Dissent and disposition are both relational. To dissent is to disagree and be at variance: to refuse an established order, to diverge from orthodoxy, to oppose, critique, quarrel and rearrange. If political dissent is commonly understood as speaking truth to power, how does this occur, or occur differently, now that power is increasingly dislocated from state forms, and the production of “truth” by experts is itself subverted? How might law facilitate and energise, or suppress and silence such dissent? More than just political or legal dissent, how might these forms work alongside aesthetic, literary and artistic modes of dissent in reshaping the conduct of law, and of life?
Dispositions relate to the character, arrangements, tendencies and temperaments of conduct – arrangements of language and law, orderings of space and time, as well as proclivities and attitudes. Dispositions involve legal transfers, bestowals, and powers to dispose or control. What, then, of lawful or unlawful dispositions, as well as dispositions of literature, of images and imagination?
The Law, Literature and Humanities Association of Australasia invites consideration of the arrangements and rearrangements of the conduct of law and life. How might dissents inform individual or collective dispositions of law and literature, of image or imagination, lawful or otherwise? Conversely, how might dissents manifest or incite dispositions, including dispositions towards and within law, whether hopeful, nervous, antagonistic or anarchic? How do law’s dispositions and predispositions relate to dissents in specific times and places?
Tom Nicholson, “Towards a Monument to Batman’s Treaty” (2013) 101 A0 printed sheets, pasted to the wall of the museum, and 3,520 bricks collected from citizens in and around Healesville. Exh.: Future memorials, TarraWarra Museum of Art, 19 October 2013 to 9 February 2014. Photograph Christian Capurro. Courtesy of the artist and Milani Gallery
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