Poetics of law, Politics of Self

A Centre for Imperial and Global History conference
Date5 - 6 September 2013
PlaceMount Edgcumbe House, Cornwall

Poetics of law, Politics of Self

This conference was the third academic gathering organised under the AHRC-funded research network ‘Subjects of law: rightful selves and the legal process in imperial Britain and the British empire.’ Funded under the AHRC’s ‘Translating Cultures’ highlight notice, the aim of this research network was to bring together a range of area specialists from a number of disciplines (law, literature, history and religious studies) in order to examine how law provided a medium of cultural exchanges and means of self-styling under conditions of imperial rule. Although the British empire was the primary focus, the network welcomed perspectives from other imperial contexts – both European and non-European.

This call for papers invited speakers to respond to the idea that law, like language, provides a vocabulary and grammar for self-expression which both enables and constrains the representation of entitlements and injuries. It noted, based on existing scholarship, that the presentation of such claims involves the narrativisation of selves, others, events and contexts, and that the legal process involves contests of authority over meaning. With the awareness that such observations were true of law in any context, the aim of the conference was to examine how those features may be inflected within imperial/colonial law.

The structure of the conference consisted of thematically organised panels with allocated discussants, the proceedings punctuated by three keynote talks, by three eminent scholars working on different parts of the British empire and in different disciplines. Because of this organisation, participants were able to consistently remind themselves of the broader questions animating the proceedings, and to engage critically with these in the light of their own work. 

ProviderCentre for Imperial and Global History
Speaker(s)Prof. Eliga Gould, University of New Hampshire; Prof. Javed Majeed, King�s College, London; Prof. Lakshmi Subramanian, CSSSC, Kolkata
99_Conference_Report___Poetics_of_Law_Politics_of_Self.docxPoetics of law, Politics of Self (21K)
98_Flyer_Poetics_of_Law_Conference.pdfPoetics of law, Politics of Self (113K)

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