Fifteenth Melbourne Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory

by | 25 Aug 2022


Law, Text and Contrapuntal Reading

 The 15th Melbourne Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory (DFLT-15) will take place on 24 and 25 November 2022. The DFLT-15 is an annual interdisciplinary workshop hosted by graduate researchers. The Forum brings together graduate researchers and early career scholars from a range of disciplines to think critically, methodologically and theoretically about law and legal theory. The Forum aims to create a cordial and safe space for doctoral scholars to share their research. The theme for this year’s Forum is Law, Text and Contrapuntal Reading.

Call for Papers

A contrapuntal reading of laws and texts aims to make visible the positionality of the authors, as well as the omitted actors and untold narratives. It goes beyond reading what is explicit in the text. We borrow the idea of contrapuntal reading from Edward Said, who views it as an invitation to a ‘different kind of reading and interpretation’ that includes the ‘forcibly excluded’, ‘overlooked’ or ‘played down’ episodes, traversing the distance between the ‘dominating discourse’ and such episodes. A contrapuntal reading provides a window into the world that laws might overlook, forget or meet with indifference. Contrapuntal reading can also pay attention to the ‘hidden transcript’ that represents subversive discourse. Against this backdrop, we invite participants to the DFLT-15 to share their readings of laws and texts that form part of their research. We construe the theme of the Forum broadly. We welcome contributions from different disciplines and fields to explore their engagement with law. The idea of the DFLT-15 is to bring together doctoral and early career scholars and build a community of peers. We envision the Forum to include a series of presentations and panel discussions in a supportive and collegial environment.

The deadline for submitting Expressions of Interest is 1 September 2022. Further details on sub-topics, format, and submission are available here.

2022 Doctoral Forum Organisers:

Andrea Marilyn, Haris Jamil, Kate Jama and Sumedha Choudhury

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