.au). Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by 9 June 2014. If you wish to attend the symposium only, please contact Dr Emma Rowden by 20 August 2014. The symposium will take place at UTS on 3 – 4 September, 2014. We intend to publish an edited collection of invited papers following the symposium.


Visualising Law and Gender – Centre for Law and Culture Conference 2014

St Mary’s University

Twickenham, London

Law both regulates cultural representations and creates them. These dual themes will be explored in a conference focused upon the twin strands of law and visual culture, and law and gender.

How does law regulate gender; how does it regulate images? What is/are the relationship/s between visual culture and the gendering of law? How have gendered divisions structured the legal profession and practice, and what is the role of the visual in understanding such complexities? How can visual culture and representation challenge or enlighten the gendered dimensions of law? This conference is aimed at exploring the intersections of law, gender, and the visual in an effort to address such questions and related concerns.

Papers are sought in relation to the dual themes of the conference:

Visualising Law: Intersection(s) of law with visual culture, in all its manifestations (including graphic fiction and Graphic Justice, TV, film, photo-journalism, art and art history). The conference welcomes an exploration of ‘law’ and ‘visual culture’ in the broadest sense of these terms.

Gendering Law: The representation of gender in the law, historically and today, and the law’s responses to wider cultural representations (topics may include but are not limited to gendering legal history, law as gendered spectacle, sexuality and the law).

Papers traversing or combining these broad themes are particularly welcome.

Submit abstracts (300 words) to the organisers (thomas.giddens@smuc.ac.uk or judith.bourne@smuc.ac.uk) no later than 31st May 2014. The organisers are also willing to discuss prospective ideas for papers prior to the submission of abstracts.

Conference date: 3rd-4th September 2014
Location: St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London TW1 4SX
Registration fee: £100
Please visit www.smuc.ac.uk/law-and-culture/conferences for more details.