Legal Materiality Research Network Concluding Conference London 9-10 January 2020

Date: 9 – 10 January 2020

Place: Warburg Institute, Woburn Place, London, UK

Call closes: 18 August 2019

Proposal format: 
500 words maximum

Over the last two years, the AHRC Legal Materiality Research Network has brought together cross-disciplinary scholars who have examined law’s relation to its constitutive materials. Network members analysed and discussed the meaning of matters, materials and materiality as they specifically relate to law. What is a legal matter, what is material in and to law, and how do certain materials turn an issue into a legal matter? Such inquiries in turn lead to the question of legal ontology: what is ‘legal’ rather than a- or non-legal?  These theoretical and methodological considerations are relevant to many subfields of legal scholarship, as well as to scholars in other disciplines who study different manifestations of law.
The research network’s concluding conference brings together scholars whose works examine law’s diverse materials and who engage with legal materiality from aesthetic, ethnographic, historical, rhetorical and philosophical perspectives. We invite contributions in the form of a paper or other innovative formats, particularly ones that:

– trace the making of a legal matter through legal materials: how do certain materials (things, media, image, sound, data, building, room, oral evidence…) become meaningful to law?

– offer theoretical reflections on law as/in ‘objects’: seeing and reading law metaphorically as/in a physical object

-interrogate an a- or non-human legal form, language and legal practice

– examine the specific relations between law’s physical and intangible materials and its language (textual or otherwise).

This is not an exclusive list of possible topics of contributions. We welcome contributions from outside traditional legal scholarship, such as anthropology, art, history, literature, media studies, music, philosophy, political theory, and science studies, that treat law as their site of inquiry.
Please submit your proposal of no more than 500 words to and by 
18 August 2019.

We will try to contribute as much and equitably as possible towards travel and accommodation costs of the selected contributors (approximately 8-10).

The Legal Materiality Research Network is a two-year (January 2018 – January 2020) project funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council and co-convened by 
Dr Hyo Yoon Kang and Dr Sara Kendall, 
Kent Law School, University of Kent, UK. 
The international cross-disciplinary research network has sought to formulate an understanding of materiality that takes into account the specific discursive and practical contexts of different legalities and the making of law. Please see the project webpage for more information and past events:

See event page here.

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