That Was The Year That Was: A Look Back At 2015/16 For Voices of Law

The next series of blog posts are a round-up of the activities of the project, and a few reminders of what we have done in the year 2015/16, now that the academic year 2016/17 is upon us. This is the first overview post: more to follow in the form of student reports, book plugs, and more!

September 2015

Voices of Law: Language, Text and Practice held its first Colloquium at Copenhagen in 2015, in collaboration with the Carlsberg Foundation who funded the event, on the theme of Law and Language. The colloquium was organised by Dr Helle Vogt [Copenhagen] and Dr Jenny Benham [Cardiff], and was held at The Royal Academy for Science and Letters. The keynote speaker, Bruce O’Brien of the University of Mary Washington, is also joining us in Shetland in May.

Topics included:

The relationship between law and legal practice in a linguistic context, the similarities / dissimilarities in terminology and practice, the problems and possibilities of translating laws from this region into modern English or other modern languages, ‘Germanic’ legal language, law and language in the North Sea area, the relationship between Latin and vernacular in the legal texts, adoption and application of legal language in other domains.

Select papers are being published: there will be a future blog post plugging the book coming soon!

Summer 2016

A great deal of time was spent investing in students to enrich their academic and employability skills, culminating in two student-led activities that took place in 2016. The first was a summer placement, where the successful applicant, Ben Morris, took on a research task in July. The lead-up to this involved collecting source material for him to work on, and creating a database for him to enter his information. A database was also created for two other students to work on a Treaties project under Dr Jenny Benham; Ben Morris completed his research placement under the supervision of Dr Jenny Benham, Dr Sara Pons-Sanz and Dr Melissa Julian-Jones. See Ben’s report here!

 September 2016

September 2016 saw the culmination of the hard work of three Cardiff University MA students in organising their very first conference, which took place a week before the major project colloquium at Leeuwarden on the topic of Law and Ritual.

William Buck has written up his report on the Conflict and Resolution event, which took place on one day on the 14th September. It’s going live here on Monday 24th October – don’t miss it!

The week afterwards, the Law and Ritual Conference took place in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, over two days – 22-23 September.

#LawandRitual was a success, with all the papers being live-tweeted. Our Storify can be found here.

One of the highlights of the Law and Ritual Conference was the trip to the Fryske Akademy and library  – Tresoar Leeuwarden. Dr Han Nijdam, one of the main organisers of the conference, was able to show various manuscripts to the delegates on Thursday evening followed by a drinks reception hosted by the Fryske Akademy.

Dr Han Nijdam showing manuscripts from Tresoar Leeuwarden to the delegates of the Law and Ritual Conference

The Conference Dinner took place at Hotel Post-Plaza and was similarly a highlight of the conference. We had an excellent range of papers over the three days, and selected papers will appear in the second volume.

We are now preparing the 2016/17 events, including outreach and impact activities, and looking ahead to January 2018, when the project, funded by The Leverhulme Trust, comes to an end. Please check our Events page for more information.

On Monday, William Buck’s post on the Conflict and Resolution conference will be posted, giving everyone a taste of first-time conference organising and the discussions that took place at the event.


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