Narratives of Law in the Exhibition Space Liverpool Law School 7-8 September 2023

Exhibition spaces live a contradictory existence. Museums often represent hegemonic norms and/or state policy. At the same time, state-funded spaces can be subverted through protest or other interventions which fundamentally challenge a state’s self-image. Smaller, independent exhibits can also disrupt the state’s self-narrative. Such interventions do not speak solely to the ‘reason’ and ‘logic’ of exhibits, but evoke strong emotional responses through atmosphere.

Law contributes to regulating such spaces, influencing their practices of representation. Exhibits depict moments steeped in law, and accordingly depict – implicitly or explicitly – law itself. Law is also a form of storytelling, depicting the state’s relationship between its citizenry and the world, as well as relationships between citizens. This conference examines both how exhibition sites represent law, and how they exist as spaces in conversation with the ‘stories’ law tells. The conference specifically focuses on how such spaces complicate law’s narratives through affect and art.

Tickets here.


Draft Schedule:

Thursday 7th September

Registration from 11.30am

Lunch from 12pm-12.45pm

Welcome/Intro – 12.45pm-1pm

Session 1

‘Exploring the Interconnections Between Art and Law’


Vanessa Munro – University of Warwick

Creative Confrontations in the Reimagining of Legal Precedent: Reflecting on the Scottish Feminist Judgments Project’

Linda Mulcahy – Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Oxford University

The image of the litigant in contemporary England: A case study from Teeside

Lucy Finchett-Maddock – Bangor University

Art/Law – Post-Law, Post-Exhibition


Coffee Break – 3-3.30pm

Session 2 –

‘Protest, Law, and the when and where of Exhibition Spaces’


Sarah Keenan – Birkbeck, University of London

Keeping the Gweagal shield: Property and Truth in post-colonial matters

Illan Wall – University of Warwick

The Public Space of Legal Exhibition: Protest and the Sovereign Stage

Nadine El-Enany – Birkbeck, University of London




Friday 8th September

Session 3


‘(Challenging) Hegemonic Representations of Law’

Stacy Douglas – University of Ottowa

The Representational Paradigm as Barrier to Democracy

Richard Benjamin – University Liverpool/International Slavery Museum

A Museum in Three Acts

Christine Schwobel-Patel – University of Warwick

Legal Pipelines: A Metaphor for Law, Capitalism, and Extractivism in the Green Transition

Jessie Hohmann – University of Technology Sydney

Looking for International Law in the Botanic Garden


Lunch – 12.30pm – 1.30pm

Session 4 –


‘Radically Rethinking Representation’

Anna Carline – University of Liverpool

Sexual Violence and ‘Artful’ Interventions: Exploring the use of artwork to develop a sexual violence awareness campaign.

Tina Sikka – Newcastle University

Sexual Ethics, Art, and Lived Experience

Lesley McMillan – Glasgow Caledonian University

The #erasethegrey Campaign: Challenging Attitudes to Gender Based Violence & Communicating the Law Through Public Awareness Campaigns



Closing Remarks – 3.30pm-4pm

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