Global Governance Centre
22 September 2022

Call for Papers

"Beauty and Power: Aesthetics, History, & International Law"


The field of international legal history finds itself at a crossroads. After some decades, the tone of the literature on the “turn to history” has turned from celebration to self-critique. Indeed, the last couple of years has witnessed increased calls to pursue new directions in international legal history, departing from the “well-worn paths” initially explored.

 In this vein, some urge for a localized approach to the study of “legal politics,” while others push for a “history of international law in the vernacular,” a “grassroots analysis,” or a “radical historical critique.” Recent years have witnessed calls for a (new) materialist approach, which resonates with other broader drives for the retrieval of Marxist perspectives in international legal history. Moreover, the “marked absences” of class, gender, and race from the traditional canon of the discipline seem like an increasingly inexcusable exclusion.  In sum, the stage is set for a profound reconsideration of the aims, methodologies, and archives of contemporary international legal history.

 With these considerations in mind, the interdisciplinary New Directions in the Theory & History of International Law workshop series, convened by Daniel R. Quiroga-Villamarin, aims to create a space where emerging and senior scholars of different traditions can meet and rethink on the past, present, and future of the theory and history of the international law.


Workshop Programme

In order to promote productive conversations between different disciplinary sensibilities and perspectives, the New Directions in the Theory & History of International Law workshop series will host three two-day academic workshops from 2022 to 2024. Each event will be dedicated to a particular theme and feature a keynote lecture from a distinguished scholar:

  • June 2022 – “Political economy, History, and International Law,” with a keynote lecture by Professor Susan Marks (London School of Economics)

  • October 2023 – “Beauty and Power: Aesthetics, History, and International Law,” with a keynote lecture by Professor Kate Miles (University of Cambridge)

  • Spring 2024 – “Space and Scale in International Legal History,” with a keynote lecture by Professor Luis Eslava (University of Kent)

In principle, these workshops will be held in person, but hybrid participation may be possible depending on the overall sanitary situation and the guidelines issues by the Geneva Graduate Institute.



Scholars who would like to present a paper at the second workshop on “Beauty and Power: Aesthetics, History, & International Law” are invited to submit a title and abstract (250 to 500 words) to by November 25, 2022 (midnight CET). Notifications of acceptance will be communicated by mid-December.


Following the workshop, the event conveners are keen on exploring options for a collective publication effort and encourage potential participants to bear this in mind as they prepare their abstracts.

Call for Papers