Contemporary Antigones: the writing of today's critical theory play

Date & time

3–4pm Friday 27 September 2019


Phillipa Weeks Staff Library

Level 4, Building 7
ANU College of Law
5 Fellows Rd


Dr Dorota Gozdecka


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Presented by the Centre for Law Arts and Humanities

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Today’s research seminar is sponsored by the Centre for Law Arts and Humanities. It presents Dorota Gozdecka’s creative work in the burgeoning new area of theatrical jurisprudence.

The presentation will focus on the process of writing of a contemporary play based on critical theory notions and will focus on the figures of contemporary Antigones. It will compare the notions of incommensurability and the Antigonean conflict in telling stories about the contemporary relationship between law, justice and injustice. I will argue that contemporary Antigones permeate multiple troubled alliances between law, justice and the call of duty in the contemporary world. Finally, I will explain how the process of writing ‘Trumpsformation’, a contemporary critical theory play, used these notions to tell a story about injustice, law and incommensurability in the times of the conflict over the notion of belonging and the shape of political community.

This is an important year for the Centre. Major new books by Directors Tim Bonyhady (The Enchantment of the Long Haired Rat) and Des Manderson (Danse Macabre) reflect the unmatched breadth and ambition of the Centre’s intellectual program. Dr Gozdecka has been an important and vibrant part of our development over the course of several years. As she departs to take up a new position at the University of Helsinki, this seminar serves as a fitting occasion to pay tribute to her enthusiasm and her commitment.

Wine and cheese will follow the presentation, to thank Dorota for being part of ANU and CLAH, to wish her well in all her future endeavours, and to toast the Centre’s recent publications.


  • Dr Dorota Gozdecka »

    Dorota Anna Gozdecka holds a PhD in legal theory from the University of Helsinki (2009) and was awarded the title of a Docent of Jurisprudence by the same university (2015).

    Her primary research area focuses on legal theoretical aspects related to the accommodation of cultural diversity and the intersections between law and the humanities. Her publications such as the Special Issue Identity, subjectivity and the access to the community of rights (Social Identities, Issue 4, 2015), the monograph Rights, Religious Pluralism and the Recognition of Difference: Off the Scales of Justice (Routledge, 2015) or the edited volume Europe at the Edge of Pluralism explore questions of otherness created by contemporary legal regimes.

    Dorota has previously held research fellowships at the UC Berkeley, the ANU Centre for European Studies and the European University Institute and has won prestigious research grants, such as the University of Helsinki three-year grant for an international research project ‘Law and the Other’ that she was leading as the CI in 2013-2015. She has also been an expert for the Council of Europe's Drafting Group on Human Rights in Culturally Diverse Societies in preparation of the new Guidelines on Human Rights in Culturally Diverse Societies adopted by the Council of Europe in 2016.

    Dorota is also the Associate Director of the Centre for Law, Arts and the Humanities (CLAH) and the author of the play 'Trumpsformation', which she staged in Canberra in March 2018 with the law and drama group Antigone.


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