24 September 2014

CALL: Graphic Futures Project


Graphic Futures
Imagining Law’s Potential in Comics and Graphic Novels


Call for papers and comics creators



 

Whether you are a comics artist/writer or academic, feel free to contact thomas.giddens@smuc.ac.uk to discuss any ideas you might have or potential involvement. General ideas/interest are as welcome as full abstracts!

What challenges and laws await us as we emerge from the throes of modernity? What awaits our nature as humanity integrates with advancing technology? What form will morality take in a world where official systems of order and control, or the modes of thought that created the modern state, have dissipated? What of justice without law? What of law after the human? What of knowledge and judgment after the reification of modernism has been undone? What is the next jurisprudence? It is these, and related, questions that the proposed network addresses, through innovative engagement with the medium of graphic fiction.

Many texts tell the history of legal philosophy and moral thought—from Classical Greece and the medieval period, through the Enlightenment to modernity, and today’s uncertain epoch of ‘late modernity’. In such texts, it is hoped that by recounting this history—this tale of development, progression and change—our current jurisprudential state is uncovered and we are enlightened as to the issues at play in determining the nature of what law both is and should be. So  much for legal past; but what of legal future?

Comics and graphic fiction have been an under-utilised resource in the history of legal studies. Yet their unique position (at the borders of the visual, the linguistic, the aesthetic, and the rational), and their capacity for futuristic imagination, arguably make them an apt tool for exploring worlds, laws and ideas beyond the boundaries of the present. Engaging with futuristic visions in graphic fiction and comics, this project aims to imagine (or challenge our ability to imagine) the landscape(s) of jurisprudence in the emerging world(s) as modernity recedes.

The project is looking to recruit not just academics, but also interested comics creators who will be full participants in any workshop discussions and then create their own artworks inspired by those discussions.

The aim of the project is to imagine the potential future(s) of law and justice. The overarching problematic will be addressed through a series of international workshops in US, Australia and USE across 2015-2018, with each participant contributing their own perspective and particular critical ‘take’ on the issue of comics and legal futurity. There will be 8 workshops, feeding into a series of edited collections and graphic novels (funding is being sought to cover participants' expenses). These workshops will tackle four main sub-themes of the central problematic of legal futurity:

  1. Approaching Graphic Futures—focusing on the project’s epistemological issues, such as: the limits of legal language in relation to the language of comics; the particular value of the comics medium in tackling the project’s core problematic; and, how can such imaginative speculation help inform our world today. (Workshop dates: September 2015, July 2016)
  2. Criminal Futures—focusing on issues relating to crime and criminal justice, such as: what problems future criminal law enforcement might face; concerns of pre-emptive justice; and, the dominant ideals of ‘justice’ (e.g. retribution, deterrence, something else) that might prevail as modernity recedes. (Workshop dates: March 2016, September 2016)
  3. Legal Futures of Technology—focusing on issues relating to advancing technology, such as: the legal challenges of human-machine integration; the advent of artificial intelligence; and, how technology might change the face of legal institutions and regulation. (Workshop dates: March 2017, September 2017)
  4. Law after the Modern State—focusing on issues relating to rights and political theory, such as: how might human relations be regulated if the modern state fails; what shape might rights take in the future; and, concerns of trans-temporal responsibility (for example, our responsibility to the future, or the future’s responsibility to the past). (Workshop dates: July 2017, March 2018)


22 July 2014

Visualising Law and Gender: BOOKING OPEN!



Centre for Law and Culture Conference 2014
Visualising Law and Gender

Booking is now open for the upcoming Centre for Law and Culture Conference on ‘Visualising Law and Gender’, 3-4 September 2014, here at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London.

Law both regulates cultural representations and creates them. These dual themes will be explored in a conference focused upon the twin strands of law and visual culture, and law and gender.

How does law regulate gender; how does it regulate images? What is/are the relationship/s between visual culture and the gendering of law? How have gendered divisions structured the legal profession and practice, and what is the role of the visual in understanding such complexities? How can visual culture and representation challenge or enlighten the gendered dimensions of law?

This conference is aimed at exploring the intersections of law, gender, and the visual in an effort to address such questions and related concerns.

Booking now open! (visit http://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/59449)

Conference date: 3rd-4th September 2014
Location: St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London TW1 4SX
Registration fee: £100 (including refreshments, lunch, and conference dinner)

Please visit www.smuc.ac.uk/law-and-culture/conferences.htm or contact the organisers (thomas.giddens@smuc.ac.uk or judith.bourne@smuc.ac.uk) for more details.


2 May 2014

29 April 2014

Disguise Conference CFP

Since many superheroes wear masks, I thought some of you interested in Graphic Justice may also be interested in this...

Marginalised Mainstream 2014: Disguise
28-29 November 2014 Institute of English Studies, Senate House, University of London Keynote Speakers: Dr Bronwen Thomas (Bournemouth University), Dr Naomi Braithwaite (Nottingham Trent University)

'I like to reinvent myself — it’s part of my job.' – Karl Lagerfeld

In 2014, the Marginalised Mainstream conference will consider the varieties, motivations, and meanings of disguise. From secret identities to theatrical performances, from fictional fabrications to factual concealment, disguises of all sorts are part of mainstream culture. This event will explore various manifestations of disguise in popular fiction, media, and culture that have previously been academically marginalised.

Fictional instances of disguise range from Scooby-Doo to Superman, and have a long history in theatre, novels, and film. Factual disguise can also impact mainstream media, whether it be the subtle advancement of a concealed agenda in gay fiction of the 1960s, the academic impact of the Sokal hoax in the 1990s, or J. K. Rowling’s recent attempt to publish pseudonymously. Textual disguises, such as that of the murderer of Roger Ackroyd or the identity of Keyser Söze, retain the power to shock.

The motif of disguise appears in fiction and film, in real life and virtual reality. The prevalence of such masking and unmasking poses pressing questions for popular culture: when does disguise reveal as well as conceal? How do marginalised genres or media subtly alter mainstream opinions, while masquerading as mere amusement? How do changing fashions, in clothes, in texts, or in tastes, affect the ability to create disguises? Is critical marginalization an attempt to “disguise” the value of the mainstream?

This year's conference will offer a forum for new perspectives on the operation and meanings of such masking and unmasking in fiction, media, performance, other cultural productions.

We invite 250-word abstracts focusing on literature, cultural studies, art history, film studies or other disciplines. Subjects could include, but are far from limited to:

* Fictional secret identities (spies, superheroes, criminals)
* Role-playing games or narratives
* Theatricality
* Pseudonyms
* Forgery
* Parody
* Re-purposing genres
* Genre-crossing
* Undercover agendas
* Subversion of narrative expectations
* Deceptive focalization
* Dramatic irony

Please send proposals for 20-minute papers along with a brief biographical note to Sam Goodman, Brittain Bright, and Emma Grundy Haigh at hello@marginalisedmainstream.com<mailto:hello@marginalisedmainstream.com> by 30 May 2014.

If you are applying for a visa or funding and need a response sooner than 1 July, please submit your abstract by 2 May, and note your early notification needs in your submission.

'Oh, they never lie. They dissemble, evade, prevaricate, confound, confuse, distract, obscure, subtly misrepresent and willfully misunderstand with what often appears to be a positively gleeful relish and are generally perfectly capable of contriving to give one an utterly unambiguous impression of their future course of action while in fact intending to do exactly the opposite, but they never lie. Perish the thought.' – Iain Banks

8 April 2014

International Journal for the Semiotics of Law Thematic Issue: Visualizing Law in Comics and Cartoons

Deadline to submit papers:  31 AUGUST 2014
 
Papers should not exceed 10,000 words (references included)
Instructions for authors are available at: http://www.springer.com/law/journal/11196
 
Only papers submitted online will be evaluated:
 
 
Papers submitted to the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law should evaluate how legal meanings are produced, distributed and construed. Legal culture is being transmitted through another medium of analysis.
 
The International Journal for the Semiotics of Law welcomes innovative papers to document the diverse historical, cultural and communicative links that bind together Law and Comics/Cartoons under a comprehensive research analysis on legal visual semiotics.

27 March 2014

Isobel Williams draws at the Supreme Court after hours

Isobel Williams, artist and illustrator, is giving an illustrated talk at the Supreme Court's 'twilight hours' event. Her work captures various aspects of the legal drama, beyond what you may see in 'normal' court illustrations such as those on the news, and is evocative of the human dimension of the courtroom.

You can see more of her courtroom work here, alongside her reflections on the cases she observes.

Tickets and information for the twilight hours event  are here.

14 March 2014

Justice Framed: Law Text Culture special issue (2012)

Many of you may already be aware of this publication, but it remains a highly useful resource for those of us interested in exploring the intersections of comics and law: the 2012 special issue of Law Text Culture 'Justice Framed: Law in Comics and Graphic Novels'. This open-access volume contains a wide variety of legal and comics analysis, from the development of a metaphor of 'eating' for understanding jurisprudence via Chew, through the significance of comics villains' aesthetic appearance, to the politics of retribution in the Punisher. Here's a handy list of contents:.
  • Introduction - Justice framed: law in comics and graphic novels
    Luis Gomez Romero and Ian Dahlman
  • Krazy Kat (review)
    K N Llewellyn
  • The legal surrealism of George Herriman's Krazy Kat
    Ian Dahlman
  • 'What had been many became one': continuity, the common law, and Crisis on Infinite Earths
    Benjamin Authers
  • Justice in the gutter: representing everyday trauma in the graphic novels of Art Spiegelman
    Karen Crawley and Honni van Rijswijk
  • 'Sakaarson the World Breaker': violence and différance in the political and legal theory of Marvel's sovereign
    Chris Lloyd
  • Chewing in the name of justice: the taste of law in action
    Anita Lam
  • Magic and modernity in Tintin au Congo (1930) and the Sierra Leone Special Court
    René Provost
  • Spider-Man, the question and the meta-zone: exception, objectivism and the comics of Steve Ditko
    Jason Bainbridge
  • Comic book mythology: Shyamalan’s Unbreakable and the grounding of good in evil
    Timothy D Peters
  • ‘Come a Day there Won’t be Room for Naughty Men Like Us to Slip About at All’: the multi-media outlaws of Serenity and the possibilities of post-literate justice
    Kieran Tranter
  • The aesthetics of supervillainy
    Jack Fennell
  • The punisher and the politics of retributive justice
    Kent Worcester
  • ‘Riddle me this…?’ Would the world need superheroes if the law could actually deliver ‘justice’?
    Cassandra Sharp
  • Noir justice: Law, crime and morality in Díaz Canales and Guarnido’s Blacksad: Somewhere within the shadows and Arctic-nation
    Jane Hanley
  • The story of Bohemia or, why there is nothing to rebel against anymore
    John Hanamy
Justice Framed: Law in Comics and Graphic Novels (2012 ) Law Text Culture 16(1)

20 February 2014

Visualising Law and Gender Conference, 3-4 Sep 2014

Centre for Law and Culture, St Mary's University
Visualising Law and Gender Conference
3-4 September 2014

Law both regulates cultural representations and creates them. These dual themes will be explored in a conference focused upon the twin strands of law and visual culture, and law and gender.

How does law regulate gender; how does it regulate images? What is/are the relationship/s between visual culture and the gendering of law? How have gendered divisions structured the legal profession and practice, and what is the role of the visual in understanding such complexities? How can visual culture and representation challenge or enlighten the gendered dimensions of law? This conference is aimed at exploring the intersections of law, gender, and the visual in an effort to address such questions and related concerns.

Papers are sought in relation to the dual themes of the conference:

Visualising Law: Intersection(s) of law with visual culture, in all its manifestations (including graphic fiction and Graphic Justice, TV, film, photo-journalism, art and art history). The conference welcomes an exploration of ‘law’ and ‘visual culture’ in the broadest sense of these terms.

Gendering Law: The representation of gender in the law, historically and today, and the law's responses to wider cultural representations (topics may include but are not limited to gendering legal history, law as gendered spectacle, sexuality and the law). 

Papers traversing or combining these broad themes are particularly welcome.

More information here: Visualising Law and Gender CFP