"Legal bodies, embodied subjects: (re)contextualisations of physicality" Young Scholars' Conference

deadline for submissions: 
February 3, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Anna Ronewicz, University of Szczecin

NEW DEADLINE: 3rd February 2024

I was, besides, endued with a figure hideously deformed and loathsome; I was not even of the same nature as man. I was more agile than they and could subsist upon coarser diet; I bore the extremes of heat and cold with less injury to my frame; my stature far exceeded theirs. When I looked around I saw and heard of none like me. Was I, then, a monster, a blot upon the earth, from which all men fled and whom all men disowned?” - Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

The concept of body, flesh and approaches towards it constitute a subject which has an unwavering place in all aspects of human existence. From our looks and beauty standards, through alterations and ailments, examining the very intricacies of the smallest particles of live tissues, to the absence of body and controversies regarding the legal status of emerging AI technology, the flesh seems to be in one way or the other the focus of everything. Corporeality has been at the centre of countless bodies of work, such as in the aforementioned Frankenstein, whose creature breaks the contemporaries’ understanding of humanity itself.

Being such an integral part of existence, the law has also focused on the body, from its earliest forms. The Hammurabi Codex speaks of “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth”, unveiling the laws’ approach to corporeality and harm against it. The conference is interested in exploring the ways in which body is presented in literature, culture, and law.

We are interested in topics such as, but not limited to:

-  crimes against bodies;
-  historical legal approaches to the body;
-  social, political and legal taboos of the human body;
-  body as a legal object;
-  marginalised and oppressed bodies;
-  alterations, adjustments, surgeries;
-  gendered body as a political playground;
-  sexuality, carnal desire and consent;
-  Queer bodies, sexualisation and Othering;
-  death, decay and abjection;
-  boundaries separating the human from the inhuman;
-  AI, neural networks as bodiless legal bodies,
-  corporeality in religion and belief;
-  medicine and bodily interferences;
-  body and psyche; blurred boundaries.

We welcome: 15-minute presentations, propositions for panels and discussions, and workshops.

The conference will be held in a hybrid format, to encourage participation from all parts of the world. It will be held at Biblioteka Międzywydziałowa of the University of Szczecin, al. Piastów 40b, as well as via MS Teams, 21st and 22nd March 2024.
We seek to encourage innovative approaches, bringing together scholarship of different disciplines, perspectives, cultures and experiences. We welcome young scholars of all backgrounds (students, PhD students, recent graduates).

We are accepting abstracts of 150-250 words before 31st January 2024 at legalbodiesconference@gmail.com. The results will be sent via email by 9th February 2024.
We are expecting the possibility of publishing presented papers.

Organisers: Anna Ronewicz, Koło Naukowe “Law and Literature”, dr hab. Katarzyna Jaworska-Biskup at the University of Szczecin, Poland.