Law and the Senses Series – Taste

Law and the Senses_Taste

Non Liquet is pleased to publish the first issue on ‘Taste’ from the online Law and the Senses series.

This first issue of the Law and the Senses series deals with the sense of taste. Although perhaps non self-evident, there is a tight kinship between law and taste, primarily for the fact of sharing the same core mechanism: judgement. To taste is always to embark into a discriminating judgement over what is good and what is not. Likewise,  law’s relentless juridification of the world, i.e. the reduction of the world into legal categories, could be understood as a digestive process according to which law ingests its ‘outside’ (that is, what law presupposes as its outside) by tasting it, and emitting moral judgements accordingly.

This issue addresses taste as a tool whereby pushing law beyond the narrow confines into which it often perceives itself. Through the three contributions by Merima Bruncevic & Philip Linné, Andrea Brighenti and Nicola Masciandaro, we are offered as many compelling attempts to rethink our relation to objects and space, to reformulate the question of judgement as tentative, processual and contextual tasting, and to open up law from inside, disclosing the geo-philosophical fact of its openness to justice in the here and now.

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Call for Proposals – Law and the Senses

University of Westminster, School of Law, London 

18-19 April 2013

What is Law’s relationship to senses? In a sense, Law, the anaesthetic par excellence, is constantly engaged in numbing the senses into commonsense; manipulating, channelling and controlling the sensible; inserting properties and forbidding contacts; dissimulating violence, regulating sounds and defining taste. However, senses are not static. Rather, they are shifting and elusive qualities, constantly reshuffled by socio-cultural and technological changes, always dislocating Law’s normativity towards new potentialities. In this other sense, Law emerges from the senses, and whereas senses are a constant arena of legal machinations, they are also Law’s constant blind spot and inescapable excess. Is there then a legal sensing, an illegal sensing, or even perhaps a sensing beyond the Law? How does Law sense? Can Law hear, taste, smell, touch, see? Can Law indulge in sensual pleasures, or is it confined to the anaesthetic arena of common sense? Can senses be a tool to use, know and study Law better? Would this make Law more ‘sensible’, or instead more suffocating?

The conference Law and the Senses proposes to reflect critically on how law deals with senses, how law senses, how law makes sense. We invite you to think, discuss and question the sound of law, the tactile encounter with its forms, its bitter/sweet taste, its pungent smell, its perspectival gaze. We encourage you to investigate the sensing of law, the capacity for law to (make) sense, and the possibility for Law to sense differently. We welcome trans-disciplinary contributions, from legal, geographical, sociological, psychological, philosophical, political and cultural areas, as well as from the arts (exhibition and performance space is provided).

Con[inter]ference

This conference seeks to interfere with the standard conference format. We wish to shake such an often taken-for-granted scaffolding, not to propose ‘better’ models, but rather to produce interferences, noise and turbulence, out of which we hope creative encounters would emerge. This does not mean getting rid of the rules and internal regulations of conferencing altogether, but instead opening a fuzzier space for the conference to unfold, by making such constraints less rigid. There will be given no time for presentations, though the duty to prevent them from becoming infinite will remain with the moderator. We invite presentations conceived as a tool for stimulating a debate, rather than unilateral talks addressed to a passive audience. Therefore we kindly ask to refrain from merely reading out papers and rather trying to perform them through your voice and body, handing out material, using powerpoint, notes, other sensory stimulations and any other format you prefer.  

Please send your abstracts by the 15th of March 2013 on nonliquetlaw@gmail.com

The conference inaugurates the Non Liquet [The Westminster Online Working Papers] first online publication of the new series of papers on law and the senses, aiming to critically reflect on law and the senses. The series encompasses five issues dedicated to each sense: taste, smell, hearing, touch and vision.

Organising team: 

Andrea Pavoni, Danilo Mandic, Caterina Nirta

with 

The Westminster International Law & Theory Centre