CFPs in Renaissance Intellectual History

Critical Moments in the Histories of Law

Source of Information: FICINO 1999-01-22
Date of Event: 1999-09-17 to 1999-09-19
Deadline for abstracts etc.: 1999-06-30




I am organising the following panel in London, from 17-19 September
1999.  I would be very interesting in the offer of papers dealing with legal
history or philosophy in the Medieval or Renaissance periods.  Thanks.

Jim Bergeron

                Critical Legal Conference
      Spectres of Law - Legal Theory at the fin de siecle
            Birkbeck College, University of London
                  17-19 September, 1999

                     CALL FOR PAPERS

    CRITICAL MOMENTS IN THE HISTORIES OF LAW

As the Critical Legal Studies movement prepares to enter its fourth
decade, a reflection on the historical experience of critique,
systemic crisis and reconstruction in law seems timely.  The increasingly
successful absorption of critical theory into established discourses
of law and politics raises the prospect that the "critical turn"
which CLS represented may well be in the process of transformation,
assimilation and diminution into a new orthodoxy.  But have we
been here before? Are there glimmers of the present in Sophist assertions of the
conventionality of Justice, the sixteenth century discrediting of the Corpus Iuris
Civilis, Bentham's attack on the integrity of Common Law or the Legal
Realist critique of deductive legal reasoning?  The phenomenon of the
"critical turn" may well be a recurring theme in the histories of
law, the exploration of which might provide a valuable perspective on
the current moment, and which this panel seeks to explore.

The topical orientation of the panel is intentionally broad,
including not only challenges to particular legal orders, bodies of
legal theory and legal history, but also to dominant regimes
regarding the nature and "laws" of justice, the state and the
cosmological order.  We seek to focus, however, on the particular
themes of critique, crisis and reconstitution - on those moments
where orthodoxy was challenged by radical views claiming the
"groundlessness" of the existing order, the responses to those
challenges, and in particular those instances where the critical
vision became both hegemonic and undermined in its transmutation into
the foundation of a new orthodoxy.  But we do not discount those
voices and arguments which were excluded from the canons of
jurisprudence and legal history.

Contributions dealing with law's "critical turn" in ancient, medieval
or modern history are welcome.  Papers addressing non - "Western"
instances of the critical moment are particularly encouraged.  We are
also aware that the vast majority of legal histories are indeed
"his-stories".  Contributions on the emergence of feminist
jurisprudence or gender-informed analyses of legal history are
especially welcome.  The panel seeks to bring together both those
from a critical theory perspective and those working in history, law,
philosophy (and other fields) more generally.  The creation of a
space for constructive engagement across academic approaches and
disciplines is a major panel objective.

Expressions of interest should be made to Jim Bergeron, Faculty of
Law, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.  Phone:
(353) 1 706 8743; Fax (353) 1 269 2655; email James.Bergeron@ucd.ie
Paper titles and a one-page abstract should be submitted as soon as
possible, and not later than 30 June 1999.



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