August 22, 2007

Richard K. Sherwin on Popular Culture and Law

Richard K. Sherwin, Director of the Visual Persuasion Project, and Professor of Law, New York Law School, has published "Popular Culture and Law". It will appear as the introduction in the International Library of Essays in Law and Society volume for 2006. Here is the abstract.
What are the consequences when law's stories and images migrate from the courtroom to the court of public opinion and from movie, television and computer screens back to electronic monitors inside the courtroom itself? What happens when lawyers and public relations experts market notorious legal cases and controversial policy issues as if they were just another commodity? What is the appropriate relationship between law and digital culture in virtual worlds on the Internet? In addressing these cutting edge issues, the essays in this volume shed new light on the current status and future fate of law, truth and justice in our time.

Download the entire essay from SSRN here.

August 20, 2007

Indigenous Law Conference Planned at Michigan State University

News from Professor Matthew Fletcher of Michigan State University College of Law:

The Michigan State University College of Law will host its fourth Indigenous Law Conference from October 19 through October 20 of this year in East Lansing, Michigan. The welcome reception is October 18. The topic is American Indian Law and Literature. Guests include Richard Delgado, Frank Pommersheim, and Kristen Carpenter. Here's a link to the conference.

August 16, 2007

The Work of James Boyd White

Marc Roark, University of Tulsa, has published "Loneliness and the Law: Solitude, Action and Power in the Living Speech of James Boyd White." Here is the abstract.
The law is filled with empty spaces - what is not written; what is not said but meant; what is unsayable or unprintable. This article describes the spaces that such emptiness creates in both individual lawyers and in the law. The article begins by considering the elements of the legal idea: the action, needed to move the idea into consciousness, and the power conveying the idea's strength to the community. Proceeding from this framework, part one focuses on the loneliness that fosters legal ideas. Describing four types of loneliness: Indeterminacy, Resentment, Contemplation, and Exile, the article considers how these types of loneliness are revealed in the jurisprudence surrounding the African-American (Plessy v. Ferguson to Brown v. Board of Education) and the Asian American (Yick Wo and Korematsu) equality lines of cases. The article argues that the silent spaces of these opinions reveal as much as the written opinions.

Part 2 considers the action of the idea - both the movement of the idea from the consciousness to the material world, and the realization every lawyer comes to that his work is mere repetition. Focusing on the same line of cases, this part demonstrates how even the cases that suppose a positive change in the law, are repetitious in some ways of the past. The article suggests that the recognition of this repetition, is not only necessary but unavoidable for the lawyer-scholar to define himself.

Finally, Part 3 describes the power of the idea, lifting it out of the constraints of the material and into the spaces of the normative. Utilizing the description of place and space, the article captures the essence of grounding normative ideas into materiality and vice versa. The article however contains a cautionary tale in that certain ideas, when they become normative, can leave manifestations already materialized left to wither alone and with no normative identity (or an identity long passed). Utilizing the analogy of law as liturgy, the Article suggests that the silent spaces both tell us what the law is and what the law is not - revealing the true character of the material manifestation.

Download the entire paper from SSRN here.

August 2, 2007

Lawyers in Comic Books

William A. Hilyerd, University of Louisville School of Law, has published "Hi Superman, I'm a Lawyer: A Guide to Attorneys (& Other Legal Professionals) Portrayed in American Comic Books, 1910-2007". Here's the abstract.
Since comic books were first introduced in the 1930s, they have provided entertainment for children and adults alike. Most American males (and a significant portion of American females) have read comic books at some point in their lives, most when they were in grade school. In addition to providing young adults with their first glimpse of costumed heroes, comic books have also provided these same young adults with their first look at the legal profession. From the earliest days of comic books and strips through the present, attorneys have been prominently featured in American comic books.

The article begins with a discussion of the history of illustrated artwork and how that artwork evolved first into newspaper comic strips then into comic books. Next, comic strip and comic book attorneys from the early part of the 20th Century are identified and discussed. The introduction of Superman touched off the Golden Age of comic books. Part four discusses attorney characters which appeared during this Golden Age (1938-1946) and provides some background information on many of these characters. Part five discusses the decline of the reputation of comic books during the 1940s and 1950s and socio/legal attacks on comic books during the period.

By the middle of the 1950s, comic book publishers switched back to superheroes from the horror and suspense books. The switch back to superheroes brought with it a new crop of attorneys. Part six of the article identifies all of the recurring attorneys who appeared during this resurgence of interest in comic books, known as the Silver Age (1956-1969). Part seven provides discusses all of the attorney characters who appeared from 1970 through 1985. Part eight finishes the history of attorneys in comic books by identifying all of the attorneys who have had recurring roles in comic books since 1985.

Download the entire essay from SSRN here.

CFP 6th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Arts & Humanities

Call for Papers/Abstracts/Submissions

6th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Arts & Humanities

January 11 - 14, 2008

Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Hilton Waikiki Prince Kuhio

Honolulu Hawaii, USA

Submission Deadline: August 23, 2007

Sponsored by:

University of Louisville - Center for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods

The Baylor Journal of Theatre and Performance

Web address:
Email address:

The 6th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Arts & Humanities will be held from January 11 (Friday) to January 14 (Monday), 2008 at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, and the Hilton Waikiki Prince Kuhio, in Honolulu, Hawaii. The conference will provide many opportunities for academicians and professionals from arts and humanities related fields to interact with members inside and outside their own particular disciplines. Cross-disciplinary submissions with other fields are welcome.

Topic Areas (All Areas of Arts & Humanities are Invited):


*American Studies




*Art History



*Ethnic Studies




*Graphic Design


*Landscape Architecture





*Performing Arts


*Postcolonial Identities

*Product Design


*Second Language Studies



*Visual Arts

*Other Areas of Arts and Humanities

*Cross-disciplinary areas of the above related to each other or other areas.

Submitting a Proposal:

You may now submit your paper/proposal by using our new online submission system! To use the system, and for detailed information about submitting see:

Cross posted to the Seamless Web