Thursday, February 25, 2016

Spectacular Law - CALL FOR PAPERS (HKU, 8-10 December 2016)

Law, Literature and the Humanities Association of Australasia Conference 2016

The Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong, 8-10 December 2016
Preceded by a half-day Graduate Research Student Workshop


The LLH Association of Australasia invites researchers working at the intersection of law and the humanities to Hong Kong in 2016 to explore the complex relations between law, theory, culture and visuality. This conference invites participants to re-affirm the enduring capacity of interdisciplinary, creative and critical legal scholarship to allow us to see the law otherwise.
     The theme of ‘spectacular law’ invites reflection on the performance and dramaturgy of political and legal power, the affective lures of sovereignty and the technologies that reveal – and conceal – legality, dissent, (dis)obedience, and different modalities of regulation. This conference will examine the various ways in which we can see, and be seen by, law, politics and power. The location of this year’s conference prompts its theme. Hong Kong is a visually striking city: fading tower blocks, gleaming edifices, remnants of a colonial past, and canopies of neon suspended over street corners, all enframed by lushly forested hills and the increasingly contested waters of the South China Sea. The powerful visual affect, as much a result of the city’s geography as it is of its legal and political orderings, inspires an exploration of the spectacle.
     We invite either individual paper proposals or pre-arranged panels of 3-4 papers. Participants may present in the form of a traditional academic paper, panel discussion, or innovative presentational forms that engage video, performance or other media. We will consider proposals in any area of law, literature and the humanities. However in addressing the conference theme papers might wish to reflect on the following questions:

  • What are the techniques through which law’s operative power is made (in)visible today? 
  • How do the various methodologies of ‘law and humanities’ allow us to approach questions of speech, surveillance, censorship, and freedom? 
  • How are the spatial, aural, textual and haptic dimensions of law and power refracted through – or obscured by – a focus on the law’s visuality, its spectacles and spectaculars? 
  • In what ways might we think about the performance of law in a plurality of settings: on the stage, the screen, in literature or in the courtroom?
  • Does the development of new technologies necessitate the re-examination of how justice is seen to be done?

Laurent de Sutter, Professor of Legal Theory at Vrije Universiteit Brussels
Christine Black, Senior Research Fellow at the Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University


Paper and panel proposals should be submitted through the conference webpage.
Accepted participants will be notified of the registration and payment details in June.

Conference Fees
Standard rate 1,300 HKD
Student rate 600 HKD
Conference dinner 500 HKD

Graduate bursaries
10 bursaries of 2,000 HKD will be available to support graduate students from outside Hong Kong attending the Graduate Workshop and presenting a paper at the conference. For full details and how to apply, see the Conference website.

Dates & Times
The Graduate Workshop will be held on the morning of the 8 December.
The Conference will begin in the afternoon of 8 December and end at 5pm on the 10 December. The Conference Dinner will be on the evening of 9 December.

Information about registration, accommodation, plenaries and panels, updates and all other matters will be available through the Conference website.

Conference website
Email address

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