Arts + Justice

Blokker Research Workshop

Sponsored by the Stanford Humanities Center and made possible by support from Joanne Blokker, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities


Justice, a capacious conceptual category, impacts lives in quotidian and spectacular ways, influencing political institutions, impacting social relations, and inscribing bodies with deeply ingrained habits of thought. Scholarship on justice in the humanities has tended to cluster around “law and literature” formulations that, while generative, are also limited in their purview. The focus on law-as-text underestimates the ways in which legal statutes determine and script live, embodied action; law awaits its full realization when it is released from text and realized in performance. To this end, performance provides a kinetic and dynamic mode of thinking about legal scripts that are activated in performance. Arts + Justice expands the framework to include new work in performance studies, art history, music, and sound studies, affect theory, critical race theory, materialism, environmental humanities, and queer theory. Moving beyond the literary and textual dimensions of the legal system, this workshop opens to the embodied, affective, sonic, somatic, and aesthetic dimensions of law. Arts + Justice workshops will bring together art historians, performance theorists, literary scholars, musicologists, historians, political scientists, anthropologists, critical prison studies scholars, race theorists, legal scholars, and immigration scholars, among others, to explore the intersection of discourses around arts and justice.

Explore the Arts + Justice Colloquy on Arcade

Image: Marsha P Johnson and friend, Christopher Street Liberation Day, NYC, 1976 (Credit: Biscayne/Kim Peterson)


Faculty Workshop Co-Chairs
Graduate Student Co-Chairs
Workshop Resources

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Modes of Embodiment: Race, Praxis, and Environmental Justice
Originally recorded May 27, 2021

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