Special Issue of Law & Critique
(Issue 3 of Volume 32, to be published November 2021)

On behalf of the Editorial Committee of Law & Critique, Special Issue Editors Dr Ben Golder (University of New South Wales, Australia) and Dr Sara Ramshaw (University of Victoria, Canada) invite expressions of interest from scholars interested in submitting a proposal for an upcoming special issue of the journal honouring and reflecting upon the work of Professor Peter Fitzpatrick (1 November 1941 – 20 May 2020).

Peter Fitzpatrick was one of the most influential and revered of legal theorists in the English-speaking world. Best known for his 1992 work, The Mythology of Modern Law (Routledge), and his 2001 book, Modernism and the Grounds of Law (Cambridge University Press), Peter’s written work spanned and influenced the fields not just of critical legal theory but also of law and colonialism, law and anthropology, postcolonial legal studies, law and society, law and the humanities, international law, and countless other disciplines and sub-disciplines of legal study. His non-written work, his supervision and mentoring of junior scholars and PhD students and his creation of intellectual communities from Queensland to Kent to London and across the world, was and will remain legendary – and attests not only to the intellectual influence of his scholarship but to the special qualities of the man who produced it.

We invite contributions from scholars seeking to reflect on the scholarship of Peter Fitzpatrick. Contributions might take the form of close readings and reflections upon particular works or aspects of Peter Fitzpatrick’s work (from the celebrated to the recondite), or of a synoptic engagement with the work as a whole. Authors might seek to reflect on the significance of Fitzpatrick’s writings for law or, equally, for their contribution to other fields of study such as philosophy, political theory, history, sociology, anthropology, and so forth, or on Fitzpatrick’s mode of reading, citing, critiquing and engaging with the work of other scholars. Or authors might wish to think through particular contemporary political events with and through Fitzpatrick’s work. These are only some of the possibilities – contoured only by the requirement to engage seriously and carefully with (some aspect of) the vibrant archive of Peter Fitzpatrick and its relevance for our present and future.

Both Special Issue editors are very keen to discuss possible submissions and ideas for submissions from authors at an early stage of development, but a non-exhaustive indication of some of the topics with which authors might engage include the following:

  • Law, legal anthropology, and Law and the State in Papua New Guinea (1980)
  • The (post)coloniality of modern law
  • Fitzpatrick’s engagement with the cannon of jurisprudence and legal philosophy
  • Fitzpatrick’s engagement with particular thinkers: Freud, Nietzsche, Marx, Foucault, Derrida, Blanchot, Nancy, Agamben
  • Fitzpatrick’s theoretical account of modern law in terms of determinacy and responsiveness
  • Fitzpatrick’s deconstruction of sovereignty and his account of legal theology
  • Fitzpatrick’s engagement with feminism and feminist legal theory
  • Fitzpatrick’s engagement with law and humanities, including his readings of particular poems and novels, or the poetic style and stakes of his own writing and thinking
  • Fitzpatrick’s engagement with particular bodies or fields of law (international law, human rights, law and development) and/or the application of his critical insights to those areas of law

The above list is of course indicative and not exhaustive.
We particularly encourage the work of junior and early career scholars, PhD scholars, those scholars working outside the academy and those scholars systematically un- and under- represented within it.


The Special Issue is planned for publication in Volume 32, Issue 3 of Law & Critique in mid-November of 2021. Authors can email both or either of the editors at b.golder@unsw.edu.au or sararamshaw@uvic.ca at any stage to discuss and workshop a proposed contribution. We are looking forward to working with authors collaboratively.

In the first instance we invite Expressions of Interest (EoIs) to be sent to b.golder@unsw.edu.au by 1 August 2020. Your EoI should contain the following:

  • The title of your proposed contribution
  • An abstract of no more than 500 words max. that describes the argument you wish to make and how you will go about making it
  • A statement of your institutional affiliation (or, simply, where you are based and writing from)

Editors will then make a decision on which authors will be encouraged to develop their EoIs into articles for submission to Law & Critique. Articles will be 6-7,000 words. This decision will be made based on the quality and coherence of individual submissions but also based on the connections between particular submissions and the need to cover different aspects of Fitzpatrick’s work. Authors will be notified of this decision before the end of August 2020.

The deadline for first draft submissions to Law & Critique for peer review will be early April 2021.

It is important to note that Law & Critique will conduct its own peer review of individual submissions and that encouragement to submit an article does not constitute a guarantee of acceptance and inclusion in the Special Issue.

Peer Reviews will be received by the editors and conveyed to authors in June 2021 and the deadline for edited and accepted versions will be early-mid July 2021.

Publication of the Special Issue will be in mid-November 2021.

Summary of key dates:
1 August 2020: EoIs due
End of August 2020: Authors notified about EoIs
Early April 2021: Authors submit their draft articles
June 2021: Authors receive peer review from Editors
Early-mid July 2021: Authors resubmit finished pieces
Mid-November 2021: Special Issue published in Volume 32, Issue 3 of Law & Critique

Dr Ben Golder (b.golder@unsw.edu.au) and Dr Sara Ramshaw (sararamshaw@uvic.ca)

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