September 29, 2012

Criminal Writers

From the Guardian: a podcast discussing Agatha Christie's views on her own work, the work of two new crime writers, Attica Locke and Tanya Byrne, and J. K. Rowling's new novel for adults. 

September 27, 2012

Fellowship Program Accepting Applications

From Princeton University:

Princeton University’s Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) invites outstanding faculty members, independent scholars, lawyers, and judges to apply for appointments as resident Fellows for the academic year 2013-2014. We anticipate naming up to six fellows who are engaged in substantial research on topics broadly related to law and public affairs or law and normative inquiry, including one LAPA/Humanities Fellow for an early career scholar working at the intersection of law and humanistic inquiry. Successful candidates will devote an academic year in residence at Princeton to research, discussion, and scholarly collaboration. 

Applicants must have a doctorate, J.D. or an equivalent professional postgraduate degree. 

Further information and the electronic application can be found at


Princeton University is an equal opportunity employer and complies with applicable EEO and affirmative action regulations.

September 26, 2012

Bite Me

From the Chronicle of Higher Education, an examination of the fascination with vampire lit. For more about the subject see the selected bibliography below.

Benefiel, Candace,  Blood Relations: The Gothic Perversion of the Nuclear Family in Anne Rice's 
Interview with the Vampire, 38 Journal of Popular Culture 261 (November 2004).

The Blood Is the Life: Vampires in Literature (Leonard G. Heldreth and Mary Pharr eds.; Bowling Green State University Press, 1999).

Hollinger, Veronica, The Vampire and the Alien: Variations on the Outsider, Science Fiction Studies 145 (1989).

Senf, Carol A., The Vampire in 19th Century English Literature (Bowling Green State University Press, 1988).

September 25, 2012

Upcoming Conference on Law and Literature, October 3-5, Brazil

Announcement of an upcoming conference:



18h30min – Credenciamento
19h15min – Solenidade de Abertura
19h30min – Conferência de Abertura: “O direito curvo”
José Calvo GonzálezDoutor em Direito (Málaga/Espanha). Professor Catedrático de Teoria e Filosofia do Direito da Universidade de Málaga. Magistrado do Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Andalucía.

20h30min – Conversa Cruzada: “Kafka e o Direito”
André Karam Trindade – Doutor em Direito  (Roma/Itália). Professor da Escola de Direito da IMED, CESUCA e UNIFRA. Produtor Executivo do Programa “Direito & Literatura” (TV JUSTIÇA).
Vera Karam de Chueiri – Doutora em Filosofia (New York/EUA). Mestre em Direito (UFSC). Professora do PPGDireito da UFPR. Vice-diretora da Faculdade de Direito da UFPR
Ivânia Campigotto Aquino – Pós-doutorada em Letras (UFRGS). Professora das Faculdades de Letras e de Direito da UPF.


9h30min  –  Painel: “A literasofia de Luis Alberto Warat”
Mauro Gaglietti – Doutor em História (PUCRS). Mestre em Ciência Política (UFRGS). Professor do PPGDireito da URI. Professor da Escola de Direito da IMED.
Albano Marcos Bastos Pepe – Doutor em Direito (UFPR). Mestre em Filosofia (UFSM). Professor do PPGDireito da URI.
Fernando Tonet – Mestrando em Direito (URI). Professor da Escola de Direito da IMED. Advogado (RS).

14 às 17h – Apresentação de Trabalhos: “O direito na literatura”

19h30min – Conferência: “Seis paradigmáticas narrativas do direito”
Lenio Luiz Streck – Pós-doutorado em Direito (Lisboa/Portugal). Professor Titular do PPGDireito da UNISINOS e da UNESA. Apresentador do Programa “Direito & Literatura” (TV JUSTIÇA). Procurador de Justiça (RS).

20h30min – Conversa Cruzada: “Shakespeare e o Direito”
Fausto Santos de Morais – Doutorando em Direito (UNISINOS). Professor da Escola de Direito da IMED. Advogado (RS).
Cristiano Paixão – Pós-doutorado em História (Pisa/Itália). Professor do PPGDireito da UnB. Conselheiro da Comissão de Anistia. Procurador Regional do Trabalho (DF).
Dino del Pino – Doutor em Teoria Literária (UFRGS). Mestre em Literatura Brasileira (UFRGS). Professor Universitário. Escritor.


9h30min – Painel: “O romance em cadeia e o modo de produção das decisões judiciais”
Jáder Marques – Doutorando em Direito (UNISINOS). Professor Universitário. Advogado (RS).
Maurício Ramires – Doutorando em Direito (Lisboa/Portugal). Professor da Escola Superior da Magistratura (AJURIS). Juiz de Direito (RS).
Francisco Borges Motta – Doutorando em Direito (UNISINOS). Professor Universitário. Promotor de Justiça (RS).

14 às 17h – Apresentação de Trabalhos – “O direito como literatura”

19h30min – Conversa Cruzada: “Camus e o Direito”
Ângela Espindola – Doutora em Direito  (UNISINOS). Professor da Escola de Direito da IMED e da Faculdade de Direito da UFSM. Advogada (RS).
Jacinto Nelson de Miranda Coutinho – Doutor em Direito (Roma/Itália).  Professor Titular do PPGDirieto da UFPR.  Procurador do Estado. Advogado (PR).
Henriete Karam – Doutora em Letras (UFRGS). Professora Colaboradora do PPGLetras da UFRGS. Professora do Curso de Letras da UCS. Psicanalista.

20h30min – Conferência de Encerramento: “Por uma teoria narrativista do direito”
José Calvo GonzálezDoutor em Direito (Málaga/Espanha). Professor Catedrático de Teoria e Filosofia do Direito da Universidade de Málaga. Magistrado do Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Andalucía.

More information here.

Improvisation and Form in Law and Music

Desmond Manderson, ANU College of Law, ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences, McGill University Faculty of Law, has published Fission to Fusion: From Improvisation and Formalism in Law and Music, as 6 Critical Studies in Improvisation 1 (2010). Here is the abstract.

This paper asks the question, what happened to improvisation in the classical music tradition? why did it so dramatically decline in legitimacy and practice around the classical era. This apper (sic) draws connections between musical, legal, and political history in order to demonstrate the cultural change in the eighteenth century transformed people's understandings of texts, authority, legitimacy, and genius, in ways that changed the relationship of interpretation to textual authenticity with lasting effects in both music and legal professions. This paper thus continues the work on legal and musical history begun by this author in Statuta v Acts, Et Lex Perpetua, and Songs Without Music.
Download the article from SSRN at the link. 

September 24, 2012

Langston Hughes, Black Fiction and the Court

Robert L. Tsai, American University College of Law, has published 'Simple' Takes on the Supreme Court as American University WCL Research Paper No. 2012-15. Here is the abstract.

This essay excavates how black fiction has served as a medium for working out popular understandings of America’s Constitution and laws. Starting in the 1940s, Langston Hughes’s fictional character, Jesse K. Semple, began appearing in the prominent black newspaper, the Chicago Defender. Eventually, the stories became syndicated, published in the New York Post, and later compiled in a series of books. As circulation increased, the stories enabled non-blacks to participate vicariously in an ongoing intracommunity debate over issues dear to African Americans. The character affectionately known as “Simple” was undereducated, unsophisticated, and plain spoken — certainly to a fault according to prevailing standards of civility, race relations, and professional attainment. But these very traits, along with a gritty experience under Jim Crow, made him not only a sympathetic figure but also an armchair legal theorist. In a series of barroom conversations, Simple ably critiqued the ongoing project of liberal legal experimentation. In fact, Simple had something to say on many matters of constitutional law during the turbulent decades of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s: the Supreme Court’s pronouncements, anti-lynching efforts, the injustice and absurdity of segregation, the pace of integration, and the effectiveness of landmark civil rights laws. Fiction became a two-way legal medium, allowing ordinary citizens to understand the idealism and goals of institutions that acted to enforce the U.S. Constitution, while giving them a way to puncture the lofty, hegemonic, and cramped official visions of law. Through arguments, stories, and dream sequences, Simple proposed a conception of equality rooted in authenticity, charity, and opportunity, to counteract the vision of selective, formal equality emerging from the Court. And he recommended a transitional form of poetic justice as a means of effectuating the ethical and material transformation necessary to guarantee equal protection of the law.
Download the paper from SSRN at the link.

Tolkein and Law

Jonathan A. Watson has published Tolkien and Law. Here is the abstract.

The relationship between themes found in Aquinas's "Summa Theologica" and Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" are discussed.
Download the paper from SSRN at the link. 

A New Crime Drama From the BBC

From the Guardian, news that the BBC plans yet another crime drama, this time one inspired by Jack the Ripper. Ripper Street (for BBC One) takes place just after Jack the Ripper disappears from history and focuses on the detectives and public who try to recover from the effects of his crimes. More here in a press release issued by the BBC.

September 21, 2012

Shakespeare, Milton, Theology, and Inheritance

From the catalog:

Reading God's will and a man's Last Will as ideas that reinforce one another, this study shows the relevance of England's early modern crisis, regarding faith in the will of God, to current debates by legal academics on the theory of property and its succession. The increasing power of the dead under law in the US, the UK, and beyond—a concern of recent volumes in law and social sciences—is here addressed through a distinctive approach based on law and humanities. Vividly treating literary and biblical battles of will, the book suggests approaches to legal constitution informed by these dramas and by English legal history.

This study investigates correlations between the will of God in Judeo-Christian traditions and the Last Wills of humans, especially dominant males, in cultures where these traditions have developed. It is interdisciplinary, in the sense that it engages with the limits of several fields: it is informed by humanities critical theory, especially Benjaminian historical materialism and Lacanian psychoanalysis, but refrains from detailed theoretical considerations. Dramatic narratives from the Bible, Shakespeare, and Milton are read as suggesting real possibilities for alternative inheritance (i.e., constitutional) regimes. As Jenkins shows, these texts propose ways to alleviate violence, violence both personal and political, through attention to inheritance law.

Holmesian Constructions

Brad Snyder, University of Wisconsin Law School, has published The House that Built Holmes at 30 Law & History Review 661 (2012). Here is the abstract.

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. became the first modern judge to attain iconic status. G. Edward White, the preeminent Holmes scholar of his generation, has argued that Holmes's canonization began with the "dramatic upsurge in the amount of commentary" in the late 1920s by reformers who appreciated his "modernist epistemology" and that Holmes and Brandeis achieved "the status of professional and cultural icons in the decade of the 1930s." This Article argues that Holmes's canonization began a decade earlier because of his association with a group of young progressives at the House of the Truth. During the 1910s, Felix Frankfurter, Walter Lippmann, and other progressives turned a Dupont Circle rowhouse into a salon, invited Washington establishment figures to frequent dinner and cocktail parties, and adopted Holmes as the House's hero. They canonized Holmes to attack the Court's anti-labor decisions. Holmes participated in his own canonization to further his ambitions of elite recognition. At age seventy, he was frustrated on the Court and considered retirement. He wrote for what Laurence Baum has described as a discrete judicial audience at the House of Truth. Holmes's canonization matters because it exemplifies canonization as political instrumentalism. The House wanted constitutional change; Holmes wanted recognition.
Download the article from SSRN at the link. 

Marcel Ayme and "Magical Legalism"

Jeffrey Miller, University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law, has published The Magical Legalism of Marcel Aymé: Charming Rogues and the Suspension of Physical, Natural, and Positive Law at 53 Les Cahiers de Droit 649 (2012). Here is the abstract.
Some of Marcel Aymé’s most delightful work concerns charming rogues, protagonists who lack the heroism of moral outlaws such as Robin Hood or the golem of Jewish literature but act outside the rule of law in a way that is psychologically if not always morally coherent. On other “law and literature” occasions, Aymé employs what is sometimes called fantasy, but has the sardonic bite of magical realism – what this analysis considers “magical legalism,” where individuals circumvent physical, natural, and positive law in attempts to achieve pure self-expression or egocentric notions of justice.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link. 

September 20, 2012

George Takei In a Musical About Loyalty, Rights, and Family

George Takei (Star Trek: TOS) stars in a new musical, Allegiance, at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. The musical  "is an epic story of family, love and patriotism set during the Japanese American internment of World War II. Sixty years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, a chance meeting forces WWII veteran Sam Kimura ... to remember his family's relocation from their California farm to the Heart Mountain internment camp. As they struggle to adjust to their new home, Young Sam ... and his sister Kei ... find themselves torn between loyalty to their family and allegiance to their country. With its moving score, ALLEGIANCE takes audiences on a journey into our nation's history through the eyes of one American family."  The work also stars Telly Leung and Lea Salonga. More about the production here.

George Takei stars in the new musical "Allegiance" at the Old Globe Theatre.

Above: George Takei stars in the new musical "Allegiance" at the Old Globe Theatre.

September 18, 2012

Tat That

Aaron Perzanowski, Wayne State University Law School; Notre Dame Law School, has published Intellectual Property Norms in the Tattoo Industry. Here is the abstract.

This article reports the results of the first qualitative study of the norms surrounding creative production, ownership, and copying in the multi-billion dollar U.S. tattoo industry. Despite the availability of copyright protection, the tattoo industry has largely ignored formal law in resolving disputes over copying and use of original works. Instead, it relies on a complex set of social norms enforced through informal mechanisms. Those norms are a product of both cultural and economic factors that offer broader lessons for intellectual property law and policy.
Download the paper from SSRN at the link. 

September 11, 2012

Feminism Here and There

Yxta Maya Murray, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, has published 'Creating New Categories': Anglo-American Radical Feminism's Constitutionalism in the Streets, at 9 Hastings Race & Poverty Law Journal 454 (2012). Here is the abstract.

In 1968 and 1970, U.S. and British radical feminists organized provocative protests at the Miss America and Miss World beauty pageants. While the American New York Radical Women expressed their outrage at women’s objectification by picketing, engaging in street theater antics, and organizing a brief if peaceable outburst, British feminists raised a panic in London by throwing flour bombs and rotten produce at audience members and celebrity MC’s, scattering plastic mice, spraying ink-filled squirt guns, and even snubbing out a cigarette on a policeman.
Why were the U.S. radical feminists so much more decorous than their British sisters? In this article, I analyze how each of these radical feminist camps employed the strategies of outrage, law-breaking, and violence, noting that U.S. beauty pageant protesters were outrageous, but avoided the scandalous scofflawing and aggression of the London rebels. Investigating the historical and contemporary political worlds in which these two revolutionary groups worked, I show that U.S. and British attitudes toward law-breaking and violence were shaped by their native, early 20th century histories of feminism, as well as the American and European tumults and tragedies that characterized the age.
Drawing on the work of Reva Siegel, Jack M. Balkin, and Lynda G. Dodd, I will then consider how the U.S. and British protesters influenced their countries’ respective constitutional cultures and future feminist legal theories. Each camp’s approach to outrage, law-breaking, and violence in street protest would later be felt in successes and failures on the constitutional front, and also resound in a law-faithful U.S. feminism that differs significantly from its skeptical, anti-authoritarian British complement.
Download the article from SSRN at the link. 

Graphically Stated

More on cartoon and comic law today, this time via Findlaw. Bob Kohn of RoyaltyShare was allowed to file an amicus brief in the Justice Department's antitrust ebooks pricing case against Apple and other defendants. But the judge told Mr. Kohn to keep his brief short (no pun intended)--to five pages, in fact. So Mr. Kohn went with an extremely graphic style, He reduced his argument to cartoons. The case settled a day after he filed his brief. Oh, well. Perhaps not an approach that would work for every argument, but, in this case, points for style. Graphic style. 

Science Fiction as a Spur to Law

Kieran Mark Tranter, Griffith University Law School, has published The Speculative Jurisdiction: The Science Fictionality of Law and Technology, at 20 Griffith Law Review 818 (2011). Here is the abstract.

This article argues that scholarship on law and technology is a thoroughly speculative activity. The textual signifiers of this speculative orientation are the multiple incursion of science fiction that locate and justify lawyers writing about technology. Through a detailed examination of three law and technology literatures – on early space technology, IVF, and virtual-worlds – it will be shown that science fiction is the storehouse of images and imaginings that substantiate the legal projection of technological futures. When law confronts technology science fiction is its speculative jurisdiction. The suggestion is that through a more through-going engagement with science fiction as the speculative jurisdiction, law could more adequately engage with the complexities and contingencies of technological change.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Supernatural Law

Batton Lash's new book featuring Supernatural Law, The Monsters Meet at Court Street, is out: it features attorneys Alanna Lash and Jeff Byrd. More here.

September 7, 2012

Forty-Six Years of a Wagon Train To the Stars

Google's home page for today, September 7, 2012, features an adorable tribute to Star Trek: The Original Series (ST:TOS), which debuted on September 7, 1969. Click on the figures--sound effects!

Star Trek, and its spin-off shows have had a profound impact on popular culture. Dean Martha Minow made mention of an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (ST: TNG)--the famous episode Measure of a Man--in her address to the graduating class of 2011. According to this New York Times article, both President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney (and both also perhaps not incidentally HLS  grads) are ST fans. The late Rev. Martin Luther King famously urged actress Nichelle Nicholas not to leave the show after her first year because of her iconic presence as Lt. Uhura. And legal scholars have found time to write about the law-related themes on the various ST shows. Now, that's legal and societal impact.

Selected bibliography

Daniel Bernardi, Star Trek in the 1960s: Liberal-Humanism and the Production of Race, 24 Science Fiction Studies 209 (1997).

Paul Joseph and Sharon Carton, The Law of the Federation: Images of Law, Lawyers, and the Legal System in Star Trek, the Next Generation, 24 University of Toledo Law Review 43 (1992-1993).

Michael P. Scharf and Lawrence D. Roberts,  The Interstellar Relations of the Federation: International Law and Star Trek - The Next Generation, 25 University of Toledo Law Review 577 (1994).

Star Trek Visions of Law and Justice (Robert H. Chaires and Bradley Chilton, eds., University of North Texas Press, 2004).

More about the show's impact on pop culture here (from the Christian Science Monitor), a check on the ST:TOS cast here (from ABC News).

September 6, 2012

A New Book From Jose Calvo Gonzalez

José Calvo González, Professor of Philosophy of Law, University of Malaga, sends word of a new publication, and provides the Table of Contents.

Occasio iuris. Estuche de miniaturas y extravagantes Prefacio de Luis Cancellier de Olivo Fundaçao Boiteux, Florianópolis (Brasil), 2012, 232 pp.
ISBN: 978-85-7840-075-0.
Luis Cancellier de Olivo
La vida a pie de muro
Esos maravillosos ‘Frikis’
Morir en paz
¿Ruidos? No sólo “il dito in bocca”
Sobre las vísperas de un Idus de Marzo
Las aceitunas de la ira
La Justicia por televisión
Spam, el cartero incesante
La paloma acuchillada
Justicia de proximidad
Europa y los Derechos
Revolución judicial neocon
Derecho cultural de la Comunicación
Jueces de Paz Escolares
Teoría pop del Preámbulo
Ironías de la libertad de expresión
Tráfico y expansión punitiva
¿Alta velocidad civil del desamor?
La Justicia, entre los juncos
Que aunque neglo, gente somo
Fiscalía instructora y Derechos fundamentales Caso “bebe Wyatt” Exigencias ético-jurídicas decisivas Harmonías jurídicas. Algunas notas (musicales) sobre Derecho y Justicia Ley 13/2005, sobre modificación del Código Civil en materia de derecho a contraer matrimonio: Reforma matrimonial, Adopción y Sociedad Genocidio y Jurisdicción universal: más olvidos renunciables De la palabra ley y las palabras de la ley Justicia de la Memoria. Sobre una Ley por la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica Armonización jurídica europea: Derecho de familia. Matrimonio Certeza jurídica e Ignorancia del Derecho Ley de la Memoria, segundo “punto fnal”
Biblia, Corán y jueces
El principio “ley de la ventaja” y la regla de indignidad sucesoria El Código civil de Andrés Bello y los cayucos La naturaleza corporal como mítica del lenguaje (o cómo hacer palabras con
Internet comicial (Sobre acuerdos e instrucciones de la Junta Electoral Central española) Ravel, Haydn y la pirámide normativa de Kelsen Swift y observancia de la ley antitabaco Mass media y arqueología jurídica (Una fábula de regreso al futuro) Democracia omisiva y derecho de sufragio activo. (Sobre el voto de los detenidos en dependencias policiales) De la ilusión del día de Reyes, el Derecho y la Justicia