Call for Papers
UPDATE: Call for Papers has been extended until 16 September 2013
The 6th Melbourne Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory will be held at the Melbourne Law School, 9-10 December 2013. It will again bring together research students and early career researchers from all disciplines and diverse fields of scholarship to engage with political, theoretical, and methodological issues engendered by law. This year the forum addresses contamination.
As a concept, contamination is organic, fluid, contagious, and affective. Rethinking law through contamination quietens traditional valorisations of purity, identity, fixity, and propriety in jurisprudence, and encourages engagement with virality, contingency, movement, and profanity.
The grammar of contaminating law calls attention to the processes of change and becoming through which legal thought carries valence, effect and violence. And yet, contamination is inherently ambivalent. If contamination is already neutralised of its subversive power, what would it mean to pursue a politics of contamination against structures of domination that thrive on the symbolic idea of purity? Might law be interpreted as irreducibly pharmacological - at once medicinal and poisonous, always on guard against the horrors of an unchecked nature? If the hygienic human is itself a violent limit, can the wildness of the animal offer the most powerful challenge to the fiction of contamination? What work might the un-ruly, irresponsible and risky body do in unmaking juridical ordering? If such a body has to exist, how can it escape being made intelligible by law, biology and economy?
Acknowledging the virulence of the juridical form, are there domains of life we wish to prevent being contaminated by law? How might law alter the non-legal dimensions of life? What is gained and lost through such encounters? How can the interaction between different legal orders and types of law be theorised through contamination? Are we doomed to a future of boredom and banalities if, despite our most sophisticated analyses of purity and contamination, we still hold on to the promise of juridical rationality? Where is excitement, pleasure, hope and the fantastic in reclaiming or discarding the juridical?
From epidemics to blasphemy, the corporeal to the ephemeral, the precarious to the undying, to the uncertain horizons of environmental change, mass dislocations, and global financial instability, we invite creative responses to the theoretical problems and potentialities of contamination. We invite submissions around such possible themes as:
• Legal subjectivities of the animal and the human
• juridical registers of the aesthetics of contamination
• postcolonial, anticolonial and decolonial futures
• patents and intellectual property
• privacy and information control
• global economic ordering
A limited number of bursaries will be available for interstate and international presenting participants who are unable to claim funding to cover the full cost of travel from their home institution. The bursaries are intended to contribute towards travel expenses. Please indicate in your application whether you would like to be considered for a bursary.
Send abstracts of 500 words (max) and biographies of 100 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 16 September 2013.
Confirmation of accepted abstracts will be made on 1 October 2013.
The flyer is available here