Mar 22
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Public Seminar in Law and Humanities: Four Approaches to the Problem of Time

Public Seminar in Law and Humanities

Four Approaches to the Problem of Time


22 March 2024 (Friday)

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

NEW VENUE: Rm901, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong




You are invited to a public seminar that will explore four theoretical approaches to the problem of time, law and art. These approaches have striking similarities and common resonances, although some are very recent and some are 60,000 years old. Consider Aeschylus’ Oresteia, a play that is all about the ways that legal forms become repeated and ossified in time, calcifying social forces, reifying trauma. Or recall Ludwig Wittgenstein: “A picture held us captive. And we could not get outside it, for it lay in our language and language seemed to repeat it to us inexorably.” In what ways can we see these problems manifesting themselves in the crises of the world we live in? In what ways do legal and art theories, in their own very different registers, offer a diagnosis, a critique, and a response? The seminar will proceed in four parts, and will be based around discussion of (1) the problem of time, (2) the archive and the counter archive, (3) potential history, and (4) the idea of everywhen.


Presenter biography: 

Professor Desmond Manderson FRSC, FAAL, FASSA is jointly appointed in the ANU Colleges of Law and of Arts & Social Sciences at the Australian National University. He directs the Centre for Law, Arts and the Humanities, designing innovative interdisciplinary courses with English, philosophy, art theory and history, political theory, and beyond. His books include From Mr Sin to Mr Big (1993); Songs Without Music (2000); Law and the Visual: Representations, Technologies and Critique (2018) and Danse Macabre: Temporalities of Law in the Visual Arts (2019), which was the recipient of the 2019 Penny Pether Prize for research in law and the humanities and the 2020 Australian Legal Research Award for best book. His latest play, Twenty Minutes with the Devil (with Luis Gomez Romero) premiered at The Street Theatre in 2022.


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