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The Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Arts at the University of Hong Kong will hold its first law and humanities summer school, 8-13 June 2020. This week-long event is open to post-graduate research students and early career academics from any discipline, based anywhere in the world, who are working at the intersection of law and the humanities. Summer school participants will take two intensive seminar series led by Alison Young, Francine V. McNiff Professor of Criminology at the University of Melbourne and James Martel, Professor of Political Science at San Francisco State University. In addition, there will be sessions on interdisciplinary methodologies, research and writing skills, as well as cultural and social events. This is a fantastic opportunity to work with two of the world’s leading law and humanities scholars, to develop your research and writing skills, expand your knowledge and learn from your peers in the global community of law and humanities researchers.

The seminar series

James Martel: How the law can undo what the law does

This course will consider the notion of law when it is not merely understood in its black letter, rationalist sense. The opposite of such a form of law is not necessarily chaos or nihilism but can have its own creative, contingent and positive forms. Thinking about law in this other, anarchist and decentralized sense allows us to imagine what is common to all forms of law even laws that serve to upend and contest the law as it is usually considered. In thinking about this kind of law, we will engage with a range of thinkers including Walter Benjamin, Giorgio Agamben and Fred Moten.

Alison Young: Imagining Justice in the City

Increasing urbanization means that more and more people live and work in urban centres, and increasing urban populations present particular challenges for social organisation and urban planning, but also for law: how do we imagine a just city in times of increasing population density and social inequality? In this course, we will examine a range of ways of thinking about justice in the city, including concepts of affect, urban encounters, the precariat, ambience and atmosphere, and the lawscape, drawing on the work of Ananya Roy, Sarah Keenan, Ben Anderson, Andreas Phillippopoulos-Mihailopoulos, Guy Standing, Peter Adey and others. A range of case studies will be utilised, including debates around urban aesthetics (and how they are regulated by law); how law responds to visible precarity; and the relationship between city and citizenship. 

Summer school participants will take both seminar series.

Participants will be sent reading materials in advance. All reading and preparation must be completed before the summer school begins.