The Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University is one of the world’s oldest and best-known research centres in interdisciplinary humanities. As part of its 2014 Annual Theme, "Now Showing: Cultures, Judgements, and Research on the Digital Screen," we are calling for papers on themes of visual representations of law in history and the contemporary world, focusing in particular on moments of transition and transformation.
Over the long journey of modernity, technologies of law and technologies of the visual have been marked by their volatility and inventiveness. On the one hand, changing technologies of law – the emergence of the text, the development of legislation, the might of sovereignty, structures of colonialism, mechanisms of human rights, new modes of regulation, governance, and discipline – have continually transformed our understanding of and relationship to legality. On the other hand, changing technologies of visual representation – the development of perspective, the triumph of printing, photography, film, and video games to name a few – have equally transformed our understanding of and relationship to images. In what ways can each shed light on the other?
- How have technologies of visual representation reflected, illuminated, and constituted ideologies of law and legality – particularly at moments of significant transition or transformation?
- In what way do visual representations of law throughout the pre-modern, modern and contemporary periods illuminate and challenge our understanding of the changing relationship between law, aesthetics, and power?
- In what ways do contemporary media allow new opportunities for a cross-cultural conversation around key legal issues and conflicts?
- How does the aesthetics and technology of the digital screen transform the representation of legal concepts such as the rule of law, sovereignty, justice, or human rights?
Negotiations are currently underway with possible partners for the publication of selected papers. Confirmed participants include:
Alison Young (University of Melbourne), criminologist; author of Judging the Image (2005), and Street Art, Public City (2014)Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be directed to the Convenor: Professor Desmond Manderson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Goodrich (Cardozo School of Law), legal historian; author of Oedipus Lex (1996), and Legal Emblems (2013)
Richard Sherwin (New York Law School), director of the Visual Persuasion Project; author of Visualizing Law (2011)
Desmond Manderson (Australian National University), founding director, Institute for the Public Life of Art and Ideas; author of Kangaroo Courts & the Rule of Law (2011)
Please include a 75 word bio note, institutional affiliation, and contact details, and put TRANSITIONS AND TRANSFORMATIONS in the subject line. Closing date for submissions is 31 March. On-line registration will be available from the end of April.