£45k AHRC grant for international network on ‘Law and the Human’

Professor Maria Drakopoulou and Dr Connal Parsley have been awarded £45,000 by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to lead an international, interdisciplinary network on the topic of ‘Law and the Human.’

The network will enable scholars of legal studies to collaborate with cultural industries, industry practitioners and policy developers. The aim is to identify core themes, questions and potential approaches to the human and its relationship to law.

Dr Parsley, the network’s Principal Investigator, said law remains an important practical force shaping the human institution: ‘From social justice to social networks, from reproductive medicine to moral rights in the age of technical reproduction, by its nature law cannot avoid tracing a human outline in legal language, processes, methodologies, regulations and judgments. As we stand on the cusp of a new technological and potentially “post-human” age, what image of the human emerges from the contemporary legal field? Given the successive challenges to law from (r)evolutions in science, social science and technology, how does law today think the human in new ways?’

Dr Parsley and Professor Drakopoulou are both Directors of Kent’s Centre for Critical Thought (CCT). The Centre facilitates cross-disciplinary collaborations within and beyond the University and is home to a wide variety of events, from major conferences and lectures through to seminars, workshops, and reading groups.

The CCT also runs the annual Kent Summer School in Critical Theory at the University’s centre in Paris. This year’s Summer School for PhD students and early career researchers across all critical disciplines will be held from 1 July to 12 July 2019.

Dr Parsley’s research and teaching lie within interdisciplinary humanistic approaches to law, understanding law as a technical and cultural institution that shapes human life and relations. His work critically addresses concrete legal and cultural praxes and evaluates them through philosophical, political and jurisprudential enquiry, often focusing on examples where images and visual media interact with the exercise of lawful force.

Professor Drakopoulou’s main areas of research interest are feminist theory, in particular that engaging with continental philosophy, the history of thought, and jurisprudence. She is currently working on a book on the genealogy of feminist critique in law.