Educating for Humanity: Humanities and Arts in legal and criminal justice education

Interdisciplinarity, or at least cross-disciplinarity, has become a priority within higher education around the world, particularly in the context of research funding and priorities.

Increasingly, as a result, disciplinary boundaries are being challenged, broken and rebuilt. Some approaches to Law and Criminal Justice have stood alone at the edge of some of these boundaries and, particularly in terms of educational curricula, have emphasised their grounding in disciplinary content, cultures and ways of being. However, both intellectually and in terms of the vocational ambitions of our students, such an approach is increasingly untenable. In addition, many Universities are building cross-disciplinary curricula and educational research projects, from which we cannot, and should not, be isolated.

In this symposium, organised by the Centre for Innovation and Research in Legal Education in the School of Law, University of Leeds, we seek to provoke discussion and engagement with the ways in which student education in law and criminal justice draws upon, is influenced by and works with approaches derived from the humanities and the arts. The field is deliberately broad - it could cover work going on using storytelling, design and visual arts, engaging with media and popular culture, using historical approaches, working with literary texts, performances, audio and music, but could, and no doubt does, reach beyond those examples.

We are seeking proposals for contributions for this symposium. In line with the ethos of the symposium, we encourage innovative methods of delivery; we are anticipating allocating approximately 30 minutes per session, including discussion, but can be flexible in how that is organised. We are particularly keen to receive submissions which:

  • Engage with concrete learning activities, whilst maintaining a scholarly focus in the relevant educational literature and/or using robust research methodologies;
  • involve cross-disciplinary teams and/or modules;
  • Aspire to influence learning and teaching across the broad curriculum within law and criminal justice, beyond the delivery of specialist modules; and/or
  • Have contributions to make to inclusivity within the academy, to foregrounding hidden voices or traditionally undervalued skills, or to de-colonising the legal and criminological curriculum.

Please submit proposals of no more than 500 words to Chloe Wallace ( by 20th March 2020. All proposals will be peer reviewed and decisions taken by 3rd April 2020.  Please use the same email for any questions or to discuss potential proposals.

Conference registration will open in April 2020.