Dr Honni van Rijswijk is a graduate of Sydney Law School and received her PhD from the University of Washington, where she was a Fellow in the Society of Scholars at the Simpson Center for the Humanities. Her research is interdisciplinary, and she writes primarily at the intersections of law, literature and critical theory. She has published on feminist theories of harm, formulations of responsibility in law and literature, the role of history in the common law, and on questions of justice relating to the Stolen Generations.
Honni also has a wider background in the law of obligations, both through her LL.M. work at Trinity College Dublin, and through her work in private practice.
Honni has taught at a number of universities in Australia and the United States and currently teaches Torts, International Commercial Transactions, and Law and Literature.
Can supervise: YES
- Law and Literature
- Legal theory
- Ethics and responsibility
- Law and culture
Download Honni's research poster - Chaos, Culpability & Suffering in the Great Gatsby
- International Commercial Transactions
- Law and Literature
Motha, S & Rijswijk, HV 2016, Law, Memory, Violence Uncovering the Counter-Archive.
It is an indispensable part of the liberal legal response to biopolitical violence. This collection challenges established approaches to transitional justice by opening up new dialogues about the problem of assembling law's archive.
'Don't be evil' was part of Google's corporate code of conduct since 2000; however, it was quietly removed in April or May 2018 and subsequently replaced with 'do the right thing'. Questions were raised both internally and externally to the organisation regarding the substantive meaning of this imperative. Some have highlighted the company's original intentions in creating the code of conduct, while others have used the motto as a basis for critiquing the company—such as for its advertising practices, failure to pay corporate tax or the manipulation of Google-owned content. The imperative's removal occurred at a time when thousands of Google employees, including senior engineers, signed a letter protesting the company's involvement in Project Maven, a Pentagon program that uses artificial intelligence to interpret video imagery, which could in turn be used to improve the targeting capability of drone strikes. Employees asserted their refusal to be involved in the business of war and expressed their wariness of the United States government's use of technology. This article will examine the legal construct and concept of the corporation, and whether it is possible for corporations to not be evil in the twenty-first century.
van Rijswijk, H & Vogl, A 2020, 'Across Islands and Oceans: Re-imagining Colonial Violence in the Past and the Present', Law and Critique, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 293-311.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The three texts addressed in this review essay challenge us to question and creatively re-imagine the representation of material spaces at the centre of the colonial project: oceans, islands, ships and archives. Elizabeth McMahon deconstructs the island and its metaphorics, charting the relationship of geography, politics and literature through the changing status of islands, as imagined by colonists, beginning in the Caribbean and ending in Australia. Renisa Mawani destabilises colonial geography by re-animating the ocean and presents, amongst others, the ship and the ocean, as both method and juridical form. Writing against the 'free sea', Mawani addresses the imperial reliance on control of the ocean and the intensive juridification of the sea. Stewart Motha re-imagines law's aggressive acts of adjudication, and challenges its originary fictions by exploring the logic, aesthetics and violence of legal processes that preserve and disavow the past at the same time. Each monograph considers the imaginaries, fictions and material geographies of colonialism, alongside how these imaginaries have been used as sites of counter-claim and resistance by those subjected to their technologies.
Complicity is emerging as a key cultural and critical term for understanding settler responsibility in postcolonial contexts – especially in thinking through the sense of responsibility arrived at through transitional justice processes. But what sense can we make of complicity within more pedestrian legal processes? Here, I examine an emergent narrative of complicity in "everyday law" through the framework of evaluating harms provided by the Royal Commission into Institutional Reponses to Child Sexual Abuse ("the Commission"). I analyze one case study in particular – the 19th public hearing of the Commission was held between October 22 and 31, 2014, and on November 14, 2014 ("the Bethcar Case Study") – to provide a reading of complicity in the context of everyday legal proceedings that took place within the wider context of Australia's postcolonial reckoning of harms suffered by the Stolen Generations. This article focuses on the role and conduct of lawyers, and of law, in the civil proceedings relating to institutional responsibility for abuse, a process at a seeming distance from the scene of original trauma. I argue that the Commission makes available a narrative of the lawyers' role in the ongoing violence against survivors – one story and case study that, as it concerns abuse in the context of the removal of Aboriginal children, is part of wider structural violence against Aboriginal people. The Commission provides a rich source for analyzing these legal processes and provides an archive of lawyers' responsibility that is not normally made available through law. It examines the complicity of the legal profession in harms produced by the legal system itself.
van Rijswijk, H 2017, 'The Continuing Problem of the Universal to Questions of Justice: A Feminist Reading of Lars von Trier's Dogville', Liverpool Law Review, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 33-46.View/Download from: Publisher's site
What are the terms of evaluation that seem relevant in deciding whether a film is feminist or anti-feminist? Which critical practices should be engaged in such an evaluation? In recent and contemporary critical feminist practices, feminist arguments are no longer based on a stable subject category of "woman" and there is no longer any particular methodology upon which feminist theorists rely. The category of "woman" has been revealed to be not an ahistorical, stable category but an effect of material and representational practices. Further, feminist methodologies have been concerned to contextualize the framing of the questions they ask, as well as their place in the methodologies they employ. In addition to the refusal of an essentialized female subject, feminists have called into question the idea that it is possible to produce a "feminist method" based on the standpoint of a female subjectivity, even where this subjectivity is admitted as a construct, arguing that this extrapolation to the general from a particular point of view produces political, and frequently racist, effects. In this essay, I consider Lars von Trier's controversial film Dogville (2003) as a case study to explore the relation of practices of representation to questions of feminist justice. I argue that the film does a lot of good critical work in showing the ways in which certain practices of representation can be mobilized to produce a collectivity (or "sovereignty") that is seen to emanate from "the people" and to thereby instantiate authority, while simultaneously disguising the material and political effects of its subjugation of "others." However, in doing this work the film produces its own problematic construction of universality and particularity. Further, the film instrumentalises representations of sexual violence and subjection in order to prove its point, and as productive as these tactics are to illuminating questions of social justice, I argue that this representational practi...
Gannon, S, Kligyte, G, McLean, J, Perrier, M, Swan, E, Vanni, I & van Rijswijk, H 2016, 'Uneven Relationalities, Collective Biography, and Sisterly Affect in Neoliberal Universities', Feminist Formations, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 189-216.View/Download from: Publisher's site
van Rijswijk, HM 2016, 'Introducing complicity into the Australian imaginary: the Bethcar Case Study in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse', Australian Humanities Review, vol. 59, pp. 223-246.
Crofts, P & van Rijswijk, H 2015, '"What Kept You So Long?": Bullying's Gray Zone and The Vampire's Transgressive Justice in Let the Right One In', Law, Culture and the Humanities, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 248-269.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© The Author(s) 2012 School bullying has been recognized only relatively recently by policy-makers, media and the courts as a serious and widespread social problem. But despite this recent notice, there has been no evidence that techniques adopted to stop bullying have led to anything more than modest success, implying that we need to do more work to unpack and theorize the nature of bullying. In this article, we consider a recent vampire narrative as a story about bullying. We offer an interpretation of this story via the theories of Claudia Card and Jacques Derrida, arguing that together this archive provides a more nuanced understanding of the kinds of damage inflicted by bullying than has been provided by realist or sociological accounts. In particular, it illuminates damage to the morality of the victim, to their soul, which is a kind of damage that has previously not been given great attention. It also highlights the ways in which practices of judgment can become very tangled when trying to resolve bullying situations, making these experiences resistant to the achievement of justice.
Manderson, D & van Rijswijk, H 2015, 'Introduction to Littoral Readings: Representations of Land and Sea in Law, Literature, and Geography', Law & Literature, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 167-177.View/Download from: Publisher's site
van Rijswijk, HM 2015, 'Towards a Literary Jurisprudence of Harm: Rewriting the Aboriginal Child in Law's Imaginary of Violence', Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 311-335.View/Download from: Publisher's site
van Rijswijk, HM 2014, 'Archiving the Northern Territory Intervention in Law and in the Literary Counter-Imaginary', The Australian Feminist Law Journal, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 117-134.
van Rijswijk, HM 2013, 'Stolen Generations: Online Testimonies as Sources of Social Justice: Towards an Ethics of Encounter', Australia and New Zealand Law and History E-Journal, vol. 2013, no. 10, pp. 1-13.
In this paper, I am using the provocation of `the source to examine the significance of a recent iteration of Stolen Generations testimonies to questions of contemporary social justice. This testimonial form has had a complicated and fraught history across Australian legal and cultural domains: in the handful of cases that have dealt with injuries arising out of the Stolen Generations, courts have placed oral testimony in contest with state documentary records1 ; oral testimony has also featured in different iterations of extra-legal Stolen Generations projects, which have been produced by state, corporate and Indigenous parties, sometimes leading to the problem of testimonies being co-opted into state and private projects, which do not necessarily benefit Indigenous people
The case of South Australia v Lampard-Trevorrow opens up key questions about the capacity and willingness of the common law to adjudicate past acts of the state. This article considers the significance of the appeal decision by examining what distinguishes the case from past, unsuccessful claims and considers its implications for future claimants from the Stolen Generations. In addition, we consider what the case means in terms of the law's acceptance of a practice of historical and evidential interpretation that is different from previous cases, and how this is particularly important regarding the issue of parental consent. We argue that the role and interpretation of consent have broad ramifications for law's potential to adjudicate responsibility for historical harms. We also argue that the findings in relation to false imprisonment and fiduciary duty limit the potential of the Trevorrow cases. In particular, we examine, and lament, the Full Court's more limited reading of false imprisonment in contrast to the trial judgment.
Crawley, K & van Rijswijk, HM 2012, 'Justice in the Gutter: Representing Everyday Trauma in the Graphic Novels of Art Spiegelman', Law.Text.Culture, vol. 16, no. Summer, pp. 93-118.
Trauma studies has had a long relationship with legal studies. Shoshana Felman argues that 'trauma - individual as well as social - is the basic underlying reality of the law' (2002: 172). The law has made available certain forms for the representation and adjudication of traumatic experience. Among others, testimony and the trial are legal forms that offer the potential for justice for traumatic events, at the same time that they delimit the ways in which trauma can be understood (Felman 2002; Sarat et al 2007). The means by which trauma is represented determines which experiences are privileged and recognized - which also means that some harms will become invisible under certain frameworks. Scholars working at the intersection of law and trauma have often turned to literature to supplement the law's version of justice.
Crofts, P & van Rijswijk, HM 2012, '"What Kept You So Long?": Bullying's Gray Zone and The Vampire's Transgressive Justice in Let the Right One In', Law, Culture and the Humanities, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 248-269.
School bullying has been recognized only relatively recently by policy-makers, media and the courts as a serious and widespread social problem. But despite this recent notice, there has been no evidence that techniques adopted to stop bullying have led to anything more than modest success, implying that we need to do more work to unpack and theorize the nature of bullying. In this article, we consider a recent vampire narrative as a story about bullying. We offer an interpretation of this story via the theories of Claudia Card and Jacques Derrida, arguing that together this archive provides a more nuanced understanding of the kinds of damage inflicted by bullying than has been provided by realist or sociological accounts. In particular, it illuminates damage to the morality of the victim, to their soul, which is a kind of damage that has previously not been given great attention. It also highlights the ways in which practices of judgment can become very tangled when trying to resolve bullying situations, making these experiences resistant to the achievement of justice.
2012 marks the 80th anniversary of Donoghue v Stevenson, a case that is frequently cited as the starting-point for a genealogy of negligence. This genealogy starts with the figure of the neighbour, from which, as Jane Stapleton eloquently describes, a "golden thread" of vulnerability runs into the present (Stapleton 2004, 135). This essay examines the harms made visible and invisible through the neighbour figure, and compares the law's framework to Virginia Woolf's subtle re-imagining and theorisation of responsibility in her novel Mrs. Dalloway (1925). I argue that Woolf critiques and supplements the law's representations of suffering. Woolf was interested in interpreting harms using a framework of neighbourly responsibility, but was also critical of the kinds of proximities recognised by society. Woolf made new harms visible within a framework of proximity: in this way, we might think of Woolf's work as theorizing a feminist aesthetic of justice, and as providing an alternate genealogy of responsibility to Donoghue v Stevenson.
van Rijswijk, HM 2012, 'Stories of the Nation's Continuing Past: Responsibility for Historical Injuries in Australian Law and Alexis Wright's Carpentaria', The University of New South Wales Law Journal, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 598-624.
van Rijswijk, HM 2012, 'Towards a Feminist Aesthetic of Justice: Sarah Kane's Blasted As Theorisation of the Representation of Sexual Violence in International Law', Australian Feminist Law Journal, vol. 36, pp. 107-124.
Aesthetic considerations are bound up with thematic questions of justice, and an interdisciplinary engagement between law and culture offers methodologies through which to interrogate and reframe legal understandings of harm. While there is no particular form that can, a priori, be designated feminist, we can talk meaningfully about practices of representation, and methodologies, as being feminist or otherwise. This essay seeks to re-animate questions concerning the relationship between feminisms and representation, asking what it might mean to talk about a legal, feminist aesthetic: what are the terms of evaluation that seem relevant in judging representation as feminist or otherwise? What are the stakes of such an enquiry? These methodological questions will be considered with respect to a specific archive - first, a legal archive comprising recent feminist engagements with international criminal and human rights law dealing with sexual violence in conflict zones; and second, a cultural text, Sarah Kane's play Blasted (1995). This essay engages with and extends feminist commentary regarding the legal interventions, explicating the benefits of a law and culture approach to ongoing questions in feminist theories and practice. It provides an example of the ways in which a cultural text can illuminate problematic practices of representation that have developed in the law and critical commentary, and which seem natural or even unmoveable. The practice of re-seeing made available through engagement with this cultural text is, it is argued, a practice of justice.
van Rijswijk, HM 2011, 'Memory, Imagination, Justice: Intersections of Law and Literature', Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 511-513.
van Rijswijk, HM 2010, 'Mabel Hannah's Justice: a contextual re-reading of Donoghue v Stevenson', Public Space: The Journal of Law and Social Justice, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 1-26.
In Donoghue v Stevenson,1 the House of Lords established negligence as an independent tort and reformulated the responsibility owed by one person to another in civil society. The accident of Mabel Hannah finding a snail in her ginger beer became the occasion for the law to disrupt the (then) normal practices of manufacture specifically, and socioeconomic conditions more generally, by introducing attentiveness to vulnerability as a civil ethic. This essay looks back at the case and reads it in its cultural and material contextswith the intention of illuminating Lord Atkins neighbour principle within its specific historical framework, and to look again at the justice Mabel Hannah received through the decision. This reading will examine the gap between law and social justice, and re-contextualise the potential of tort law to operate as a kind of civil ethics or system of moral value. In this reading I consider the inflections of the neighbour figure, reading the cases Biblical `Golden Rule alongside the anti-ethics of Nietzsche and Freud. I also consider the ongoing paradox of the neighbour as a figure for the recognition of suffering.
Crofts, P & van Rijswijk, H 2020, 'Picnic at Hanging Rock: Coming of age as a girl in the Gothic colonial institution' in Weinert, K, Crawley, K & Tranter, K (eds), Law, Lawyers and Justice: Through Australian Lenses, Routledge, pp. 106-128.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The iconic Peter Weir film Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) is emblematic of Australian cinema, signifying among other things emerging cultural unease at ongoing colonial violence. The film is remembered primarily for the unexplained disappearance of girls on a school excursion, encapsulated by the haunting loss of the most beautiful victim, Miranda. This figure of the missing child is key to the Australian Gothic, and the twist of Weir's interpretation lies in the way the Australian bush figures in the film are both an incitement and threat to white girls' sexuality. In this chapter, we focus on Foxtel's 2018 serialized reimagining of the film for television. We extend previous interpretations of Picnic by viewing it through the contemporary cultural-legal lens of systemic institutional failure, exemplified by revelations of abuse at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (2013–17). Here we provide an interpretation of the 2018 version of Picnic that reflects on the drama of the contemporary, colonial, Gothic institution, rather than on the drama of the missing child. We argue that the Foxtel serial (2018) foregrounds the institutional irresponsibility of the school to a larger extent than the film does, explicitly giving Mrs Appleyard a fraudulent background and viewing the school itself as a colonial, Gothic character – not only the building, but also its leaders, finances and policies. The series provides deeper exploration of the rituals and punishments of the school environment, depicting a site of the helplessness and trauma of its students, and the complicity of its employees and structures.
van Rijswijk, H & Joseph, L 2020, 'Going bunta on Western law: Violent jurisdictions, melodrama and the Australian carceral imaginary in Wentworth' in Weinert, K, Crawley, K & Tranter, K (eds), Law, Lawyers and Justice Through Australian Lenses, Routledge.
This book engages with the place of law and legality within Australia's distinctive contribution to global televisual culture.
This chapter uses Dogville as a case study for studying legal representation because, for all the film's problems, it does an exemplary job of thematising (and diagnosing) the aestheticisation of abstraction as legal-cultural practice and the violent effects of this aestheticisation. Dogville demonstrates the ways that women – both as figures and as material beings – are subjected to violence through these representational practices. This reading of Dogville demonstrates, step-by-step, the production of law's abstractions – of justice, judgment, contract and debt – and the specific violence these abstractions both produce and disguise. Dogville's law – and our law – is both discursive and material. This revelation challenges what I term law's aggressive realism: through an insistence on singular doctrine and singular authority, we can think of law's representational practice, and indeed of its genre, as a form of aggressive realism, one that excludes other genres and representational practices in its adjudications. Law is aggressive in its assertion of an exclusive jurisdiction over violence, making an implied claim that it alone can access the truth and repair harms. Law's assertion of jurisdiction is also representational, excluding other genres and representational practices in responding to violence.
van Rijswijk, H 2019, 'The dysfunctional town and the social contract: Figures of violence in the liberal legal imaginary' in Law, Cinema, and the Ill City: Imagining Justice and Order in Real and Fictional Cities, Taylor and Francis, UK, pp. 42-53.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2020 selection and editorial matter, Anne Wagner and Le Cheng; individual chapters, the contributors. This chapter examines the relationship of the related figures of social contract and dysfunctional town, and how they explicate law's role in historical violence. It also argues that Dogville essentially concerned with the relationship between representation and contract – both the social contract and the individual contractual arrangements that are key to contemporary legal and social life. Dogville tells the story of Grace Margaret Mulligan, a young woman on the run, who flees a corrupt, mafia-run city and comes upon an isolated town. At first glance, the town seems wholesome and kindly. The year is 1933: the mines have closed and there is no money. There is nothing innovative about a community dehumanizing an outsider. But Dogville is innovative in the way it stages the framing of this dehumanization: rather than a naturalistic slide into violence, the film frames Grace's treatment by the town as an effect of moral and legal technique.
Crofts, P & van Rijswijk, HM 2018, 'Traumatic origins in Hart and Ringu' in Pearson, A, Giddens, T & Tranter, K (eds), Law and Justice in Japanese Popular Culture: from crime fighting robots to duelling pocket monsters, Routledge, UK.
van Rijswijk, HM 2018, 'Cultural Representations of Torture' in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Crime, Media, and Popular Culture, Oxford University Press, UK, pp. 468-489.View/Download from: Publisher's site
van Rijswijk, HM 2018, 'From Sentimentality to Sadism: Visual Genres of Asylum Seeking' in Manderson, D (ed), Law and the Visual Representations, Technologies, and Critique, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, pp. 189-209.
Proceeding chronologically, the volume offers leading analyses of the juncture between legal and visual culture as witnessed from the fifteenth to the twenty-first centuries.
van Rijswijk, HM 2017, 'Encountering Aboriginal Legalities through a Literary Jurisprudence of Suffering' in Challenges to Living Together Transculturalism, Migration, Exploitation. for a Semioethics of Human Relations, Mimesis, Italy, pp. 323-332.
In Australia, law's imaginary is part of our colonial legacy. Law's narratives and figures, as well as what we might more widely think of as its practices of representation, produce social, economic and political realities. The imaginary is therefore an important domain of intervention for social justice, which must be interrogated and challenged. Such interrogation can be thought of as a 'literary jurisprudence', which involves taking up exemplary practices of representation that model ways alternative ways of thinking about relations between Aboriginal and Western laws. This means thinking beyond the abstractions of legal analytic categories to include affect, experience and culture, providing a method that can resist and re-situate Western law's continuing claims to authority over Aboriginal people. In this chapter, by way of an example of these practices, I provide a reading of harm and authority in the latest novel by Alexis Wright, a leading Australian novelist. I argue that what is needed, and what this reading provides, is a literary jurisprudence that challenges law's imaginary.
Motha, S & van Rijswijk, HM 2016, 'Introduction: developing a counter-archival sense' in Motha, S & van Rijswijk, H (eds), Law, memory, violence: uncovering the counter-archive, Routledge, London, pp. 1-15.
The demand for recognition, responsibility, and reparations is regularly invoked in the wake of colonialism, genocide, and mass violence: there can be no victims without recognition, no perpetrators without responsibility, and no justice without reparations. Or so it seems from law's limited repertoire for assembling the archive after 'the disaster'. Archival and memorial practices are central to contexts where transitional justice, addressing historical wrongs, or reparations are at stake. The archive serves as a repository or 'storehouse' of what needs to be gathered and recognised so that it can be left behind in order to inaugurate the future. The archive manifests law's authority and its troubled conscience. It is an indispensable part of the liberal legal response to biopolitical violence.
This collection challenges established approaches to transitional justice by opening up new dialogues about the problem of assembling law's archive. The volume presents research drawn from multiple jurisdictions that address the following questions. What resists being archived? What spaces and practices of memory - conscious and unconscious - undo legal and sovereign alibis and confessions? And what narrative forms expose the limits of responsibility, recognition, and reparations? By treating the law as an 'archive', this book traces the failure of universalised categories such as 'perpetrator', 'victim', 'responsibility', and 'innocence,' posited by the liberal legal state. It thereby uncovers law's counter-archive as a challenge to established forms of representing and responding to violence.
van Rijswijk, HM 2016, 'Interventions into the feeling of popular justice Australia's Stolen Generations, the problem of sentimentality, and re-encountering the testimonial form.' in Sharp, C & Leiboff, M (eds), Cultural Legal Studies Law's Popular Cultures and the Metamorphosis of Law, Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 71-94.
This collection explores such a question through the lens of the cultural legal studies movement, which proffers a new encounter with the cultural turn in law and legal theory.
van Rijswijk, HM 2015, 'Law and Violence' in Law and Popular Culture in Australia, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, NSW, Australia.
van rijswijk, H & Townsley, L 2014, 'R v Webster  NSWSC 70012/90: Judgment' in Douglas, H, Bartlett, F, Luker, T & Hunter, R (eds), Australian Feminist Judgments: Writing and Rewriting Law, Hart Publishing, Oxford & Portland, pp. 316-324.
Anthony, T & van Rijswijk, HM 2012, 'Parental 'Consent' to Child Removal in Stolen Generations Cases' in Kirkby, D (ed), Past Law, Present Histories, The Australian National University, Canberra, pp. 193-208.
Our reading of recent Stolen Generations cases argues that courts prior to the Lampard-Trevorrow (2007) treated consent as an individual act, freely and voluntarily given by a liberal subject. Consent was seen as a legitimate factor that duly activated the powers of the legislation to bring about legal removal, according to Justice Maurice O Loughlin in Cubillo. In the previous Stolen Generations case of Williams, formal consent had barred false imprisonment and trespass on the basis that a child cannot be imprisoned if her mother consented to the removal. This chapter goes further than simply suggesting that Aboriginal consent has been misread by the courts which was clearly the situation until the case of Lampard-Trevorrow. It also proposes that consent was, and is still used in an underhanded way by the state to legitimise its actions and protect itself from liability. After all, most statutory creatures governing the Stolen Generations allowed for removal, irrespective of consent. The state, nonetheless, sought to procure consent in order to rationalise the policy, facilitate removals, and shift the responsibility for removal from the state to Aboriginal parents.
van Rijswijk, HM 2010, 'Mrs Donoghue and The Law's Strange Neighbour: New Narratives of Modernist Trauma' in Sheehan, P & Groth, H (eds), Remaking Literary History, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, pp. 155-166.
There is a strange English case, one that is also a quintessentially modernist text, which all students of the common law are taught. In this case, Donoghue v Stevenson  AC 562, the House of Lords reformulated the responsibility owed by one person to another in civil society, (despite its legal importance, it is irreverently known as "the-snailin- the-bottle case"). The case has had a hold on the imagination of lawyers ever since it was heard in 1932; but as to why this case matters so much to lawyers, and why it should also matter to modernists, I need to start by telling a story. Like all good stories, this one starts with a journey-Mrs May Donoghue's tram trip from her tenement in the heart of Glasgow to the Welhneadow Cafe in Paisley.
van Rijswijk, HM 2008, 'Judy Grahn's Violent, Feminist Camp' in Byron, G & Sneddon, A (eds), The Body and the Book, Rodopi, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 319-330.
It is often said that feminists, especially radical lesbian feminists, are not funny. Conservatives have levelled lack of humour at feminists as a political weapon, as a sort of baseline attack: the claims of feminists, they have argued, are a bit of a joke, whereas they themselves are not funny. With Judy Grahn, we see this weapon being wielded figuratively in retaliation: not only is her work funny, it is violently funny and both funny and violent. In my reading of two of her poems, 'The Psychoanalysis of Edward the Dyke' and 'I have come to claim', I argue that Grahn's humour plays on elements of camp and violence as a site of political subversion. At the time of writing both poems, during the 1960s, Grahn was very concerned with working-class, feminist, lesbian politics. These concerns arise thematically in her work of the 1960s, where she deals with sexual violence, homosexuality, racism and class politics. My focus here is not so much on thematics but on the aesthetics of Grahn's poetry. How do camp humour and violent imagery articulate her concerns?
van Rijswijk, H 2015, '"Complicity as a Figure of Institutional Liability"', Law, Literature and the Humanities Association of Australasia Conference, UTS, Sydney.
van Rijswijk, HM 2012, 'The Aesthetics of the Continuing Past, and the Ceremony of Adjudicating Historical Suffering', Ceremonies of Law, Ceremonies of Law Conference, Law, Literature and Humanities Assocation of Australia, Wollongong, Australia.
van Rijswijk, HM 2012, 'The Aesthetics of the Continuing Past: Responsibility for Historical Suffering in National Law and Literature', Law, Culture and the Humanities, 15th Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities, Law, Culture and the Humanities Association, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, USA.
van Rijswijk, HM & Anthony, T 2012, 'An Element of Bluff or Deception: Parental Consent and State Control in the Stolen Generations Cases', Program of 2012 International Conference on Law and Society: Sociolegal Conversations Across a Sea of Islands, 2012 International Conference on Law and Society: Sociolegal Conversations Across a Sea of Islands, Law and Society Association and Research Committee on Sociology of Law, Honolulu, Hawai'i, pp. 87-87.
van Rijswijk, HM & Crofts, P 2012, '"Negotiating the Relationship between Law and Violence: the vampire as a figure of ambivalent justice"', Socio-Legal Studies Association (UK), Socio-Legal Studies Association Conference 2011, Socio-Legal Studies Association (UK), Brighton, UK.
Publication of abstract for conference
Anthony, T & van Rijswijk, HM 2010, 'Historical and Ahistorical Narratives: drawing boundaries of 'consent' in Stolen Generations Cases', Owning the Past: Whose past? Whose present?, 29th Annual Australian and New Zealand Law and History Conference, Melbourne University.
van Rijswijk, HM 2010, 'Multiple Narratives of History, Suffering and Responsibility in the Trevorrow Cases', Critical Legal Conference, Critical Legal Conference Utrecht 2010, Critical Legal Assocation, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
van Rijswijk, HM 2009, 'A Civil Ethics of Injury? Discourses of Justice in Negligence Law', Law and Society Conference of Australia and New Zealand, Griffith Law School.
van Rijswijk, HM 2009, 'A Civil Ethics of Injury?: Transgressive Moral Language in Negligence Law Reform', Law and Literature Association of Australia and Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand Joint Conference, Griffith Law School.
van Rijswijk, HM 2009, 'Literary and Legal Judgment in Carpentaria and Mabo', Literature and Politics Conference, University of Sydney.
van Rijswijk, HM 2009, 'The Poetics and Politics of the Past: Time and Responsibility in Tort, Trauma Theory and Literary Fiction', Law, Culture and Humanities Association Conference, Boston, USA.
van Rijswijk, HM 2009, 'Transformative Spatiality and the Adjudication of the Private/Public Divide in Literary Claims for Justice', Law and Literature Association of Australia and Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand Joint Conference, Griffith Law School.
van Rijswijk, HM 2009, 'Transformative Spatiality and the Adjudication of the Private/Public Divide in Literary Claims for Justice', joint Law and Literature Association of Australia (LLAA) and Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand Inc. (LSAANZ) Conference, Griffith Law School, Brisbane, Australia.
van Rijswijk, HM 2008, 'Mrs Donoghue and the Law's Strange Neighbour: An Alternate Genealogy of Modernist Trauma', Intersections Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference, University of Queensland.
van Rijswijk, HM 2008, 'Representing Pain, Imagining the Subject', PNASA Conference, Washington.
van Rijswijk, HM 2008, 'Strange Neighbours: Proximity, Suffering and Responsibility in Modern Law and Literature', Literature and History Conference, Australian Association for Literature, Macquarie University.
van Rijswijk, HM 2008, 'The Poetics and Politics of Past Injuries', W(h)ither Human Rights : 25th Law and Society Conference 2008, University of Sydney, Sydney.
van Rijswijk, HM 2008, 'The Poetics and Politics of Personal Injury: Claiming in the Tort of Slavery and in Toni Morrison's Beloved.', ANZASA Conference, University of Sydney.
van Rijswijk, HM 2008, 'The Poetics and Politics of Politics of Past Injuries: Claiming in Reparations Law and in Toni Morrison's novel Beloved', 25th Annual Conference of the Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand, Annual Conference of the Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand, University of Sydney, University of Sydney, pp. 1-12.
Why is there such a discrepancy between legal time and historical time? Or rather, whose historical time is tacitly represented and silently justified in legal representations? Whose interests are served by the laws particular fictions and whose injuries are privileged? In exploring these questions I will focus on the 2006 case of In re African- American Slave Descendants, a claim made for reparations for slavery in the U.S. Since the 1980s a number of litigants have filed claims for injuries arising out of slavery and none has succeeded, but these very failures are worth examining for what they reveal about the contemporary inability to reconcile the demands of the past on the present.
van Rijswijk, H 2017, 'the pointy finger of god', pp. 186-195.
Panel members: Prof. Elise van den Hoven, Dr Laurie Miller, Daniel Orth and Moderator: Dr. Honni van Rijswijk (25-05-2019), Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.