Jana Norman

Jana Norman

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

School of Humanities

Faculty of Arts

Dr Jana Norman is pursuing her second doctoral degree at the University of Adelaide, in the Faculty of Arts. She holds a PhD from the University of Adelaide Law School ('19), a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Florida ('89) and a Masters of Divinity from Yale University ('93).

Dr Norman's research interests revolve around constructs of human identity, particularly as these are being challenged and reframed in the Western cultural context by posthumanism and new materialisms. Her thesis in legal theory explores reimagining the human legal subject as non-dualised, material human be-ing, embodied, embedded and entangled within the natureculture continuum. She proposes her construct, the Cosmic Person, as complement to other movements within legal theory related to rights of nature and conferring legal personhood on non-human entities, joining these efforts towards re-constituting the human-earth relationship within Western culture on more mutually sustaining terms. Dr Norman argues for the potential of emerging non-dualised philosophies to help establish new possibilities for decolonising inter-cultural dialogue about human impact on the planet.

Currently affiliated with the ARC Linkage Project, LGBTQ Migrations: Life Story Narratives in the South Australian GLAM Sector, Dr Norman is working on developing and demonstrating a non-dualised, self-reflexive approach to museum practices as framework for pursuing radical inclusivity.


  • Post-human critical theory
  • Post-human critical museology
  • Environmental Philosophies
  • Feminist Studies


  • Earth Jurisprudence
  • Legal Subjectivity
  • Critical Legal Studies
  • Feminist Legal Theory

My current project focuses on developing and demonstrating a non-dualised, self-reflexive approach to museum practices as framework for pursuing radical inclusivity. Museums not only exhibit objects; these institutions also display underlying cultural assumptions about power, knowledge and meaning. In western culture, these assumptions are characterised by dualism: the naturalised hierarchy of being arising from a perceived unassailable distinction between humans and nature, which subtends across an intersectional array of Othering (Plumwood 1993, Norman 2019). The pooling of nature and humans into the non-dualised ontological field described by agential realism (Barad 2007) surfaces new possibilities in the social imaginary (Code 2006) that can be explored productively under the rubric of queering the museum (Sullivan & Middleton 2020). This project is affiliated with the ARC Linkage Project, LGBTQ Migrations: Life Story Narratives in the South Australian GLAM Sector.

My first PhD focused on developing a post-human legal subjectivity for the human legal subject, as complement and contrast to the current trend towards establishing legal personhood for non-human entities. In The Posthuman (Polity Press, 2013), Rosi Braidotti places 'the critical post-human subject within an eco-philosophy of multiple belongings ... a relational subject constituted in and by multiplicity.' (49) I place my post-human, by which I mean ecocentric, legal subject within multiple belongings: universe, earth, and person. I call this super-thick legal subject the Cosmic Person and argue that such an embedded and embodied legal subject shifts the focus of law from the individual life project to the project of life itself.

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2021 Norman, J. (2021). An engraved invitation to consider human - earth relations: Thinking non-dualism through the mining-based art practice of Lee Harrop. Journal of Human Rights and the Environment, 12(1), 77-99.
    2021 Norman, J. (2021). Emerging perspectives on the freedom to choose: two pathways out of individualism. Agathon: A Journal of Ethics and Value in the Modern World.
    2018 Norman, J. (2018). Introducing the cosmic person: an ecocentric legal subject. Alternative Law Journal, 43(2), 126-130.
    2018 Norman, J. (2018). Public Nuisance Claims in Climate Change Litigation: How Useful Are They?. Property Law Review, 7(3), 195-202.
    2003 Norman, J. (2003). The Church in 2020: Reflections for the UCC Council for Theological Education. Prism: A Theological Forum for the United Church of Christ, 18(Spring).
  • Books

    Year Citation
    2021 Norman, J. (2021). Posthuman legal subjectivity: reimagining the human in the Anthropocene. Routledge.
    2002 Norman-Richardson, J. (2002). Push It! Young Adults Engage the Bible. Pilgrim Press.
  • Book Chapters

    Year Citation
    2008 Norman, J. (2008). Unity: Transformational Truth at Every Level. In D. Farmer (Ed.), The Pastor's Bible Study Volume Five (pp. 249-276).
  • Internet Publications

    Year Citation
    2013 Norman, J. (2013). Review of 'Grace at Table: Small spiritual solutions to large material problems, solving everything' by Donna Schaper.
  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2021 External Supervisor BUILDING BRIDGES- DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND RELIGION Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Mary Manickam
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2021 - ongoing External Supervisor Domestic violence, faith communities and secular law University of Adelaide Doctorate M Manickam

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