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On 1 October at 15:30 the ACIL organizes a lecture with Dr Rose Sydney Parfitt (University of Kent).

Event details of ACIL Lecture: Structure as Shadow-Box, Cut-Outs as Critique and Other Experiments with the History of International Law
Date 1 October 2018
Time 15:30 -17:00
Location Roeterseilandcampus - building A
Room Room 3.01

The speaker

Rose Parfitt is a Lecturer in Law at Kent Law School and a Senior Research Fellow at Melbourne Law School, where she leads leads a research project at MLS entitled International Law and the Legacies of Fascist Internationalism, funded by a Discovery Early Career Research Award from the Australian Research Council. Her research is focused, in particular, on the relationship between fascism, imperialism and international law; on the state and international personality; and on the politics of methodology and interdisciplinarity. Its overall aim is to further development of a radical historiography of international law. Her first book, The Process of International Legal Reproduction: Inequality, Historiography, Resistance, will be published by Cambridge University Press in late 2018.

Dr Parfitt received her doctorate in 2011 from the SOAS Law School (University of London). Between 2011 and 2013 she held the position of Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at the American University in Cairo. In 2013 she was awarded a three-year McKenzie Postdoctoral Research Fellowship by the University of Melbourne, which she undertook at Melbourne Law School’s Institute for International Law and the Humanities (IILAH).  She has been a member of the teaching faculty at the workshops run by Harvard Law School’s Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP) since 2011, and has taught at many other institutions across the world. These include the London School of Economics (UK), SOAS (UK), Los Andes University (Colombia), Icesi (Colombia), Helsinki Law School (Finland), the University of Salento (Italy) and Melbourne Law School (Australia).

Abstract: ‘Modular History and International Legal Reproduction.’

That all states are free and equal under international law is axiomatic to the discipline; yet even a brief look at the dynamics of the international order calls that axiom into question. Mobilising fresh archival research collected in Rome, Addis Ababa, Geneva, London and elsewhere, and drawing on a tradition of unorthodox Marxist and anti-colonial scholarship, Rose Parfitt will use this lecture to introduce some of the core arguments made in her forthcoming book, The Process of International Legal Reproduction: Inequality, Historiography, Resistance. The book develops a new type of legal historiography – referred to as ‘modular history’ – in order to make sense of the paradoxical relationship between sovereign equality and inequality. Juxtaposing a series of seemingly unrelated histories against one another, including a radical re-examination of the canonical story of Fascist Italy’s invasion of the Ethiopian Empire, the book exposes the inherently conditional nature of the process through which international law creates and disciplines new states and their subjects. The result is a strong critique of international law’s role in establishing and perpetuating inequalities of wealth, power and pleasure, accompanied by a call to attend more closely to the strategies of resistance that are generated in that process.


The event is open to the public. Please, register via

Registered attendees receive the speaker’s paper.


Roeterseilandcampus - building A

Room Room 3.01

Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
1018 WV Amsterdam