Elena Loizidou – Dreams, Feelings and Disobedience


Event Date: 30 April 2014
The Institute of Advanced Study
Millburn House
Millburn Hill Road
University of Warwick Science Park

The Kent Law School presents:

The Public Life of Private Law

An ESRC Seminar Series

Seminar 4: Protest, Precarisation, Possibility

Increasingly, private law appears in the the government of unruly political movement and resistance – through the privatisation of public space and the designation of protest as trespass; through the contractualisation of public services and the discipline of labour; through the generation of private spheres where government power is deployed in unanticipated ways.  How should we characterise the experience of government through private law? What vulnerabilities does  private law highlight in those it governs? To what extent does private law confer overlooked capacities on troublesome actors, which can generate new strategies of resistance?

Elena LoizidouDreams, Feelings and Disobedience

Within the critical legal studies tradition (UK) we are used to pointing out to law’s emotional body. Peter Goodrich writings have offered us a sustained analysis of law’s emotional body and imagination. There are others, but Goodrich’s work has been more consistently focused on this. In Languages of Law (1990), Love in the Courts of law (1996), Oedipus Lex, Psychoanalysis, History, Law (1995), Legal Emblems and the Art of Law (2013) for example, Goodrich offers a sophisticated critique of not only positivism, but also the early hermeneutic approaches to law (i.e., Dworkin’s Law’s Empire ) by exposing us to a law, that was very much embodied with emotions and imagination and offering us through the ‘private’ world of the law a critique of law. Here , I would lie to see to what extent such a critique conserves a particular image of life, a legal life. In doing so I would be thinking of what happens to law, when we confront it with the dreams and feelings of disobedient subjects (anarchists, civil disobedients).

Elena’s presentation builds on two earlier papers which can be found here:

(i) https://www.academia.edu/3482508/Disobedience_Subjectively_Speaking
(ii) https://www.academia.edu/5615038/what_is_law


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