Congress June 2007

“Jurisprudence through Cultural Studies?”
(June 15-16, 2007, University of Zurich)

Despite the complex, and not at all mainstream subject, this year’s congress attracted over 70 participants. The goal of the congress was to revitalize the long neglected discourse on the relations between Jurisprudence and Cultural Studies, however, beyond the fateful developments of the discussion in the beginning of the 20th century. Thus, this congress joined, amongst the German and Polish Section, the initiative of IVR to reevaluate this topic.

After the welcoming address by Hans Weder, the rector of the University of Zurich, the president of the Swiss section, Marcel Senn, made a brief introduction into the subject, and underlined the dialectic context of the topic. The congress was divided into three sections. The first section examined the historic perspective (Classical Antiquity, Middle Ages, and Modern Age) of the concept of law. To this aspect speeches were held by Ada Neschke (Lausanne), Ruedi Imbach (Paris), and Michael Fischer (Salzburg). The second section dealt with the foundational issues of the concept of culture in the 20th century. Stanley L. Paulson (Kiel) gave insights into neo-kantianism, and “bürgerliche Rechtsgesellschaft”, Hans-Peter Haferkamp (Cologne) talked about neo-kantianism, and legal naturalism, and Kurt Seelmann (Basle) discussed the question of what is left today of the neo-kantian concept of law. The last section was dedicated to the subject’s inherent continuities, and their significance for the possibility of a renewed Anthropology. Whereas Enno Rudolph (Heidelberg/Lucerne) analyzed, form a neo-kantian perspective, the development, and changes of the concept of culture, Ulrich Haltern (Hanover) questioned the internal perspective of Jurisprudence as a part of the realm of Cultural Studies. The final speech was held by the nestor of German Philosphy of Law, Hasso Hofmann (Berlin). He gave an insightful and critical review of all speeches held.

This congress was made possible by: the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Studies (SAGW), the Swiss National Science Foundation, the University Foundation of the Ministry of Education of the Canton of Zurich, and the University of Zurich Association. By the end of this year, all given speeches, edited by Marcel Senn and Dániel Puskás are expected to be published by the “Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie” (ARSP-Beiheft).


Hochschulstiftung der Universität Zürich

Agenda of the congress (in German)