November 14, 2017

Call For Papers: Workshop: The Othered Senses: Law, Regulation, Sensorium

From the mailbox:



The Othered Senses:
Law, Regulation, Sensorium

May 1-2, 2018
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The Othered Senses: Law, Regulation, Sensorium is an intensive scholarly workshop in Montreal, Quebec to take place on May 1-2, 2018.

The Othered Senses launches from, and seeks to trouble, two premises. The first is that law and legal studies has come lately to the study of the sensual, and when the law has thought about the senses, the story is frequently one of discipline, translation, and the movement of non-rational senses into rational Law, with a capital “l”. The second premise is that inquiry into the senses remains dominated by a focus on the ocular- and aural-centric, leaving the study of the ‘other’ senses (taste, touch, and smell) understudied, treating the senses in isolation, and reproducing a five-sense understanding of sensation. We suggest the time is right for intellectual and political creativity in the imagined and material spaces where legal regulation and sensorial experience clash, where laws and sensing bodies entangle, and where sensuality and legal institutions flirt. We invite scholars to explore the multi-directional flows of legal-sensory encounter and its multiple modes and registers.

In this workshop we seek to animate an interdisciplinary discussion that brings together scholars interested in the unlikely, messy, and less studied ways in which sensing bodies and legal(ized) practices interact in powerful ways. We hope to disrupt the normal and normalizing order of senses, to counter law’s attachment to reason, and to de-romanticize the body. We ask: whose senses count and do not count in law’s register? What invisible work do the ‘lower’ senses do? How can regulatory structures take account of the synaesthetics of embodied experience? How does the hierarchy of the senses intersect with the debilitating structuring dualisms of Western culture: mind/body; person/property; human/animal; adult/child; abled/disabled; settler/savage? And how might we disrupt and dismantle the regulatory apparatuses which invest in these dualisms? In what ways might legal logics and sensorial pleasures productively stimulate each other?

We invite questions in the spirit of, but not in any way limited to, the following:

-                      how do drones touch, and not only see, their objects of surveillance?
-                      can a pig be a witness? can an android?
-                      does smoke have agency? does noise? water? a camera?
-                      how does the stride function as a technology of normative mobility?
-                      what are the cultural effects of tales of extra-sensory perception?
-                      how does feeling ‘at home’ intersect with the production and disruption of legally enforced borders, social and geographic?
-                      how does the law know silence? who gets to be noisy in public space? who is quieted?
-                      how are the bodies of the sovereign and its subjects re-produced in the state deployment of sounds as weapons?
-                      how do different skins shape the self- and other- regulation of intimacies? When should the law take note, if at all?
-                      what are the inter-subjective effects of the exhortation, “don’t touch!”
-                      in what vocabulary could a sexual assault victim give taste testimony?
-                      if one’s hand is one’s bond in law, how is touch figured? What happens when touch in public is subject to regulation?

This event is a collaboration between the Canadian Initiative in Law, Culture and Humanities at Carleton University and the Centre for Sensory Studies at Concordia University. It will be held in conjunction with the Uncommon Senses 2: Art, Technology, Education, Law, Society and Sensory Diversity, an international conference taking place on May 2-5, 2018 (see link

We invite submission of abstracts of 300 words for individual papers to Please provide your contact information and a 100 word biographical statement in the email attaching your abstract. The final deadline for all submissions is November 30th.

Authors of those papers selected for The Othered Senses will be asked to prepare and circulate drafts of their papers in advance, each paper will receive a dedicated respondent, and the work will be discussed intensively at the workshop. Those refereed papers not able to be accepted for participation in The Othered Senses will be included in the Uncommon Senses 2 conference.

No comments: