2011 Conference Program (PDF) - Syracuse University College of Law


2011 Conference Program (PDF) - Syracuse University College of Law

Maria Aristodemou

The Morning After the Death of God: Kant Avec Houellebecq

This paper will examine how law and literature have responded to the so-called death of

God and what, in their different ways, they have tried to put in its place. In the manner of

Lacan's Kant Avec Sade, the paper will juxtapose Kant's legal philosophy with French

literature's contemporary enfant terrible, Michel Houellebecq. The paper will explore

whether Kant's pure formal law can fill the endemic lack in the subject and in the

symbolic order, or whether, as Houellebecq insists, the trouble is, it's just not enough to

live according to the rules. What are the consequences of this ideational decline, better

known in contemporary parlance as depression, for the legal subject And are these

consequences the same or different for subjects on different sides of Lacan's formula of


Valerie Bouchard

Apples, Mussels and Chardonnay: The Boundaries of Knowledge

6.10 Property’s Futures

The organisation of knowledge is not a purely technical operation of indexation, but

constructs the knowledge itself. Every researcher is caught in a Babel library that

structures, limits and formulates the boundaries of what can be known. The index is the

architectural plan of knowledge, the social design of our knowledge. In this paper,

sharing examples from research into law-and-film discourses in French, I explore the

spaces of uncertainty and possibility opened up by the integration of this knowledge into

our habits of research and reflection.

Eduardo Penalver

Land’s Memory

Changes that human beings make to the land have a tendency to remain in place until

they are affirmatively removed. This inertial quality of land uses has both a physical and

a human dimension. Reinforcing land’s physical memory is the oft-noted temporal

dimension to human beings’ psychological attachment to property. The inertial power of

individual land uses is powerfully reinforced by their collective interdependence. Once in

place, land uses presuppose and reinforce one another in ways that make it difficult to

undo one piece without affecting many others. The interplay of these physical,

psychological and social components of land’s memory yields a powerful pathdependence

in land use. These processes of attachment and path dependence are

particularly pronounced when the land use in question is religious, and so disputes over

religious sites take on a unique ferocity. In this paper, I will discuss the phenomenon of

land’s memory and its manifestation in disputes over religious sites through the case

study of the bitter and bloody struggle over the site of the Babri Masjit, in Ayodhya,


Nomi Stolzenberg

Ghosts of Property: Reshaping the Future by Rewriting the Past Through the

Establishment of Facts on the Ground

Creating Facts on the Ground is the ultimate presentist act. Like other forms of

presentism, the creation of facts on the ground rewrites history - and in doing so, reshapes

the future. By virtue of their supposed irregularity, facts on the ground constitute a state

of exception with a temporal as well as a spatial dimension; states of exception are by

definition temporary and extra-temporal. But if, as the theorists of political theology tell

us, the temporary state of exception/emergency is itself permanent, then the distinction

between the temporary and the permanent itself collapses, as do the conventional



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