CfP Agency of the Artist/Scholar Stream Critical Legal Conference Dundee 2021

This stream invites presentations that explore the figure of the artist-scholar. 

The agency of the artist-scholar is almost always post-contemporary. It engages with arts and literature (sensorial and textual knowledge) across time-senses. When it does break through the norms of its time (in which it nonetheless co-resides), the resulting tension with other events closer to their times is registered in works. At such a point, artistic and scholarly insurrections emerge as if ex nihilo, whose political relevance appears in the sensorial and textual means employed. 

Manifestos associated with the modernist avant-garde tend to be self-conscious statements of the emergence of agency. The art-historical record is littered with retrospective analyses of such moments and remains complicit in a conspiracy promoting diachronic or temporal agency, which has given teleological historical studies a subtle yet troubling “bad conscience”: for the measures induced to weigh such moments also tend to erase the very moments. 

Instead, we propose that the panel privilege forms of preposterous presentism, namely a focus on the breaking of norms without historical constrictions. All presentations are encouraged to be developed as “performance” (live or recorded) of visual and textual elements. The subtending chord of the performance is the practice of lived law in a post-contemporary way. We intend this stream as an experimental step into the waters of radical spatiality and law, with the artist-scholar as the place-holder for works of artistic scholarship and resistance to the commodification of knowledge. We will provide a non-binding summary of ideas and practices to prospective panelists but a short list includes: 

– Occupying space through making in the present 

– Emergence of agency through art-practice 

– Legal practice as art / Art practice as law 

– Conference art that defies conference contexts 


Dr. Gavin Keeney 


Agence ‘X’ 


Prof Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos 

Professor of Law and Theory 

Co-Director of the Westminster Law and Theory Lab 

University of Westminster 



Call for Papers open 

Call for Papers closes late June 2021 

Conference (online and otherwise) September 2-4, 2021 

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