11. Jahrestagung, 10.-12. Juni 2008

Who holds the keys to justice in our world? Are the criteria for justice always founded on the establishment of truth? What are the procedures that generate, distribute and sustain truth? Inspired by Michel Foucault's "genealogy of truth," this conference aims to address the ways in which the modern production of truth in disciplines of the humanities both draws upon and reflects back on legal models such as the police investigation, the inquiry and the trial. At the heart of Foucault's thought lies the knowing, self-knowing and knowable subject caught in relations of power. As Foucault points out, the exercise of power leads not only to the supervision and evaluation of the subject's conduct, but also to the emergence of knew bodies of knowledge, new disciplines, new epistemes. The aim of this conference in part is to examine ways in which epistemes shape institutions and institutions are translated back into epistemes.
In order to do this, we propose to concentrate on a privileged paradigm where knowledge is judged and translated into truth: the court. The types of space that the architecture of the courtroom draws upon and in turn creates, the choreography of the legal proceedings, the dramaturgy of the actants, the technological elements that juridical proceedings employ and promote, the doubling effect of the public sphere which acts as a second "court" that judges the judgments – all of these distinct elements contribute to the staging of truth. Since truth and justice are products or effects of a network of heterogeneous, human and non-human, elements, the court should not be normalized as a given, or what Actor-Network Theory calls a "punctualisation." The term designates a type of network pattern performed widely and repeatedly, so that it acts as a single, unitary block and is taken for granted as a resource. This conference intends, on the contrary, to examine the court as a dynamic process of networks engaged in a continual struggle for power.

Programm (PDF)

Ort: Harvard University

Jahresthema 2007/08: Scenes of Justice – Production of Truth