ASSOCIATION FOR THE STUDY OF LAW, CULTURE, AND THE HUMANITIES
Nineteenth Annual Conference
April 1-2, 2016, University of Connecticut Law School
Hartford, CT




We are pleased to announce that the Nineteenth Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities will be held at the University of Connecticut Law School, April 1-2, 2016.

Thank you to the Georgetown University Law Centre for a fabulous conference in 2015! That program, as well as a list of all our previous programs is available here

The Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities is an organization of scholars engaged in interdisciplinary, humanistically-oriented legal scholarship. The Association brings together a wide range of people engaged in scholarship on legal history, legal theory and jurisprudence, law and cultural studies, law and anthropology, law and literature, law and the performing arts, and legal hermeneutics. We want to encourage dialogue across and among these fields about issues of interpretation, identity, and values, about authority, obligation, and justice, and about law's role as a constituent part of cultures and communities.

Conference Theme | Reading Race, Writing Race and Living Race

"Within the text of the law there is an afterlife of slavery ... as matters of aesthetic and legal representation ... as an aesthetics of legal representation"

-Stephen Best, The Fugitive's Properties: Law and the Poetics of Possession, 14

The question of race is central to historical and contemporary violence, to material conditions, reproduction and global politics. In the US, recent police violence against African Americans has again raised the ongoing question of the significance of lawful violence, of law's complicity, in upholding the state. Penal law is implicated in the incarceration of African-Americans in the US, Aboriginal communities in Australia, and Indigenous peoples in Canada, demonstrating a settler-colonial preoccupation for using race and racial profiling to mask and further colonial ends. In the context of securitised responses to migration, the onshore refugee applicant speaks as an already criminalised subject, as 'an illegal immigrant' or as an 'undocumented migrant'. Under the conditions of continuing colonization, statutory schemes such as Australia's Northern Territory Intervention target Aboriginal populations and make such populations subject to state violence. These examples raise the urgent question of law's relation to, and production of, violence through race. From transitional justice to human rights processes, race is foregrounded at scenes and struggles in which law seeks to respond to and adjudicate violence, and assert its own authority.

This conference seeks research drawn from multiple disciplines and jurisdictions that addresses the following questions: How might we think of the relations among law, culture, history, and the shaping of racial imaginaries? How is law complicit and productive of violence? How should we read the legal and cultural forms that produce the conditions of this violence? What kinds of legal, critical, and cultural practices can intervene in both this violence, and the conditions that are complicit with it? How might legal, critical, and cultural projects provide counter-narratives and counter-archives to the juridical imaginary of responsibility for historical and contemporary violence? How do historical and contemporary readings of race relate? Are anti-racist forms of law and state possible, and what would they look like? How might law be enlisted in the development of new racial formations? How should we re-think critical legal feminisms, and Marxism, through the category of race? How can we devise legal, critical and cultural forms that are attentive to race, and make visible this legal violence? What is the significance of 'reading' race-what is the materiality in the metaphor?

This conference seeks to develop conversations regarding the roles of representation, affect and imagination in the ongoing relationship of law to concepts of race, justice, sovereignty, captivity, history. We seek to examine legal and cultural practices of representation for their juridical, as well as cultural, effects. Questions of genre, narrative, and aesthetics are not only sites of critique, but also become potential sites of theoretical intervention, and intervention into projects of social justice.

In addition to sessions that connect to the conference theme, examples of other types of sessions we expect people to organize include:
History, Memory and Law; Law and Literature; Human Rights and Cultural Pluralism; Speech, Silence, and the Language of Law; Judgment, Justice, and Law; Beyond Identity; The Idea of Practice in Legal Thought; Metaphor and Meaning; Representing Legality in Film and Mass Media; Anarchy, Liberty and Law; What is Excellence in Interpretation?; Ethics, Religion, and Law; Moral Obligation and Legal Life; The Post-Colonial in Literary and Legal Study; Processes and Possibilities in Interdisciplinary Law Teaching.

We urge those interested in attending to consider submitting complete panels, and we hope to encourage a variety of formats-roundtables, sessions at which everyone reads the papers in advance, sessions in which commentators respond to a single paper. We invite proposals for session in which the focus is on pedagogy or methodology, for author-meets-readers sessions organized around important books in the field, or for sessions in which participants focus on performance (theatrical, filmic, musical, poetic).

Click here to view a draft conference schedule

Click here to view a list of conference abstracts (alphabetized by presenter's last name)

If you have any general questions about the conference, please do not hesitate to ask jmartel@sfsu.edu. For matters related to the program or its organization, please write to Simon Stern simon.stern@utoronto.ca.

Registration

ASLCH uses a two part registration system. First you register your paper or panel and pay a $37.74 membership fee. When/if your paper or panel is accepted, you go back to the same website (an email will be sent on that day to remind you) and pay the conference fee. All panelists will be notified about their acceptance as soon as possible.

The first stage of registration can be completed here

If your paper has been accepted, the second stage of registration can be completed here. All attendees are asked to register according to their income level as soon as possible. However, if you are a graduate student, you need do nothing further, your fees have been paid in full. Complete your registration for ASLCH now

Hotel Information


A block of reserved rooms at a group rate has been made at the Hartford Marriott Farmington. For reservations call (888-236-2427) or click below. Be sure to indicate that you are booking under the ASLCH group rate.

Book your group rate for ASLCH - 19th Annual Conference

Graduate Student Workshop

The Annual Law Culture and Humanities Graduate Student Workshop will be held on Thursday, March 31st, 2016 (the day before the conference begins). The workshop is designed for graduate students who are undertaking research that cuts across the disciplines of law, cultural studies, literature, philosophy, legal studies, anthropology, political science, among others. The workshop is designed to have some fun while, first, affording graduate students the opportunity to experience the LCH community in a smaller venue with more sustained contact with one another and some faculty and, second, providing graduate students with an opportunity to present their own work in anticipation of such things as job talks and publication.

Applications to the workshop should include a current curriculum vitae, a 5-page maximum abstract of a current project, as well as a short (5-page maximum) "text" relating to that project. This "text" could be a case, literary work, time-line, photo, sound or video file, or whatever source-"text" will help the workshop participants reflect on the subject of their work. Use your judgment and best guesses in deciding how audio, visual, or audio-visual materials "translate" into pages of text. Applicants whose proposals are accepted will receive support towards an extra night's accommodation by ASLCH as well as support (varying, depending on distance traveled) towards the cost of transportation to the conference site.

Send applications and inquiries to both Linda Meyer and Mark Antaki on or before Sunday 15 November 2015.