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.
Law, Text and Contrapuntal Reading
Thursday 24 and Friday 25 November 2022
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.
We invite submissions on varied issues, including (but not limited to):
How does the absence of certain entities from the law-making process exclude their perspectives from influencing the laws?
How can different legal methodologies be employed for a contrapuntal reading of laws and texts?
- Third world:
How is the third world, particularly its marginalised and oppressed groups, represented in the laws and texts?
The Forum will run in person and will be held at Melbourne Law School.
The Forum will include presentations and panel discussions which will provide participants the opportunity to share their research with peers. Participants may present their work in visual, aural, multimedia or other creative formats.
Expressions of Interest
Please submit abstracts of 300 words together with biographies of up to 100 words via this form by 1 September 2022.
We will send confirmation emails to the selected participants by early September. Confirmed participants are to submit their papers (between 3000-5000 words) by 28 October 2022. Papers may be works-in-progress.
We also welcome non-presenting participants to join the DFLT as observers, to ask questions and support the presenters. To express your interest in attending as a non-presenting participant, please complete this form by 10 November 2022.
The Forum has limited funds to support associated costs to attend the forum. For participants travelling from outside of Melbourne, the forum may be able to assist a few with travel and accommodation costs on a need basis.