January 24, 2020

An Invitation To the Law and the Human Network Launch, February 5, 2020 @KentLawSchool @LawandtheHuman1

From Professor Maria Drakopoulou, Co Director University of Kent Centre for Critical Thought, Kent Law School:

You are warmly invited to the launch of the Law and the Human network, an AHRC-funded network based at Kent Law School, UK.

The launch will take place from 5pm – 7.30pm on Wednesday 05 February, in Copland 1.109, University of Westminster115 New Cavendish Street, London, UK, W1W 6UW.

Join us for a drink's reception followed by a roundtable discussion on the aims of the network; on the figure of the human in law, legal thought and practice, and on the role of law in figuring the human in the twenty-first century.

We are delighted to announce the participation of:

Maria Drakopoulou (Kent Law School)
Adam Gearey (Birkbeck Law School)
Werner Gephart (University of Bonn)
Peter Goodrich (Cardozo Law School)

Shaun McVeigh (Melbourne Law School / Kent Law School)
Gregor Noll (Law, University of Gothenburg)
Connal Parsley (Kent Law School)
Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos (Law, Westminster)
Alain Pottage (Kent Law School)
Tiziana Terranova (University of Naples)
Patricia Williams (Columbia Law School)

We hope you will be able to join us! Attendance is free and all are welcome.

Please RSVP to:


January 23, 2020

Call For Applications: Vising Professor, 2020-2021 Academic Year, LSU Law Center

LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY, PAUL M. HEBERT LAW CENTER seeks to hire a visiting professor for the 2020-21 academic year or for Fall 2020 and/or Spring 2021 in the following areas: federal courts, constitutional law, civil procedure, and evidence. Applicants should have a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school, superior academic credentials, and a commitment to outstanding teaching.

The Paul M. Hebert Law Center of  LSU is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access Employer and is committed to building a culturally diverse faculty. We particularly welcome and encourage
applications from female and minority candidates.

The Faculty Appointments Committee will begin reviewing applications on February 7, 2020 and will consider applications thereafter on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Applications should include a letter of application, resume, references, and teaching evaluations (if available) to:

Melissa T. Lonegrass and Christina M. Sautter
Co-Chairs, Faculty Appointments Committee

c/o Pam Hancock (or by email to phancock@lsu.edu)

Paul M. Hebert Law Center
Louisiana State University
1 East Campus Drive
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803-0106

Lloyd on How To Do Things With Signs: Semiotics in Legal Theory, Practice, and Education @LloydEsq

Harold Anthony Lloyd, Wake Forest University School of Law, has published How To Do Things With Signs: Semiotics in Legal Theory, Practice, and Education. Here is the abstract.
Discussing federal statutes, Justice Scalia tells us that “[t]he stark reality is that the only thing that one can say for sure was agreed to by both houses and the president (on signing the bill) is the text of the statute. The rest is legal fiction." How should we take this claim? If we take "text" to mean the printed text, that text without more is just a series of marks. If instead we take "text" (as we must) to refer to something off the page such as the "meaning" of the series of marks at issue, what is that meaning and how do we know that all the legislators "agreed" on that "meaning"? In seeking answers here, we necessarily delve into semiotics (i.e., the “general theory of signs”) by noting that meaningful ink marks ("signifiers) signify a meaning beyond themselves (the "signified.") Thus, understanding how signs function is integral to lawyers' textual and linguistic analysis. Additionally, as this article demonstrates, legal analysis and rhetoric are much impoverished if lawyers ignore nonverbal signs such as icons, indices, and nonverbal symbols. In providing a broad overview of semiotics for lawyers, this article thus (1) begins with a general definition of signs and the related notion of intentionality. It then turns to, among other things, (2) the structure and concomitants of signs in more detail (including the signifier and the signified), (3) the possible correlations of the signifier and the signified that generate signs of interest to lawyers such as the index, the icon, and the symbol; (5) the expansion of legal rhetoric through use of the index, the icon, and the non-verbal as well as the verbal symbol, (6) the nature of various semiotic acts in public and private law (including assertives, commissives, directives, and verdictives); (7) the interpretation and construction of semiotic acts (including contracts as commissives and legislation as directives); (8) the role of speaker or reader meaning in the interpretation and construction of semiotic acts; (9) the semiotics of meaning, time, and the fixation of meaning debate; (10) the impact of signifier drift; (11) the distinction between sense and understanding; and (12) some brief reflections on semiotics and the First Amendment. This article also provides an Appendix of further terms and concepts useful to lawyers in their explorations of semiotics.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

January 22, 2020

Likhovski on A Colonial Legal Laboratory? Jurisprudential Innovation in the British Empire

Assaf Likhovski, Tel Aviv University, Buchmann Faculty of Law, is publishing A Colonial Legal Laboratory? Jurisprudential Innovation in the British Empire in the American Journal of Comparative Law. Here is the abstract.
In this article, I examine jurisprudence textbooks and related works written in the British Empire in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, focusing mostly on British India, but also discussing Mandatory Palestine and British-ruled Egypt. Some of the jurisprudential works from the British Empire were merely summaries of the leading English books. However, there were also more original works, characterized by several unique features. First, some of the works produced in the Empire were more influenced by Continental and American legal theories than the equivalent English textbooks (for example, by early-20th-century French and American sociological approaches to law). Second, the need to mention non-English legal systems in these works sometimes led their authors to question key English notions about the nature and development of law (critiquing, for example, Henry Maine’s description of Hindu law). Finally, some nationalist local legal scholars also created a unique genre of jurisprudential works: texts that used western jurisprudential theories to describe the main features of non-western legal systems, such as Hindu, Jewish and Islamic law. These unique aspects of colonial jurisprudential works illustrate a broader phenomenon: the fact that legal scholars in imperial peripheries were not always simply passive receivers of ideas produced at the center of empires, but in some cases created works containing interesting jurisprudential insights. The notion that the British Empire was a “legal laboratory” in which legal scholars experimented with new ideas has already been discussed in the literature, largely based on examples taken from the fields of legislation (the codification of English law in 19th-century India), or forensic science. This article explores the extent to which the British Empire was also a site of jurisprudential innovation.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Boyd on Imprisonment for Debt in Colonial Victoria, 1857-90 @jbjodieboyd

Jodie Boyd, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, has published 'Contrary to the Spirit of the Age': Imprisonment for Debt in Colonial Victoria, 1857–90 at 42 Melbourne University Law Review 737 (2019). Here is the abstract.
The reintroduction in 1857 of imprisonment for debt in colonial Victoria flew in the face of international momentum for its abolition. In its criminalisation of debt and poverty, the Fellows Act 1857 (Vic) (21 Vict, No 29) also defied the rapid advancement of democratic and egalitarian principles in the fledgling colony. Frequently referred to as ‘gross class legislation’, the law was used unabashedly to target poor small debtors, leaving ‘mercantile men’ with significant debt untroubled by the prospect of a debtors’ gaol. Despite consistent and broad opposition to the Fellows Act, its advocates resisted repeated attempts to abolish or meaningfully amend it. It is argued here that the law, and its survival against the ‘spirit of the age’, can be understood as part of a broader story of conservative resistance to the democratic innovations that threatened the power of the Victorian mercantilist establishment.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

January 21, 2020

Call For Applications: Baldy Fellowships in Interdisciplinary Legal Studies, 2020-2021 @baldycenter

Baldy Fellowships in Interdisciplinary Legal Studies, 2020-2021

The Baldy Center invites applications for Mid-Career or Senior Fellowships in Interdisciplinary Legal Studies for one or two semester terms during the 2020-2021 academic year. The Baldy Center plans to appoint up to two fellows.

The Baldy Center for Law & Social Policy is an endowed, internationally recognized institute that advances interdisciplinary research on law, legal institutions, and social policy at the University at Buffalo. More than 200 faculty members from numerous departments participate in Baldy Center activities. The Baldy Center maintains cooperative ties to other research centers and hosts distinguished scholars from around the world as visitors, fellows, speakers, and conference participants.

Mid-Career and Senior Fellowships are awarded to established scholars who wish to work at the Baldy Center, typically during a funded sabbatical or research leave. Awardees will receive a living expense allowance of $1,800 per month during the period of their residence as well as limited relocation assistance. Senior Fellows typically spend one semester in residence, but other terms are possible.

Please contact the Baldy Center (BaldyCenter@buffalo.edu) with any questions about the Mid-Career - Senior Fellows Program or visit the Baldy Center Fellows webpage for more information about current and past Baldy Fellows.

Applications are due Friday, March 20, 2020 by 5pm US Eastern time. Please visit the Baldy Center Fellowships application webpage for application guidelines, requirements, and the online application portal.

We hope you will share this announcement with anyone who may have an interest.

Best wishes,
The Baldy Center for Law & Social Policy
511 O’Brian Hall
University at Buffalo School of Law
Buffalo, NY 14260

*The Baldy Center adheres to the University at Buffalo School of Law Statement of Non-Discrimination.

Podgor on A Small Slice of the Chicago Eight Trial @whitecollarprof @stetsonlaw

Ellen S. Podgor, Stetson University College of Law, is publishing A Small Slice of the Chicago Eight Trial in volume 50 of the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal (2019). Here is the abstract.
The Chicago Eight trial was not the typical criminal trial, in part because it occurred at a time of society’s polarization, student demonstrations, and the rise of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Charges were levied against eight defendants, who were individuals that represented leaders in a variety of movements and groups during this time. This Essay examines the opening stages of this trial from the lens of a then relatively new criminal defense attorney, Gerald Lefcourt. It looks at his experiences before Judge Julius Hoffman and highlights how strong, steadfast criminal defense attorneys can make a difference in protecting key constitutional rights and values. Although judicial independence is crucial to a system premised on due process, it is also important that lawyers and law professors stand up to misconduct and improprieties.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Can Copyright Be Applied To Street Art and Graffiti? Interdisciplinary Panel, January 30, 5-7 PM, Middlesex University, London @enricobonadio @AislinnOC



An interdisciplinary panel convened by Susan Hansen and Alberto Duman. It is free and open to the public. Please come along if you'll be in London!

Bookings can be made via Eventbrite: https://copyright-street-art-graffiti.eventbrite.co.uk

This panel marks the launch of the Cambridge Handbook of Copyright in Graffiti and Street Art, edited by Enrico Bonadio (City Law School). Speakers will discuss the legal tools available for street and graffiti artists to object to unauthorized exploitations of their work, and will debate whether, and to what extent, the street art and graffiti subcultures could benefit from copyright and moral rights protection.

17.00-17.10 Susan Hansen & Alberto Duman, Middlesex University
17.10-17.20 Enrico Bonadio, The City Law School
17.20-17.30 Pure Evil, London
17.30-17.45 Aislinn O’Connell, Royal Holloway
17.45-18.00 Shane Burke, Cardiff University
18.00-18.15 Paula Westenberger, Brunel University
18.15-18.30 Marc Mimler, Bournemouth University
18.30-19.00 Panel Discussion (Chair: Enrico Bonadio)

For more information, contact s.hansen@mdx.ac.uk

January 17, 2020

Call For Proposals: Literature and International Law, Columbia Global Center, June 15-16, 2020, Nairobi

Literature and International Law

15-16 June 2020 • Nairobi


Call for Papers
The past decade has seen a steady increase in interdisciplinary scholarship interested in the relationships between literature and international law. Much of this scholarship has remained deeply rooted in the home disciplines of the scholars, who not only operate with the prevailing assumptions and methodologies of those disciplines, but also tend to treat the other disciplines as stable and unproblematic. Moreover, while claiming to tell a global history, that scholarship largely repeats the Eurocentric bias that has historically characterized the fields of comparative literature and international law. In fact, much of the new scholarship on comparative literature and international law not only fails to take account of imperialism and its histories in the formation of disciplinary knowledge, it also tends to marginalize events and thinkers in the global south (including the south in the north), ignoring their roles as actors and agents of literary and legal world-making. In doing so, this new scholarship seems to be replicating the traditional prejudices of its contributing disciplines.

Over the past two years, a group of scholars from multiple disciplines and locations have been engaged in a conversation exploring the imbrications of literature and international law at the edges, and doing so in a manner that seeks to avoid these basic disciplinary blindnesses and Eurocentric assumptions and places the Global South at the center of their discussions. The conversation began at a workshop in New York in December 2019, and then was re-convened at a follow-up event in London in July 2019. The third and final such meeting will take place 15-16 June, 2020 at the Columbia Global Center in Nairobi, Kenya.
We would like to invite scholars from across disciplines interested in taking part in this conversation, including those who participated at the previous meetings in New York and London, to submit short proposals for papers to join us in Nairobi for a two-day Symposium. In particular, we are seeking proposals that:
  • Explore interdisciplinary interfaces among literary, historical, and legal studies, and from positions of geo-historical marginalization across the Global South.
  • Address the intersections between particular texts of “world literature” and Third World Approaches to International Law.
  • Map the theoretical and historical relationships between comparative literature and international law as world-making, world-imagining, and world-governing regimes; and consider how literature might be used to map radical alternatives to these regimes.
  • Trace the historical global flows of knowledge at the “margins” of world literary and legal space that have been overlooked in the canonical and narrow focus of the separate disciplines, as well as new flows of global knowledge among the disciplines and across (and about) the Global South.
  • Consider how the basic assumptions and doctrines of international law and comparative literature (e.g., sovereignty, self-determination, territoriality, equality of states, ethno-cultural nationalism, national languages, and rights to natural and cultural resources) were worked out historically in the Global South.
Please email proposals/abstracts and short CV to iL.Lit.events@gmail.com by 1 March 2020. Limited funding is available to assist scholars from the Global South with travel costs.
Organizers: Joseph Slaughter (Columbia University), Vasuki Nesiah (New York University), Gerry Simpson (London School of Economics), Christopher Gevers (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

Joseph R. Slaughter • Department of English and Comparative Literature • 602 Philosophy Hall • Columbia University • New York, NY 10027 • ph. (212) 854-6433 • jrs272@columbia.edu 

Call For Papers: Murder and True Crime in the Media--St Mary's University, Twickenham @YourStMarys

Update: please see the below Call for Papers for updates on the Murder and True Crime in the Media conference, including further details of our keynote presenters, and our conference website. This conference is now free to attend and selected proceeding will be published in an edited collection. The closing date for abstracts is Friday 14th February (please email abstracts to maria.mellins@stmarys.ac.uk

CFP: Murder and True Crime in the Media 
Proposals are invited for an interdisciplinary conference at St Mary’sUniversity, Twickenham on Friday 29th May 2020. 

Book your free place on our conference website:


New Confirmed Keynotes
Dr Sarah Moore's research is concerned with gender and risk, she has published work on media representation of date rape and student beliefs concerning drug-facilitated sexual assault. Sarah is the author of Crime and the Media (2014, Palgrave Macmillan) 

Dr Jane Monckton-Smith has published on interpersonal violence, stalking, coercive control, domestic abuse and homicide prevention. Jane is also the author of the Homicide Timeline - the 8 stages. 

About the Conference 
Modern audiences demonstrate an appetite for true crime, and particularly stories that involve murder. Whilst public fascination for true crime is not new, the genre has long dominated our entertainment industries, from biopics, whodunnits, to gangster films; interest in true crime is certainly renewed. One reason for the resurgence of popularity for true crime is Industrial. There is a recent influx of new content available. Making a Murderer can be viewed through the lens of Netflix and binge-watching, Sarah Koenig’s Serial is closely linked to an increase in podcast listeners. Extremely Wicked, Shocking Evil, and Vile and Mindhunter both demonstrate the draw for well-known stars (such as Zac Efron) and personnel (David Fincher) to this genre. 

Where there is scheduling, there is also a market. The people that ‘demand’ on demand. Therefore, alongside these industrial contexts, there are a number of wider factors involved in the surge of murder content. Violent crimes, particularly murder, have ideal narrative structures with a ready-made story arc, ‘social order is disrupted by a deviant act, the guilty are sought and generally identified, and, finally, justice is done or thwarted’ (Auden in Moore, 2014: 177). They are enigma narratives that compel audiences to binge-watch the investigation so that they may finally achieve satisfaction in the form of closure. Some narratives are exoneration tales, using documentary as trial spaces that jurify the public (Bruzzi, 2016), others provide us with an opportunity to experience fear in a safe environment. David Altheide’s (2002) work on fear and the news and Ulrich Beck’s (1992) on Risk Society demonstrates how a perceived lack of control over our lives has led to a preoccupation with safety and risk. 

Through the consideration of murder in the press, documentaries, films and novels, this conference will interrogate the different representations of true crime and how these can contribute to important debates in contemporary culture and society. For instance, can analysis into victims shed light on the way that social groups are constructed in the media, and whether there is a process of selection occurring? How can the study of murder cases provide further insight into coercive control? How might the representations of crimes vary, from knife crime, organised crime, to the glamorisation or even celebrification of some serial killers? What are the ethical considerations when producing murder content and how do platforms such as podcasts and YouTube, pose issues of regulation? 

Papers are invited from a broad range of disciplines including Media, Film, Criminology, Sociology, Law. Some focal points include (but are not limited to) 
·         The victims and/or survivors of murder 
·         Serial killers and/or mass murderers in the media 
·         Organised crime and human trafficking  
·         Murder in the news 
·         Policing and the murder investigation 
·         Domestic violence  
·         Coercive control 
·         True Crime trials – the use of documentary and podcasts as an alternative ‘trial space’ to either exonerate the falsely accused or announce culprits (and negotiations in-between) 
·         The platforms and technologies of true crime - Netflix, podcasts, YouTube, crime binge-watching (extending to issues of regulation) 
·         The ethical considerations involved in murder themed productivity 
·         Negotiating risk and fear in true crime  
·         Cultivation theory 

Please submit a maximum 500-word abstract by Friday 14th February 2020 to Dr Maria Mellins, maria.mellins@stmarys.ac.uk 

St Mary’s University, Waldegrave Road, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham. TW1 4SX. 

For directions to St Mary’s and further information, please see our website.

January 16, 2020

Crawford on The Common Law as Silver Slippers @ProfBCrawford @brooklynlaw @NwULRev

Bridget J. Crawford, Pace University School of Law, has published The Common Law as Silver Slippers at 114 Northwestern University Law Review Online 131 (2019). Here is the abstract.
This essay introduces a collection of Symposium Essays examining Anita Bernstein’s book, The Common Law Inside the Female Body (Cambridge University Press, 2019). The authors engage in one or more of three broad intellectual moves: testing and exploring the limits of the book’s thesis that the common law should be resurrected as a legal strategy to protect women’s rights; applying the concept of condoned self-regard; and questioning the common law from viewpoints of groups historically (and presently) subject to unequal treatment.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

January 14, 2020

Call For Nominations: Penny Pether Award

Call for Nominations: The Penny Pether Law & Language Scholarship Award 2019
A passionate advocate for interdisciplinary scholarship in law, literature, and language, Penelope J. Pether (1957-2013) was Professor of Law at Villanova University School of Law and former Professor of Law and Director of Legal Rhetoric at the American University Washington College of Law. Her own scholarship focused not only on law, literature, and language, but also on constitutional and comparative constitutional law; legal theory, including constitutional theory; common law legal institutions, judging practices, and professional subject formation.

Beginning in November 2013, the Penny Pether Award for Law & Language Scholarship has been given annually to an article or essay published during the preceding year that exemplifies Penny’s commitment to law and language scholarship and pedagogy.

The Committee selecting award recipients from among the articles and essays nominated will look for scholarship that not only embodies Penny’s passion and spirit but also has some or all of the following characteristics:

1. “[S]cholarship concerning itself with the unique or distinctive insights that might emerge from interdisciplinary inquiries into ‘law’ grounded in the work of influential theorists of language and discourse.”

2. Scholarship that “attempts to think through the relations among subject formation, language, and law.”

3. Scholarship that provides “accounts of—and linguistic interventions in—acute and yet abiding crises in law, its institutions and discourses.”

4. Scholarship and pedagogy, including work addressing injustices in legal-academic institutions and practices, that is “[c]arefully theorized and situated, insisting on engaging politics and law, [and that] charts ways for law and its subjects to use power, do justice.”

More explanations and descriptions of these characteristics can be found in Penny’s chapter from which these quotations are drawn: Language, in Law and the Humanities: An Introduction (Austin Sarat et al. eds., Cambridge U. Press 2010).

A list of past winners appears here: https://law.unlv.edu/lawyering-process/penny-pether

Nominations should be sent by January 31, 2020, to Karen Scullion at kmsculli@law.syr.edu.

Any article or essay published during the calendar year 2019 is eligible. You are free to nominate more than one work and to nominate work you’ve written. Please provide a citation and a pdf for each work you nominate.

The Selection Committee includes Linda Berger, Corinne Blalock, David Caudill, Amy Dillard, Bruce Hay, Ian Gallacher, Melissa Marlow, Jeremy Mullem, Nancy Modesitt, Stephen Paskey, Yvette Russell, Anne Ralph, and Terry Pollman.

Members of the Selection Committee are not eligible for the award.