Law and culture are two significant forces in human life, both shaping and influencing the conduct of individuals, communities and societies, and the values they develop. The emergence of values and norms, of traditions and beliefs – of laws – is a chronological phenomenon, taking place through the evolution of history and the influential forces of the present. But these laws are not static: change is an on-going process: a restless development and dynamic interaction of legal, cultural, social, and human reality.
Beyond the multifaceted avenues of change that traverse the history of law and its relationship(s) with culture (changing laws, values and practices; the changing presence and visibility of law in mainstream society and culture; the changing presence of women and others in law; changes in the philosophical grounding of justice), there are also widespread changes afoot in the present of 2015. In Europe, for example, there is the possibility of enormous political change with general elections, with the ebb and flow of the corporate giant, and with the EU facing challenges that may result in its reconfiguration. Beyond politics, present life is also bringing fresh challenges for law and culture globally, such as: the increased use of technology in law and human life (including amongst other challenges the darknet, and the integration of our online and physical selves); the shifting authority of law’s cultural presence and its increasingly complex relationships with science, religion, and society; the challenges of globalisation and transnational crime; the blurring of the first, second and third world; the fluidity of values as our relationship with modernity becomes ever more strained.
The Law and Culture Conference 2015 will engage with this question of change: of how law and value have developed and changed in the cultures of the past; of how it might develop in the future; of the forces and changes acting and taking place in the cultures and societies around law today (locally, globally; nationally, transnationally); of how representations of law and justice in culture (television, film, literature, comics, newsmedia) might be evolving today, yesterday, tomorrow; of how law might respond to or encounter change or changing cultures, or challenges to its authority from other sources of value and justice; of how change might be effected within law, intentionally or otherwise, for good or for bad; of how law and culture could change one another, for better, for worse, or for something else.
These are but indicative examples of the on-going process of change, all of which require fresh perspectives to decipher and understand its significance for law, and for law’s place in contemporary culture. Such questioning also provides new opportunities to visualise and explore the frontiers and changing dynamics of law and culture. Submissions are thus sought from all areas of law and cultural legal studies, engaging in some way with this broad and open question of ‘change’.
Please submit abstract (300 words plus 3 keywords) by email, no later than 30th June 2015. The organisers are happy to discuss potential ideas in
advance of submission.
Organisers’ contact details:
There is an anticipated registration fee for the conference of £100, plus booking.