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Law on Trial: : Bowie Love: Beyond Law

Venue: Birkbeck Main Building, Malet Street

Law on Trial 2023 will explore a variety of themes celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Birkbeck & 30 years of the Law School.

Event Title: Bowie Love: Beyond Law

Public Lecture 18.00 – 19.00 (includes audience Q&A)

Break 19.00 – 19.10

Book Launch/Conversation – Adam Gearey and Alex Sharpe 19.10 – 19.45

This year, the Law on Trial public lecture will be presented by Warwick University’s Professor Alex Sharpe. It will be followed by a launch of her latest book, David Bowie Outlaw: essays on difference, authenticity, ethics, art & love. The launch will involve a conversation about the book with Birkbeck’s Professor Adam Gearey.

The lecture will consider the idea of love as agape, a Greco-Christian term capturing the idea of a love for humanity. It will be argued it is this love, which privileges otherness over self, love over law, that cascades through Bowie’s work. In thinking through Bowie love, the lecture will draw on philosophers, Max Scheler and Alain Badiou, as well as fierce opponent of agape, Friedrich Nietzsche. The lecture will explore three love lessons apparent in Bowie’s work: love as letting go; love as humility; and love as posthuman. However, it will begin by explaining how Bowie subverted social norms which parade as necessity, and therefore, how Bowie love is inextricably tied up with freedom, yours and mine.

The lecture promises to be an audio-visual feast, accompanied by text, images and music from Bowie’s back catalogue.

The speakers:

Alex Sharpe

Alex Sharpe is a Professor of Law at the University of Warwick. Her research interests lie in the areas of social and legal theory; legal history; criminal justice; gender and sexuality; and law and popular culture. She has presented public lectures on ideas and David Bowie at cinemas, theatres and festivals in the UK, Australia and the USA (2016-2023). These include the Dublin David Bowie Festival (2020 and 2021). She has also participated in panel discussions on the importance of Bowie with, among others, Nicholas Pegg, John Cambridge, and legendary drummer in Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Woody Woodmansey.

For more information on Alex see:

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