Friday, 22 April 2011

What happened there then?

Oh dear, what a crazy few weeks. First, I was whacked by this flu-like big that seems to be going around, then I revered enough to go to the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) Annual Conference, and then the Association of Law Teachers (ALT) Annual Conference, and now I'm home, once again struck down by the dreaded lurgy. My immune system appears to have taken a holiday. Anyway, I thought it time I added a few brief posts, so whilst the Paracetamol appears to have kicked in, that's what I'll do.

So, a quick re-cap of my little jaunt to Brighton and the SLSA. I have (amazingly) never been to Brighton before, but I fell instantly in love with the city. The conference went brilliantly well. I should declare that I'm on the executive of the association and organise the gender, sexuality and law stream so you might well think "he would say it went well". Well, it did. As fellow academic, John Flood, noted on his blog, the building we were based in had these crazy automatic (and noisy) windows that randomly opened and shut - supposedly when the temperature was at a certain level. It was a regular indicator that quite literally, two much hot air had been generated.

As the GSL stream was once again full (yey), I didn't get chance to visit the other streams but it was a nice opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues, and I left feeling v.perky. It was brilliant to see so many early career academics in my stream, suggesting a really positive future for GSL scholarship.

One trend caught my eye; references to Hannah Arendt. When I attended my first SLSA conference back in 2002, I was struck by the constant references to Foucault. It seemed as though you couldn't do a paper (in any subject) without name checking the great man (something I can't help thinking he'd find ironic).

As time has trickled on, references remain but it's become a little more balanced and Butler probably features just as much in GSL scholarship. Yet this year, Hannah Arendt, the twentieth century theorist, appeared to be getting cited in several papers (something I'd never seen before). She's also cropping up int he work of some folks I talk to on Twitter, especially Gary McLachlan, whose blog you'll find here.

Marco Goldoni and Christopher McCorkindale are also publishing a book entitled Hannah Arendt and the Law later this year, with Hart Publishing. More info on that can be viewed here.

It's too early to be sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if we are about to see the domination of scholarship by Arendt. You heard it first here.

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