BA (Hons), LLB (Sydney Uni), LLM (McGill)
Karen Crawley is a graduate of the University of Sydney, with Honours in English Literature and in Law, and received her LL.M. and PhD from McGill University. Her dissertation, Seeing Double: Ironic Encounters between Art and Law, examined the ironic effects of policing representations, with case studies drawn from theatre censorship, the prosecution of graffiti artists, and legal controversies over photographs.
Her postgraduate research was supported by the Canada Research Chair in Law and Discourse. She was the Ian C. Pilarczyk Fellow for Legal Methodology at the McGill Faculty of Law from 2007 to 2010, designing and co-delivering a compulsory course on critical research and writing practices for graduate students, and she also worked for the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, coordinating the Global Conference on the Prevention of Genocide in 2007, and co-curating an accompanying art exhibition.
Karen has presented parts of her research at conferences in the United States, Canada and Australia. Her research is interdisciplinary, drawing on literary theory, semiotics, visual culture, cultural criminology, legal geography and critical theory in order to explore issues of representation, affect and irony in the regulation of speech and art.
- Feminist legal theory
- Law and humanities
- Cultural legal studies
Current teaching areas
- Contracts and Civil Obligations
- 'The Critical Force of Irony: Reframing Photographs in Cultural Legal Studies' in Cassandra E. Sharp and Marett Leiboff, eds. Cultural Legal Studies: Law's Popular Cultures and the Metamorphosis of Law (Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2015) 183-206.
- 'The Chastity of our Records': Reading and Judging Obscenity in Nineteenth-Century Courts' in Nicole Moore ed. Censorship and the Limits of the Literary: A Global View (Bloomsbury 2015) 65-77.
- 'Beyond the War on Graffiti: The Right to Visual Expression in Urban Spaces' (2015) Griffith Journal of Law and Human Dignity: Special Art Issue 85-107. Available online
- 'Justice in the Gutter: Representing Everyday Trauma in the Graphic Novels of Art Spiegelman' (2012) 16 Law Text Culture 93-118 (with Honni van Rijswijk).
- 'Unintended Consequences: Representations of Rwandan Women and their Children Born from Rape', in Australian Feminist Law Journal, (2012) Vol. 36, 87-106 (with O. Simic). Available online
- '"Academic Concerns": Caring about Conversation in Canadian Common Law', (2011) 34(2) Dalhousie Law Journal, 405-442 (with S Van Praagh).
- 'The Farce of Law: Performing and Policing Norm and Ahmed in 1969' (2010) Vol. 14, Law Text Culture, Special Issue: Law’s Theatrical Presence, 247-276.
- 'Book Review of Robin Chapman Stacey, Dark Speech: The Performance of Law in Early Ireland' (2009) Vol. 43, Issue 1, Law and Society Review, (221-223).
Workshop and conference papers
- Affective States of International Criminal Justice, "Advocacy Photography: Portraits of Rwandan Women and their Children Born from Rape", (2011) Melbourne Law School (co-authored with Olivera Simic).
- Panelist: Holding the High Ground: Law, Resistance and Geographical Space, “Viewing Graffiti as Resistance”, (2010) Canadian Association of Law and Society.
- Presenter, “Law Onstage: Policing and Performing Norm and Ahmed in 1969”, Law and Humanities Summer Workshop, Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas, (2010) McGill University.
- Panelist, Framing the Body, “Framing Henson: Fantasies of Childhood, Fear of Photographs”, Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities, (2010) Brown University.
- Panelist, Circulating Subjects, “Framing Henson: Circulating Photographs in the 2008 Controversy over the Arts in Australia”, Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference, Travelling Photographies, (2010) Concordia University.
- Panelist, Depicting the Child, “Framing Henson: Legal Responses to Nude Photographs of Children”, Imagining the Child, Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas, (2010) McGill University.
- Panelist, Opportunities Beyond Critique: Legal Research as a Political Moment, “Reflections on the Performativity of Law and Legal Research”, Melbourne Forum on Doctoral Research in Law, (2010) Melbourne University.
- Invited speaker, “Art on the Streets: Graffiti’s Challenge to Intellectual Property”, Rethinking Intellectual Property Policy Workshop, (2009) McGill University.
- Panelist, Law and Narratives, “Academic Concerns: Cooper v Hobart, the Common Law, and the Art of Conversation” with Shauna Van Praagh, Canadian Law & Society Association Conference, (2009) Carleton University.
- Panelist:Voyage à l’etranger: Graduate Legal Education, with Shauna Van Praagh, Angela Campbell and Yaëll Emerich, Canadian Association of Law Teachers Conference, (2009) Carleton University.
- Panelist,Corruption, Suffering, Scandal, and Violence, “Judging the Literary: Unlawful Reading in Oprah’s Book Club”, Annual Meeting of the Association of Law, Culture and the Humanities, (2009) Boston.
- Panelist, Spectacular Mappings: Commodifying Site, “Stenciling the City: Temporality, Consumption and the Commodification of Resistance”, Psychogeographies: The Terrain of Spectacle and Affect, Graduate Student Conference, (2008) Guelph University.
- Panelist, New Approaches to Critical Legal Pedagogy, “Listening to the Elders: Teaching Indigenous Laws in Canadian Law Schools” with Coel Kirkby, Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association, (2008) Hilton Bonaventure.
- Panelist, Constructing, Reading, and Performing Speech, “All the World’s a Stage? Performing Speech, Transgressing Law”, Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association, (2008) Hilton Bonaventure.
- Discussant on panel Law, Literature and Television: Symbolizing Power, Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association, (2008) Hilton Bonaventure.
- Panelist, Metaphors, “Metaphors of Time and the Temporalization of Justice in Legal Judgments,” Meeting of the International Roundtable for the Semiotics of Law, Signs of the Times, (2007) Wollongong, Australia.
- “Beyond Public Order: Swearing as Community Practice”, Outlaws: Law Graduate Student Conference, (2007) Australian National University, Canberra.
- Panelist, Image, Language, and Transgression, “Outside the Law? Just Speech in Deadwood”, Annual Meeting of the Association of Law, Culture and the Humanities, (2007) Washington D.C.