Contamination: Melbourne Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory, 9–10 December 2013

by | 13 Aug 2013

ContaminationThe 6th Melbourne Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory will be held at the Melbourne Law School, 9-10 December 2013. This year the forum addresses contamination. It will again bring together research students and early career researchers from all disciplines and diverse fields of scholarship to engage with political, theoretical, and methodological issues engendered by law.

As a concept, contamination is organic, fluid, contagious, and affective. The grammar of contaminating law calls attention to the processes of change and becoming through which legal thought carries valence, effect and violence. And yet, contamination is inherently ambivalent. How might law alter the non-legal dimensions of life? How can the interaction between different legal orders and types of law be theorised through contamination? If contamination is already neutralised of its subversive power, what would it mean to pursue a politics of contamination against structures of domination that thrive on the symbolic idea of purity? Might law be interpreted as irreducibly pharmacological – at once medicinal and poisonous – always on guard against the horrors of an unchecked nature? What work might the unruly, irresponsible and risky body do in unmaking juridical ordering?

From epidemics to blasphemy, the corporeal to the ephemeral, the precarious to the undying, to the uncertain horizons of environmental change, mass dislocations, and global financial instability, we invite creative responses to the theoretical problems and potentialities of contamination. around such possible themes as:

  • legal subjectivities of the animal, the human and the post-human
  • postcolonial, anticolonial and decolonial futures
  • queer inflections and infections
  • patents and intellectual property
  • privacy and information control
  • global economic ordering

A limited number of bursaries will be available for interstate and international presenting participants who are unable to claim funding to cover the full cost of travel from their home institution. The bursaries are intended to contribute towards travel expenses. Please indicate in your application whether you would like to be considered for a bursary.

Conference Organisers: Tom Andrews, Cait Storr, Josh Paine and Oishik Sircar

Send abstracts of 500 words (max) and biographies of 100 words to: by Monday 9 September 2013.

Confirmation of accepted abstracts will be made on 1 October 2013.

Download Flyer


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Join 4,512 other subscribers

We respect your privacy.


Fair access = access according to ability to pay
on a sliding scale down to zero.



Publish your article with us and get read by the largest community of critical legal scholars, with over 4000 subscribers.