May 6, 2015

Abraham Lincoln As an Attorney

Roger D. Billings, Jr., Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law, is publishing Abraham Lincoln and the Duty of Zealous Representation: The Matson Slave Case in the Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal. Here is the abstract.

“Abraham Lincoln, lawyer for the slave-owner, Robert Matson,” does fit the description of a Great Emancipator. The fact remains that he did work zealously for Matson. This article argues that the Matson case does not contradict Lincoln’s well-known reputation for hatred of slavery. Rather, in that case he acted in the tradition of John Adams who risked his reputation to represent the British soldiers who perpetrated the Boston Massacre.

The article first describes Lincoln’s participation in the Matson case, including an analysis of the habeas corpus hearing that preceded it. It continues with a description of Lincoln’s skills as a trial lawyer. It then discusses the antebellum ethical rule enunciated by Lord Brougham and other leading scholars who said that zealous advocacy was required for even the most odious clients. The article concludes that Lincoln was following this rule and that the rule is still valid today. It maintains that Lincoln was acting on the highest level of professionalism in the sole case where he represented a slave owner. 

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Cry, "Havoc"' and Let Slip the Dogs of War

Roger Kimball reviewing Barry Strauss's new book The Death of Caesar and unintended consequences here, for the New Criterion.



An Alternative View of the Author As Professional in Culture Production

Shun-Ling Chen, Academia Sinica Law Institution, is publishing Exposing Professionalism in United States Copyright Law: The Disenfranchised Lay Public in a Semiotic Democracy in volume 49 of the University of San Francisco Law Review (2015). Here is the abstract.
The article contributes to the contemporary critique of copyright law in two ways. First: existing literature focuses on the images of the author as a "romantic genius" or as a property owner. This paper points out that there is a third image of the author in copyright law – that of an "expert author". By exposing how professionalism is ingrained in copyright law's rhetoric of progress, quality work and justifiable economic compensation, the paper shows that the institution of copyright redistributes not merely material resources, but also symbolic resources in society (i.e. prestige, credibility, and power in cultural production). Secondly, the exposure of professionalism enables us to understand a tactic the incumbent copyright industry uses to discredit collaborative projects and to continue championing a restrictive copyright regime. Exposing professionalism helps to re-orient knowledge and power in culture production, and is therefore key to a robust semiotic democracy.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Cross posted at Media Law Prof Blog here.

Explaining Free Will Using Physics

May 5, 2015

Detecting Murder


Martin Edwards has published The Golden Age of Murder (Harper Collins, 2015), available both in hardcover and as a e-book.  Here's a description of the contents from the publisher's website.



A real-life detective story, investigating how Agatha Christie and colleagues in a mysterious literary club transformed crime fiction, writing books casting new light on unsolved murders whilst hiding clues to their authors’ darkest secrets.



 


Another interesting book about a group that does somewhat the same thing is Michael Capuzzo's The Murder Room (Gotham, 2011), about the Vidocq Society, named for Eugene Francois Vidocq, the criminal turned detective who founded the Surete, France's first expert official detective bureau.














The Sense of Injustice and the Origins of Terrorism

Michael Shermer on capuchin monkeys, scientists, the sense of injustice, and terrorism, here, for Scientific American.

2 Broke Girls and the Statutory Rape Question

On the May 4, 2015 episode of "2 Broke Girls," Nash's mother accuses Max of having sex with her "underaged" son, and nearly everyone in the episode, including Max and Caroline, seems to agree that Max has some kind of legal issue. However, there's only one problem with this analysis of the situation. As the mother admits, Nash is "just now 18." Even if Max and Nash began their affair when Nash was seventeen, under New York state law, their affair is perfectly legal. The authorities cannot arrest Max for statutory rape. Here are the relevant parts of the NY statute.

New York Penal Law

  § 130.35 Rape in the first degree.
    A  person is guilty of rape in the first degree when he or she engages
  in sexual intercourse with another person:
    1. By forcible compulsion; or
    2. Who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless;
  or
    3. Who is less than eleven years old; or
    4. Who is less than thirteen years old and the actor is eighteen years
  old or more.
    Rape in the first degree is a class B felony.


130.30 Rape in the second degree.

 A person is guilty of rape in the second degree when:
  1. being eighteen years old or more, he or she engages in sexual
intercourse with another person less than fifteen years old; or
  2. he or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is
incapable of consent by reason of being mentally disabled or mentally
incapacitated.
  It shall be an affirmative defense to the crime of rape in the second
degree as defined in subdivision one of this section that the defendant
was less than four years older than the victim at the time of the act.

S 130.25 Rape in the third degree.
  A person is guilty of rape in the third degree when:
  1. He or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is
incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being less than
seventeen years old;
  2. Being twenty-one years old or more, he or she engages in sexual
intercourse with another person less than seventeen years old; or
  3. He or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person without
such person`s consent where such lack of consent is by reason of some
factor other than incapacity to consent.
  Rape in the third degree is a class E felony.

Similarly, none of the provisions covering criminal sexual conduct apply either. We have no reason to believe that Nash does not consent to the relationship and he is of age (he was seventeen and is now eighteen). Nor can his mother object to his working as a model. He cannot void his modeling contract, since he seems to have entered into it as an adult (although it's not clear from the episode when he turned eighteen; if it was after he entered in the contract with the agency, he would need to enter into another contract).

Max and Caroline's continuing problem, however, is that they still don't have a talent agent's license; thus, they cannot represent Nash.

Copyright and Classics

Stephen M. Maurer, University of California, Berkeley, has published The Economics of Memory: How Copyright Decides Which Books Do (and Don’t) Become Classics. Here is the abstract.

Legal scholars usually analyze copyright as an incentive and sometime obstacle to creation. This encourages us to see publishers as middlemen who siphon off rents that would be better spent on authors. By comparison, recent social science research emphasizes that word-of-mouth markets are highly imperfect. This means that many deserving titles will never find readers unless some publisher takes the trouble to market them. But this second view is deeply subversive. After all, the need for publishers – and reward – does not end when a book is published. At least in principle, copyright should last forever.

The trouble with this argument is that it assumes what ought to be proven. How much effort do publishers really invest in finding forgotten titles? And does vigorous marketing attract more readers than high copyright prices deter? This article looks for answers in the history of 20th Century print publishers and today’s Print-on-Demand and eBook markets. We argue that, far from promoting dissemination, copyright frequently operates to suppress works that would otherwise erode the price of new titles. This pathology has gotten dramatically worse in the Age of eBooks. Meanwhile, public domain publishers are facing their own crisis. Mid-20th Century books had large up-front costs. This deterred copyists. By comparison, digital technologies make it easy for copyists to enter the market. This has suppressed profits to the point where many public domain publishers spend little or nothing on forgotten titles.

The article concludes by reviewing possible reforms. Partial solutions include clarifying antitrust law so that firms have more freedom to implement price discrimination; modifying copyright so that consumers can re-sell used eBooks; letting on-line markets limit the number of publishers allowed to post redundant public domain titles on their sites; and strengthening non-commercial institutions for finding, curating, and delivering quality titles to readers.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

May 4, 2015

Wondrous Things

A number of interesting law and magic related articles from the spring 2012 issue of Lapham's Quarterly.  Check out Lewis Lapham's Wonders Never Cease, on our interest in the wonderous and unusual,  Colin Dickey's Very Superstitious, on the persistence of the belief in sympathetic magic, and Spellbound and Gagged, on charms and spells.

Comically Speaking

Professor Steve Jamar (Howard Law School) suggests this comic strip (I think it's called a "tier" in the terminology of comics) lets us into the world of (at least some of) our students. How about this one? Where did the house go? Some law students will enthusiastically engage in the discussion, and some think the answer's obvious. Whether or not you're a lawyer, don't engage with a feline who is concentrating on treats. Cats generally do not negotiate over noms.  And here, a use for poets--figuring out what to capitalize (on) in a movie title.

More comical food for thought from website creator Randall Munroe Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Tip of the beret to Professor Jamar.

The United States As a "Settler State"

Natsu Taylor Saito, Georgia State University College of Law, is publishing Tales of Color and Colonialism: Racial Realism and Settler Colonial Theory in volume 11 of the Florida A & M University Law Review (2015). Here is the abstract.

More than a half-century after the Civil Rights Era, people of color remain disproportionately impoverished and incarcerated, excluded and vulnerable. Legal remedies rooted in the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection remain elusive. This article argues that the “racial realism” advocated by the late Professor Derrick Bell compels us to look critically at the purposes served by racial hierarchy. By stepping outside the master narrative’s depiction of the United States as a “nation of immigrants” with opportunity for all, we can recognize it as a settler state, much like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It could not exist without the occupation of indigenous lands, and those lands could not be rendered profitable without imported labor. Employing settler colonial theory, this article identifies some of the strategies of elimination and/or subordination that have been — and continue to be — used to subordinate Indigenous peoples, Afrodescendants, and migrants of color in order to further settler state goals and maintain a racialized status quo. It suggests that further analysis of these strategies will help us find common ground in the diverse experiences of those deemed Other within the United States, and that exercising our internationally recognized right to self-determination — a primary tool of decolonization — may prove more effective than formal equality in dismantling structural racism.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

A New Novel With an Assertive Lawyer-Protagonist

Heller McAlpine reviews Eliza Kennedy's first novel, I Take You, for NPR.  Says McAlpine in part,

Kennedy, a graduate of the University of Iowa and Harvard Law School, is a former litigator herself, and married to writer Joshua Ferris. Her snappy comedy of mis-manners delights in subverting expectations, from its indictment of monogamy as unnatural to its ardent defense of lawyering and casual sex. Lily unabashedly extols her job: "Because being a lawyer is great. It's mentally engaging and competitive and fun. Work is really the only time that I feel focused." She reconsiders: "That's not true. One other thing focuses me. But I don't get paid for it." She reconsiders again. "That's not true. I got paid for it once."
Read an excerpt of the book here.
More here from the publisher's website.

Call For Papers: Law, Literature and the Humanities Association of Australasia Conference, December 9-12, 2015: Extended Deadline

From Dr Honni van Rijswijk, University of Technology, Sydney, a call for papers for the Law, Literature and the Humanities Association of Australasia Conference, 9-12 December 2015

Please note the extended deadline both for stream proposals and for paper and panel proposals: June 30, 2015





Law, Literature and the Humanities Association of Australasia Conference

University of Technology Sydney Law School, Sydney, Australia
Dates: 9-12 December 2015
(with 9 December as a postgraduate day)

Complicity is a state of being complex or involved, and no matter where we are, or what we do, law is part of our entanglement in the world. This conference will explore law’s complex relations with culture, politics and capital. It will investigate law as an accomplice, as well as law’s role in shaping (and resisting) certain problematic moral, political and material positions.

The LLH Association of Australasia invites scholarly and creative research from academics and graduate students working at the intersection of law and the humanities, whether based in legal theory or in disciplines such as literature, art, film, music, history, continental philosophy, anthropology, psychoanalysis, visual culture, or cultural studies. Contributions may take a variety of forms from traditional academic papers to poster presentations, video, or other genres or media.

The conference invites consideration of the following questions:

• What does complicity reveal about law’s methods and modes, its affects and effects?

• How are law’s genres, narratives, processes and images complicit in the creation of particular imaginaries, materialities and practices of the everyday?

• How might we work within visual, narrative, creative and textual domains and devise strategies to reveal and counter law's complicities, and acknowledge our own?

We ask you to make your own interpretation of the theme ‘Complicities,’ and invite scholars from a range of disciplines to propose papers, complete panels and streams. Proposals should consist of a short abstract (max. 250 words). Please email your abstract to llh@uts.edu.au. Please include your name and the word Complicities in the subject line.

Deadline for Stream Proposals: 30 June, 2015

Deadline for Paper and Panel Proposals: 30 June 2015

For all conference information including on-line registration, check our web site at this address: http://llh.uts.edu.au

And for further information, contact the Co-convenors, Dr Honni van Rijswijk and Associate Professor Penny Crofts at llh@uts.edu.au

Peter Robinson On Ruth Rendell's Legacy

Peter Robinson, author of the Inspector Banks mystery novels, offers an appreciation of Ruth Rendell, here.

The Trial In the Headlines

Lawrence M. Friedman, Stanford Law School, has published The Big Trial: Law as Public Spectacle (University Press of Kansas, 2015). Here is a description of the contents from the publisher's website.


The trial of O. J. Simpson was a sensation, avidly followed by millions of people, but it was also, in a sense, nothing new. One hundred years earlier the Lizzie Borden trial had held the nation in thrall. The names (and the crimes) may change, but the appeal is enduring—and why this is, how it works, and what it means are what Lawrence Friedman investigates in The Big Trial.

What is it about these cases that captures the public imagination? Are the headline trials of our period different from those of a century or two ago? And what do we learn from them, about the nature of our society, past and present? To get a clearer picture, Friedman first identifies what certain headline trials have in common, then considers particular cases within each grouping. The political trial, for instance, embraces treason and spying, dissenters and radicals, and, to varying degrees, corruption and fraud. Celebrity trials involve the famous—whether victims, as in the case of Charles Manson, or defendants as disparate as Fatty Arbuckle and William Kennedy Smith—but certain high-profile cases, such as those Friedman categorizes as tabloid trials, can also create celebrities. The fascination of whodunit trials can be found in the mystery surrounding the case: Are we sure about O. J. Simpson? What about Claus von Bulow—tried, in another sensational case, for sending his wife into a coma.? An especially interesting type of case Friedman groups under the rubric worm in the bud. These are cases, such as that of Lizzie Borden, that seem to put society itself on trial; they raise fundamental social questions and often suggest hidden and secret pathologies. And finally, a small but important group of cases proceed from moral panic, the Salem witchcraft trials being the classic instance, though Friedman also considers recent examples.

Interpreting Magna Carta In the Courts


Robert M. Pallitto, Seton Hall University, has published In the Shadow of the Great Charter: Common Law Constitutionalism and the Magna Carta (University Press of Kansas, 2015). Here is a description of the contents from the publisher's website.

In the Supreme Court's 2008 ruling on whether Guantanamo detainees could be barred from U.S. courts, Justice Anthony Kennedy cited the U.S. Constitution, of course. But he also linked the decision to the Magna Carta. Why would a twenty-first century judge,even under the extraordinary circumstances of the "war on terror," invoke a document signed by an English king in the thirteenth century? To address this question, as Robert Pallitto does in this clarifying book, is to probe the history of modern civil liberties, and to explore the process by which judges decide individual rights cases. Pallitto's work, with its insight into competing ideas about interpreting the Constitution—"originalism" versus "constitutional common law"—is of critical importance to our understanding of the nation's founding document.

Of far more than symbolic significance, the Magna Carta exerts immediate practical influence on legal outcomes, as Justice Kennedy's opinion demonstrates. To explain this, Pallitto first goes into the Charter's origins, history, and nature, especially its explicit use of "the law of the land" to protect subjects' rights and liberty. The Magna Carta's legacy in the United States reaches back to the nation's founding, with even the colonial charters reflecting its influence. But it is in the Supreme Court's reference to the Charter, spanning the institution's full two-hundred years, that Pallitto finds the greatest impact—most frequently inthe principles of due process (in criminal proceedings) and habeas corpus, but in many other provisions as well. And the weight of this impact registers most deeply and clearly in the development of the constitutional common law—the theory that courts should and do interpret and expand on constitutional texts by reference to tradition and precedent rather than to the drafter's original intent.

May 2, 2015

Novelist Ruth Rendell Dies

Crime novelist Ruth Rendell has died, her publisher Hutchinson has announced. Ms. Rendell suffered a stroke in January and was admitted to the hospital.

Her most popular literary character is Inspector Wexford, who made his debut in the 1964 novel From Doon With Death. Her Inspector Wexford novels came to the small screen as The Ruth Rendell Mysteries (ITV, 1987-2000). Many of her other novels have also been adapted for film and tv. She also wrote thrillers under the name Barbara Vine. She was created a life peer in 1997. As a peer, she was particularly concerned about the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM).

Here 's a selected bibliography centered on Rendell's works and law.

Mieke Ball, Legal Lust:  Literary Litigations, 15 Australian Feminist Law Journal 1 (2001).

Xaveria F. J. Bianto, The Polly's Actions and Reactions in Her Being Ill-Treated in Ruth Rendell The Thief (sic) (Thesis, 2013).

Lisa Kadonaga, Strange Countries and Secret Worlds in Ruth Rendell's Crime Novels,
88 Geographical Review 413 (July 1998).

May 1, 2015

Law and Poetry: Some New Collections

From Pleasure Boat Studio, two new collections of poetry:

James Clarke's The Juried Heart ($17 U.S.; $20 Can.). Judge Clarke is retired from the bench of the Superior Court of Ontario. 

Lawyer Poets and That World We Call Law (James R. Elkins, ed.) ($22.50 U.S.).

Scandal In Fourteenth-Century England!

Paul Strohm, J.R.R. Tolkien Professor at Oxford University and the Garbedian Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University, introduces us to "whistleblower" poet and satirist John Gower (1330-1408) who wrote about fraud in the late 14th century English wool trade.  It was apparently endemic, as it infected businessmen and regulators alike. More here in Professor Strohm's entertaining piece for Lapham's Quarterly.



 MS Hunter 59 T-2-17 Portrait of Gower folio 6v John Gower Vox Clamantis Glasgow Univ Library www.lib.gla.ac.uk

The Age of Statutes

James R. Maxeiner, University of Baltimore School of Law, has published A Government of Laws Not of Precedents 1776-1876: The Google Challenge to Common Law Myth at 4 British Journal of American Legal Studies 141 (2015). Here is the abstract.

Conventional wisdom holds that the United States is a common law country of precedents where, until the 20th century (the “Age of Statutes”), statutes had little role. Digitization by Google and others of previously hard to find legal works of the 19th century challenges this common law myth. At the Centennial in 1876 Americans celebrated that “The great fact in the progress of American jurisprudence … is its tendency towards organic statute law and towards the systematizing of law; in other words, towards written constitutions and codification.” This article tests the claim of the Centennial Writers of 1876 and finds it credible.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

April 30, 2015

Looking At Asian American Culture and Racial Classification

Jennifer Ann Ho (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) has published Racial Ambiguity in Asian American Culture (Rutgers University Press, May 2015). Here is a description of the contents from the publisher's website.
The sheer diversity of the Asian American populace makes them an ambiguous racial category. Indeed, the 2010 U.S. Census lists twenty-four Asian-ethnic groups, lumping together under one heading people with dramatically different historical backgrounds and cultures. In Racial Ambiguity in Asian American Culture, Jennifer Ann Ho shines a light on the hybrid and indeterminate aspects of race, revealing ambiguity to be paramount to a more nuanced understanding both of race and of what it means to be Asian American. 
Exploring a variety of subjects and cultural artifacts, Ho reveals how Asian American subjects evince a deep racial ambiguity that unmoors the concept of race from any fixed or finite understanding. For example, the book examines the racial ambiguity of Japanese American nisei Yoshiko Nakamura deLeon, who during World War II underwent an abrupt transition from being an enemy alien to an assimilating American, via the Mixed Marriage Policy of 1942. It looks at the blogs of Korean, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese Americans who were adopted as children by white American families and have conflicted feelings about their “honorary white” status. And it discusses Tiger Woods, the most famous mixed-race Asian American, whose description of himself as “Cablinasian”—reflecting his background as Black, Asian, Caucasian, and Native American—perfectly captures the ambiguity of racial classifications.   
Race is an abstraction that we treat as concrete, a construct that reflects only our desires, fears, and anxieties. Jennifer Ho demonstrates in Racial Ambiguity in Asian American Culture that seeing race as ambiguous puts us one step closer to a potential antidote to racism. 

April 29, 2015

Frolics and Detours

The Hollywood Reporter covers a unique battle of the bands: with lawyer-musicians here.  This year, the event, called Law Rocks, featured groups such as Privileged Communication (Perkins Coie), and Run DLA (DLA Piper), Attractive Nuisance (Greines Martin), and Big Dicta (Doll Amir Eley). Money raised at the event goes to charity.

Data Collection, Data Breaches, and Star Wars

Dan Solove (George Washington Law, Teach Privacy) points out that the Empire might have defeated the Rebel Alliance had it mastered data collection. Think about the data breaches in Star Wars alone. Dr. Solove also notes something that has always bothered me: Ben Kenobi is not exactly a great alias when your actual name is Obi Wan Kenobi ("this is not the Jedi Warrior named Kenobi you're looking for. Move along, move along.")

Now, Luke's sister Leia was, I believe, living under an alias: she had been adopted after her mother died in childbirth. So it's possible that the Empire (and Darth Vader) did not know who she was at the beginning of Star Wars, especially if she had a new birth certifcate and the government of Alderaan sealed her adoption records. However, Vader certainly knew who Luke was, since he lived with his uncle (Vader's brother). At any rate, an entertaining look at information privacy, data collection, and Big Data in a Very Big Film Franchise.

The Publishing History of "The Adventure of the Norwood Builder"

Ross E. Davies, George Mason University School of Law; The Green Bag, has published The Regulatory Adventure of the Two Norwood Builders: Sherlock Holmes Crosses Paths with Congress, the President, the Courts, and the Administrative State, in the Press at 2015 Green Bag Almanac 567.
Here is the abstract.

It was almost certainly some combination of law on the books and law in the works that inspired the New York World to publish its 1911 version of the Sherlock Holmes story, “The Adventure of the Norwood Builder,” in not one, but two, formats. (In its Sunday editions from April 9 to July 2, 1911, the World republished the thirteen stories from The Return of Sherlock Holmes in their original sequence, with “Norwood Builder” appearing on April 16.) The law on the books was a series of interpretations of the Mail Classification Act of 1879 by the U.S. Post Office Department (in 1901) and the U.S. Supreme Court (in 1904). The law in the works was the ongoing congressional and presidential interest in tinkering with postal service in general and second-class mail rates in particular — an interest that manifested itself in 1911 in the form of hearings conducted in New York City by a special federal Postal Commission headed by Justice Charles Evans Hughes. The results were: (a) a colorful, relatively small, booklet version of “Norwood Builder” (and similar booklets of the other stories in the series) for in-town readers of the World, and (b) black-and-white, relatively large, tabloid versions of the same stories for out-of-town subscribers to the newspaper. Unfortunately, decisions by several of America’s great libraries to discard their hard copies of the World have left us (at least for now) with the rather plain tabloid version of “Norwood Builder,” but not the colorful booklet version, to share with readers of the Green Bag Almanac & Reader.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

April 28, 2015

Motherhood, the "Fallen Woman," and Popular Culture

Janet Mason Ellerby is publishing Embroidering the Scarlet A: Unwed Mothers and Illegitimate Children in American Fiction and Film (University of Michigan, 2015). Here's a description of the contents from the publisher's website.

Embroidering the Scarlet A traces the evolution of the “fallen woman” from the earliest novels to recent representations in fiction and film, including The Scarlet LetterThe Sound and the FuryThe Color Purple, and Love Medicine, and the films Juno and Mother and Child. Interweaving her own experience as a pregnant teen forced to surrender her daughter and pledge secrecy for decades, Ellerby interrogates “out-of-wedlock” motherhood, mapping the ways archetypal scarlet women and their children have been exiled as social pariahs, pardoned as blameless pawns, and transformed into empowered women. Drawing on narrative, feminist, and autobiographical theory, the book examines the ways that the texts have affirmed, subverted, or challenged dominant thinking and the prevailing moral standards as they have shifted over time. Using her own life experience and her uniquely informed perspective, Ellerby assesses the effect these stories have on the lives of real women and children. By inhabiting the space where ideology meets narrative, Ellerby questions the constricting historical, cultural, and social parameters of female sexuality and permissible maternity.

As a feminist cultural critique, a moving autobiographical journey, and an historical investigation that addresses both fiction and film, Embroidering the Scarlet A will appeal to students and scholars of literature, history, sociology, psychology, women’s and gender studies, and film studies. The book will also interest general readers, as it relates the experience of surrendering a child to adoption at a time when birthmothers were still exiled, birth records were locked away, and secrecy was still mandatory. It will also appeal to those concerned with adoption or the cultural shifts that have changed our thinking about illegitimacy.
Embroidering the Scarlet A traces the evolution of the “fallen woman” from the earliest novels to recent representations in fiction and film, including The Scarlet Letter, The Sound and the Fury, The Color Purple, and Love Medicine, and the films Juno and Mother and Child. Interweaving her own experience as a pregnant teen forced to surrender her daughter and pledge secrecy for decades, Ellerby interrogates “out-of-wedlock” motherhood, mapping the ways archetypal scarlet women and their children have been exiled as social pariahs, pardoned as blameless pawns, and transformed into empowered women. Drawing on narrative, feminist, and autobiographical theory, the book examines the ways that the texts have affirmed, subverted, or challenged dominant thinking and the prevailing moral standards as they have shifted over time. Using her own life experience and her uniquely informed perspective, Ellerby assesses the effect these stories have on the lives of real women and children. By inhabiting the space where ideology meets narrative, Ellerby questions the constricting historical, cultural, and social parameters of female sexuality and permissible maternity.

As a feminist cultural critique, a moving autobiographical journey, and an historical investigation that addresses both fiction and film, Embroidering the Scarlet A will appeal to students and scholars of literature, history, sociology, psychology, women’s and gender studies, and film studies. The book will also interest general readers, as it relates the experience of surrendering a child to adoption at a time when birthmothers were still exiled, birth records were locked away, and secrecy was still mandatory. It will also appeal to those concerned with adoption or the cultural shifts that have changed our thinking about illegitimacy.

“Janet Ellerby brings an unusual and highly valuable voice to the field of American literary studies as she surveys representations of ‘fallen’women, birthmothers, and their illegitimate children in American fiction and film, as seen from a birthmother’s point of view. The author’s personal approach–her identification with the characters and their situations–makes for lively, fascinating, and distinctive readings…. a significant, pathbreaking book.”
— Margaret Homans, Yale University, author of The Imprint of Another Life: Adoption Narratives and Human Possibility

Illustration : “Hester Prynne & Pearl before the stocks” by Mary Hallock Foote from The Scarlet Letter, James R. Osgood & Co, 1878.
Janet Mason Ellerby is Professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

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Keywords

  • Unwed mother, birthmother, Birth Mother, Illegitimacy, The Scarlet Letter, Adoption, American literature, Feminist critique, American culture, American film, Fallen woman, Out-of-wedlock motherhood

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Embroidering the Scarlet A traces the evolution of the “fallen woman” from the earliest novels to recent representations in fiction and film, including The Scarlet Letter, The Sound and the Fury, The Color Purple, and Love Medicine, and the films Juno and Mother and Child. Interweaving her own experience as a pregnant teen forced to surrender her daughter and pledge secrecy for decades, Ellerby interrogates “out-of-wedlock” motherhood, mapping the ways archetypal scarlet women and their children have been exiled as social pariahs, pardoned as blameless pawns, and transformed into empowered women. Drawing on narrative, feminist, and autobiographical theory, the book examines the ways that the texts have affirmed, subverted, or challenged dominant thinking and the prevailing moral standards as they have shifted over time. Using her own life experience and her uniquely informed perspective, Ellerby assesses the effect these stories have on the lives of real women and children. By inhabiting the space where ideology meets narrative, Ellerby questions the constricting historical, cultural, and social parameters of female sexuality and permissible maternity.

As a feminist cultural critique, a moving autobiographical journey, and an historical investigation that addresses both fiction and film, Embroidering the Scarlet A will appeal to students and scholars of literature, history, sociology, psychology, women’s and gender studies, and film studies. The book will also interest general readers, as it relates the experience of surrendering a child to adoption at a time when birthmothers were still exiled, birth records were locked away, and secrecy was still mandatory. It will also appeal to those concerned with adoption or the cultural shifts that have changed our thinking about illegitimacy.

“Janet Ellerby brings an unusual and highly valuable voice to the field of American literary studies as she surveys representations of ‘fallen’women, birthmothers, and their illegitimate children in American fiction and film, as seen from a birthmother’s point of view. The author’s personal approach–her identification with the characters and their situations–makes for lively, fascinating, and distinctive readings…. a significant, pathbreaking book.”
— Margaret Homans, Yale University, author of The Imprint of Another Life: Adoption Narratives and Human Possibility

Illustration : “Hester Prynne & Pearl before the stocks” by Mary Hallock Foote from The Scarlet Letter, James R. Osgood & Co, 1878.
Janet Mason Ellerby is Professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 290pp.

Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2015
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-07263-7

Add Hardcover of 'Embroidering the Scarlet A' to Cart
  • $85.00 U.S.

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  • 2015
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Keywords

  • Unwed mother, birthmother, Birth Mother, Illegitimacy, The Scarlet Letter, Adoption, American literature, Feminist critique, American culture, American film, Fallen woman, Out-of-wedlock motherhood

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- See more at: http://www.press.umich.edu/6944967/embroidering_the_scarlet_a#sthash.z922XZdh.dpuf

Embroidering the Scarlet A

Unwed Mothers and Illegitimate Children in American Fiction and Film
Janet Mason Ellerby
The first book-length study of changing cultural representations of unwed mothers in American fiction and film, from The Scarlet Letter to Juno

Description

Embroidering the Scarlet A traces the evolution of the “fallen woman” from the earliest novels to recent representations in fiction and film, including The Scarlet Letter, The Sound and the Fury, The Color Purple, and Love Medicine, and the films Juno and Mother and Child. Interweaving her own experience as a pregnant teen forced to surrender her daughter and pledge secrecy for decades, Ellerby interrogates “out-of-wedlock” motherhood, mapping the ways archetypal scarlet women and their children have been exiled as social pariahs, pardoned as blameless pawns, and transformed into empowered women. Drawing on narrative, feminist, and autobiographical theory, the book examines the ways that the texts have affirmed, subverted, or challenged dominant thinking and the prevailing moral standards as they have shifted over time. Using her own life experience and her uniquely informed perspective, Ellerby assesses the effect these stories have on the lives of real women and children. By inhabiting the space where ideology meets narrative, Ellerby questions the constricting historical, cultural, and social parameters of female sexuality and permissible maternity.

As a feminist cultural critique, a moving autobiographical journey, and an historical investigation that addresses both fiction and film, Embroidering the Scarlet A will appeal to students and scholars of literature, history, sociology, psychology, women’s and gender studies, and film studies. The book will also interest general readers, as it relates the experience of surrendering a child to adoption at a time when birthmothers were still exiled, birth records were locked away, and secrecy was still mandatory. It will also appeal to those concerned with adoption or the cultural shifts that have changed our thinking about illegitimacy.

“Janet Ellerby brings an unusual and highly valuable voice to the field of American literary studies as she surveys representations of ‘fallen’women, birthmothers, and their illegitimate children in American fiction and film, as seen from a birthmother’s point of view. The author’s personal approach–her identification with the characters and their situations–makes for lively, fascinating, and distinctive readings…. a significant, pathbreaking book.”
— Margaret Homans, Yale University, author of The Imprint of Another Life: Adoption Narratives and Human Possibility
- See more at: http://www.press.umich.edu/6944967/embroidering_the_scarlet_a#sthash.z922XZdh.dpuf

Embroidering the Scarlet A

Unwed Mothers and Illegitimate Children in American Fiction and Film
Janet Mason Ellerby
The first book-length study of changing cultural representations of unwed mothers in American fiction and film, from The Scarlet Letter to Juno

Description

Embroidering the Scarlet A traces the evolution of the “fallen woman” from the earliest novels to recent representations in fiction and film, including The Scarlet Letter, The Sound and the Fury, The Color Purple, and Love Medicine, and the films Juno and Mother and Child. Interweaving her own experience as a pregnant teen forced to surrender her daughter and pledge secrecy for decades, Ellerby interrogates “out-of-wedlock” motherhood, mapping the ways archetypal scarlet women and their children have been exiled as social pariahs, pardoned as blameless pawns, and transformed into empowered women. Drawing on narrative, feminist, and autobiographical theory, the book examines the ways that the texts have affirmed, subverted, or challenged dominant thinking and the prevailing moral standards as they have shifted over time. Using her own life experience and her uniquely informed perspective, Ellerby assesses the effect these stories have on the lives of real women and children. By inhabiting the space where ideology meets narrative, Ellerby questions the constricting historical, cultural, and social parameters of female sexuality and permissible maternity.

As a feminist cultural critique, a moving autobiographical journey, and an historical investigation that addresses both fiction and film, Embroidering the Scarlet A will appeal to students and scholars of literature, history, sociology, psychology, women’s and gender studies, and film studies. The book will also interest general readers, as it relates the experience of surrendering a child to adoption at a time when birthmothers were still exiled, birth records were locked away, and secrecy was still mandatory. It will also appeal to those concerned with adoption or the cultural shifts that have changed our thinking about illegitimacy.

“Janet Ellerby brings an unusual and highly valuable voice to the field of American literary studies as she surveys representations of ‘fallen’women, birthmothers, and their illegitimate children in American fiction and film, as seen from a birthmother’s point of view. The author’s personal approach–her identification with the characters and their situations–makes for lively, fascinating, and distinctive readings…. a significant, pathbreaking book.”
— Margaret Homans, Yale University, author of The Imprint of Another Life: Adoption Narratives and Human Possibility
- See more at: http://www.press.umich.edu/6944967/embroidering_the_scarlet_a#sthash.z922XZdh.dpuf

Embroidering the Scarlet A

Unwed Mothers and Illegitimate Children in American Fiction and Film
Janet Mason Ellerby
The first book-length study of changing cultural representations of unwed mothers in American fiction and film, from The Scarlet Letter to Juno

Description

Embroidering the Scarlet A traces the evolution of the “fallen woman” from the earliest novels to recent representations in fiction and film, including The Scarlet Letter, The Sound and the Fury, The Color Purple, and Love Medicine, and the films Juno and Mother and Child. Interweaving her own experience as a pregnant teen forced to surrender her daughter and pledge secrecy for decades, Ellerby interrogates “out-of-wedlock” motherhood, mapping the ways archetypal scarlet women and their children have been exiled as social pariahs, pardoned as blameless pawns, and transformed into empowered women. Drawing on narrative, feminist, and autobiographical theory, the book examines the ways that the texts have affirmed, subverted, or challenged dominant thinking and the prevailing moral standards as they have shifted over time. Using her own life experience and her uniquely informed perspective, Ellerby assesses the effect these stories have on the lives of real women and children. By inhabiting the space where ideology meets narrative, Ellerby questions the constricting historical, cultural, and social parameters of female sexuality and permissible maternity.

As a feminist cultural critique, a moving autobiographical journey, and an historical investigation that addresses both fiction and film, Embroidering the Scarlet A will appeal to students and scholars of literature, history, sociology, psychology, women’s and gender studies, and film studies. The book will also interest general readers, as it relates the experience of surrendering a child to adoption at a time when birthmothers were still exiled, birth records were locked away, and secrecy was still mandatory. It will also appeal to those concerned with adoption or the cultural shifts that have changed our thinking about illegitimacy.

“Janet Ellerby brings an unusual and highly valuable voice to the field of American literary studies as she surveys representations of ‘fallen’women, birthmothers, and their illegitimate children in American fiction and film, as seen from a birthmother’s point of view. The author’s personal approach–her identification with the characters and their situations–makes for lively, fascinating, and distinctive readings…. a significant, pathbreaking book.”
— Margaret Homans, Yale University, author of The Imprint of Another Life: Adoption Narratives and Human Possibility
- See more at: http://www.press.umich.edu/6944967/embroidering_the_scarlet_a#sthash.z922XZdh.dpuf

Embroidering the Scarlet A

Unwed Mothers and Illegitimate Children in American Fiction and Film
Janet Mason Ellerby
- See more at: http://www.press.umich.edu/6944967/embroidering_the_scarlet_a#sthash.z922XZdh.dpuf

Embroidering the Scarlet A

Unwed Mothers and Illegitimate Children in American Fiction and Film
Janet Mason Ellerby
- See more at: http://www.press.umich.edu/6944967/embroidering_the_scarlet_a#sthash.z922XZdh.dpuf

A New Issue of Polemos (2015, Issue 1)

Here is the Table of Contents for Issue 1, 2015, of the journal Polemos (deGruyter). The subject is Shakespeare and the Law.



Pólemos 2015 | Volume 9 | Issue 1
Contents
Focus
Daniela Carpi and Jeanne Gaakeer:
Focus: Shakespeare and the Law 1

François Ost:
Weak Kings and Perverted Symbolism. How Shakespeare Treats the
Doctrine of the King’s Two Bodies 7

Gary Watt:
Free Will and Folly in As You Like It 15

Daniela Carpi:
Romeo and Juliet: The Importance of a Name 37

Andrew J. Majeske:
Unreliable Sources for Law: Dying Declarations in Shakespeare’s King John,
Othello & King Lear 51

Sidia Fiorato:
Disruptions and Negotiations of Identity in Act 1 of Shakespeare’s
Othello 61

Research
John Casey Gooch:
Illegal Search and Seizure, Due Process, and the Rights of the Accused:
The Voices of Power in the Rhetoric of Los Angeles Police Chief
William H. Parker 83

Jeanne Gaakeer:
The Judge’s Voice: Literary and Legal Emblemata 99

Filippo Sgubbi:
Power and the Trial: The Tension Between Voices and Silence 125

Heinz Antor:
Voice, Authority and the Law in Peter Carey’s True History of the Kelly
Gang 131

Chiara Battisti:
Silence, Power and Suicide in Michael Cunningham’s The Hours 157

Paola Carbone and Giuseppe Rossi:
Celsus and Chatwin go Walkabout 175

François Ost and Isabelle Ost:
Representing the Unrepresentable: Making Law Anyway? 199

Book Reviews

Chiara Battisti:
Gary Watt. Dress, Law and Naked Truth. A Cultural Study of Fashion
and Form 221

Maria Pina Fersini:
José Calvo González. Direito curvo 233