The Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society‘s 29th Annual Conference will be “Owning the Past: Whose Past? Whose Present?” It will take place Dec. 13-15, 2010, in Melbourne, Australia.
The use and study of the past is constantly being refashioned and reinterpreted to construct meaning in the present, imparting understandings of a common but chaotic humanity. Because everyone and no one owns history, the ownership of historical events and the right to speak of them remains deeply contested. What are the outcomes and practical challenges surrounding the construction of historical consciousness through and about law? Whose past is told and by whom? How does laws past influence historys present? And is there any such thing as the orderly evolution of legal ideas? This conference invites papers on the subject of ownership in history and law, and may include contributions on any of several broad themes: the contestation of memory; the ethics of representation and remembrance; the commoditization and consumption of traumatic pasts; transcultural and transgenerational trauma; new technologies of historical documentation; testimony and bearing witness; Indigenous knowledge; identity politics; citizenship; the ethics of reproducing historical narratives; colonialism and hegemony; dark tourism and artefacts of law; and new legal imaginings and the contest with the legal past.This is an interdisciplinary conference and papers are invited from scholars across a broad range of disciplines, as well as chronological and geographical contexts.