AAS Emerging Fields Workshop: Law, Society, and Justice

Call for Papers

“Law, Society, and Justice”

The AAS is pleased to invite applications to participate in the third workshop in its series “Emerging Fields in the Study of Asia,” supported by the Henry Luce Foundation. The third workshop, “Law, Society, and Justice,” will take place May 17-19, 2019 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

The Association for Asian Studies calls for proposals from early career scholars, early career practitioners, and advanced graduate students (near candidacy or PhD candidates) to participate in a workshop on Law, Society, and Justice, Friday May 17 through Sunday May 19, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The interdisciplinary field of Law and Society emerged during the late 1950s and mid-1960s from the conviction that law was neither apolitical nor autonomous. This led scholars to analyze matters related to law within their political, social, and economic contexts. Over recent decades, the field has expanded to include a range of topics that extend and challenge the boundaries of law, including feminist legal theory, human rights law and culture, and genocide and crimes against humanity. With insights from earlier critical scholarship on what makes states, and a renewed commitment to social justice, contemporary analysts consider how law takes shape in interaction with structural factors and with the operations of ideology, power and knowledge. At the same time, comparative law, the examination of plural legal systems, and the anthropology of law have also grown and developed multi- and transcultural analytical perspectives on international matters of law beyond jurisprudence and treaties.

While the empirical and comparative study of law and society is not entirely new in scholarship on Asia, nevertheless, law, society, and justice are relatively underrepresented within Asian Studies, and Asia remains relatively scarce in the study of these topics, still heavily focused on Europe and the Americas. This gap presents scholars and practitioners with the potential opportunity to realize comparative and theoretical insights and to rethink the fields of both Asian Studies and law, society, and justice.

With this in mind, our meeting aims to encourage new work and create networks of intellectual exchange among researchers and practitioners. What range of topics in law, society, and justice does Asian Studies encompass? We intend to explore the field’s parameters and the creative and insightful work on law, society, and justice it inspires. Specific topics addressed might include but are not limited to: the relation between private corporate interests and states; plural legal systems and conflict of laws; the role of colonial legal education and legal assistants; law’s relation to slavery and labor systems, as well as to family, gender, and sexuality; the shifting meanings of justice under decolonization and revolution; changing meanings of law and justice under democracy and authoritarianism and the range of intermediary regimes; the operations of law at different scales of interaction across communities, nations, the region and globe; the relationships of law and justice to memory; environmental justice; access to law and justice; rule of law versus rule by law; “lawfare”; the histories and contentious place of human rights ideas and movements in the region; and other topics as yet unimagined.

We welcome participation by early career scholars, practitioners, and scholar-practitioners both inside and outside the university engaged in research about law, society, and justice in Asia. If selected for the workshop, you will be expected to submit a 5,000-7,000 word piece that exemplifies and situates your research contribution to the field of law, society, and justice in Asia, which will be due on 1 March 2019. You may submit a full chapter or article it if falls within the word limit, or may submit a distillation or shorter version of such a piece. Senior and junior colleagues will offer written and dialogic commentary on this pre-circulated writing by participants and engage each other in broader discussions about the field. In addition to timely submission of your own full paper, you will also need to be prepared to read and write one page of comments on each of the other 12-15 participants’ submissions by 5 May 2019. We also hope to have other activities such as professional development, and discussion of publication strategies, as well as career opportunities. Participants are expected to stay for the entire workshop; this means you will need to arrive the preceding Thursday and depart no earlier than mid-afternoon on Sunday.

We invite one-page (single spaced) proposals that summarize your intended submission for the workshop. For consideration, please send your one-page summary along with your CV (two-page maximum) to https://asianstudies.wufoo.com/forms/qoj7n9602kyg77/ by 1 October 2018. While current AAS membership is not required at the time of application, if accepted to the workshop participants must become members of the Association for Asian Studies or renew their lapsed memberships. News of acceptance will be made by 1 December 2018. Travel, lodging, and meals will be substantially covered by the AAS, with the generous support of the Henry Luce Foundation.

Anyone with questions about the workshop or application process is asked to contact the co-organizers, Jennifer Gaynor (jlgaynor@buffalo.edu) and Tyrell Haberkorn (tyrellcaroline@gmail.com).