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Legal Discourses, Gender and History

Discours juridique, genre et histoire

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Published on Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Abstract

This international and multidisciplinary colloquium welcomes contributions that link legal discourses and gender studies, from the legal disciplines as well as from the humanities and social sciences. It is structured around three axes: (1) critical epistemology of law in the light of gender and intersectionality; (2) methods of gender and intersectional analysis and heuristic tools developed for discourse analysis; (3) research results of gender and intersectional analysis of legal texts, primary or secondary.

Announcement

Argument

In recent years, the methodologies and paradigms of the discipline have been called into question by increasingly powerful voices within legal history. A reflexive approach, studying power relations, questioning the naturalness of certain norms, questioning the universality and neutrality of law, among others, are issues for Legal History that bring it closer to Critical Epistemology and thus to Gender Studies.

It is in this perspective that this international colloquium will address the question of “Legal Discourses Gender and History”; this event is linked to the future work of the ANR HLJPGenr2 project and will be complemented by a colloquium on applied law and practices the following year, in 2024. Although the work and results will be presented and discussed, it is also intended to open the field to other contributions.

Linking gender and legal history has important implications. First, it is a question of continuing a rapprochement that has barely begun and of filling a historiographical gap. In French legal studies, since the 2010s, some pioneering works and the foundation project RÉGINE have been emulated; nevertheless, the process of acculturation in legal history is still in its infancy.

Furthermore, gender invites the adoption of an intersectional analysis, both in approaching the plurality of social relations and in reflecting on the way in which these relations are articulated, to grasp and recover their complexity.

Finally, working on gender implies questioning the traditional methods of analysis of one’s own discipline and leads to the empirical creation of specific tools, linked to the characteristics of the history of law, including sui generis reading grid. The colloquium therefore proposes an interdisciplinary dialogue on these new ways of understanding the object of gender.

Specifically, by looking at “legal discourses”, the conference focuses on legal texts as normative statements.

First, we must consider normative texts, understood as primary texts: from the constitution to individual administrative acts, through international texts, charters and collective agreements, or royal and imperial laws and customs.

Secondly, these legal discourses are made up of secondary texts. They proceed, follow, or run parallel to the primary texts. So, we can go very far upstream in the process, back to the producers of these discourses: individual or collective impulses to formalise a social demand through a legal text, the first actors to initiate a text...The debates of the production of the text – parliamentary debates, for example – are included in this study because these discourses facilitate the identification of what the doctrine calls the spirit of the law, the intentions of this “legislator” who is in reality only an abstract figure. The creation of a sociological profile of the actors in the debates and/or the mapping of the ideologies, strategies and power relations at stake will make it possible to refine the contextualisation of these discourses.

Finally, the production of doctrine, whether it is upstream or downstream of the process, is part of these legal discourses and will be included in the study as long as it retains a normative text as a point of reference. Indeed, these are discourses that coexist with the primary texts: they are part of a relationship of commenting on and elaborating the conditions for subsequent implementation by lawyers. The production of primary texts is also shaped by these discourses. In addition to the technical and theoretical legal issues at stake, we will also have a look at the lawyers themselves and the context in which these discourses were written.

The idea is to grasp the dominant representations that are ratified and consecrated in textual productions and that are adorned with the seal of legal authority. Legal discourses, around formal law, are thus grasped in their symbolic dimension of officialisation, of “normality”, and their performative aim: the famous sollen, which tends to shape society permanently, sometimes disregarding its concrete and autonomous reality.

Not only does the historical perspective make it possible to underline the evolutions, the ruptures, the permanences of the contours of the subject of law according to the times, from the oldest with the ancient legal systems, to the most contemporary up to the law in force; this same perspective offers a favourable framework to the analysis of contexts.

The question of critical epistemology and situated knowledge will also be at the heart of the project. Contributions will discuss the objects, theories, concepts and practices of research on gender and intersectionality in order to question the academic field and the porous border between science and activism. In addition, the philosophical and theoretical debates on the law, between jusnaturalism and positivism, can be rethought through these critical epistemologies. By crossing different legal systems, the international and comparative perspective will invite us to move beyond ethnocentrism.

We therefore invite contributions from the legal sciences – history of law, positive law, philosophy and theory of law, sociology of law, and so on – as well as from the human and social sciences as a whole – history, political science, philosophy, sociology, linguistics, psychology, ethnology, anthropology, literature (non-exhaustive list) – that fall within one of these areas:

  • critical epistemologies of law, philosophy of law, or theory of law in light of gender and intersectionality
  • methods of gender and intersectional analysis and heuristic tools developed for the analysis of discourses in general and legal discourses in particular;
  • research results of gender and intersectional analysis of the legal texts themselves, of any kind, primary and/or secondary: exchanges within activist spaces that have translated social concerns into legal issues, production debates, doctrinal controversies, among others.

How to submit

Proposals of 1,500 to 3,500 characters (including spaces), followed by a short biography, should be sent to the organising committee

before 16 July 2023. 

If you have an account on HAL, you can submit your proposal on the following platform: https://hdgenre.sciencesconf.org.

If you don’t have an account on HAL, you can send your proposal directly through: hljpgenre@univ-artois.fr

Scientific committee

Ariane AMADO, Véronique BLANCHARD, Luisa BRUNORI, Nicolas BUÉ, Nathalie CROCHEPEYRE FLAMENT, Prune DECOUX, Hélène DUFFULER-VIALLE, Alexandre FRAMBÉRY-IACOBONE, Margot GIACINTI, Nader HAKIM, Hugues HELLIO, Marie HOULLEMARE, Amélie IMBERT, Anne JENNEQUIN, Martine KALUSZYNSKI, Sébastien LANDRIEUX, Caroline LASKE, Frédérique LE DOUJET-THOMAS, Farid LEKÉAL, Quentin MARKARIAN, Sabrina MICHEL, Arnaud PATURET, Marc RENNEVILLE, Florence RENUCCI, Régis REVENIN, Anne ULRICH-GIROLLET, Fanny VASSEUR-LAMBRY, Sophie VICTORIEN et Alain WIJFFELS.

Places

  • Faculté de droit, 492 Rue d'Esquerchin
    Douai, France (59)

Date(s)

  • Sunday, July 16, 2023

Keywords

  • droit, genre, discours juridique, analyse de discours, histoire, épistémologie, sciences humaines et sociales

Information source

  • HLJPGenre ANR
    courriel : hljpgenre [at] univ-artois [dot] fr

License

CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Legal Discourses, Gender and History », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, https://doi.org/10.58079/1b92

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