Visiting Scholar, United States Studies Centre
Dr Diana Shahinyan is a Visiting Scholar at the United States Studies Centre. She holds a PhD and a Bachelor of Arts - English (Honours, Class 1) from the University of Sydney and a Juris Doctor from the University of New South Wales.
Diana's research looks to the nexus of law and the humanities - in particular, literature, film, media and culture. Her current book project probes the uneasy and increasingly complicated relationship between sex, desire, and contract law. It situates the increasing prevalence of sexual consent contracts as they appear in the popular imaginary - in particular, on US college campuses in the wake of the Columbia University "mattress scandal," and in film, art and literature - within the context of the global #metoo movement, and a rapidly evolving, and as yet highly unstable, set of twenty-first century feminist demands and terms. By looking at transformations in law and culture, from the ways in which contractual instruments have always governed sexual couplings (for example, the marriage contract, and contracts in relation to various forms of sex work), to the current climate in which consent - once the purview of criminal law - has also taken on a decidedly civil law aspect, this project diagnoses and seeks solutions to the jurisprudential quandaries at the heart of the contemporary feminist turn to contract.
Diana has articles appearing in the Journal of Victorian Culture and a book chapter in Law and Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2017).
“That Which Mere Modernity Cannot Kill: The Evolution of Legal Professionalism in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.” Journal of Victorian Culture 23 no.1 (2018): 119-136.
“Representing Lawyers in Contemporary American Literature: The Case of O.J. Simpson” In Kieran Dolin (ed.), Law and Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.