Laura Petersen is a PhD Candidate at the Institute for International Law and the Humanities at Melbourne Law School. Her research is cross-disciplinary, combining approaches to jurisprudence and legal theory with literature and visual and public art.
Laura’s PhD project joins together her interests in law, German studies, and aesthetics. It has the working title of “Making Good Again? Practices of aesthetics and justice after the Holocaust.” She reads examples from legal and literary writing, and public and visual art as objects which can help us understand the dynamics of attempting Wiedergutmachung / ‘restitution’ in Germany. She looks at the way writers/artists take on responsibilities regarding the aftermath of the Holocaust, articulating the modes of practice and reception undertaken by the texts. Laura’s thesis argues that these sites of taking responsibility and undertaking attempts at restitution after the Holocaust are fragmented, tentative and unresolved, crossing disciplinary, generational and territorial borders.
Laura returned to The University of Melbourne to undertake her PhD after completing a MA at the Freie Universität Berlin. Her thesis (in German) considered the role of metafictional narratives in Holocaust memory. She studied her LLB (1st Hons)/BA at The University of Melbourne and is an admitted lawyer in Australia.