Centre for Law, Arts & the Humanities

CLAH hero image

The Centre for Law, Arts & the Humanities brings together humanities-based research into questions of law and justice, both within the College of Law and across diverse disciplines including art history and theory, literature, philosophy, human rights, history, and cultural studies at ANU.

The Centre is the first of its kind in Australia. Through international collaborations, research and teaching, the Centre will build new bridges and open new dialogues in three dimensions: across disciplines; between critical theory and law; and with the wider community. For more about what we’re doing, see the About tab, below.

Last updated date

4.00pm Thursday 16 February 2017

Recently

24
Apr
2017

Big Ideas on ABC Radio National recently recorded an event with ANU Law's Centre for Law, Arts and the Humanities. The thought provoking conversation with Alexis Wright, Peter Singer, Russell Jacoby and Jacqueline Dutton will go to air this Monday evening at 7:05pm. You can listen via radio, stream or download the podcast.

28
Mar
2017
Welcome to our visiting doctoral student, Teagan-Jane Westendorf

Today we welcome our visiting doctoral student to the Centre. Teagan-Jane is completing her doctoral work based at Monash University after a successful stint at Birkbeck College London in 2016.  She will be in residence for the next six months.  Teagan’s research focuses on the contemporary scene of torture, drawing on perpetrator testimony supplied by US personnel who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay in 2003-06, as part of the so-called ‘War on Terror’. 

Her analysis and development of theories of the subjectivity and power is used as a tool to re-think the way in which torture is understood in relation to law. She asks what the role of law is in the scene of torture, and what this indicates about how law is fundamental to "who we are" as subjects.

15
Feb
2017
Philosophy in the Pub

Philosophy in the times of populism and post-truth. Join a group of Canberra legal philosophers for a chat over a delicious pint. An accessible, casual event for anyone interested in current events.

2016 was branded the year of post-truth. The contributions of both science and humanities have been questioned and criticised for their distance from the society and “the real life”. But perhaps “experts” aren’t really so far removed from the reality. Dare to find out what philosophy can contribute and join a group of Canberra legal philosophers for a chat over a delicious pint. Find out what “the love of wisdom” can offer and whether it can explain the reality of today. Can Freudian desire explain the rise of Trump or did Nietzsche predict the post-truth society?

The four philosophers presenting are:

  • Desmond Manderson is Director of the Centre for Law, Arts, and the Humanities at the ANU College of Law. Topic: A Freudian analysis of the rise and rise of Donald Trump.
  • Anne Macduff works at the ANU College of Law. Anne’s research explores how law devalues difference. She has a particular interest in exploring issues of law and identity, including race, gender and sexuality. She has a passion for legal education, and for creating active and engaging environments to enable students to critically engage with the law.
  • Justine Poon is a PhD candidate at the ANU College of Law and occasional poet and filmmaker. Topic: Why Representation Both Does and Does Not Matter.
  • Dorota Gozdecka is a Senior Lecturer at the ANU College of Law and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Helsinki. She has published books and journal articles on theoretical aspects of accommodating cultural diversity and has been preoccupied with the place of the Other in philosophy and legal theory. Topic: Have philosophers foreseen the rise of post-truth society?
2
Nov
2016
Challenging words - a CLAH workshop in November

Challenging Words, led by Dorota Gozdecka, will bring together artists, cartoonists and musicians with students and legal academics in an innovative and creative workshop, the first of its kind in Australia.

New Work in a new field

The Centre is the first of its kind in Australia. Through international collaborations, research and teaching, the Centre will build new bridges and open new dialogues in three dimensions: across disciplines; between critical theory and law; and with the wider community.

The Centre is committed to advancing world-class teaching and research in the field. We aim to consolidate and expand domestic and international networks of scholars, and to support new interdisciplinary collaborations. 

We are also committed to a strong public engagement with the most important contemporary problems in Australia and around the world—including questions of social justice, human rights, rule of law, globalization, pluralism, and sovereignty. Bringing the insights and traditions of the humanities and the arts to bear on law, justice and ethics in the modern world, has never been more urgent or more necessary.

Research and creative work

The Centre reflects the growth of research in law, literature and the humanities—a creative interdisciplinary field in which Australian scholarship leads the world. The Centre is directed by Professor Desmond Manderson, FRSC and draws on his recent Australian Research Council Future Fellowship which pioneered Australian research into representations of law and justice in the visual arts; and by Professor Tim Bonyhady, AO, one of Australia’s leading writers whose work extends from environmental law to art and social history.

The Centre does not just aim to encourage creative work about the arts, but in them.  Genuine collaborations and engagement with major Australian cultural institutions and artists lie at the heart of our mission.

I enjoyed this SO MUCH! In fact it re-inspired me and reminded me why I am so interested in interdisciplinary study of law and the humanities.

An inspiring and original event

This was a great challenge but transformative.  There was a healing in this and a revelation.

Our current projects include:

  • Challenging Words, led by Dorota Gozdecka, will bring together artists, cartoonists and musicians with students and legal academics in an innovative and creative workshop, the first of its kind in Australia.
  • In December 2016, the largest international exhibition of the Australian Impressionists will open at the National Gallery in London – with a lead catalogue essay written by Professor Bonyhady. 
  • In 2018, at the Australian National Gallery, Tim will curate a major exhibition on the colonial frontier in nineteenth century Tasmania.  Law, justice and reconciliation are core themes.
  • In conjunction with ABC Radio National and the Australian National Library, Utopia 500 is a major event being organized by CLAH Director Desmond Manderson.  It features major Australian public intellectual and artists and will take place in March 2017. 
  • And Professor Manderson continues his creative work in music and in theatre.  More news as it comes to hand.
Portrait of Professor Desmond Manderson,

by Jackie Adcock, 2001

Portrait of Professor Timothy Bonyhady,

by Andrew Sayers, Archibald Prize Finalist, 2015.

Innovative Teaching

The Centre is taking a university-wide lead in developing major new interdisciplinary courses that will help students bring their degrees and their interests, their career and their passions, together in innovative ways.  The first of these courses, Law, Literature and Human Rights, will be jointly taught in Law and English in 2017.  A course on Democracy, Legitimacy and Sovereignty, will be jointly taught in Law and Philosophy in 2018.  A Vice-Chancellor’s course on Truth, Evidence and Discourse, which will include participation from every College in the University and be open to all undergraduate students, is also planned for 2018.  

VIDEO: An interview with Professor Desmond Manderson on law and the humanities, as part of the 'Visualizing Law in the Digital Age' conference held at New York Law School on 21 October 2011.

 

Directors


Tim Bonyhady
Professor

Desmond Manderson
Professor

Members


Dorota Anna Gozdecka
Senior Lecturer

Anne Macduff
Senior Lecturer

Joshua Neoh
Senior Lecturer

Kim Rubenstein
Professor

Margaret Thornton
Professor

Matthew Zagor
Associate Professor
Roseanne Kennedy
Dr Roseanne Kennedy
Head of Discipline - Gender Sexuality & Culture
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
The Australian National University
Canberra, Australia
Carolyn Strange
Dr Carolyn Strange
Deputy Head of School
School of History, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
The Australian National University
Canberra, Australia
Helen Ennis
Professor Helen Ennis
Director
Centre for Art History and Art Theory, School of Art, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
The Australian National University
Canberra, Australia
Fiona Jenkins
Associate Professor Fiona Jenkins
Associate Professor
School of Philosophy, Research School of Social Sciences, ANU College of Arts and Social Science
The Australian National University
Canberra, Australia

Higher degree research students


Naomi Carde
SJD Candidate

Justine Poon
Manager - LRSJ

Alice Richardson
PhD Candidate

Affiliates

Teagan-Jane Westendorf
Teagan-Jane Westendorf
PhD Candidate
Monash University
Melbourne, Australia
Alice Rumble
PhD Candidate
Aboriginal activism and settler advocacy: appeals for 'justice' through colonial legal and political channels 1830-1890
The Australian National University
Canberra, Australia
PhD Candidate
Life, Death and Release at Callan Park, 1878-1920
The Australian National University
Canberra, Australia
Alexandra Roginski
PhD Candidate
History of Phrenology in Australia
The Australian National University
Canberra, Australia
PhD Candidate
Dragged kicking and screaming. The Commonwealth's reluctant assumption of control ever marriage in Australia
The Australian National University
Canberra, Australia
Rhianne Grieve
PhD Candidate
Natural rights in Eighteenth century British natural jurisprudence
The Australian National University
Canberra, Australia
PhD Candidate
The role and contribution of the military convicts transported to Australia 1788-1868
The Australian National University
Canberra, Australia
Murray Chisholm
PhD Candidate
History of the Opposition to Capital Punishment [in PNG]
The Australian National University
Canberra, Australia
Mareike Riedel
PhD Candidate
Centre for International Governance and Justice (CIGJ), Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet)
The Australian National University
Canberra, Australia
Jennifer Eadie
PhD Candidate
School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics, Research School of Humanities and the Arts
The Australian National University
Canberra, Australia
Marie-eve Louiselle
PhD Candidate
Centre for International Governance and Justice (CIGJ), Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet)
The Australian National University
Canberra, Australia
Shane Chalmers
PhD Candidate
Centre for International Governance and Justice (CIGJ), Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet)
The Australian National University
Canberra, Australia

Visitors


Jonathan Blaine
SJD Candidate

Latest news

05
May
2017
Absrtact picture of birds flying out of a prison wall

ANU Law Explains is a National Law Week 2017 event which will examine four highly political issues with a legal perspective for a layperson audience.

03
May
2017
Prison

Mary Spiers Williams, a former legal practitioner in criminal law and lecturer at ANU College of Law writes in Woroni about over-incarceration rates.

19
Apr
2017
Statue of blindfolded Lady Justice

Giving birth is like "buying a bag of chips" - or at least that's what one male judge suggested. Law Professor Margaret Thornton raises important questions about the absence of transparency in federal judiciary appointments, and shows why transparency is crucial for gender justice.

22
Mar
2017
Hieronymous Bosch, the Garden of Earthly Delights (middle panel)

If we could start afresh, how would we re-imagine the world? Could we?

15
Feb
2017
Image from Challenging Words Exhibition

Hans Gieng’s 1543 statue Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen (Fountain of Justice) – the first known depiction of Lady Justice wearing a blindfold – conveys a statement that is understood by legal professionals and laypeople alike. Justice is blind.

In the Media

22
Mar
2017

Everything you need to know about changes to the Racial Discrimination Act

Simon Rice, Dilan Thampapillai, Margaret Thornton speaks to News.com.au

Research theme:
22
Feb
2017

Challenging Words exhibition

Dorota Anna Gozdecka speaks to ABC Radio Canberra

20
Feb
2017

Changes to citizenship to also reopen debate on Australian identity

Kim Rubenstein speaks to The Saturday Paper

13
Feb
2017

The Explosive President

Dorota Anna Gozdecka speaks with ABC South East

10
Feb
2017

The Explosive President

Dorota Anna Gozdecka speaks to ABC Radio Canberra

11
Nov
2016

Donald Trump, the Wizard of Id

Desmond Manderson writes in The Brisbane Times

Upcoming events

02
Jun
2017

The Derrida Reading Group

Jacques Derrida
4.00PM to 5.30PM

The ANU Centre for Law, Arts and the Humanities is proud to present the Derrida Reading Group, an interdisciplinary gathering intended for staff and research students. 

16
Jun
2017

The Derrida Reading Group

Jacques Derrida
4.00PM to 5.30PM

The ANU Centre for Law, Arts and the Humanities is proud to present the Derrida Reading Group, an interdisciplinary gathering intended for staff and research students. 

30
Jun
2017

The Derrida Reading Group

Jacques Derrida
4.00PM to 5.30PM

The ANU Centre for Law, Arts and the Humanities is proud to present the Derrida Reading Group, an interdisciplinary gathering intended for staff and research students. 

Past events

19
May
2017

The Derrida Reading Group

Jacques Derrida
4.00PM to 5.30PM

The ANU Centre for Law, Arts and the Humanities is proud to present the Derrida Reading Group, an interdisciplinary gathering intended for staff and research students.  

08
May
2017

Wellbeing in the Law Week - Mon 8 to Fri 12 May

Wellbeing week
12.00PM to 5.00PM

The ANU College of Law is committed to health and wellbeing in the law, for all our students and academic and professional staff. This is the inaugural Wellbeing in the Law Week, presented by the ANU College of Law Wellbeing Initiative and the ANU Law Students' Society.

24
Apr
2017

ABC Radio National Big Ideas program - Utopian Thinking

Utopia - Thomas More
7.05PM to 7.30PM

ABC Radio National broadcast of Big Ideas program on Utopian Thinking - recorded on 28 March at a joint event presented by the National Library of Australia and ANU Law's Centre for Law, Arts and the Humanities.

28
Mar
2017

Utopia 500

Image: Étienne-Louis Boullée, Cénotaphe de Newton
6.00PM to 7.30PM

Thomas More wrote a book, coined a word… and changed the world.  Since then, Utopia has beckoned to dreamers, thinkers, and critics across the globe.  It has appealed to the very best in us.  But it has also drawn out the very worst in us. And after 500 years, utopia seems as far off as ever.

24
Feb
2017

Exhibition Event - Challenging Words Workshop

Challenging Words
5.00PM

Have you ever wondered what happens when the legal and the aesthetic meet? What happens at the intersection of the word and the image? The written word so indispensable for our contemporary legal education often proves to be an insurmountable challenge when we encounter ethical dilemmas.

Members of the CLAH engage in many research projects which employ the theoretical and methodological model of law and the humanities.  Their work appears in leading publications and journals around the world. Readers are invited to explore this work on the individual research pages of our members, and to browse our recent publications.

In addition, the Centre works together to develop new collaborations and joint projects.  This involves collaborations with the Early Modern Conversions project at McGill University; an application for funding through the COST program for Literature and the Rule of Law in the New Europe; and the development of a Summer School in Law and the Humanities here at ANU.  We will provide regular updates on these activities and collaborative projects.

Listed below are a selection of recent publications by Centre members, in alphabetical order by surbname under each subheading.

Please note this is not a complete list of all the publications of all our members. Please see the 'People' tab, and click on the link to their personal profile page for more publications and for a link to their ANU Researchers profile for a complete list.

Recent books 

  • Bonyhady, Good Living Street (2011)
  • Gozdecka, Rights, Religious pluralism and the Recognition of difference (2015).
  • Manderson, Kangaroo Courts and the Rule of Law (2012). 
  • Manderson, Littoral Readings –Representations of Land and Sea in law, Literature, and Geography (2015).
  • Strange, C., Honour violence and emotions in history (New York: NYU Press, 2016)
  • Strange, C. et al, eds., Honour Killing and Violence: Theory, Policy and Practice (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)

Recent book chapters

  • Henne, K and Shah, R 2016 (in press), Feminist Criminology and the Visual. In Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of Crime, Media and Popular Culture. Brown, M, ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Henne, K 2015, Testing for Athlete Citizenship: Regulating Doping and Sex in Sport, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.
  • Neoh, J ‘Law and Love in Eden’, in Paul Babie and Vanja Savić (eds), Law, Religion and Love (Routledge, forthcoming)
  • Neoh, J. Rothwell, D and Rubenstein, K, ‘The Complicated Case of Stern Hu: Allegiance, Identity and Nationality in a Globalized World’, in Fiona Jenkins, Mark Nolan and Kim Rubenstein (eds), Allegiance and Identity in a Globalized World (Cambridge University Press, 2014)
  • Strange, C. ‘Mercy and Parole in Anglo-American Criminal Justice Systems, from the Eighteenth to the Twenty-First Century,’ in Paul Knepper and Anja Johansen, eds., The Oxford Handbook of the History of Crime and Criminal Justice Oxford: OUP, 2016

Recent refereed journal articles

  • Gozdecka, DA., 'A Community of Paradigm Subjects?, Rights as corrective tools in culturally contested claims of recognition in Europe', Social Identities, Issue 3, 2015 (forthcoming).
  • Gozdecka, DA. and Jackson, AR., ‘Caught Between Different Legal Pluralisms: Women Who Wear Islamic Dress as the Religious ‘Other’ In European Rights Discourses’, (2012) Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law, 64:2011
  • Gozdecka, DA., Jackson, AR., ‘Caught Between Different Legal Pluralisms: Women Who Wear Islamic Dress as the Religious ‘Other’ In European Rights Discourses’, (2012) Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law, 64:2011
  • Gozdecka, DA., ‘Human rights, fundamental rights and the common constitutional traditions in the protection of religious pluralism and diversity in Europe – a study in the democratic paradox’, (2012) Finnish Yearbook of International Law, 2010
  • Gozdecka, DA., ‘Catholic Family Values instead of Equality - Polish Politics Between 2005-2007 Envisioning the Role of Women.’ (2009) in Sulkunen Irma, Nevala-Nurmi Seija-Leena, Markkola Pirjo (eds) ‘Suffrage, Gender and Citizenship - International Perspectives on Parliamentary Reforms’ Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press.
  • Gozdecka, D.A., Kmak Magdalena, and Airytman Ercan Selen, ’ From Multiculturalism to Post-multiculturalism: Trends and Paradoxes', (2015) Journal of Sociology  vol. 50 no. 1 51-64
  • Naffine, N and Neoh, J ‘Fictions and Myths in PGA v The Queen’ (2013) 38 Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy 32.
  • Neoh, J ‘The Rhetoric of Precedent and Fulfilment in the Sermon on the Mount and the Common Law’ (2013) Law, Culture and the Humanities.
  • Neoh, J, ‘Text, Doctrine and Tradition in Law and Religion’ (2013) 2 Oxford Journal Law and Religion 175.
  • Neoh, J. ‘Law and Love in Abraham’s Binding of Isaac’ (2015) 9 Law and Humanities 237.
  • Neoh, J. ‘The Name of God on Trial: Narratives of Law, Religion and State in Malaysia’ (2014) 18 Law Text Culture 198 [Special Issue on ‘The Rule of Law and the Cultural Imaginary in (Post-Colonial East Asia’)
  • Roberts, H. ‘Why (Re)Write Judgments: Australian Feminist Judgments (2015) 37 Sydney Law Review 257 (with Laura Sweeney)
  • Roberts, H. ‘Telling a History of Australian Women Judges Through Courts’ Ceremonial Archives’ (2014) 40 Australian Feminist Law Journal 147
  • Roberts, H. ‘“Swearing Mary”: The Significance of the Speeches Made at Mary Gaudron’s Swearing-in as a Justice of the High Court of Australia’ (2013) 34 Sydney Law Review 493
  • Roberts, H. “Law and Literature: Analysing style in judgment writing” in Gabrielle Appleby and Rosalind Dixon The Critical Judgments Project: Rereading Monis v The Queen (with Associate Professor Gabrielle Appleby) (The Federation Press, 2016

Recent book review essay

Students with a passion for interdisciplinary research on the intersection of law and justice issues with history, continental philosophy, art theory and criticism, literary and cultural studies are strongly encouraged to undertake higher degree research and doctoral work in law and the humanities at ANU. 

The ANU is Australia’s highest-ranking University, with outstanding international expertise right across law, arts, and the social sciences. The Centre for Law, Art and the Humanities brings together this expertise and works to generate new synergies and a critical mass of intellectual energy. We analyse historical and contemporary issues, drawing on humanistic perspectives through a range of theoretical frameworks in legal and social theory, continental philosophy, and post-colonial studies.

For further information, contact the Directors or Members of the Centre (on the People tab). They can help you craft your proposal and identify supervision resources best able to support your interests.

For examples of the kinds of projects our higher degree research students undertake, please see the list of HDR students on the People tab. Click through to their personal profiles for more information on their thesis projects.

 

Activities archive

24
Apr
2017

Big Ideas on ABC Radio National recently recorded an event with ANU Law's Centre for Law, Arts and the Humanities. The thought provoking conversation with Alexis Wright, Peter Singer, Russell Jacoby and Jacqueline Dutton will go to air this Monday evening at 7:05pm. You can listen via radio, stream or download the podcast.

28
Mar
2017
Welcome to our visiting doctoral student, Teagan-Jane Westendorf

Today we welcome our visiting doctoral student to the Centre. Teagan-Jane is completing her doctoral work based at Monash University after a successful stint at Birkbeck College London in 2016.  She will be in residence for the next six months.  Teagan’s research focuses on the contemporary scene of torture, drawing on perpetrator testimony supplied by US personnel who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay in 2003-06, as part of the so-called ‘War on Terror’. 

Her analysis and development of theories of the subjectivity and power is used as a tool to re-think the way in which torture is understood in relation to law. She asks what the role of law is in the scene of torture, and what this indicates about how law is fundamental to "who we are" as subjects.

15
Feb
2017
Philosophy in the Pub

Philosophy in the times of populism and post-truth. Join a group of Canberra legal philosophers for a chat over a delicious pint. An accessible, casual event for anyone interested in current events.

2016 was branded the year of post-truth. The contributions of both science and humanities have been questioned and criticised for their distance from the society and “the real life”. But perhaps “experts” aren’t really so far removed from the reality. Dare to find out what philosophy can contribute and join a group of Canberra legal philosophers for a chat over a delicious pint. Find out what “the love of wisdom” can offer and whether it can explain the reality of today. Can Freudian desire explain the rise of Trump or did Nietzsche predict the post-truth society?

The four philosophers presenting are:

  • Desmond Manderson is Director of the Centre for Law, Arts, and the Humanities at the ANU College of Law. Topic: A Freudian analysis of the rise and rise of Donald Trump.
  • Anne Macduff works at the ANU College of Law. Anne’s research explores how law devalues difference. She has a particular interest in exploring issues of law and identity, including race, gender and sexuality. She has a passion for legal education, and for creating active and engaging environments to enable students to critically engage with the law.
  • Justine Poon is a PhD candidate at the ANU College of Law and occasional poet and filmmaker. Topic: Why Representation Both Does and Does Not Matter.
  • Dorota Gozdecka is a Senior Lecturer at the ANU College of Law and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Helsinki. She has published books and journal articles on theoretical aspects of accommodating cultural diversity and has been preoccupied with the place of the Other in philosophy and legal theory. Topic: Have philosophers foreseen the rise of post-truth society?
2
Nov
2016
Challenging words - a CLAH workshop in November

Challenging Words, led by Dorota Gozdecka, will bring together artists, cartoonists and musicians with students and legal academics in an innovative and creative workshop, the first of its kind in Australia.

11
Aug
2016
Welcome Professor Alex Sharpe

On Thursday 11 August we welcome Professor Alex Sharpe to the Centre for a series of events co-sponsored by the ANU Gender institute.

Alex is based at Keele University UK.  She is an international scholar of issues in transgender, sexualities, and the law, as well as broader interests in contemporary critical theory.  She will be fronting a Q & A session on ‘gender fraud’ at 12pm, Friday 12 August, in the Moot Court.  Then at 4pm, she will be presenting a public lecture entitled Scary monsters: the hopeful undecidability of David Bowie (1947-2016), which promises to be a load of fun.  

18
Jul
2016
Welcome Professor Chris Tomlins

Today we welcome Professor Chris Tomlins to the Centre. Chris is at UC Berkeley in the Faculty of Law, as well as being one of the leading US scholars and guiding lights in the field of interdisciplinary studies in law and the humanities. 

He is well known for the annual symposia he hosts at Berkeley around different dimensions of “law and…”   which attract a mix of senior and up and coming scholars from around the world.  Chris will be here for a week, to participate in the conference on aesthetics and politics being jointly organized by CLAH, the School of Philosophy, and the Humanities Research Centre.  

Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team