Just Published: Lawrence on Academic Travel and Exclusion

May 17, 2019

Professor Jessica Lawrence has published a book chapter on “Academic Travel and Exclusion in the Backstage of Transnational Legal Practice” in Lianne J.M. Boer and Sofia Stolk (eds), Backstage Practices of Transnational Law (Routledge 2019). The book explores the ‘backstage’ of transnational legal practice by illuminating the routines and habits that are crucial to the field, yet rarely studied. Adopting various methodologies and approaches, each chapter focuses on one specific practice: for example, mooting exercises for law students, transnational time, the social media activities of lawyers and legal scholars, and the networking at the ICC’s annual Assembly of States Parties. In and of themselves, these chapters each provide unique insights into what happens before the curtain rises and after it falls on the familiar ‘outputs’ of transnational law. It does more, however, than provide a range of different practices: it takes the next step in theorizing on the importance of the marginal and the everyday for what we ‘know’ to be ‘the law’ and what the international legal field looks like.

Prof. Lawrence’s chapter focuses on academic travel, a ubiquitous practice in the 'backstage' of transnational law. It argues that this practice impacts legal academia in a multitude of ways, breaking these down into three loose categories: (1) imagined geographies, (2) subjectivity, and (3) political economy. In each of these ways (and undoubtedly more), academic travel shapes academics’ understandings of ourselves and our world, redrawing transnational geographies, constructing transcultured practitioners, and entrenching academic class hierarchies.