Following Feeling: The Emotional Politics of LGBTI Rights and Law Reform

The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law presents:

Dr Senthorun Raj, Keele University

Details of Past Event:

Date: Wednesday, 11 March 2020
6pm to 7pm
Venue: Monash University Law Chambers, 555 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
RSVP: Register here

Public lecture - All welcome

Why do courts turn to love when dealing with relationship recognition? What can anger achieve in law reform designed to address discrimination? How does disgust regulate sexual practices? Movements for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) justice and equality generate emotion, particularly among the scholars, activists, lawyers, and judges who participate in them. Drawing on his new book, Feeling Queer Jurisprudence (Routledge, 2020), Dr Senthorun Raj will speak about why we need to take emotion seriously in our pursuits of LGBTI rights. Emotions not only emerge through passionate activists or parties in litigation, but also become products of laws and policies that seek to address the injuries, intimacies, and identities of LGBTI people. Emotion is not “queer” to the law — it is central to its existence. Scholars, activists, lawyers, and judges need to focus on feelings if they are to better understand, and improve upon, legal interventions aimed at progressing the human rights of LGBTI people.


BA (Hons), LLB (Hons), PhD (Sydney), PG Cert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Keele)

Senthorun Raj completed a BA majoring in Gender and Cultural Studies in 2010 and LLB at the University of Sydney in 2012. He graduated with First Class Honours in both degrees and his Honours thesis in Gender Studies was awarded the University Medal and the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives Thesis Prize. He submitted his PhD at Sydney Law School in 2016.

Sen joined Keele Law School in 2017 as a member of staff. He is currently a member of the Meridian 180, Gender, Sexuality, and Law, and Law and Emotions international research clusters. Prior to that, Sen was a Scholar in Residence at New York University’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice and he taught at Sydney Law School and is a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.

Sen has served on the boards of Amnesty International Australia and ACON Health. He is also an Advisory Board Member of the gender, sexuality, and diversity studies journal, Writing from Below.

Sen currently serves on the board of Amnesty International UK and is the chair of Black Gold Arts.

Sen has published numerous essays and commentaries on his advocacy and research work, including pieces in The Guardian, Sydney’s Child, Right Now, and The Sydney Morning Herald.