June 25, 2008

Call For Papers

Call for Papers and Witness

The University of Toledo College of Law is pleased to announce a universal and interdisciplinary conference on Saturday, October 25, 2008 in Toledo, Ohio on the subject of: 1808: Fighting for the Right to Dream

Scholars are invited to come to Toledo and bear witness and discuss 1808.

1808 was the year of the abolition of the importing of slaves into the United States. In this bicentennial year, how should we think about 1808? What does 1808 say to us? What will be said about 1808 in 2108?

The papers and witness being invited in this call for papers are about the meanings of 1808. Those meanings might be found in the life of a slave in the United States at that time such as Barbary. Born in 1787 in Africa and sold into slavery in 1800 in North Carolina to the Harrison family (of Founders and Presidents fame), Barbary was enslaved, black and twenty-one in 1808. How do we keep slave stories such as her story alive?

Those meanings might be found in 1847 in the founding of Liberia and Liberia’s history. Or in the Civil War. Or in Reconstruction. Or in Jim Crow. Or in 1908, year of birth of the late Justice Thurgood
Marshall whose life was dedicated to fighting for the right to dream.
Or in a picture in a courtroom in Norman, Oklahoma in 1948 of Ada Sipuel dreaming of being a lawyer. Or in the mass movements of the civil rights and human rights movements. Or in 1968 with the assassination of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and other momentous events. Or in a more recent rededication of efforts to achieve, protect and preserve civil and human rights for all.

Those meanings might be found in Africa and the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Australia and the Pacific.
What does 1808 mean to the world?

This call for papers is interdisciplinary and universal. Scholars from around the world interested in presenting are invited to submit one to two page abstracts for papers on the conference theme on or before August 15, 2008 to ben.davis@utoledo.edu.

Scholars from around the world who may have difficulty getting visas to the United States or attending should advise of their interest on or before August 15, 2008 to ben.davis@utoledo.edu. Overseas scholars and those unable to attend may provide a video witness of up to 10 minutes in length.

Toledo is located in Northwestern Ohio about 50 minutes by car south of Detroit, Michigan. Participants may find the easiest connections through Detroit though planes do fly also into Toledo airport. October 25, 2008 will be a particularly interesting time to visit as Toledo is the center of the universe during most recent U.S. Presidential elections because of the crucial role that Ohio plays as a swing state.

Organizing Committee:
· Anthony Baker, Professor, American Legal History, Norman
Adrian Wiggins School of Law, Campbell University, Buies Creek, North Carolina
· Pamela Bridgewater, Professor of Law, American University,
Washington College of Law, Washington, D.C.
· Benjamin Davis, Associate Professor of Law, University of
Toledo College of Law, Toledo, Ohio
· Roy Finkenbine, Professor of History and Director of the Black
Abolitionist Archives, University of Detroit – Mercy, Detroit, Michigan
· Chrisarla Houston, Director of the Legal Writing Program and
Assistant Professor of Law, Florida A & M University College of Law, Orlando, Florida
· Vernellia R. Randall, Professor of Law, University of Dayton
School of Law, Dayton, Ohio

June 20, 2008

New Publications in Law and the Humanities

Some new and newer law and humanities titles.

Boulhosa, Patricia Pires, Icelanders and the Kings of Norway: Mediaeval Sagas and Legal Texts (Boston: Brill, 2005).

Chaplin, Susan, The Gothic and the Rule of Law, 1764-1820 (NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).

Clary, Amy, Textual Terrain: Wilderness in American Literature, Law, and Culture (Dissertation, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, 2005).

Cormack, Bradin, A Power To Do Justice: Jurisdiction, English Literature, and the Rise of Common Law, 1509-1625 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007).
Eighteenth-Century Fiction (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2006).

Freeman, Micahel D. A., Law and Popular Culture (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).

Glover, Susan, Engendering Legitimacy: Law, Property, and Early
González Echevarría, Roberto, Love and the Law in Cervantes (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005).

Haglin, Adam Reid, Russia, Dostoevsky, and Judicial Reform (Master’s thesis, Minnesota State University, Makato, 2005).

Harris, Sharon M., Executing Race: Early American Women’s Narratives of Race, Society, and the Law (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2005).

Hegel, Robert E., and Katherine Carlitz, Writing and Law in Late Imperial China (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2007).

Hepburn, Allan, Troubled Legacies: Narrative and Inheritance (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007).

Hutson, Lorna, The Invention of Suspicion: Law and Mimesis in Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama (NY: Oxford University Press, 2007).

Kezar, Dennis, Solon and Thespis: Law and Theater in the English Renaissance (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2007).

King, Lovalerie, Race, Theft, and Ethics: Property Matters in African American Literature (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2007).

Klotz, Lisa-Jane, Suspicion Is No Proof: Legal Proof and Probability in Practice and Fiction in Early Modern England (Dissertation, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2006).

Lockey, Brian, Law and Empire in English Renaissance Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006).

Macpherson, Heidi Slettedahl, Courting Failure: Women and the Law in Twentieth-Century Literature (Akron, OH: University of Akron Press, 2007).

Mukherji, Subha, Law and Representation in Early Modern Drama (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006).

Rosenshield, Gary, Western Law, Russian Justice: Dostoevsky, the Jury Trial, and the Law (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2005).

Scase, Wendy, Literature and Complaint in England, 1272-1553 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).

Sheen, Erica, and Lorna Hutson, Literature, Politics, and Law in Renaissance England (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).

Travis, Jennifer, Wounded Hearts: Masculinity, Law, and Literature in American Culture (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005).

Warren, Joyce W., Women, Money, and the Law: Nineteenth-Century Fiction, Gender, and the Courts (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2005).

Robert Johnson and Copyright

Olufunmilayo Arewa, Northwestern University Law School, has published "Borrowing the Blues: Context and the Copyright of Robert Johnson," as Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 08-19. Here is the abstract.
In 2004, Eric Clapton released the DVD-CD Sessions for Robert J and the CD Me and Mr. Johnson, which paid homage to Robert Johnson, one of Clapton's greatest musical influences. Clapton is not alone in his reverence of Robert Johnson. The ascension of Robert Johnson to the status of preeminent representative of early recorded blues traditions reflects broader trends in the creation and reception of blues music in the twentieth century. Johnson's position decades after his death is a startling contrast to the circumstances of his short life and the contexts within with he lived and performed.

Robert Johnson was a poor African American itinerant blues musician who died in obscurity under mysterious circumstances in 1938 at a country crossroads near Greenwood, Mississippi. Johnson was one of a number of musicians who made their way through the Mississippi Delta during the time period of his life and death. The legend of Robert Johnson, however, surpasses that of his musical contemporaries: Robert Johnson is the most well known bluesman of his era today. From his humble beginning and obscure death, Robert Johnson later emerged to become one of the biggest influences on rock and roll music, particularly through musicians in Great Britain, many of whom like Eric Clapton, count Robert Johnson as one of their greatest influences. Robert Johnson was one of the first 12 members inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Robert Johnson is far more famous in death than he could ever have envisaged during his lifetime. The story of Robert Johnson is thus an important one for the history of music, particularly in relation to the development of blues music traditions and the rock and roll traditions that emerged from blues.

The story of Robert Johnson is also an important one for copyright. Treatment of many blues musicians of Robert Johnson's era represent an early example of continuing tensions in the application of copyright to a broad range of living musical traditions. Copyright treatment of blues musicians also reflects the difficulties inherent in the application of copyright as a property rule to musical forms, including blues, which are characterized by pervasive borrowing. The reality of musical borrowing is often insufficiently acknowledged in discussions of copyright and music. The intersection of copyright, Robert Johnson's music and blues more generally can reveal something of how copyright law treats creative processes that reflect significant amounts of borrowing. Further, the contexts of application of copyright law to blues, as well as more generally, reflect the continuing influence of hierarchies of culture and power that have long shaped copyright law and its application.

Download the paper from SSRN here.

A Walking Tour of the Naked City

The New York Times features a walking tour of the city as seen through the eyes of Weegee (Arthur Fellig), the legendary photographer, who provided many notable pix, including crime scene photos. See also this article in today's issue. A new book devoted to his work, Weegee and the Naked City, is available from the University of California Press.

June 19, 2008

Call For Papers: Catholic Social Thought and the Law




Villanova University School of Law
October 11, 2008

On the eve of the 2008 election, Villanova University
School of Law's sixth annual symposium on Catholic social
thought will take up the question of citizenship and
political participation. Every four years, the U.S.
Conference of Catholic Bishops releases a document entitled
"Faithful Citizenship," and the media engage in speculation
about the "Catholic vote." The Bishops assert that
"responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in
public life is a moral obligation." After visiting America,
Alexis de Tocqueville worried that Christianity neglected
the duty of citizenship while also arguing that religion
was the first of America's political institutions.

But Catholic social thought arguably lacks a coherent
account of citizenship. As John Coleman, S.J., complained
in the pages of Commonweal over 20 years ago, "Christianity
has not adequately adumbrated or embodied the moral ideal
of the citizen in its social ethics or popular preaching."
Among the questions to be addressed by the symposium are
the responsibilities of citizenship in Catholic social
teaching, the relationship between faithful citizenship and
voting, the role of the American Catholic Church in public
life, the duties of public officials, and the historical
development of citizenship in Catholic social thought. The
Symposium will bring together legal scholars, political
scientists, theologians, and philosophers to explore the
implications of citizenship for Catholic legal theory.


Articles presented at the Conference will be considered for
publication in the Journal of Catholic Social Thought, a
peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal published by
Villanova University. Please submit paper proposals by
July 1, 2008, or requests for more information to:

CONTACT: Dean Mark A. Sargent
Email: MAILTO:sargent@law.villanova.edu
CONTACT: Professor Michael Moreland
Email: MAILTO:moreland@law.villanova.edu

June 13, 2008

Call For Papers: Feminist Legal History

From Professor Tracy Thomas, University of Akron

The editors of a proposed book, Feminist Legal History: New Perspectives on Law seek submissions for contributing chapters to the book. This book is an edited collection of essays by leading scholars in law and history that offers new historical and feminist perspectives on law and applies these insights to the legal and social policy issues of today. The collection takes as its primary goal an exploration of women’s historical use of the law to advocate and achieve equality. Contributing authors employ this core theme in a variety of historical contexts to reframe and illuminate such topics as women’s rights in the area of family law, women’s participation in the U.S. military, women’s legal activism and participation in social justice movements, judicial roles played by women, and women’s status in constitutional law. Feminist Legal History was inspired by a symposium held in October 2007 sponsored by the Center for Constitutional Law at The University of Akron School of Law, one of four such national centers established by Congress.


Tracey Jean Boisseau, Ph.D., The University of Akron, Department of History

Tracy A. Thomas, J.D., M.P.A., The University of Akron School of Law


Felice Batlan, J.D., Ph.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law

Eileen Boris, Ph.D., University of California Santa Barbara, Women’s Studies Program

Mary L. Clark, J.D., American University Washington College of Law

Jill Elaine Hasday, J.D., University of Minnesota Law School

Gwen Jordan, J.D., Ph.D., Fellow in Legal History, University of Wisconsin School of Law

Jennifer Klein, Ph.D., Yale University, Department of History

Jean H. Quataert, Ph.D., Binghamton University, Department of History

Mae C. Quinn, J.D., L.L.M., University of Tennessee School of Law

Leigh Ann Wheeler, Ph.D., Bowling Green State University, Department of History

If interested, please submit an abstract and CV by July 1 to Professor Tracy Thomas at thomast@uakron.edu. Final manuscripts of 20-25 pages should be submitted by September 15, 2008.

For questions, contact:

Tracy A. Thomas

Professor and Director of Faculty Research

University of Akron School of Law

Akron, OH 44325

(330) 972-6617


ALCH Call For Papers

The Association for Law, Culture, and the Humanities has posted its annual Call for papers. Here's the link to the website. Here's the link to the CFP.

June 9, 2008

A Taste For the Law

Chris Colin, who writes for the San Francisco Chronicle, sent me a link to his piece on his friend Jose Klein, a newly minted Harvard Law grad, who is also an artist: he captures the essence of famous cases and legal issues on dinner plates. Read up on Mr. Klein's unique way of interpreting the law here. Early holiday shopper? Check out his website, where his plates are for sale. I think I may stop by.

For more about the intersection of law and art, see this post about Lego artist Nathan Sawaya from my Law and Magic Blog. And check out some of the work of Tulane Law grad and artist Alan Gerson here. I have some of his pieces and they never fail to make me smile.

June 5, 2008

Ripped From the Headlines

Here's an ABA article discussing lawyer-writers who pen scripts for popular legal dramas.

June 4, 2008

Another Interpretation of Captain Vere

Rob Atkinson, Jr., Florida State University College of Law, has published "Averting the Captain Vere 'Veer': Billy Budd as Melville's Republican Response to Plato" as FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 311. Here is the abstract.
This article shows how Melville's Billy Budd, rightly one of law and literature's most widely studied canonical texts, answers Plato's challenge in Book X of the Republic: Show how poets create better citizens, especially better rulers, or banish them from the commonwealth of reasoned law. Captain Vere is a flawed but instructive version of the Republic's philosopher-king, even as his story is precisely the sort of poetry that Plato should willing allow, by his own republican principles, into the ideal polity. Not surprisingly, the novella shows how law's agents must be wise, even as their law must be philosophical, if they are to do justice. Paradoxically, the novella also shows how poetry can save law's agents, particularly the more Platonic, from Captain Vere's veer, a dangerous turn from fully legal justice to false and fatal severity.

Captain Vere has a tragic flaw all too common among leaders otherwise completely conscientious and competent: When faced with a range of courses - all legal, moral, and practicable - Vere invariably charts the most personally painful. Part of his no pain, no gain course steers him into fastidious studies that exclude both mere fiction and pure theory, ironically banishing Plato himself along with his poets. But Vere's own story, with its narrator's frequent theoretical interruptions and occasional allusions to Plato, demonstrates that the reading of just such stories may deliver leaders like him from over-harsh treatment of themselves and their most vulnerable charges. The novella, then, not only reveals Captain Vere's veer; it also shows a way to avert that ever dangerous, often fatal tack. If the studious captain had been prepared to study stories like his own, his readings might have made him a vastly better guardian of his symbolic flock, particularly of Billy Budd, his most innocent sheep; had Starry Vere been more a philosopher-king and less a surrogate father-god, he need never have made his excruciating mistake, sacrificing his most beloved foster son to save their microcosmic world.

Download the paper from SSRN here.

A Jury of Her Peers, Domestic Abuse and Animal Abuse

Caroline Anne Forell, University of Oregon School of Law, has published "Using a Jury of Her Peers to Teach About the Connection Between Domestic Abuse and Animal Abuse," in volume 15 of Animal Law Review (2008). Here is the abstract.
In this essay I examine Susan Glaspell's short story A Jury of Her Peers in the context of teaching about the connection between domestic violence and animal abuse in an Animal Law course. I discuss how Glaspell's story, in which the motive for a woman killing her husband is his killing of her pet bird, enables students to better understand the perspective of battered women who behave in certain ways because they have pets. I pose several questions concerning how the law would and should respond when a battered woman reacts with violence to the killing or serious injury of her pet. I also review the legal options that may be available today to battered women who have companion animals in contrast to the past.

Download the article from SSRN here.

June 3, 2008

Call For Papers

Call for Papers/Abstracts/Submissions

7th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Arts & Humanities

January 9 - 12, 2009

Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa

Honolulu Hawaii, USA

Submission Deadline: August 22, 2008

Sponsored by:

University of Louisville - Center for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods

The Baylor Journal of Theatre and Performance

Web address: http://www.hichumanities.org

Email address: humanities@hichumanities.org

The 7th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Arts & Humanities will be held from January 9 (Friday) to January 12 (Monday), 2009 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa, 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 online submission system! To use the system, and for detailed information about submitting see the website.