Questions of national (be)longing – critical and theoretical engagements with citizenship

Date & time
9am–5pm Friday 19 May 2023

Moot Court, ANU College of Law


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Presented by ANU Gender Institute, ANU Centre for Law, Arts and the Humanities

Australia desert landscape
Image: Monika Nuemann/Pixabay

In Australia, a referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament is set to be held during this parliamentary term. This moment follows the recent Love/Thoms High Court decision which raises legal questions of constitutional belonging. In this context, questions of citizenship are currently at the forefront of Australia’s national consciousness.

This Symposium invites interdisciplinary imaginings of citizenship’s stakes in Australia and the broader Asia-Pacific region, but potentially more widely. Citizenship is an abstract concept with a concrete history and a capacity to affect individual, national, regional and global imaginings of belonging. The legal status of citizenship operates at the intersection of law, culture, and politics, and is marked by a tension between individualism and membership of a political community.

We invite papers that assess citizenship as an analytical and conceptual tool for thinking through questions of sovereignty, (un)belonging and the legitimacy of the nation state’s claim on the gendered and raced identities of people.

Speakers may also wish to challenge the idea of citizenship itself and offer alternative approaches to forms of relationships between people and their communities, institutions and/ or nations.

Submissions may address a range of issues, including but not limited to:

  • What are the forms of citizenship and how do they materialise as gendered and raced identities?
  • What attachments of identity does citizenship inspire or neglect?
  • What is the relationship between citizenship, justice, and responsibility? And resistance and participation? What are the possibilities of citizenship achieving these other ideals in a national context with raced and gendered politics?
  • What is citizenship’s role in the 21st century, particularly amidst and after a global pandemic?
  • How does citizenship’s past shape its present manifestations?

We welcome contributions that focus on First Nations, gender or intersectional perspectives and those that draw from diverse approaches and methods.

Call for Papers

Submissions are gladly received from a variety of disciplines including but not limited to: law, gender studies, critical race studies, Indigenous studies, Pacific studies, Asian studies, literature, sociology, political science, history.

The Symposium will take place in person and online at the ANU College of Law from 9am-5pm.

Please send submissions to and by 1 March 2023 using the subject heading “Citizenship symposium 2023” together with:

  1. Title of paper
  2. 250-word abstract
  3. Name, position, organisation brief bio (100 words max)

Although participants may attend the Symposium online, it is anticipated that presenters will be able to physically travel to the ANU for the duration of the Symposium. Should unforeseen circumstances arise however, alternative online arrangements may be considered.

This Symposium is generously supported by ANU College of Law, the ANU Gender Institute and the ANU Centre for Law, Arts and the Humanities.


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