The Critical Legal Conference 2013: Reconciliation & Reconstruction, 5 –7 September, Queen’s University Belfast

by | 5 Feb 2013

John McDermottIt is 24 years since Queen’s University Belfast last hosted the Critical Legal Conference. In that time, Northern Ireland has undergone significant political and social change spurred on by a difficult (and ongoing) process of, and yet steadfast commitment to, reconciliation and reconstruction. The questions grappled with in this jurisdiction are arguably mirrored in the discourses of diverse critical thinkers and artists as they contend with the implications of the poststructural event in late modern culture and politics. The CLC annual conference 2013 invites you to submit abstracts reflecting on the role and meaning of reconstruction and its theoretical, cultural, political, economic, aesthetic, philosophical and sociological manifestation.

As critical thinkers we are often called on to justify our attachment to Derridean deconstruction, Heideggerian ‘destructive retrieve’, or Butlerian performativity. Our critics accuse us of blindness to materiality, politics or ‘reality’ often unsatisfied by the classic Deleuzian response that critique is in itself an act of resistance. The theme of reconciliation and reconstruction might include, but is not limited to, discussion on:

  • law’s critical project in the age of austerity
  • the (re)construction of the legal person and the body politic
  • improvised communities and ways of being in society
  • the role of art and culture in contested political territories
  • critical readings of the development of ‘governance’ projects
  • the feminist project in an era of alternative modernities.

Similarly, the theme invites deeper reflection on the concept of transition. This might include re-reading the project of human rights; how to conceive community and social development; understanding/regenerating urban spaces; how to remember the past/the role of memory in reconstruction; the relationship between violence and law and the meaning of justice.

The conference theme is broadly conceived and delegates are encouraged to submit stream proposals. Deadline for stream proposals (to be sent to the e-mail below) is Monday 15 April 2013. Deadline for paper proposals (to be sent to stream organisers) is Friday 31 May 2013. For more information, see the CLC 2013 website or e-mail clc2013[at]qub[dot]ac[dot]uk.

[Updated: 9 May]

Complete List of Streams


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