Centre for Law, Arts and the Humanities

CLAH hero image

The ANU Centre for Law, Arts and the Humanities (CLAH) is the first of its kind in Australia. It brings together humanities-based research into questions of law and justice, both within the ANU College of Law and across diverse disciplines including art history and theory, literature, philosophy, human rights, history, and cultural studies at ANU. CLAH is building new bridges and opening new dialogues across disciplines, between critical theory and law, and with the wider community. Our world-class research reaches a wide and interdisciplinary audience.

2021 marks a breakthrough year for the Centre, advancing our commitment not just to talking about creativity but to producing work in and with the creative arts, too.

  • 'I Weave What I Have Seen: The War Rugs of Afghanistan' June 25-August 15 at Drill Hall Gallery. This extraordinary exhibition is curated by Emeritus Professor Tim Bonyhady AM, FAAH, FASSA, our esteemed former director with Nigel Lendon. Find out more here.
     
  • Twenty Minutes With the Devil will run at Street Theatre 6-14 November 2021. Part black comedy, part thriller, this remarkable work tackles law and justice in the modern world. Written by director Desmond Manderson and Luis Gomez Romero, here is a fable for the world we live in: a work that takes real problems in the world around us and gives them a vivid imaginative life. By turns suspenseful and reflective, witty, gritty, and poetic, Twenty Minutes With The Devil will grab you by the throat from the very first moment and demand that you, too, make a choice—before time runs out. Live or die, stay or go, trust or betray: we’re all looking for a way out of the locked room of the modern world. A post-show panel discussion involving both playwrights and Dr Thomas Nulley-Valdes, visiting fellow at the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences and a Latin American literature scholar, will be held on 14 November 2021. More details available here.
     
  • Coming soon: In September 2021, watch out 'For One Day Only', a 24-hour conference involving seminars and panels taking place in Australia, Helsinki, Lucerne, London, Johannesburg, and Virginia. It will feature new work in law, space, and materialism. This project showcases our global network and marks a new stage in our collaboration with Lucernaiuris, an interdisciplinary institute at the University of Lucerne. Keep an eye on our events page to register.

This is another big year for Centre publications. Our collaboration with Professor Anne Brunon-Ernst, a Visiting Fellow at CLAH and Université Paris II, has led to Surveillance in Law and the Humanities (Edinburgh University Press, 2021). Our successful seminar series, jointly sponsored by the Institute for Postcolonial Studies, Melbourne, has led to Bubbles: Metaphor and Metamorphosis in the 21st Century (Law Text Culture, Vol. 22, 2022).

For more information, click the Publications tab below.

CLAH has initiated and continues to develop new collaborations with Canberra’s wealth of cultural institutions, including with the National Gallery of Australia, the National Library of Australia, the ABC, and the Street Theatre. We welcome to ANU visiting scholars and artists, and continue to pursue a range of creative collaborations. For more information, see People.

The Centre has developed a full suite of courses connecting study in law to other disciplines. Its courses in law and the humanities, human rights and literature (with English), philosophies of the body politic (with Philosophy), law and art (with Art History and Theory), and colonialism (with Political and Social Change) are all co-taught with other disciplines, and are open to students not just in law but in these other fields. CLAH offers students in the flexible double degree program a possibility, unmatched elsewhere in Australia, to seriously explore the relationship between their areas of interest. To find out more, see Study.

Last updated date

5.25pm Friday 27 August 2021

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.

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.  

Latest news

04
Aug
2021
Professor Desmond Manderson FAAL, FASSA, FRSC
After a decades-long hiatus from acting and writing in plays, ANU Law Professor Desmond Manderson returns to his passion with a powerful part-thriller, part-black comedy.
13
Jul
2021
Professor Desmond Manderson and Associate Professor Anna Olsen
A proposal to decriminalise small amounts of illicit drugs in the ACT has been welcomed by ANU experts in law, history, criminology, sociology and medicine.
28
Oct
2020
ANU Moot Court art
ANU Law students have tried their hand at videography for a group assignment exploring the intersection between law, art and Indigenous Australians.
12
May
2020
Likim Ng
Likim Ng is a PhD candidate at ANU College of Law.
17
Jan
2020
Associate Professor Joshua Neoh
How does one lead a life of law, love, and freedom? It’s a question that Associate Professor Joshua Neoh aims to address in his new book, "Law, Love and Freedom: From the Sacred to the Secular".

In the Media

11
Mar
2020

Will the modern university make it to its 1000th birthday?

Desmond Manderson writes in The Canberra Times

Research theme:
13
Nov
2019

In politics and law, does art matter?

Desmond Manderson interviewed by ABC Radio National - Big Ideas

Research theme:
23
Oct
2019

Porter is swimming against the tide on legal cannabis

Desmond Manderson writes in The Canberra Times

Research theme:
22
Oct
2019

Cannabis laws bound for the courtroom to work out whether ACT or Commonwealth is right

Desmond Manderson quoted in ABC News

Research theme:

Upcoming events

No upcoming events found.

Past events

09
Sep
2021

Market/Place: A funny thing happened on the way to the forum

For One Day Only
12.00PM to 2.00PM

Legal space and legal geography have been important focuses of research in socio-legal scholarship in recent years. In what ways has the experience of public space been transformed under the pressures of neoliberal ideology and contemporary governmentality?

09-10
Sep
2021

For One Day Only: Law, Space, Matter

For One Day Only
12.00PM to 10.30AM

For One Day Only brings together a global community of thinkers, scholars and artists for 24 hours of conversations on the moment we are living through and the future we want. Hosted by an international consortium of research centres spanning four continents, the workshop sessions will roll around the world from Canberra and Johannesburg, through Rome, Helsinki and Lucerne, to Virginia and Melbourne.

04
Dec
2020

Book launch: The Death Penalty and Sex Murder in Canadian History

Carolyn Strange
4.30PM to 5.30PM

Written by Professor Carolyn Strange, The Death Penalty and Sex Murder in Canadian History provides an incisive analysis of responses to sex murders and the shifting politics of the death penalty.

24
Aug
-
10
Sep
2020

Surveillance and Humanities Virtual Conference Series

Surveillance and Humanities Virtual Conference Series
5.00PM to 6.15PM

This webinar series seeks to address the new meaning, scope and representation of surveillance in the time of COVID-19 and initiate a conversation between arts, humanities and the various fields which surveillance is used. 

06
Jul
2020

Call for papers - The Bubble: Metaphors we survive by

The Bubble: Metaphors we survive by
11.55PM

Send in your papers for a Zoominar series, hosted by the Institute for Postcolonial Studies, consisting of four monthly panels, each dedicated to exploring the metaphors we survive by. If you are interested in participating, please send an abstract to the convenors, no later than 6 July 2020.

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.

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.

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.

New collaborative courses with other humanities disciplines, including art, history, and politics, are already in development, positioning the ANU as a world leader in teaching interdisciplinary courses in law and the humanities. 

Interview of Prof. Desmond Manderson from Richard Sherwin on Vimeo.

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

desmanderson.jpg
Desmond Manderson
Professor

Members


Tim Bonyhady
Emeritus Professor

Judy Harrison
Honorary Senior Lecturer

Anne Macduff
Senior Lecturer

Joshua Neoh
Associate Professor

Kim Rubenstein
Honorary Professor

Margaret Thornton
Emerita Professor

Matthew Zagor
Associate Professor
Roseanne Kennedy
Head of Discipline - Gender Sexuality & Culture
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
The Australian National University
Canberra, Australia
Carolyn Strange
Deputy Head of School
School of History, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
The Australian National University
Canberra, Australia
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
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


Likim Ng
PhD Candidate

Justine Poon
Manager - LRSJ

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 surname 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 

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.

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.  

Updated:  24 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team