June 14, 2019

Waters and Nelson on Reconsidering the Legal History of Blockade and Submarines in WWI @DeanCWaters @WindsorLaw

Christoper Waters, University of Windsor Faculty of Law, and Robert Nelson, University of Windsor, are publishing Slow or Spectacular Death: Reconsidering the Legal History of Blockade and Submarines in WWI in the University of Toronto Law Journal. Here is the abstract.
In popular culture and imagination, World War I was a bloody, muddy, senseless, almost accidental conflict. International law seems far removed from the causes of the war or the way hostilities were conducted. This seeming irrelevance of international law in popular imagination is rejected in intellectual, literary, and scholarly accounts. However, during the centenary of the war, it is time to rethink the role law played in this first large-scale conflict of the twentieth century. Drawing on recent legal historiography as well as original research, this article will argue, through a look at the conduct of naval warfare, that law was central to how Allied, Central, and neutral states navigated the conflict. Specifically, we examine the role law played in the practices of the warring parties in navigating the interdiction of – and attacks on – the civilian shipping of belligerents and neutrals.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

June 13, 2019

New From Edward Elgar: Research Handbook on Feminist Jurisprudence @ElgarPublishing

New From Edward Elgar:

Research Handbook on Feminist Jurisprudence (Robin West and Cynthia Grant Bowman, eds., 2019).
The Research Handbook on Feminist Jurisprudence surveys feminist theoretical understandings of law, including liberal and radical feminism, as well as socialist, relational, intersectional, post-modern, and pro-sex and queer feminist legal theories. Featuring contributions from a diverse team of prominent scholars, this Research Handbook illuminates the ways in which feminist scholarship has enriched understandings of law’s sometimes subordinating structures and the ways in which law can be interpreted or changed so as to promote the equality, liberty, wellbeing, and interests of women. The expert contributors offer a vast range of feminist perspectives on law, including liberal, radical, and post-modern feminism, and explore the implications of these theoretical stances for understandings of the nature of law, legal change, and the relationship between law and politics. Chapters analyse the influence of feminist legal theories on doctrinal areas of law including US constitutional and civil rights law, international law, and various areas of private law. This insightful book will be of interest to law students, legal scholars, and scholars of political and moral philosophy seeking to understand the entire body of feminist legal scholarship from the early 1970s to the present, as well as its variants, and relationships among different theoretical perspectives.

Research Handbook on Feminist Jurisprudence 

Kate Hamburger Center for Advanced Study "Law as Culture: Fellowship: Call For Applications

The Kate Hamburger Center for Advanced Study "Law as Culture"
Fellowship Posting

Announcing a Fellowship Posting by the Kate Hamburger Center for Advanced Study "Law as Culture" for the research period from April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2022.

The Kate Hamburger Center for Advanced Study "Law as Culture" (
http://www.recht-als-kultur.de/en) invites academics of excellent standing to apply for a fellowship or junior fellowship for a maximum of 12 months on the subject: Law and Community.

OVERVIEW: Subsequent to developing the "Law as Culture" paradigm in the first funding phase (2010-2016), the Center will now direct its attention to the interaction between law and other cultural spheres in the second funding phase (2016-2022). During the stated research period, the Center is dedicated to examining the relationship between Law and Community. Within this research area, the diversity of cultures of family law and societal forms globally will be examined. Research projects shall also be oriented towards one of the Center's three traversal dimensions, namely "Cultures of Differentiation and Comparing Legal Cultures," "Human Rights and Autonomy," or "The Binding Force and the Emotive Foundations of the Law."

The tensions described and analyzed as contradictions of normative orders in theories of legal pluralism can only be understood with view to the social communities hiding behind these with their respective religious, indigenous, local, and regional claims. In this context, the question of how these social communities are held together requires closer examination, as does their relationship to secondary, superordinate, and subordinate legal ties. Concretely speaking, ideas of superior or even universalist legal communities, such as the European Legal Community or a Human Rights Community, should be explored while bearing in mind the normative and emotionally affective boundaries of community building.

Shaped by social proximity and emotional entanglement, the family continues to be regarded as a central place where societal values are reproduced, goods are distributed, and mutual responsibility is assumed. The longstanding principle of family solidarity is reflected in numerous legal orders. At the same time, however, family law also mirrors changing family forms and family ideals. A wide-ranging transformation of society and its normative foundations manifests in the pluralization of family forms. It is precisely on the basis of that which constitutes the normative character of the family that constructions of "us" and "them" become clear. In cases involving foreign elements, for example, the law of the "other" is applied using private international family law; exceptions based on public policy nevertheless call for a "we."

In addition to the comparison of family law cultures, the research area Law and Community seeks the comparison of (legal) cultures at the level of other forms of community and their connection to applicable law: Which social norm systems form traditional local neighborhoods, modern clan structures, or "post-traditional communities" in contemporary subcultures, and what is their relationship to state law? How are these particular claims to universal validity conveyed? To what extent is valid law accepted by them or pragmatically integrated, and do they attempt to enforce the ideas of norms beyond their own group boundaries?

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: The Kate Hamburger Center for Advanced Study "Law as Culture" offers a creative research atmosphere for various disciplines in the cultural and legal sciences. Academics of excellent standing are invited to apply by July 15, 2019. Applications should include a résumé, project description (5-10 pages), and selected publications, as well as list the applicant's availability during the research period. They should be submitted preferably by email (
kaesling@uni-bonn.de) or, alternatively, by mail:

Directorate of the Kate Hamburger Center for Advanced Study "Law as Culture"
c/o Dr. Katharina Kaesling
Research Coordinator
Konrad-Zuse-Platz 1-3
53227 Bonn

June 12, 2019

Jewel and Campbell, Death in the Shadows @ljewel

Lucy A. Jewel , University of Tennessee College of Law, and Mary Campbell are publishing Death in the Shadows in Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal (2019). Here is the abstract.

This paper is about the law and visual culture. Its centerpiece is Parson Weems’ Fable (1939), a painting by the American artist Grant Wood (1891-1942) that depicts the apocryphal story of George Washington and the cherry tree. At first glance, Wood’s image appears to celebrate an enduring myth of American virtue, namely Washington’s precocious inability to tell a lie. Studying the picture more closely, however, one finds a pair of black figures, presumably two of the Washingtons’ slaves. Stationed beneath dark storm clouds and harvesting cherries from a second tree, these slaves invoke yet another national myth, that of the domestic serenity that supposedly reigned on Virginia’s colonial plantations. In the process, they quietly invoke the country’s grievous history of racial oppression, coercion, and brutality.
This isn’t the only place where Woods’ painting speaks of racial violence. To the contrary, Parson Weems’ Fable also raises the specter of lynching. Examining the shadows directly beneath the Washingtons and their fabled tree, one discovers a hanging black body. Intentional or not, this dangling corpse conjures the spectacular acts of theatrical violence that mobs of Euro-Americans inflicted on African Americans during the late nineteenth century and well into the twentieth. By the 1930s, heated protests emerged against lynching—in popular songs, magazines, and art exhibitions, as well as more traditional political arenas. Unlike the painters most closely associated with him, Wood didn’t participate directly in such moments of artistic protest. Nonetheless, he would have been exposed to them as he painted Parson Weems’ Fable in the winter of 1939.
Regardless of Wood’s intentions, the work he created persistently connects the country’s origin myths to the murderous violence the U.S. has repeatedly inflicted on persons of color. Moreover, as the painting itself seems to realize, the law and culture forged by colonial Virginia planters like George Washington eventually morphed into a collective white psychopathy that found vicious expression in the practice of spectacle lynching. This colonial legal regime was deeply visual—a fact that accounts for not only its power, but also for the fundamental influence it continues to exert on current American conceptions of race.
A deep reading of Parson Weems’ Fable in the context of both its time (1939) and its setting (1736) reveals the extent to which the law is visual and the visual is legal. Indeed, the painting gives us a valuable lens for perceiving the pervasive connections that run between the two. Our thesis is that the profoundly visuo-legal nature of the country’s racial foundations helps explain the lack of progress the nation has made in dismantling the color line. As a result, the impulse to join the seemingly unrelated disciplines of legal study and art history isn’t an academic gimmick, but rather a necessity. For centuries, images have worked in tandem with statutes, judicial decisions, and various forms of legal (and illegal) punishment to indelibly imprint a logic of racial violence in our collective mindset. In order to fully excavate this logic, we need scholars who can analyze pictures as well as the law.
In terms of structure, we begin by introducing the painting and our analytical framework and method. After that, we explain the theoretical foundations for studying law and culture in this context. Finally, we connect colonial Virginia’s legal and cultural landscape to the traumatic racial violence that continues to haunt our national mythology.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Lehtimäki on Necessary Connection Between a Theory of Law and Theory of the State

Mika Lehtimäki, University of Oxford, Faculty of Law, has published Necessary Connection between a Theory of Law and Theory of the State. Here is the abstract.
Legal theory is essentially an inquiry into the nature of law, its fundamental features and institutions. Such theories are also inherently linked with human communities and especially communities that have acquired institutionalised features and practices that we commonly call ‘legal’. As such, law and legal system is often an aspect of a political system. Theories of the state, on the other hand, deal essentially with questions on the possibilities of legitimate structure of domination in our political societies, often in territorial states centralized for collective and exclusive exercise of power over our lives and fortunes. This paper evaluates two apparently opposing views on the necessary connections of theories of law and state. I argue in the paper that the question is a fundamental one and results directly from the underlying objectives a legal or a political theorists sets as his or her agenda. For example setting as the fundamental objective of law as providing normative reasons for action of its subjects, remaining true to the agenda does not require inquiry into moral or equivalent justifications. The opposite is true is if the fundamental objective of law were constraining the government from atrocities against its subjects.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

June 11, 2019

Forthcoming Publication: Monika Fludernik, Metatphors of Confinement (OUP, 2019) @ArsScripta

Forthcoming: Monika Fludernik, Metaphors of Confinement: The Prison in Fact, Fiction, and Fantasy (Oxford University Press, 2019).
Metaphors of Confinement: The Prison in Fact, Fiction, and Fantasy offers a historical survey of imaginings of the prison as expressed in carceral metaphors in a range of texts about imprisonment from Antiquity to the present as well as non-penal situations described as confining or restrictive. These imaginings coalesce into a 'carceral imaginary' that determines the way we think about prisons, just as social debates about punishment and criminals feed into the way carceral imaginary develops over time. Examining not only English-language prose fiction but also poetry and drama from the Middle Ages to postcolonial, particularly African, literature, the book juxtaposes literary and non-literary contexts and contrasts fictional and nonfictional representations of (im)prison(ment) and discussions about the prison as institution and experiential reality. It comments on present-day trends of punitivity and foregrounds the ethical dimensions of penal punishment. The main argument concerns the continuity of carceral metaphors through the centuries despite historical developments that included major shifts in policy (such as the invention of the penitentiary). The study looks at selected carceral metaphors, often from two complementary perspectives, such as the home as prison or the prison as home, or the factory as prison and the prison as factory. The case studies present particularly relevant genres and texts that employ these metaphors, often from a historical perspective that analyses development through different periods.

 Cover for 

Metaphors of Confinement

Via Simon Stern (@ArsScripta).

Call For Applications: Institute for Interdisciplinary Legal Studies, University of Lucerne, Visiting Fellows 2020

From the e-mailbox:

Call for Applications: Visiting Fellows 2020 The Institute for Interdisciplinary Legal Studies at the University of Lucerne is currently welcoming applications for visiting fellowships for 2020. The Visiting Fellows Programme enables promising junior scholars (PhD students and postdocs) to spend a period of time conducting research at the institute. During their stay, fellows enjoy access to our specialist resources, and are invited to share and develop their ideas via participation in lectures, seminars, colloquia and conferences. The fellowships provide a grant towards travel and accommodation costs, with the possibility of an additional stipend to defray supplementary living expenses. The standard period of tenure is between four and eight weeks. The submission deadline is Monday 30 September 2019. Further details here: Visiting Fellows Programme 2020.

Recent Publications in Law and Literature @routledgebooks

ICYMI: Recently published books in the area of law and literature, from Routledge: Chloe A. Gill-Khan, The Politics of Integration: Law, Race, and Literature in Post-War Britain and Frace (Routledge, 2019) (Studies in Migration and Diaspora).
After almost seven decades, Britain and France, nations with divergent political cultures and heirs to contrasting philosophies of 'integration', have proclaimed the failure to integrate their post-war ethnic minorities: at this present time, the ‘Muslim’. The ‘argument’ of this book, therefore, is a question: despite the legal, political and social commitments that emerged from the events of the Holocaust, why do both nations continue to govern minorities on the sites of the law and race? Through comparative readings of British Asian and Franco-Maghrebian literatures, the author examines the contours and patterns of British and French post-war governance and racism over four decades. Departing from prevailing theories in postcolonial studies that situate post-war racism within the narrative of colonialism or the politics of the nation-state, The Politics of Integration shows how we must re-appraise the inter-war histories of minorities if we are to ask more meaningful questions about the present. We are invited to take stock of how well theorization of post-war ethnic populations and their politics have served us in terms of asking: what does history tell us, and how and where do we - Europe and its minorities - go from here? As such, the book will appeal to scholars in multiple disciplines in the humanities and social sciences such as history, philosophy, literature, cultural and postcolonial studies.

The Politics of Integration: Law, Race and Literature in Post-War Britain and France, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover 
Baber Johansen, The Islamic Law on Land Tax and Rent: The Peasants' Loss of Property Rights as Interpreted in the Hanafite Legal Literature of the Mamluk and Ottoman Periods (Routledge, 2018) (Routledge Library Editions: Islam, State, Society)
This book, first published in 1988, argues that a close inspection of the development of Hanafite law in the Mamluk and Ottoman periods reveals changes in legal doctrine which were not restricted to civil transactions but also concerned the public law. It focuses in particular on the interrelated areas of property, rent and taxation of arable lands, arguing that changes in the relationship between tax and rent led to a redefinition of the concept of landed property, a concept at the very heart of the Islamic legal system. This title will be of particular interest to students of Islamic history.

The Islamic Law on Land Tax and Rent: The Peasants' Loss of Property Rights as Interpreted in the Hanafite Legal Literature of the Mamluk and Ottoman Periods, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover 

Livkhovski on The Eagle and the Dove: Jewish Law Scholars and Roman Law During the Interwar Period

Assaf Likhovski, Tel Aviv University, Buchmann Faculty of Law, has published The Eagle and the Dove: Jewish Law Scholars and Roman Law during the Interwar Period in Pensiero giuridico occidentale e giuristi romani: Eredità e genealogie (Pierre Bonin, Nader Hakim, Fara Nasti and Aldo Schiavone eds., Torino: G. Giappichelli, 2019). Here is the abstract.
In the early decades of the twentieth century, a group of Jewish legal scholars working in Eastern Europe, and later in Mandatory Palestine, sought to « revive » (i.e., modernize) Jewish law and turn it into the legal system of the Jewish community in Palestine — and later the legal system of the State of Israel. Inspired by the nationalist legal ideas of the German historical school, as well as the successful revival of the Hebrew language, the Jewish legal revival project created a body of scholarship on Jewish law, established the first Jewish law school in Mandatory Palestine, and even influenced the work of a unique communal court system that functioned in the Jewish community in Palestine until the end of British rule in that territory. The Jewish legal revival project had an ambivalent attitude to Roman law (both ancient and modern). Modern scholarship on Roman law, especially nineteenth-century German legal scholarship, was seen as a model to be emulated by the Jewish legal revivers. Indeed, the Jewish legal revival project was often simply understood as a process of reorganization of the materials of Jewish law based on legal categories, models, and methodologies taken from modern Roman law scholarship. On the other hand, the legal revivers saw Roman law as the « other » of Jewish law, often arguing that the principles underlying the latter were utterly different from those of the former. Roman law was thus imagined and used by the early-twentieth-century Jewish law scholars discussed in this article in contradictory ways: sometimes as a legal system that should be emulated, and sometimes as a legal system whose norms and institutions should be shunned. Thus, as this article shows, Roman law, as it was described in the legal thought of the group of legal scholars I study, was used as a foil against which modern Jewish legal identity could be created.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

UNSW Offering PhD Scholarship: Applications Being Accepted Now @UNSW

From Dr. Ben Golder, Associate Dean (Education), Faculty of Law, UNSW Sydney

UNSW is continuing its generous Scientia Scholarship scheme, which features a full fee waiver, a $41,209 (AUD) annual stipend, and an annual professional development fund.

The UNSW Scientia PhD Scholarship Scheme is part of UNSW’s dedication to harnessing our cutting-edge research to solve complex problems and improve the lives of people in local and global communities. Scientia candidates will have a strong commitment to making a difference in the world with demonstrated potential for contributing to the social engagement and/or global impact pillars of the UNSW 2025 Strategy.

Applicants are required to express their interest in a specific research area with an identified supervisory team. There are over 190 research projects to choose from. The following project, working with Dr Ben Golder, Dr Jessica Whyte and Dr Daniel McLoughlin, may be of interest to members of this list and their students:https://www.scientia.unsw.edu.au/scientia-phd-scholarships/crisis-human-rights

This project critically interrogates the claim that there is a contemporary ‘crisis’ of human rights. Under threat both from right-wing authoritarians and xenophobic populists and from left-wing critics of their neoliberal politics and apologetics for militarised humanitarian intervention, proponents of HR face a reckoning with our troubled political times. What is the fate of human rights in the era of populist insurgencies, neoliberal austerity and endless global war? Using the tools of critical theory, the project will examine scholarly and public critiques of human rights, asking whether existing HR movements, organisations and norms are sufficiently robust to respond to them. 

June 7, 2019

Newly Published: Kathryn D. Temple, Loving Justice: Legal Emotions in William Blackstone's England (NYU Press) @NYUpress

Newly published: Kathryn D. Temple, Loving Justice: Legal Emotions in William Blackstone's England (NYU Press, 2019). Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's contents.
William Blackstone’s masterpiece, Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765–1769), famously took the “ungodly jumble” of English law and transformed it into an elegant and easily transportable four-volume summary. Soon after publication, the work became an international monument not only to English law, but to universal English concepts of justice and what Blackstone called “the immutable laws of good and evil.” Most legal historians regard the Commentaries as a brilliant application of Enlightenment reasoning to English legal history. Loving Justice contends that Blackstone’s work extends beyond making sense of English law to invoke emotions such as desire, disgust, sadness, embarrassment, terror, tenderness, and happiness. By enlisting an affective aesthetics to represent English law as just, Blackstone created an evocative poetics of justice whose influence persists across the Western world. In doing so, he encouraged readers to feel as much as reason their way to justice. Ultimately, Temple argues that the Commentaries offers a complex map of our affective relationship to juridical culture, one that illuminates both individual and communal understandings of our search for justice, and is crucial for understanding both justice and injustice today.

 Loving Justice

June 6, 2019

Ortman on When Plea Bargaining Became Normal @WillSOrtman

William Ortman, Wayne State University School of Law, is publishing When Plea Bargaining Became Normal in the Boston University Law Review (Volume 100, 2020). Here is the abstract.
Plea bargaining is the criminal justice system, the Supreme Court tells us, but how did it get to be that way? Existing scholarship tells only part of the story. It demonstrates that plea bargaining emerged in the nineteenth century as a response to (depending on one’s theory) increasing caseloads, expanding trial procedures, or professionalizing law enforcement. But in order for plea bargaining to truly become the criminal justice system, the legal profession would have to accept and internalize it. That was not its first reaction. When legal scholars and reformers in the 1920s discovered that bargaining dominated America’s criminal courts, they quickly denounced it as abusive. By the 1960s, only four decades later, the legal profession had learned to love it. This article investigates the process that made plea bargaining the normal way of doing American criminal justice. The story unfolds in three parts — plea bargaining’s discovery by and frosty reception from the “crime commissions” of the 1920s; its rehabilitation by the Legal Realists in the 1930s; and finally its decisive embrace by scholars and judges in the 1950s and ‘60s. The Realists’ starring role is surprising, as they are not usually recognized for contributing to criminal law or procedure. This article shows that they deserve credit (or plausibly blame) for taking the first major steps towards normalization. The article also pays close attention to an objection to plea bargaining that arrived late — that it depends on coercing defendants to plead guilty. By the time this objection emerged in the 1950s, plea bargaining’s momentum was too strong; legal elites, and, ultimately, the Supreme Court, saw no option but to rationalize it away. Above all, this article reveals that normalized plea bargaining is newer and more historically contingent than it seems.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Giltaij on Reinventing the Principles of Roman Law @helsinkiuni

Jacob Giltaij has published Reinventing the Principles of Roman Law. Here is the abstract.
This contribution examines whether the work Prinzipien des roemischen Rechts (1934) by the German professor of Roman law Fritz Schulz (1879-1957) counts as an example of "refugee scholarship".
Download the work from SSRN at the link.

June 4, 2019

Nevada Law Journal Symposium, September 26-28, 2019: Classical Rhetoric as a Lens for Contemporary Legal Praxis

Nevada Law Journal Symposium, September 26-28, 2019, Las Vegas, Nevada:

Classical Rhetoric as a Lens for Contemporary Legal Praxis

Details to come. See the event website here.

Reminder: Law and Humanities Roundtable: June 29, 2019


Law and Humanities Roundtable 2019
29 June, University of Warwick

The interdisciplinary arena of law and humanities is a rich and developing area of scholarship, with an international and diverse field of academics and thinkers at work within it. It is also an area that is characterised by an openness to innovation and new voices, and an expansive understanding of the value of humanities methodologies and sources as part of the ecology of legal discourse. The aim of this on-going annual roundtable is in part to provide a platform for, and thereby showcase, those working in law and humanities, but in particular to promote conversation and reflection between different approaches, methods, and voices within the range of law and humanities work. At its inception, the event is intended to be both expressive of contemporary law and humanities and reflexive in terms of law and humanities as a disciplinary phenomenon. Participants are encouraged not only to communicate and share the substance of their own work, but also to engage in contemplative discussion around the values, histories, methods, and possible futures of law and humanities within and beyond the global legal academy.

The roundtable is associated with the journal Law and Humanities, and is organised by members of its editorial board with financial support from Routledge.
Confirmed Speakers
  • Angela Condello (University of Roma Tre)
  • Sophie Doherty (Durham University)
  • Jeanne Gaakeer (Erasmus School of Law)
  • David Gurnham (University of Southampton)
  • Golnar Nabizadeh (University of Dundee)
  • Sophie Rigney (University of Dundee)
For more information, please contact Thomas Giddens (t.giddens@dundee.ac.uk).
How to get to Warwick: https://warwick.ac.uk/about/visiting/

May 31, 2019

Newly Published: Jonathan Crowe, Natural Law and the Nature of Law (Cambridge UP, 2019) @CambridgeCore @CambridgeUP

Jonathan Crowe, Bond University School of Law, has published Natural Law and the Nature of Law (Cambridge University Press, 2019). Here is the abstract.
This book provides the first systematic, book-length defence of natural law ideas in ethics, politics and jurisprudence since John Finnis's influential Natural Law and Natural Rights. Incorporating insights from recent work in ethical, legal and social theory, it presents a robust and original account of the natural law tradition, challenging common perceptions of natural law as a set of timeless standards imposed on humans from above. Natural law, Jonathan Crowe argues, is objective and normative, but nonetheless historically extended, socially embodied and dependent on contingent facts about human nature. It reflects the ongoing human quest to work out how best to live flourishing lives, given the natures we have and the social environments we inhabit. The nature and purpose of law can only be adequately understood within this wider context of value. Timely, wide-ranging and clearly written, this volume will appeal to those working in law, philosophy and religious studies.

Natural Law and the Nature of Law 

May 28, 2019

Corcos on What We Talk About When We Talk About Law Schools @LpcProf @HedgehogsFoxes

Christine A. Corcos, Louisiana State University Law Center, has published What We Talk About When We Talk About Law Schools: Deconstructing Meaning In Popular Culture Images of Legal Education at Hedgehogs and Foxes. Here is the abstract.
Films, television, and novels often send us very specific messages about law schools and legal education that tend to replicate and reinforce both general notions about the ways in which we educate our lawyers, and in turn sustain our legal system. Most movies, tv shows, and novels mention the Ivy League law schools because they represent the first step toward guaranteed achievement in a legal career. Such mentions serve as proxies for several things, including that the character who attended the school is intelligent, ambitious, and possibly from a privileged background. Even viewers who know little about law schools are familiar with U.S. News Rankings and what those rankings mean. Viewers understand that Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Stanford lead the list. They know that these schools are the most selective and prestigious. If popular culture characters attend, graduate from, or teach at these schools, then they are likely to be smart, or wealthy, or ambitious.
Download the article from SSRN or from the website at the links.

AALS Section on Legal History Posts Call for Papers For Section Program, 2020 AALS Annual Meeting

The AALS Section on Legal History is pleased to announce a call for papers for its section program, which will be held during the 2020 AALS Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. The program is entitled “A Century of Women’s Suffrage.”

2020 marks one hundred years since the 19th Amendment was ratified, ushering in the last century of women’s suffrage in the United States. This program will bring together scholars writing on the history of women’s suffrage, broadly construed. Submissions should relate to any aspect of women’s suffrage, including exploring the suffrage movement that culminated in the 19th Amendment, addressing how the 19th Amendment affected political parties or politics in the subsequent century, and comparing the women’s suffrage movement to analogous social movements.

Eligibility and Submission Requirements: This Call for Papers is open to all faculty members from AALS member schools. Submissions should not exceed 30,000 words, including footnotes. You may submit a CV as well, but are not required to do so.

Submission Process: To be considered for participation as a panelist, please email a copy of your submission to Evan Zoldan at evan.zoldan@utoledo.edu by July 31, 2019. Participants selected by the Legal History section executive committee will be notified by September 1, 2019.

Questions: If you have any questions about the panel, please contact Evan Zoldan at evan.zoldan@utoledo.edu.  A link to the CFP can be found on the AALS website, here: https://am.aals.org/proposals/section-calls-for-papers/

Bhagwat on Judge Johnson and the Kaleidoscopic First Amendment @AlaLawReview

Ashutosh Avinash Bhagwat, University of California, Davis, School of Law, is publishing Judge Johnson and the Kaleidoscopic First Amendment in the Alabama Law Review. Here is the abstract.
Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr.’s decision in Williams v. Wallace, in which Judge Johnson issued an opinion which permitted the Selma March to proceed despite unremitting opposition from local and state authorities, is now a settled part of American history. Furthermore, today few question the underlying correctness of the decision. But in fact, seen in the wider context of modern First Amendment jurisprudence, Judge Johnson’s decision was remarkable. Just how remarkable it was becomes apparent when it is contrasted with a decision of the United States Supreme Court just a year later, Adderly v. Florida, in which the Court upheld the trespass convictions of participants in a civil rights protest on the grounds of a county jail. Adderly, authored by that most vociferous defender of civil rights and liberties Justice Hugo Black, demonstrates that the modern First Amendment has rarely been interpreted to require access by protestors to public property when that access might interfere with its regular uses. Yet in Williams Judge Johnson authorized a 54 mile long march by 25,000 protestors along a public highway! Why did Judge Johnson rule as he did, in the face of precedent and judicial norms? Part of the answer has to lie in the unique back-history of the March, which included stunning acts of violence and brutality on the part of officials and the KKK. But there was a constitutional insight driving Judge Johnson’s decision as well, one that Justice Black missed. The opinion in Williams v. Wallace demonstrates an understanding of two fundamental points about the First Amendment that the modern Supreme Court (beginning, in a very meaningful way, in Adderly itself) has forgotten. The first is that the First Amendment protects multiple political rights, not just free speech. The second is that these rights, though related, are distinct and cumulative. More specifically, Judge Johnson recognized that what was at issue in the Selma March was not just free speech, but also association, assembly and petition, and that these rights fortify one another. In other words, Judge Johnson recognized the kaleidoscopic nature of the First Amendment in its relationship to citizenship and democracy. That is an insight that should not have been lost, and which we would do well to recover today.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

May 24, 2019

Ingram on George Washington's Attorneys

Scott Ingram, High Point University, is publishing George Washington's Attorneys: The Political Selection of United States Attorneys at the Founding in volume 39 of Pace Law Review (2018). Here is the abstract.
Current political and prosecutorial norms reflect the belief that the administration of justice must be insulated from partisan politics. Each day, federal prosecutors make decisions regarding people’s lives and liberty. The federal prosecutors decide whom to charge, for what and when. They can charge anyone so long as they have probable cause to believe the person committed a federal crime. Probable cause is not a high standard. Consequently, a federal prosecutor with political ambitions is able use prosecutorial power to advance partisan political purposes. Similarly, ambitious Justice Department lawyers can use their policy-making authority to target political opponents or politically-unpopular organizations. To make this less likely, norms developed to insulate federal prosecutors from political forces. The norms have insulate specific cases and some believe they should also include policy decisions. This Article examines the relationship between the Nation’s first President and the selection of United States Attorneys. It argues that politics played an important, if not primary, role in the President’s selections. George Washington sought those who would represent the government’s interests, adhere to the government’s policies, and advance Washington’s political goals. His selections also demonstrated Washington’s requirement of loyalty to America. In this respect, the politicization of United States Attorneys occurred at the outset. Part I of this Article defines politicization and identifies its four aspects. Part II describes the United States Attorney position as understood through the 1789 Judiciary Act and state experience. Part III examines how Washington’s selections and selection process included three of the four politicization categories. The concluding Section briefly explores the ramifications of politicization and its potential benefits in today’s prosecutorial environment.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

May 23, 2019

Tushnet and Seidman on A Conversation About a Half Century in Legal Education @Harvard_Law @GeorgetownLaw

Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law School, and Louis Michael Seidman, Georgetown University Law Center, have published On Being Old Codgers: A Conversation about a Half Century in Legal Education. Here is the abstract.
This conversation, conducted over three evenings, captures some of our thoughts about the last half century of legal education as both of us near retirement. We have edited the conversations so as to eliminate verbal stumbles and present our ideas more coherently, slightly reorganized a small part of the conversation, and added a few explanatory footnotes. However, we have attempted to keep the informal tone of our discussions.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

May 22, 2019

Stockmeyer on Trailblazing Women Chief Justices @WMUcooleylaw

Norman Otto Stockmeyer, Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, has published Trailblazing Women Chief Justices, at The Mentor, Spring 2019, at 4. Here is the abstract.
Nearly 60 women have achieved the position of Chief Justice of a state Supreme Court in the past 50+ years. Here are brief profiles of a few who were of particular significance as trailblazers.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

LaVigne and Miles on Brendan Dassey, Language Impairments, and Judicial Ignorance @WisconsinLaw

Michele LaVigne, University of Wisconsin Law School, and Sally Miles, Independent, are publishing Under the Hood: Brendan Dassey, Language Impairments, and Judicial Ignorance in volume 82 of the Albany Law Review (2019). Here is the abstract.
Making a Murderer, the Netflix documentary sensation, introduced the world to two unlikely protagonists, Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey of Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Both were convicted of a 2005 homicide and received life sentences. Avery was the main focus of the series, but it was Brendan, a developmentally-delayed sixteen-year-old, who won the heart and outrage of viewers. The primary piece of evidence against Brendan was a “confession” cruelly extracted by law enforcement. The voluntariness of that confession was litigated in state and federal courts for over a dozen years. Tragically, most of the courts, including the final Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals en banc majority, were completely oblivious to fact that Brendan’s had the kind of severe communication and language impairment which would have left him helpless against the out-of-control interviewing style used by law enforcement. This article examines what the courts overlooked. In order to fully assess the interviews and their impact, the co-authors had to do an under the hood analysis of Brendan’s language and communication skills as well as the communication of law enforcement. The co-authors, a clinical law professor and a speech language pathologist, suspected that Brendan suffered from a language impairment (disabling deficiencies in oral language competency), and we were right. The court file contained school records and assessments that placed Brendan’s language and communication skills in the lowest percentile of all sixteen-year-olds. This impairment had a profound impact on all aspects of Brendan’s functioning. The other part of the equation was more complicated, but equally revealing. With the assistance of a language transcription company we closely analyzed law enforcement communication, and how that communication would affect someone like Brendan. The results were alarming. Almost everything the two officers did in the course of interrogating Brendan violated the most minimal standards for interviewing any juvenile, but especially one with underdeveloped language and communication skills. By the time we finished our review, we were confident that the verbal behavior of law enforcement throughout the interrogations of Brendan, coupled with his poor ability to linguistically cope and his age, made him a prime candidate for unwillingly—and unwittingly—confessing to a crime he did not commit. This article describes our findings. It shows how law enforcement essentially abused Brendan with a chaotic mess of verbiage. And how, up against such a relentless verbal torrent, Brendan never stood a chance. The article also analyzes the myriad ways that the courts were simply wrong in their assumptions about Brendan, communication, and human behavior. On a larger scale, we believe that this article, and the process that created it, can provide a prototype for future cases. Brendan Dassey’s impairment is not unique, and within the criminal justice system, it is not even unusual. Nor, unfortunately, are egregious police interviewing “techniques.” The use of speech-language expertise and discourse analysis could be useful to prevent the kind of grotesque injustice done to Brendan Dassey.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Call For Papers, 4IR: Philosophical, Ethical, Legal Dimensions, September 3-5, 2019

Call for Papers
4IR: Philosophical, Ethical, Legal Dimensions

The conference aims to bring together scholars from a range of disciplines to discuss the philosophical, ethical, and legal questions raised by the onset of the so-called ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ and its emerging technologies. In some cases, the questions are long standing and recent technologies are leading to a novel reconsideration of them. In other cases, seemingly new questions are arising – questions that range from the ethical and legal to the epistemological and foundational.
Deadline for Abstracts

3–5 September 2019
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
15 June 2019 (extended deadline)
30 June 2019
Helen Robertson (Wits), Turgay Celik (NEPTTP, Wits), Rod Alence (Wits), Casey Sparkes (NEPTTP), Anwar Vahed (DIRISA)

Submissions are invited on the philosophical, ethical, and legal dimensions of, among others,

Algorithmic Automation
Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Life
Big Data
Cyber Warfare
Data Mining
Deep Learning
Machine Learning
Open Data
Personal Data
Simulation and Virtual Reality
Social Media

Submission of abstracts is via Easychair at https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=4irphel. Short (180-200 word) and extended (800-1000 word) abstracts should be prepared for blind review and submitted by 15 June 2019.

Submissions from the following disciplines are especially encouraged.

Applied Ethics
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Information
Philosophy of Computation
Data Protection Law
Interdisciplinary submissions from the following disciplines are equally encouraged.

Data Science
Cognitive Science
Computer Science

The keynote address will be given by Brent Mittelstadt, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.

Publication of selected papers in a conference special issue is planned for 2020. Further details will be announced.

Queries regarding abstract submission or the conference more generally can be directed to Helen Robertson at <helen.robertson@wits.ac.za>  or via the conference website at https://easychair.org/smart-program/4IRPhEL/about.html.

The conference is funded by the National e-Science Postgraduate Teaching and Training Platform (NEPTTP) and the Data Intensive Research Initiative of South Africa (DIRISA).

May 21, 2019

Visual Images and Popular Culture in Legal Education: A New Issue of the JLE @TheAALS

The latest issue of the Journal of Legal Education (v. 68. no. 1), a symposium, is devoted to the topic of Visual Images and Popular Culture in Legal Education. A number of law professors offer essays on the ways in which pop culture informs the teaching of law. As Michael Asimow and Ticien Sassoubre, the editors of the Symposium, explain, the essays are organized into three sections. The first section's essays discuss the use of images in teaching law school classes. The essays in the second section discuss how to use images to help students interpret and create their own materials. The third set of essays discusses courses that focus on the law and pop culture course as a sub-discipline.

Perlin on Bob Dylan, War, and International Affairs @NYLawSchool

Michael L. Perlin, New York Law School, has published 'You That Build the Death Planes': Bob Dylan, War and International Affairs. Here is the abstract.
Several years ago, I wrote that Bob Dylan was “a scholar with a well-developed jurisprudence on a range of topics including civil, criminal, public, and private law” (Perlin, 2011, p.1396). In that article, I discussed and analyzed Dylan songs that dealt with, variously, civil rights, inequality in the criminal and civil justice systems, institutions, governmental/judicial corruption, equality and emancipation, and the role of lawyers in the legal process. (Id.). But I noted that I was omitting – for space considerations – any discussion of Dylan songs dealing with war and international affairs (Id., p. 1398, n. 15). In this paper, I will address some of those songs that confront these topics directly (from John Brown, Highway 61, Masters of War, With God on Our Side, and Let Me Die in My Footsteps, to Slow Train and Neighborhood Bully), as well as others that do so more metaphorically or symbolically (e.g., It’s Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding); A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall; Gates of Eden; Pay in Blood). I will conclude that, beyond the anthemic anti-war core of songs such as Masters, Dylan’s work reflects a keen understanding of geopolitics – why there is war, how profiteering is inevitably part of any pro-war movement, how alliances forged in war time are fragile in the aftermath, and how wars are, inevitably, “mistakes of a past history” (Footsteps) – all a reflection of the Political World in which we live. I also look at these issues through the lens of therapeutic jurisprudence, a model of looking at the law and the legal system to determine that system’s impact on the individuals whose lives are regulated.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Adeyemi on Modern Trends in Legal Thoughts: A Jurisprudential Outline

Babatunde Ajani Adeyemi, Babcock University, has published Modern Trends in Legal Thoughts: A Jurisprudential Outline. Here is the abstract.
The subject matter of this paper – Modern Trends in Legal Thoughts – connotes new thinking in Legal theory. Themes like; the current trends in analytical and normative jurisprudence, theories of justice, critical legal studies movement, feminist jurisprudence, critical race theory, and post-modernist jurisprudence, among others, constitute strands of the ‘new’ jurisprudential thoughts to be examined in this paper. ‘New’ in this context does not mean ‘novel’, because every product of law in the real sense, may be no more than the product of its time and place. This point is further illustrated by the comments of Freeman, M.D.A, that ‘contemporary thinking and contemporary questions have often rekindled interest in, and thrown new lights upon classical writers. It is the intention of this writer to approach the subject as a genealogical exercise, with the hope that at the end of the paper, a modest attempt to build a kind of bridge between theory and practice of law, would at least have been discernible.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Dudziak on Hitler's American Model and Transnational Legal History @marydudziak

Mary L. Dudziak, Emory University School of Law, has published The Outcome of Influence: Hitler’s American Model and Transnational Legal History at 117 Michigan Law Review 1179 (2019). Here is the abstract.
James Q. Whitman’s powerful book, Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Race Law, offers a chilling example of the way the United States can negatively influence the world. This review essay sets the book within the context of foreign relations history and transnational legal history. I first trace Whitman’s careful examination of Nazi uses of American law. His evidence of direct and substantial Nazi discussion of U.S. law when writing the Nuremburg Laws makes his core claim indisputable that American law was a model for the Nazis. Whitman shows that Nazi law sometimes did not go as far as American law due to foreign relations concerns. I argue that attention to Nazi foreign policy history would deepen this history, helping to explain how and when foreign criticism led Germany to modify its approach to race law. Hitler’s ultimate goal was the expansion of German power, not the maintenance of a positive German image, so any moderation in the Nuremberg Laws due to foreign criticism was likely tied to specific goals, like the importance of particular trade relations to Hitler’s goal to expand Germany. Finally, the essay sets Hitler’s American Model within the broader history of the international impact of domestic law. The foreign relations impact of U.S. race discrimination provides an illuminating comparison because foreign criticism played a different role than the German experience. Negative international reaction to American racism during the early Cold War years led American leaders to believe that civil rights reform was essential to protecting the U.S. global image, which mattered to maintaining American Cold War leadership. In comparison, Nazi concerns may have been tied to efforts to build up their arms industry as a means of enabling German power. Comparing the two examples can illuminate the varied relationships between domestic law and international affairs. The international role of domestic law is not limited to the borrowing of legal texts, and the transnational promotion of legal norms. Domestic law can also be an aspect of a nation’s diplomacy. The essay suggests questions for future scholars to pursue, and includes in the footnotes concrete ideas and resources for researching the transnational history of domestic law.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Call For Papers, Political Theology Theology Network Conference, NYC, October 17-19, 2019

Political Theology Network Conference

Columbia University & Union Theological Seminary

New York City

October 17-19, 2019

***Call for Papers Deadline Approaching: June 1
***Funding Available
***Keynote Speakers: Michelle Alexander, Gil Anidjar, Silvia Federici, Lap Yan Kung, Intisar Rabb, Najeeba Syeed
We invite proposals of 200-300 words for projects exploring political theology, broadly understood as an interdisciplinary conversation about intersections of religious and political ideas and practices. Under the sign of “political theology” political theorists have reflected on analogies between political and theological sovereignty, theologians have reflected on the role of memory and hope in political engagement, and cultural theorists have performed ideology critique. We are looking for projects that may draw on but also challenge and transform such classic conversations about political theology. We embrace the vibrant scholarly and activist work being done under the sign of political theology around the world, particularly in contexts of domination. African, Arab, Asian, and Latinx political theological traditions interrogate discourses around “sacred” and “profane” bodies. Indigenous activists organize to dismantle the anthropocentricism and “civilizing mission” of settler states. Scholars of secularism explore the relationship between caste, political culture, and everyday life in India. Black Muslim intellectuals theorize the power of popular protest and the religious nature of #BlackLivesMatter. Anti-colonial theologians from across the globe discuss abolition, anarchy, statelessness, and “higher laws.” Still others invite us to imagine “the end of the world.” We aim to bring together scholars, activists, and artists working with ethnographic, theoretical, theological, legal, historical, literary, and cultural studies methods motivated by a concern for justice. We are particularly interested in proposals that speak to the following themes:
  • economies
  • ecologies
  • legalities
  • embodiments
  • gender and sexualities
  • racializations
  • citizenship, migration, place and displacement
  • colonialisms (including settler colonialism and relations between settlers and Indigenous peoples)
  • critical disability studies
  • technologies and artificial intelligence
  • fictions and poetics
  • public scholarship and creative pedagogies
  • religious nationalisms and religious pluralities
Proposals that address these themes from diverse global and religious perspectives are especially welcome. We invite five different presentation formats:
  1. Paper presentation or pre-arranged papers panel (we anticipate allotting 90 minutes for each panel)
  2. Poster
  3. Dialogue or roundtable around a single theme (roundtables that include a combination of academics,
    activists, and representatives of the community are strongly encouraged)
  4. Activist workshop (e.g. teach-in, facilitated conversation, skills-building session, etc.)
  5. Performative piece (e.g. poem, spoken word, music, drama, dance, film, digital media, creative fiction readings, etc.) (Please submit either a general description of the piece or the performative work itself. Please
    also indicate any preferences for room and A/V setup.
This conference, hosted by Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University, is also funded by grants from the Henry Luce Foundation and Emory University’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion. It hosts a professional network connecting scholars of political theology across varying fields and traditions, and we are eager for proposals to advance conversations about what political theology could look like both in and outside the academy.
Submit proposals to Winfield Goodwin, PTN Conference Coordinator, at ptn19.proposals@gmail.com

Proposals Due June 1, 2019.

A limited amount of funding will be available to offset conference travel costs. Note: this funding is not available to tenured or tenure-track faculty (or equivalent). If you would like to be considered for funding, please indicate that with your submission.

Eugene Garver on Spinoza and the Cunning of Imagination (University of Chicago Press, 2018)

ICYMI: Eugene Garver, Spinoza and the Cunning of Imagination (University of Chicago Press, 2018). Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's contents.
Spinoza’s Ethics, and its project of proving ethical truths through the geometric method, have attracted and challenged readers for more than three hundred years. In Spinoza and the Cunning of Imagination, Eugene Garver uses the imagination as a guiding thread to this work. Other readers have looked at the imagination to account for Spinoza’s understanding of politics and religion, but this is the first inquiry to see it as central to the Ethics as a whole—imagination as a quality to be cultivated, and not simply overcome. ​Spinoza initially presents imagination as an inadequate and confused way of thinking, always inferior to ideas that adequately represent things as they are. It would seem to follow that one ought to purge the mind of imaginative ideas and replace them with rational ideas as soon as possible, but as Garver shows, the Ethics don’t allow for this ultimate ethical act until one has cultivated a powerful imagination. This is, for Garver, “the cunning of imagination.” The simple plot of progress becomes, because of the imagination, a complex journey full of reversals and discoveries. For Garver, the “cunning” of the imagination resides in our ability to use imagination to rise above it.

 Spinoza and the Cunning of Imagination

May 20, 2019

Sherwin and Celermaier's Introduction to A Cultural History of Law in the Modern Age @RKSherwin

Richard K. Sherwin, New York Law School, and Danielle Celermaier, University of Sydney, are published Introduction to 'A Cultural History of Law in the Modern Age' in A Cultural History of Law in the Modern Age (Forthcoming). Here is the abstract.
A distinguishing feature of the twentieth century is the loss of any unitary foundation for truth, ethics, and the legitimate authority of law. With the emergence of radical pluralism, law became the site of extraordinary creativity; on occasion, a source of rights for those historically excluded from its protection. At the same time, it was a century convulsed by worldwide violence within and among states. Amidst pervasive fragmentation, however, the century also saw an unprecedented surge in mass communication (radio, film, television, and the Internet). It was as if for each new perspective on reality there arose an alternative medium for its transmission. 'A Cultural History of Law in the Modern Age' braids these centrifugal movements. Each chapter tells a story about how state power – or resistance to power – has been exercised within a particular expressive medium. From the instigation of genocidal state violence through the acoustics of radio, to the performance of Aboriginal land claims in traditional songs and ceremonial dance, to live street theater as a form of local resistance to corporate power, these case studies show how discrete modes of communication construct, memorialize, and disseminate political and legal meaning. They suggest that we will need to grow adept in multiple ways of knowing, wielding a diverse array of expressive and interpretive tools and modes of attunement, if we are to steady the course of judgment in the ongoing quest for truth and justice under the rule of law.
Download the Introduction from SSRN at the link.

Law and Humanities Roundtable 2019 To Be Held June 29 at the University of Warwick @ThomGiddens @routledgebooks

From the email box:

Law and Humanities Roundtable 2019
29 June, University of Warwick

The interdisciplinary arena of law and humanities is a rich and developing area of scholarship, with an international and diverse field of academics and thinkers at work within it. It is also an area that is characterised by an openness to innovation and new voices, and an expansive understanding of the value of humanities methodologies and sources as part of the ecology of legal discourse. The aim of this on-going annual roundtable is in part to provide a platform for, and thereby showcase, those working in law and humanities, but in particular to promote conversation and reflection between different approaches, methods, and voices within the range of law and humanities work. At its inception, the event is intended to be both expressive of contemporary law and humanities and reflexive in terms of law and humanities as a disciplinary phenomenon. Participants are encouraged not only to communicate and share the substance of their own work, but also to engage in contemplative discussion around the values, histories, methods, and possible futures of law and humanities within and beyond the global legal academy.

The roundtable is associated with the journal Law and Humanities, and is organised by members of its editorial board with financial support from Routledge.

For more information, please contact Thomas Giddens (t.giddens@dundee.ac.uk).

Confirmed Speakers

Angela Condello (University of Roma Tre)
Sophie Doherty (Durham University)
Jeanne Gaakeer (Erasmus School of Law)
David Gurnham (University of Southampton)
Golnar Nabizadeh (University of Dundee)
Sophie Rigney (University of Dundee)

Booking will be open soon; Eventbrite details to follow.