Photo by Julian Kaesler

The Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory is an annual interdisciplinary workshop hosted by graduate researchers. The Forum brings together research students and early career researchers from a range of academic disciplines to engage with social, political, theoretical, and methodological issues raised by law and legal theory.

The 14th Melbourne Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory will take place on 22-23 November 2021 as a fully virtual event. The forum brings together graduate researchers and early career scholars from a range of disciplines and backgrounds to think methodically, theoretically and critically about law and theory. This year’s theme is Utopia and the legal imagination.

The world is in the early stages of a global pandemic; the ramifications of which are both immediate, and still partly unknown. In the midst of very real suffering, is there a place for some reflection on worlds past, present and future? Arundhati Roy suggested this pandemic could be a ‘portal’ to a different world,1 suggesting we are at a critical juncture for generating utopian thinking; while Rebecca Solnit observed that disasters ‘begin suddenly and never really end.’2 What can this period tell us about hope, creating new futures, and our histories?

We welcome non-presenting participants to join the DFLT as observers, to ask questions and support the presenters as well as learn. The Forum aims to create an intimate and safe space for doctoral scholars to share their research. To express your interest in attending as a non-presenting participant, please complete this form by Monday 15 November. Observer participants are also welcome to contribute by volunteering to tweet, take notes or offer other ideas for engagement in this online forum.

1Arundhati Roy. (2020). “Arundhati Roy: ‘The pandemic is a portal’”. Financial Times. Available at: https://www.ft.com/content/10d8f5e8-74eb-11ea-95fe-fcd274e920ca

2Rebecca Solnit. (2020). ‘'The impossible has already happened': what coronavirus can teach us about hope.’ The Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/07/what-coronavirus-can-teach-us-about-hope-rebecca-solnit