CfP Law and Love (in and beyond Pandemic Times): Images and Narratives Histories and Cultures Conference of Law Literature and the Humanities Association of Australasia Deadline 16 August 2021

USC School of Law and Society is proud to host the 2021 conference of the Law, Literature and the Humanities Association of Australasia – Law and Love (in and beyond Pandemic Times): Images and Narratives, Histories and Cultures.




In-person or virtual participation options available for all sessions.



Love, like the law, operates through exceptionality. It functions through the recognition of the individual, calling them out from the set of the population to bestow upon them an exceptional relational status. This exceptionality of love would appear to be in tension with the law and its notion of an equality that treats all the same—the rule of law’s protection of the individual by rendering them a subject equal to all other legal subjects. Love therefore provides the basis for a critique of the law, its failed objectivity, its lack of care for and recognition of the other. At the same time, love’s functioning through exceptionality presents a structural alignment with the law and its own constitutive relation to the exception. Law and love are both forms of sociality that at various times are argued to be the founding of community, reflective of modes of being-in-relation, our ‘being together’. What are we to make of the intersections of these modes of sociality in the pandemic times in which we live?

For many of us, the ‘being together’ that we experienced at the ‘Law in the End Times’ conference of the Association in 2019 would, in the months to follow, become a fond memory of academic life—quickly disrupted by lock-downs and shut-downs, working and schooling from home, institutional restructures and the increased precarity of academic employment, social distancing and masks, and the promises of vaccinations to ‘get the economy going’. The demand for adherence to both the crisis measures and the ‘new’ normal to come that we have experienced is founded on law but then justified by a sense of love—that we make sacrifice for our loved ones, our communities, our societies, nations and economies. Law and love are not, here, presented as antinomies, but rather intertwined in the biopolitical demands of a state in (and thriving on) crisis. Is this all that love has become—a mechanism of shoring up legality, demanding a legitimacy for the dialectic of health and economy?

It is in response to these concerns that we call for a consideration of the themes of law and love, their tensions and parallels, interrelations and distinctions—and their necessity for our human and non-human being together—in and beyond the times in which we live. In the face of such crises and concerns, the need for law and humanities scholarship is more and not less important—not in the least because such crises function through the cultural images, narratives and histories that we are equipped to interrogate and analyse. The times in which we live, of which the current pandemic is only an aspect, have seen not only increased deployment of legal exceptionality but also greater calls for love and justice, of care and sociality, and of the necessity of recognising the importance of our being together. It is in this context that we call for papers in the broad and deep traditions of law and humanities scholarship that helps us to think the importance of both law and love—and their tensions and interrelations—in and beyond these pandemic times.

Papers and panels could include themes such as:

  • Love as Critique of the Images of Law
  • Narratives of Desire as the Source of Law
  • Love and the Cultural Legalities of Corporate Life
  • The Histories, Futures and Temporalities of Life and Love in the Law
  • Love of the Law: Stabilisation and Exceptionality
  • Indigenous Sovereignties, Indigenous Jurisprudence and Answering Statements from the Heart
  • Love, Rights and (Un)lawful Relations
  • Empathy and the Affective Life of Law
  • Law and Love in (and out of) Religion
  • Images of Posthumanism, Love of Other Beings and Ecological Justice
  • The Legalities of Embrace and Care in contexts of Social Distancing
  • The Resilience of Love and Protests for Life (Black Lives Matters, March 4 Justice, Extinction Rebellion)
  • Love and the Biopolitics of Personhood
  • Indigenous Law/Lore, Narratives of Love and Relational Ecologies
  • Love Ethic as/and Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Being Together and the Office of the (Law and Humanities) Scholar

In addition, papers and panels across the broad spectrum of law, literature and the humanities will also be accepted.



Proposals should consist of a short abstract (max 250 words), 3 keywords, a short biography (100 words), as well as provide intentions for in-person or online attendance.

Panel proposals should include a title/theme for the panel, and abstracts, keywords and biographies for each presenter (up to 4 presenters per panel).

For those intending to attend online, attempts will be made to ensure amenable scheduling based on time zones as much as possible.

For more information see website.

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