University of London, Birkbeck
March 22 and March 23, 2013
Sculpting the Human: Law, Culture and Biopolitics
In recent times, diverse thinkers and artists including Foucault, Derrida, Esposito, Malabou, Coetzee, Agamben, Latour, Kentridge, Nancy, Butler and Brown have raised, or attempted to re-articulate, the question of ‘the human.’ The ASLCH meeting at Birkbeck, London, invites you to (re-)consider transformations in contemporary legal arrangements in light of emerging theoretical, cultural, economic, aesthetic, philosophical, and socio-political understandings or interrogations of the ‘human’. Tapping diverse conceptualizations of the indeterminacy frequently associated with the human, conference participants are invited to engage contemporary analyses of humans, others and legal forms.
The question of the human is, in many ways, an age-old one. In other ways, however, it is peculiarly ours as we face current debates on what it is to qualify as human, in-human or animal life. These might include, but need not be limited to, discussions on: changing political cultures of disqualified lives; re-negotiating the subjects of postcolonial governance; understanding new forms of life politics and the associated determinations of life sciences; literary and artistic chronicles of intersecting orders and disorders; science fiction’s utopian or dystopian futures; the use of warbot and drone technologies; geographies of beastly spaces; histories and ethnographies that highlight the ordering required to exact popular hierarchies; the reframed spirit of bodies; visions of who may be tortured, or locked away as inhuman; critical images of human and animal rights; deployed governmental homologies between beasts and sovereigns; biopolitical frames that prefigure subjects through statistics, demography, neuroscience but also via ‘immunization’, ‘plasticity’, and so on.
Law is a place where these orders, distinctions and divisions are frequently navigated, constituted, articulated, shared and enforced. The narratives, rights, justifications, punishments and neglect represented or contested through law intimate the legal codes by which humans and others are drawn into orders of the governed. Participants are encouraged to reflect on this broad, but not exclusive, conference theme.
Paper and panel proposals will be accepted until Oct 15. For more information and registration instructions: www.regonline.com/16thannualmeetingLCH<http://www.regonline.com/16thannualmeetingLCH>
For those interested in applying for our graduate student workshop or Austin Sarat graduate student presentation award: http://www.law.syr.edu/academics/centers/lch/graduate_student_workshop.html
For those interested in applying for our Julien Mezey dissertation award: http://www.law.syr.edu/academics/centers/lch/association_award.html