Women, Listening and Law Symposium

What Does it Take to be Heard? A Symposium exploring Women, Listening and Law

Hosted By The Legal Intersections Research Centre

3-4 November 2022, in-person and online

This Symposium calls for attention to the politics and practices of listening to women in legal contexts. Exploring, analysing, conceptualising and theorising listening is critical to our current political moment, as we witness a renaissance of feminist activism across a range of issues including women’s safety, economic security, political participation and representation, the care economy, workplace rights and gender-based violence.

Women’s voices are central to this activism, and frequently sought after in a range of legal contexts, including policy development, law reform, institutional inquiries, and truth and justice commissions. Yet women regularly report that their voices are not heardlistened to or valued, or that their testimony is used selectively to suit a particular agenda. The voices of LGBTQ+ survivors and advocates, Indigenous women, and women living with disabilities, are further marginalised or silenced completely in hierarchies of listening and attention.

We contend that listening lies between voice and a meaningful, effective response from those with the power to effect change. This Symposium will explore how women’s voices are elicited, received, and listened to, and the forms of response they receive. We particularly welcome cross-disciplinary approaches from related disciplines including philosophy, sociology, literary, cultural and media studies and politics.

Proposals for contributions of 15-20 minutes, which address the central question of how women’s voices are heard and listened to in legal contexts, may be emailed to Dr Sarah Ailwood (sarah_ailwood@uow.edu.au) and Associate Professor Cassandra Sharp (cassandra_sharp@uow.edu.au

The Symposium will be delivered in hybrid mode, enabling participation both in person and online.

Deadline for submissions extended to Friday 16 September 2022.




Keynote Speakers

  • Scientia Associate Professor Kyllie Cripps, School of Law, Society and Criminology, UNSW
  • Associate Professor Tanja Dreher, Scientia Fellow, School of the Arts and Media, UNSW 
  • Dr Tanya Serisier (Reader, Birkbeck College, University of London), Leverhulme Research Fellow, 2022

The Symposium will also feature a presentation from law reform advocates Saxon Mullins and Dr Rachael Burgin.

Special Issue - Social and Legal Studies

Selected papers from the Symposium will be published as a Special Issue of Social and Legal Studies co-edited by Dr Sarah Ailwood and Associate Professor Cassandra Sharp in 2023.