Legal Materiality at the Law, Culture, Humanities Annual Meeting, March 2018

Many of our network members will be active and presenting their works at the upcoming Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities (ASLCH) Annual meeting at Georgetown Law on 16 – 17 March 2018.

The paper panel ‘Legal Materiality: Improvisation, Natura, Specter’ will bring together different notions of materiality as specific legal enactments. This panel will probe a view of legal materiality as an oscillating process of meaning-making between intangible ideas and tangible bodies and things. Materiality may be understood as the different techniques and practices through which law comes to matter. Sara Ramshaw (University of Victoria), in “The Materiality of (Real) Time: Law as Improvisation”, will offer an understanding of legal materiality as a temporal duration which transcends real-time improvisation. Zach Reyna (University of Tyumen, Russia) will consider Aquinas’ concept of Natura which avoids the dichotomous trappings of a materialist or rational reductionism in “Making matter meaningful?: Words, Worlds, and Preambles, or How Law Matters”. Hyo Yoon Kang (Kent Law School) will examine the change of law’s medium from text to image to digital data in the context of patent law and explore how these representational formats affect the very meaning of legal form. Sara Kendall (Kent Law School) will chair this discussion.

In their paper “Délivrer le droit”, network member, Mark Antaki (McGill), with co-author, Alexandra Popovici (University of Sherbrooke), will focus on the transcription of “law” into ‘books” by way of the specific example of legal dictionaries and a broader engagement with the recently published Décrire le droit… et le transformer: Étude sur le phénomène de la “décriture” (by Vincent Forray and Sébastien Pimont).

James Martel (San Franciso State University) will consider how the dead better resist  the colonizing acts of the state than the living and how the dead aid the living in their own resistance in “Decolonizing the dead: how corpses help the living resist subjugation”.

Chantal Nadeau (Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) will rethink the relationship between touching and seeing in our approach to legal recognition in her paper, “When law touched us, we died.” On touching, queerness and regulation of queer bodies”.

Genevieve Painter (Concordia University) will offer a fresh reading of the Canadian “Indian Act” drawing on an analysis of newly declassified Cabinet and Indian Affairs documents in “Constitutional Rights, Cost-cutting, and Colonization: A History of Sex Discrimination in the Indian Act”.

Connal Parsley (Kent Law School) will consider the political authority of the artist in the neoliberal conceptualisation of work in “Thinking the Political Authority of the Artist: The neoliberal situation”.

The conference will be a fruitful opportunity to probe and discuss some of the thoughts developed at the launch symposium and in the pre-workshops of the research network.







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