Call for Papers — Melbourne Forum on Doctoral Legal Research

Call for Papers — Melbourne Forum on Doctoral Legal Research

Two of our PhD students, James Parker and Rebecca Goodbourn, have asked me to post the following call for papers:

Following the success of last year’s Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers’ Workshop on Methodological Approaches to Legal Scholarship, we are pleased to announce the inaugural Melbourne Forum on Doctoral Legal Research. This annual Forum will provide a space for participants to explore the particular challenges they encounter in the context of their own research. The theme of this year’s workshop – “Knowing, Acting, Creating” – aims to bring together doctoral students and early career researchers from a variety of regions, cultures and disciplines to reflect upon our roles as researchers and be aided, guided and challenged by other participants and by our academic discussants. The workshop will culminate in several small roundtable discussions, providing participants with a unique opportunity to engage academics with similar interests on the future of research in their area.

As legal researchers we are required to negotiate an ongoing and dynamic relationship between our impulses and abilities to know, act and create. In this workshop we ask participants, what epistemological traditions or discourses are you drawing upon in your research? How do these transform, inflect and assist your work? What assumptions about the nature of (legal) knowledge do they import? In your daily work, in what ways are you able to be creative and in what ways are you constrained? How, for instance, are you bound by disciplines (legal or otherwise) and their expectations, definitions and procedures, and are you actively challenging these in your writing? How do you see your work as acting upon legal discourse, practice or beyond?

In short, as legal researchers, what is our place as thinkers of, actors in relation to, and creators or creatures of law?

We invite participants to present on some aspect of their own research but with a self-reflexivity appropriate to the theme of the forum. Abstracts (500 words) should be submitted along with a short biography (100 words) and registration form BY 5PM ON FRIDAY 11TH DECEMBER . These can be sent to

Modest bursaries will be made available to some participants. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please indicate this in your registration form and fill out the relevant section.


Last year’s Forum was superb, drawing students from Melbourne, Australia National University, University of Vienna, University of Cologne, University of London, University of British Columbia, and Osgoode Hall.  James and Bec hope that this year’s forum will be even more international.  So if you are a PhD student or young scholar, definitely think about submitting an abstract!

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