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Speakers announced for Lex Non Scripta, Ars Non Scripta: Law, Justice, and Improvisation conference

Scholar performers Nichole Mitchell and John Oswald will join ICASP researchers Ingrid Monson and Desmond Manderson as keynote speakers at Lex Non Scripta, Ars Non Scripta: Law, Justice, and Improvisation, an international, interdisciplinary conference to be held June 19 and 20 at McGill University, Montreal.

Dr. Monson, Quincy Jones Professor in the Music Department and African and African-American Studies Department at Harvard University, is a research collaborator with the ICASP project; Dr. Manderson, Canada Research Chair in Law and Discourse at McGill University, is the Improvisation and Social Policy coordinator and a co-investigator.

The conference accepts the tenet that improvisation is an important art form and an artistic and cultural phenomenon – a manner of speaking, a way of being, and a realm of experience. For theorists, improvisation as a practice and as an idea raises questions not just about how law comes to describe, judge, and regulate improvisation, but the converse – how improvisation might describe, judge, and regulate the law. What does or should law tell us about improvisation? What does or should improvisation tell us about law?

Other ICASP participants who will speak at the conference are Benjamin Authers, Martin Eckart, and Joe Sorbara, University of Guelph, Jesse Stewart, Carleton University, and post-doctoral fellows Sara Ramshaw, Université de Montréal, and Rob Wallace, University of Guelph.

Simon Rose, Glasgow Caledonian University, who was a participant in ICASP’s first Summer Institute, will speak, as will: Daniel Albahary, University of Ottawa; Ruth M. Buchanan, Osgoode Hall Law School; Joshua Chamberlain, University of the West Indies; Charity Chan, Princeton University; Owen Chapman, Concordia University; Wendy Adams, Karen Crawley, Palmira Granados Moreno, and Salman Rana, McGill University; Andrew Eckart, University of Windsor; Gustavo Alberto Gil, University of Western Ontario; Valerio Nitrato Izzo, University of Naples; Peter Johnston, York University; Julie Lassonde, Toronto; Giuseppe Mazziotti, University of Copenhagen; Eugene McNamee, University of Ulster; Clare Moss-Couturié, École des Hautes; Jonathan A. Neufeld, Vanderbilt University, Tracey Nicholls, Lewis University, Chris Tonelli, University of California; and, Catherine Tsatoumas, University of Ottawa.

The conference is hosted under the auspices of the Improvisation, Community and Social Practice project and is supported by the Suoni per il Popolo Music Festival, the McGill Centre for Intellectual Property Policy ( and the Faculty of Law at McGill. Please address all inquiries to or

The full program can be found at:

Musical improvisation is a crucial model for political, cultural, and ethical dialogue and action.

– Ajay Heble