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An Interdisciplinary Colloquium organized by the E-SRT in Law, Literature and Language
Thursday April 2, 2015
Academic Conference Room, 11th Floor, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, University of Hong Kong
This colloquium examines elements which are often considered ‘marginal’ in/to the law. The notion of the margin is a diverse and dynamic one. In some political regimes, scholars embed their criticism of government policies in endnotes and footnotes, such that their ‘core’ arguments can only be discerned by looking at the ‘margins’ of the text. In other instances, communities previously in the margins of the legal framework now receive renewed attention in human rights discourse. Finally, the humanities are at times considered ‘marginal’ to legal studies, but the interdisciplinary turn in legal scholarship has underscored the contribution that humanistic inquiry can make to the study of law. The papers in this colloquium collectively explore the multiple manifestations and meanings of the legal margin, and investigate what is at stake in the very act of designating a text, a concept or a discipline as marginal.
10:00am – 11:15am Marginalized Figures in the Courtroom
- Chris Munn (HKU): Margins of Justice in Colonial Hong Kong: Li Hong Mi v. The Attorney General and Others, 1917-1920
- Janny Leung (HKU): Missing Populations in Language Rights Cases
- Christopher Hutton (HKU): Law and its Categories: Is There Ever a Right to Classify Oneself?
11:15am-11:30am Coffee Break
11:30am to 12:45pm Literary Engagements with Legal Marginality
- Andrew Counter (KCL): Balzac on the Wrong Side of the Law
- Frederick Blumberg (HKU): Obscenity and Marginality
- Yi-Hsin Hsu (Academica Sinica, Taiwan): Poetics of Legal and Political Marginalia: Oaths, Constancy, and the Law of Flux in Dryden’s Post-Revolutionary Plays
12:45pm -2:00pm Lunch
2:00pm–3:00pm Philosophical Explorations of Legal Marginality
- Daniel Matthews (HKU) Jurisdictions of the Common
- Emilios Christodoulidis (Glasgow)
3:00pm – 3:15pm Coffee Break
3:15pm- 4:15pm Visual Dimensions of Legal Marginality
- Simon Stern (Toronto) Margins of Authority: Precedent and Citation in Coke’s Institutes
- Shulamit Almog (Haifa) Marginalized Law in Israeli War Films
4:15pm-4:30pm Coffee Break
4:30pm – 6:00pm Plenary Lecture: Melancholegalism: Black Letter Theory and the Temporality of Law
- Peter Goodrich (Cardozo Law School and Sin Wai-Kin Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities, HKU)
This brought together many of the leading scholars of language and law in the United States. The workshop papers are now being organized as a volume, under contract with CUP, to be titled Language, Power and Law: the Invisible Exercise of Power through Language. It will be published in or before 2016, edited by Dr Leung, and with papers from three members of the eSRT.