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Call for paper for the conference Legality/Illegality: rules, regulations and resistance.


March 1, 2018. Leicester (De Montfort University)


The peer-reviewed Conference examines the ways in which various types of human expression and activity (economic, cultural, and political) are influenced, both by popular notions of legitimacy (combining our understanding of everyday normative standards with an often-imprecise sense of what is actually lawful/unlawful), and by the actual sanctions and/or rights enshrined within existing legal systems and forms of precedence (operating at the national and/or supranational/transnational level).
The call for papers welcomes critical overviews of the relationship between legality and illegality (i.e. theoretical interventions that address the conceptual and practical interdependence of these terms, under the general rubric of ‘the law’), the alteration over time of notions of legality (where, for instance, an activity once thought legitimate may lose that status, and vice versa), specific case-studies of public controversies, the public mediation of the legal system or of law enforcement (through, for example, cinematic or televisual texts), the fascist Right’s attempt to manipulate liberal notions of freedom of speech, illicit state surveillance of dissenting individuals and groups, and the debate over ‘states of exception’.
Specific fields of enquiry and useful topics may include but are not confined to the following:

  • Performance rights and intellectual ownership within the ‘neo-liberal’ work environment
  • Freedom of speech, violence and anti-fascist activity
  • Questions over the obligation of news organisations to pursue the truth in a ‘post-truth’ politics
  • The ‘moral right’ to break or disregard oppressive laws
  • Arguments over the legalisation of drugs
  • The historical reconstitution of the law
  • Questions of sexuality and the state
  • Transnational legal obligations and Brexit
  • The Dance Culture and ‘illegal’ or non-commercial parties
  • Issues in investigative journalism
  • Fan adaptations of copyrighted texts
  • Transnational, national or region-specific events that test the parameters of legality


Abstracts of 250 words to by 10th December 2017. See here the conference page.

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