2023 Conference

Deus Ex Machina
Law - Technology - Humanities

Hosted by Queensland University of Technology, Queensland, Australia | 11-14 December 2023

Keynote speakers

Professor Thalia Anthony, Dr Faith Gordon, Dr Mitchell Travis

Deus Ex Machina – the God in the Machine – captures something of the present. It has deep origins in Greek drama, referring to the physical crane through which gods appeared on the stage and the dramaturgical device through which plots become miraculously resolved. At a time of miraculous devices that create text and images, exercise public and private power, constrain and empower life and death, where what and who is human is slipping and hybridising, the sense of nomos – of normative order, of law, of permissions and restrictions on what should be and should not, of how the future can unfold – is critically urgent. How do we want the gods in the digital networks, supply chains and machines of life and death to be? Are we waiting for the miraculous thing – the killer app, the spontaneous revolt, the irredeemable crisis, the history changing device – for everything to be all right? If there is to be a sense of future that can be ordered, anticipated and planned, then it is essential for the humanities to creatively engage with the many gods in the machines. This conference is a multidisciplinary collective endeavor focused on building, dreaming and working towards better futures through bringing the creativity, wisdom and critique of the humanities to law and technology.

Background Image: photo by Ukrainian artist Marjan Blan | @marjanblan on Unsplash

2021 Conference

Law & Love [In/Beyond Pandemic Times] Images | Narratives | Histories | Cultures

Hosted by The University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia | 29 November-2 December 2021

Keynote speakers

Professor Megan Davis, Dr Maria Giannacopoulos, Dave Knobel, Dr Jo Loth, Dr Claire Loughnan, Alex McKean, Associate Professor Ioannis Ziogas

The times in which we live, of which the current pandemic is only an aspect, have seen not only increased deployment of legal exceptionality but also greater calls for love and justice, of care and sociality, and of the necessity of recognising the importance of our being together. It is in this context that we call for a consideration of the themes of law and love, their tensions and parallels, interrelations and distinctions — and their necessity for our human and non-human being together — in and beyond the times in which we live.

2019 Conference

Juris Apocalypse Now! Law in End Times

Hosted by Southern Cross University School of Law and Justice  | 2-4 December 2019

Keynote speakers

Behrouz Boochani, Claire G. Coleman, Dr. Carwyn Jones, Professor Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, Dr. Barbara Nicholson, Associate Professor Jill Stauffer, Professor Karin Van Marle

The conference explored the intersection of legality, temporality and eschatology, the normatively uncertain and yet inherently creative space originated by the conflicting encounter between the orderly desire of law and the entropic tendency of apocalyptic narratives, with both forces cast against the backdrop of the ever-­deferred notion of time itself.

2017 Conference

Dissents and Dispositions

Hosted by La Trobe Law School and Melbourne Law School | 12-14 December 2017

Keynote speakers

Tony Birch (Victoria), Marianne Constable (UC Berkeley), Karen Crawley (Griffith), Vasuki Nesiah (NYU Gallatin), Nikos Papastergiadis (Melbourne)

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?

Background Image: 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 – 9 February 2014. Photograph Christian Capurro. Courtesy of the artist and Milani Gallery

2016 Conference

Spectacular Law

Hosted by The University of Hong Kong | 8-10 December 2016

Plenary sessions

Laurent de Sutter (Vrije Universiteit Brussels); Christine Black (Griffith University); Law and Film Roundtable: Ann Huit (Film Director), Gina Marchetti (Hong Kong University), Marco Wan (Hong Kong University) and William MacNeil (Southern Cross University).

The theme of ‘spectacular law’ invites reflection on the performance and dramaturgy of political and legal power, the affective lures of sovereignty and the technologies that reveal – and conceal – legality, dissent, (dis)obedience, and different modalities of regulation. This conference will examine the various ways in which we can see, and be seen by, law, politics and power. The location of this year’s conference prompts its theme. Hong Kong is a visually striking city: fading tower blocks, gleaming edifices, remnants of a colonial past, and canopies of neon suspended over street corners, all enframed by lushly forested hills and the increasingly contested waters of the South China Sea. The powerful visual affect, as much a result of the city’s geography as it is of its legal and political orderings, inspires an exploration of the spectacle.

2015 Conference


Hosted by University of Technology Sydney Law School | 9-12 December 2015

Keynote speakers

Karen van Markle (Pretoria); Cassandra Sharp (Wollongong).

Complicity is a state of being complex or involved, and no matter where we are, or what we do, law is part of our entanglement in the world. This conference will explore law’s complex relations with culture, politics and capital. It will investigate law as an accomplice, as well as law’s role in shaping (and resisting) certain problematic moral, political and material positions. The LLH Association of Australasia invites scholarly and creative research from academics and graduate students working at the intersection of law and the humanities, whether based in legal theory or in disciplines such as literature, art, film, music, history, continental philosophy, anthropology, psychoanalysis, visual culture, or cultural studies.

2013 Conference


Hosted by The Australian National University | 5-8 December 2013

Keynote speakers

Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos (University of Westminster); Honni van Rijswijk (University of Technology, Sydney)


1. to interrupt, from inter- ‘between’ + pellere ‘to drive’

2. to interrupt the order of the day by demanding an explanation concerning a government action or policy

3. of an ideology or discourse, to address in order to bring into being or give identity to a subject

4. to interview with the goal of extracting a confession.

‘The building block of language is not the predicative sentence, the assertion, but the slogan, the mot d’ordre: the violence of interpellation is…constitutive of language.’

Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Mille Plateaux (1980)

‘In the classic analysis of the subject by Louis Althusser, the police calling out to us, ‘Hey, you there,’ and in acknowledging that hail, we are constituted within ideology. Althusser’s former colleague Jacques Raciere has argued that the police now say to us, ‘”Move along, there’s nothing to see.”‘ The police interpellate the Western subject not as an individual but as part of traffic, which must move on by that which is not to be seen, the object, or non-subject.’

Nicholas Mirzoeff, ‘Invisible Empire’ (2006)

2011 Conference

Ceremonies of Law: Doctrine, Ritual, Ceremonial

Hosted by the Legal Intersections Research Centre, University of Wollongong | 7-9 December 2011

Keynote speakers

Jeanne Gaaker (Erasmus University); William MacNeil (Griffith University); Richard Mohr (Policy and Planning Pty Ltd)

Questions of ceremony and ritual have never been far from the concerns and controversies of Western law. For some there is no law or entry into law without ceremony and ritual. It is ceremony and ritual that inaugurate the space and time, give it its symbolic form, and animate its material life. It shapes the meeting place of laws and marks obligations of relation and exchange. Without doctrine, ritual and ceremonial there would be no articulation and animation of the knowledge, desires, friendships and loves of the law. For others, it is the rule of government, institution, and police that give law its shape. The ceremonies of law at best mask both the detail of the technical and archival ordering of law and the broad sweep of political, economic, social, and cultural form of legal relations.

Over the last twenty five years legal scholarship based in the humanities and social sciences has addressed a broad range of concerns about the representational and ceremonial character of law. It is important and appropriate for two conferences that have been committed to critically investigating the conditions of lawful engagement in Australasia to focus attention again on the modes of authorising law. Where recent conferences have placed emphasis on crossings, markings, movements, passages, recollections, reflections, transcendences and transformations, this conference invites consideration of research in the light of what holds, binds, and elaborates lawful relations.

This joint conference of the Law, Literature and Humanities Association of Australasia and the Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand invited contributions involving the consideration and reconsideration of the ceremonies and ceremnial form of law in all its forms and functions.

2009 Conference


Hosted by Griffith University | 2-5 December 2009

Keynote speakers

Judith Jack Halberstam (University of Southern California); Alexis Wright (University of Western Sydney); David M Berry (Swansea University)

What is this era if not one of transformation, both good and bad – of boom becoming bust; tension, becoming truce; climate, catastrophe; despair, the “audacity of hope”? Unless, of course, it is an era in which these differences are transcended, their sublation promising a new synthesis, a law of hybridity that blurs binaries, collapses boundaries. Trans(l)egalité enacts, as well as engages with, this twinned, yet conjoint thematic, being, itself, a unique institutional merger: that is, the collaborative coming together, for the purposes of this event, of the Law and Literature Association of Australia (LLAA) and the Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand (LSAANZ), the former addressing “Transformation”, the latter, “Transcendence”. Yet, despite this (seeming) reinscription of dualism, LLAA and LSAANZ are united by, and in their shared explication of the topos of “trans”, exploring its manifold meanings: from the micro- to the macro, from the trans-body to the trans-planetary. In so doing, this trans-conference holds out the prospect of a new trans-discipline, blending the semiotic and the socio-legal: namely, the jurisprudence of trans(l)egalité.

It was at the AGM of the LLAA that the Association resolved to change its name to the Law, Literature and Humanities Association of Australasia.