CFP: Boundaries of the Law panel at ANZAMEMS 2019

Proposals for 20-minute papers are invited for an interdisciplinary panel on boundaries of the law in medieval and early modern societies, to be convened at the ANZAMEMS 2019 conference, 5-8 February 2019, University of Sydney. The conference theme is Boundaries, Categories, Horizons.

Conventional approaches to legal history often aim to fix the parameters of any given legal system, and to clearly demarcate ‘law’ from ‘non-law’. Such approaches can be confounded by the realities of medieval and early modern societies, which were characterized by legal ambiguities, blurred boundaries, conflicting jurisdictions and contested authorities. This panel seeks to use interdisciplinary approaches, to ask new questions of familiar sources, and to use new sources and methods to productively explore tensions, complexities and conflict in the ways law was defined, enforced, experienced and resisted in medieval and early modern societies.

Topics and themes could include (but are not limited to):

  • Breaking the boundaries of conventional legal history – new sources and methodologies for studying law, legal cultures and society
  • Liminal spaces and overlapping jurisdictions
  • Textual and oral/aural authorities and knowledges
  • Gendered experiences of the law
  • Multilingualism and languages of the law
  • Blurred boundaries between law and custom
  • Literary representations of law and legal culture
  • Conflicting or inter-penetrating codes and legal cultures, including customary, civil and common law, and Christian, Jewish and Islamic traditions
  • The legal, the extra-legal and the illicit
  • Advocacy and legal practice by lay people, semi-professionals and professionals

This session is organized by Amanda McVitty (Massey University). Please send proposals for 20-minute papers to by 16 August 2018.

Proposals should include:

  • Presenter name
  • Affiliation (if relevant)
  • Paper title and a 200-word abstract
  • Any day of the conference on which you CANNOT present
  • AV requirements other than standard PowerPoint + projector

The twelfth biennial ANZAMEMS Conference will be held in Sydney, Australia, 5-8 February 2019 at the Camperdown Campus of the University of Sydney. For more information see

This panel is organized in accordance with the ANZAMEMS Equity & Diversity guidelines: