Category Archives: Sara Ross

Sara Ross

Law.Arts.Culture event: Perilous Light: On the Visual Economy of Western Humanitarianism

On February 14h, 2018 Law.Arts.Culture of Osgoode Hall will be hosting Professor Fuyuki Kurasawa of the Department of Sociology at York University and Director of the Global Digital Citizenship Lab, for his lecture entitled Perilous Light: On the Visual Economy of Western Humanitarianism.

“Thus, the art form of the 19th century, cinema, made the 20th century exist, which by itself did not exist much.” (Jean-Luc Godard, Histoire(s) du cinéma)

Simultaneously broadening and narrowing Godard’s statement, one could argue that still and moving images made humanitarian crises exist, which by themselves would not have existed much as transnational public events in the Euro-American world during the last century—and even less so in our own. Perhaps we understand this intuitively today, with social media platforms instantaneously and ubiquitously flooding us with massive numbers of photographs and videos of instances of distant suffering from around the world. In such a heightened state of constant and intensifying visual exposure, images of this kind can appear to blur into a random, overwhelming, and meaningless digital stream that distracts and blinds as much as it mobilizes and enlightens.

However, out of this seeming pictorial morass can be detected a series of structural logics and aesthetic principles that have organized what can be referred to as Western humanitarianism’s visual economy. To uncover the latter and analyze its operations, this presentation proposes a tripartite conceptual framework: the cultural repertoire of iconographic conventions through which images of humanitarian crises are invested with a certain meaning and recognized as such; the complex institutional networks of media and aid organizations that generate, select, and diffuse such images; and the iconological field in which these organizations compete with each other to establish the legitimacy of their preferred aesthetic genres and politico-ideological framings of a crisis. Having put forth this conceptual apparatus, the presentation will turn to its application to specific famines or genocides whose pictorial corpus has been instrumental in the constitution of three periods of Western humanitarianism’s visual economy (nascent, totalizing, and ambivalent iconophilia). Throughout, the presentation will discuss the status of images as culturally and politically contested evidentiary artifacts, whose meanings and standings in public spaces are the sources of perpetual symbolic struggles amongst social actors.

The event will take place from 12:30pm to 2:00pm in Room 2027 IKB. Lunch will be provided, please RSVP in advance to the following link: 


Sara Ross

Upcoming Osgoode lecture: From Timbuktu to the Hague: The War Crime of Intentional Destruction of Cultural Property

On February 9th, 2018 Osgoode Hall will be hosting Professor Mark Drumbl of the Washington & Lee University School of Law for his lecture entitled From Timbuktu to the Hague: The War Crime of Intentional Destruction of Cultural Property. The lecture will take place between 2:30pm and 4:00pm in Room 4034 IKB. RSVPs are appreciated, which you can do at the following link: .

Sara Ross

Call for Applicants: Artist in Residence for Osgoode Hall

Osgoode’s Artist in Residency Program is seeking applications for artists interested in taking up the position of Artist in Residence beginning in 2018. Artists will receive a residency period of one semester, either during the Summer, Fall, or Winter terms. Remuneration for the position is $25,000, in addition to a $5000 budget for the artistic project of their choice. According to the call:

We welcome projects focused on interpreting legal history, examining law’s realities today, and imagining law’s future, whether in Canada and/or elsewhere in the world. We are particularly interested in artists and projects that will reflect and enhance the diversity of the Osgoode community. Osgoode welcomes applications from artists of all disciplines, who work in any medium or combinations of media.

Applications must include a CV, a one to two page statement of interest, the names of three referees, and a detailed budget. The deadline for submission is February 23rd, 2018. To apply, click through the following full advertisement of the position, where you will find the application link near the bottom:

Sara Ross

Law.Arts.Culture Event: Documentary Film and International Criminal Law, January 29, 2018

Law.Arts.Culture is hosting an event on January 29, 2018 entitled Documentary Film and International Criminal Law, featuring a lecture by Professor Wouter Werner from the Centre for the Politics of Transnational Law at the VU in Amsterdam. According to the event description:

The life of international criminal law not only takes place in courtrooms or at diplomatic conferences. For a long time now, it has also been a field of audiovisual representations, where the main topics, subjects and categories of international criminal justice enjoy a second life on screen. In my presentation, I will focus on the impact of specific modes of audiovisual representation of international criminal law. Based on Bill Nichols’ taxonomy of documentary genres and Albert Camus’ reflections on justice and compassion, I will discuss three ways in which issues of justice have been portrayed in documentary films on international criminal law:

(a) Programmatic justice

(b) Compassionate justice

(c) Tragic justice

The event will be held between 12:30 and 2:00pm at Ignat Kaneff Building in Room 2027. RSVPs can be made at

Sara Ross

Conference Call for Papers – Imagining Justice: Law and Speculative Fictions

Osgoode Hall Law School will be the site of a conference named Imagining Justice: Law and Speculative Fictions on June 5th, 2018. Sponsored by Law.Arts.Culture and hosted by PhD students Tamera Burnett and Bob Tarantino, the keynote address will be provided by author Guy Gavriel Kay. The call for papers includes the following:

We are looking for interdisciplinary papers that engage with law and speculative fictions in media such as literature, film, television, and comics. Papers can take a critical approach to legal scholarship, using speculative fiction to unpack issues such as sexism, racism, colonialism, hetereosexism, and ableism. Topics such as the use of speculative fiction and storytelling in pedagogy and public legal education are also welcome, as are theoretical papers that explore concepts such as power, control, transgression, and visions of justice. Just as speculative fiction offers authors an endless source of potential stories, we hope that scholars tap into this incredibly diverse and expansive area for their scholarship.

Given the interdisciplinary nature of this conference, we are also interested in exploring creative projects that look at law and justice through the lens of speculative stories. We encourage creators to submit their work as well, be it fiction, film, or comics.

Proposals must include an abstract of 250 words or less, submitted to by their deadline of December 15, 2017 – with the subject header “Imagining Justice Abstract”. If you are interested in serving as a discussant only, use the header “Imagining Justice Discussant”. Those selected will be notified by January 31, 2018, and your conference paper should be submitted to the organizers by May 5, 2018.

You can read the full call for papers here


Sara Ross

Queen’s Faculty of Law Calls for Submissions from Indigenous Artists

Plans are underway for the opening of a new arts space at the Queen’s University Faculty of Law in the Fall of 2018.  A call for participation has been issued for indigenous artists to submit their work to the program by November 20th, 2017. According to an article by the university’s student publication,

This project aims to complement efforts by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Task Force by increasing the visibility of Indigenous art and culture on campus. The project emerged at the beginning of the year when student senator and TRC Task Force member Jason Mercredi brought up the lack of Indigenous representation at the law school with Dean Bill Flanagan.

Accepted pieces will be exhibited within the main atrium of the law school’s John A. Macdonald Hall. If you are an artist looking for more information on how to become a part of this exhibition, full details can be found here: . Submissions can be made to the following email address: .


Sara Ross

Survey for the City of Toronto’s Economic Development and Culture Divisional Strategy (2018-2022)

The City of Toronto is in the midst of producing its new Economic Development and Culture Divisional Strategy for 2018 to 2022, and is looking for public input. After a series of public consultations, the city is also looking for online input. To this end, they are inviting written submissions to  , and inviting citizens to complete their online survey here: . Submissions and surveys are being accepted until Friday, October 13th, 2017.

To read more about this process, you can visit: .

Sara Ross

Call for Papers: Twenty-First Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities

The Twenty-First Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities will be held on the campus of Georgetown Law in Washington, D.C. over March 16th and 17th, 2018. This ASLCH has become one of the premiere locations for the presentation of research on the subjects of law, arts, and culture over the last two decades, and is preceded by a graduate student workshop where those accepted are provided with partial funding to attend the conference.

To apply to present your research, send an abstract of no more than 300 words, along with a title and your contact information, to . If you have assembled a potential panel with your colleagues, your panel proposal “should include contact information and abstracts for all members, a panel title, and proposal outlining the panel (no more than 300 words). If multiple panels are forming a stream, please indicate the name of the panel and its order (e.g. law and time I, II etc.) in order to avoid clashes,” according to the official call for papers. Proposals are due by Wednesday November 1, 2017. More information can be found on their official website here:

Sara Ross

”Testify: Indigenous Laws + the Arts” on Osgoode Campus

This October 16th, 2017, Testify: Indigenous Laws + the Arts will be held at the Osgoode Hall Law School. During the event, there will be a staged reading of the premiere television episode of Boundary Bay, a mini-series “exploring the lives surrounding oil and gas development on tribal land in the Pacific Northwest.” The reading occurs in the law school’s Moot Court between 12:30 and 2:30 pm, and will be accompanied by commentary by Assistant Professor Sara Morales of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law.


Sara Ross

Call for Papers: Law and Society Association and the Canadian Law and Society Association Joint Meeting


Between June 7th and 10th, 2018, the Law and Society Association and the Canadian Law and Society Association are holding their annual conferences jointly on the subject of “Law at the Crossroads”. According to their call for papers,

For thousands of years the place where the City of Toronto is located has been a crossroad where many peoples have met and had fruitful exchanges. According to some Indigenous knowledge keepers, the word “Toronto” comes from the Wendat term for a fishing weir constructed of sticks standing in the water. Lake and river fishing has been an important activity for the area’s many Indigenous peoples, including Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee, Mississauga and Chippewa. The Indigenous knowledge frameworks and laws of the peoples of this area encourage a multilayered understanding of an item such as a fishing weir in terms of its natural, sacred, practical and social meanings.

The area continues to be home to many Indigenous people from all over Canada and beyond, but Toronto has also been shaped by immigration flows from many parts of the world, with about half of its current residents being born outside of Canada.

The Law and Society Association and the Canadian Law and Society Association hope that our joint meeting in Toronto will be creative and fruitful, in keeping with the traditional use of this land as a gathering place, and that visitors to the area will take the opportunity to make new connections not only with one another but also with diverse local communities.

In order to present your research, you will have to submit your abstract to the LSA website by October 18th, 2017. More details are available at Many of the LSA’s collaborative research network (CRNs), however, have issued earlier deadlines to receive your abstracts. But, not to worry, you can still submit your abstract to the LSA directly up until the deadline with the CRN number, and your abstract will be forwarded to the proper group.