April 25, 2014

Call For Papers: AALS Section on Law and the Humanities, January 2015 AALS Annual Meeting

From Charlton Copeland, University of Miami:

Call for Panelists
AALS Section on Law and Humanities
“Law and the Hero”
2015 AALS Annual Meeting
January 2-5, 2015, Washington, D.C.

Law and the Hero.  No, this is not an apt example of an “oxymoron” in the dictionary.  The law has had, and still has, many heroes.  For example, the federal judges in the South who implemented the desegregation mandate of Brown v. Board of Education were, as Jack Bass has written, unlikely heroes who maintained a steadfast commitment to the rule of law despite facing constant political opposition and personal attacks.  Ronald Dworkin argued that judges should aim to be heroes – specifically, like Hercules, acting with superhuman wisdom and patience to, in the words of Eric Posner, “bring order to the Augean stables of our law.”  (Posner did not agree with this view of the judge, arguing that judges should avoid making controversial constitutional decisions in order to allow such decisions to be worked out in the political process.)  Atticus Finch has long been hailed as heroic lawyer, albeit a fictional one, although Malcolm Gladwell has asked whether we should rethink Finch’s heroism.

What qualities define a hero in the law?  What role do heroes play in the law?  How is our thinking about heroism and the law influenced by other disciplines, such as history, literature, and philosophy?  And who are your heroes in the law?  This program will explore these issues with both invited panelists and panelists accepted through this call. 

The AALS Section on Law and Humanities invites your submissions on these questions and any others that touch upon the subject of “Law and the Hero.”  The Section will then select a number of submissions to be presented at the annual meeting in Washington, D.C., in January 2015.

To be considered as a panelist, please submit a statement of interest by Friday, May 9, 2014.  The statement should include a description – two to three paragraphs are sufficient – of your presentation that will address one or more of the themes highlighted in the above description and the methodology through which you will advance such themes. Please also submit a current curriculum vitae. Submit all materials to Professor Rodger Citron, Touro Law Center, via electronic mail at rcitron@tourolaw.edu.

Panelists will be selected by Friday, May 16, 2014. The Section hopes to have these papers published as part of an online mini-symposium sponsored by a law review, either in print or online.  All panelists will be responsible for paying their annual meeting registration fee and travel expenses. Full-time faculty members of AALS member law schools are eligible to submit papers. Foreign, visiting (and not full-time on a different faculty) and adjunct faculty members, graduate students, and fellows are not eligible to submit.

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