June 30, 2017

Likhovski on the Intellectual History of Law @TelAvivUni

Assaf Likhovski, Tel Aviv University School of Law, is publishing The Intellectual History of Law in The Oxford Handbook of Historical Legal Research (Markus Dubber and Christopher Tomlins, eds., Oxford University Press.,--). Here is the abstract.
This chapter identifies some recent trends in historiography generally, and in the study of intellectual history. The chapter discusses the relevance of these trends to the study of the intellectual history of law, referring to relevant legal history works reflecting these trends, noting existing lacunas, and proposing future directions of development of the study of the intellectual history of law.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

June 28, 2017

A Special Issue on Law and Popular Culture From the Journal of the Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies @OxfordCSLS

Now published:

Special issue of the Journal of Oxford Center for Socio-Legal Studies: Law and Popular Culture (Issue 3, 2017).

This issue includes

Opening matters, by Pedro Fortes and Michael Asimow

Foreword: The Funhouse Mirror: Law and Popular Culture, by Lawrence M. Friedman

Jewish Lawyers on Television, by Michael Asimow

Outside But Within: The Normative Dimension of the Underworld in the Television Series "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul," by Manuel A. Gomez

The Portrayal of the Corporate Lawyer on TV: The US and British Models from L.A. Law To Trust and Suits, by Peter Robson

Lights, Camera, Affirmative Action: Does Hollywood Protect Minorities? by Pedro Rubim Borges Fortes

Photography's Transformation: Its Influence on Culture and Law, by Henry J. Steiner 

Law and Opera: Stimuli to a Sensible Perception of Law, by Gabriel Lacerda
More Human Than Human: How Some Science Fiction Presenta AI's Claims to the Right to Life and Self-Determination, by Christine A. Corcos

Law and Literature: A Dilettante's Dream? by William Twining 

Wire From the Field: Tackling Visual Knowledge: The Story of the Yale Visual Law Project, by Sandra Ristovska

Book Review: Law and Popular Culture: A Course Book by Michael Asimow and Shannon Mader

June 27, 2017

Law In Popular Belief: A New Book From Manchester University Press @ManchesterUP

New from Manchester University Press:

Law in Popular Belief (Anthony Amatrudo and Regina Rauxloh, eds., 2017).

From the publisher's website:

In recent years there has been a significant growth in interest of the so-called "law in context" extending legal studies beyond black letter law. This book looks at the relationship between statute law and legal practice. It examines how law is applied in reality and more precisely how law is perceived by the general public in contrast to the legal profession. The authors look at a number of themes that are central to examining ways in which myths about law are formed, and how there is inevitably a constitutive power aspect to this myth making. At the same time they explore to what extent law itself creates and sustains myths. The book will be of general interest to a number of different disciplines such as legal theory, general law, criminology and sociology.


Introduction - Anthony Amatrudo and Regina E. RauxlohPart I: Perception shaped by traditional media1 Criminology through the looking glass - Colin Sumner2 What do they know of law who only cop shows know? Anthony Amatrudo3 Regurgitating the media image: toward a phenomenology of the 'visible' in criminal justice - Matthew R. Draper and David PolizziPart II: Perception shaped by other means4 'Kony is so last month' - lessons from social media stunt 'Kony 2012' - Regina E. Rauxloh5 A comparative analysis of the criminal and civil justice systems in England and Wales - Matthew R. Smith6 Beliefs about the European Court of Human Rights in the United Kingdom Parliament - Paul Johnson7 Forward! Coding, de-coding, and re-coding law in public art for urban regeneration - Ronnie LippensPart III: Perception of those at the fringe of society8 Criminology and the legacies of Clarice Starling - David Wilson9 Letters to Casey Anthony, a woman accused of murder - Lizzie Seal10 The gypsy's lot: myth and reality - Robert Jago 

Law in popular belief

Are These the Principles We're Looking For? Watching "Star Wars" and Thinking About International Relations

Roy Lee discusses international law, policy, and human rights lessons we can draw from Star Wars, here, in a column for Jurist. Mr. Lee is Legislative Counsel, Law Officers of the Crown, Guernsey, Channel Islands, UK.

Selected readings about Star Wars, law, and the practice of law, below:

Omar Ha-Redeye, Star Wars, Like All Things, Is Legal, at Slaw, December 27, 2015.

Timothy D. Peters, 'The Force' As Law: Mythology, Ideology and Order in George Lucas's Star Wars, 36 Australian Feminist Law Journal 125-143 (2012).

Cass Sunstein,  The World According To Star Wars (Dey Street Books, 2016).

Evan Weinberger, May the Law Be With You: Become a Legal Jedi With Star Wars, at LAW360, May 31, 2016.

And for fun:

If Star Wars Launched a Law Firm, at Above the Law, August 23, 2012.

Star Wars: Law and Order(short: parody opening credits)

Domingo on the Law of Property in Ancient Rome @EmoryLaw

Rafael Domingo, Emory University School of Law; University of Navarra, has published The Law of Property in Ancient Roman Law. Here is the abstract.
This paper addresses the Roman law of ownership and the rights that modified it, including, for instance, the rights of predial servitude and usufruct. Classic Roman jurists focused on private property over other kinds, such as sacred property and public property. Their doctrine of ownership was so influential that it has prevailed for centuries and even now maintains a substantial presence in the legal systems of the civil law tradition and in the realm of international law. There are even similarities to English property law, although English common law developed separately, based largely on feudal law.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Some Films For the Comparative Law Folks @maksdelmar @KentLawSchool @BritAssCompLaw

Geoffrey Samuel, Professor of Law, Kent Law School, has posted ten choices for films "for the comparatist," here at BACL (British Association of Comparative Law). Among his selections: The Bitter Tea of General Yen, and The Warlord.  More here. 

Via @maksdelmar.

Burri on International Law and David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest" @HSGStGallen

Thomas Burri, University of St. Gallen, has published International Law, Infinite Jest. Here is the abstract.
This short paper shows how international law mirrors David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest". While it should generally be of interest to both international lawyers and aficionados of "Infinite Jest", hopefully it also satisfies an urge we all sometimes feel when coping with the rigid rules of our professional discipline: the urge to smile for fear of losing our sanity.
Notes: (The paper is based on an essay written in German for a Festschrift for Daniel Thuerer.) Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Roznai on Entrenching Secularism in Consitutions

Yaniv Roznai, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, Radzyner School of Law; New York University, The Hauser Global Law School; University of Haifa, The Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions, has published Negotiating the Eternal: The Paradox of Entrenching Secularism in Constitutions at 2017 Mich. St. L. Rev. 253. Here is the abstract.
This article seeks to study the eternal protection of the principle of secularism in national constitutions. It examines actual existing constitutional arrangement which prima facie provide secularism an absolute protection from change in the constitution, in an attempt to identify and explain the character of these existing constitutional arrangements. Part I of this Article discusses Secularism as an Eternal Constitutional Principle. It reviews various constitutions which entrench secularism as an implicit or explicit principle. Part II explains why constitutional eternity should not be regarded as if the protected constitutional principles are non-negotiable. This is demonstrated through three case studies which focus on Turkey, Tajikistan, Mali. Against the backdrop of these case studies, I argue that eternal principles should be regarded as negotiable on three main grounds. First, as long as eternity clauses are not self-entrenched, they can be formal amended. Second, what is protected by the eternity clauses is a constitutional principle – secularism rather than a rule. In light of it elastic meaning, the principle of secularism can therefore be reshaped and reinterpreted with time. Third, when the values protected by constitutional unamendability conflict with the community spirit or the Volksgeist, even the mechanism of constitutional eternity would not be able to hinder the true forces in society which demand change. Part III addresses what I term “the Circle of Eternity”. It demonstrates the central place of eternity in religious laws and natural law, an element which distinguishes them from secular law. It then describes the secular developments in the age of rationalization, in order to finally reveal the paradox of modern constitutional eternity; on the one hand, the basic fundamentals of modern constitutionalism are secular, from the standing point of popular sovereignty and people’s rational ability to decide their faith, destiny and consequently, to design their constitutional order. Yet, at the same time, this very presupposition rests as an unalterable pillar – an absolute truth which the constitutional eternity.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

June 26, 2017

A Book Bearing On the UK Judicial System: Isobel Williams's The Supreme Court: A Guide For Bears @otium_Catulle @UKSupremeCourt

Now available from the UK Supreme Court shop and from the artist, Isobel Williams,

The Supreme Court, A Guide For Bears. Paperback, 32pp, 8" x 10", illustrated in colour, ISBN 978-1-9997146-2-8

This book promises to be Beary Good, as well as a Pandamonium devoted to the judicial branch.

More about the book from Legal Cheek.

Domingo on the Roman Law of Succession @EmoryLaw

Rafael Domingo, Emory University School of Law; University of Navarra, has published The Roman Law of Succession. An Overview. Here is the abstract.
The law of succession addresses the legal destiny of a person’s rights and duties after his death. Closely tied to the fundamental and peculiar features of Roman family and society, the law of succession presents vast difficulties for Roman lawyers because of its highly sophisticated nature and lack of systematic coherence. It is no coincidence that eleven out of fifty books in the Digest address the law of succession. The development of the law of succession reflects important social changes in Roman economic structures and value systems. It echoes the progression from an old Roman agrarian society to a new commercial one. From a technical legal perspective, the law of succession reveals the tension between civil law and praetorian law. Without formally altering the civil law, the praetor introduced fundamental adjustments to protect emancipated persons, blood relatives in the female line, and surviving spouses, among others.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Tucker on When Wage Theft Was a Crime in Canada, 1935-1955

Eric Tucker, York University, Osgoode Hall Law School; Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (Visiting), is publishing When Wage Theft Was a Crime in Canada, 1935-1955 in volume 54 of Osgoode Hall Law Journal. Here is the abstract.
In recent years the term “wage theft” has been widely used to describe the phenomenon of employers not paying their workers the wages they are owed. While the term has great normative weight, it is rarely accompanied by calls for employers literally to be prosecuted under the criminal law. However, it is a little known fact that in 1935 Canada enacted a criminal wage theft law, which remained on the books until 1955. This article provides an historical account of history of the wage theft law, including the role of the Royal Commission on Price Spreads, the legislative debates and amendments that narrowed its scope and the one unsuccessful effort to prosecute an employer for intentionally paying less than the provincial minimum wage. It concludes that the law was a symbolic gesture and another example of the difficulty of using the criminal law to punish employers for their wrongdoing.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Adams and Stanger-Ross on The Unlawful Dispossession of Japanese-Canadians During WWII @ericadams99 @UVicHistory

Eric M. Adams, University of Alberta Faculty of Law, and Jordan Stanger-Ross, University of Victoria, are publishing Promises of Law: The Unlawful Dispossession of Japanese Canadians in volume 54 of the Osgoode Hall Law Journal. Here is the abstract.
This article is about the origins, betrayal, and litigation of a promise of law. In 1942, while it ordered the internment of 21,457 Canadians of Japanese descent, the Canadian government enacted orders-in-council authorizing the Custodian of Enemy Property to seize all real and personal property owned by Japanese Canadians living within coastal British Columbia. Demands from the Japanese Canadian community and concern from within the corridors of government resulted in amendments to those orders which made clear that the Custodian held that property as a “protective” trust, and would return it to Japanese Canadians at the conclusion of the war. That is not what happened. In January 1943, a new order-in-council authorized the sale of all seized Japanese-Canadian-owned property. The trust abandoned, a promise broken, the Custodian sold everything it had taken. This article traces the promise to protect property from its origins in the federal bureaucracy and demands on the streets to its demise in Nakashima v Canada, the Exchequer Court decision holding that the legal promise carried no legal consequence. We argue that the failure of the promise should not obscure its history as a product of multi-vocal processes, community activism, conflicting wartime pressures, and competing conceptions of citizenship, legality, and justice. Drawing from a rich array of archival research, our article places the legacy of the property loss of Japanese Canadians at the disjuncture between law as a blunt instrument capable of gross injustice and its role as a social institution of good faith.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Tugendhat on Slavery and Comparative Law in Eighteenth Century England @LawLeicester

Michael Tugendhat, Leicester Law School, has published Slavery and Comparative Law in Eighteenth Century England as University of Leicester School of Law Research Paper No. 17-08. Here is the abstract.
This paper addresses the contemporary criticism to the European Court of Human Rights in the UK by underscoring how the English law on human rights has been positively influenced by the laws of other European countries, in the same fashion as English law has traditionally influenced such foreign laws. The means for this analysis is a case-study on the introduction of the French law on slavery and the subsequent implementation of such principles in England. Slavery had been abolished in France since the early 1300s. Moorish slaves brought to France were being freed from at least 1571, as was recorded by Jean Bodin in 1576. In England, slavery had practically disappeared at the sunset of the Middle Ages. It resurfaced in the French and American colonies in the New World in the 1600s. In the period 1730-1790 French courts, citing Bodin, freed over 200 slaves brought to France from the colonies. In Somerset v Stewart, 1772, English courts finally held that slavery was not recognised by English law, which led to the termination of slavery in England once and for all; and it was the influence of French courts’ decisions on the bestowal of freedom to foreign slaves that led to the reasoning of the English Court.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Strange on Pardon and Parole in Prohibition-Era New York

Carolyn Strange, Australian National University, is publishing Pardon and Parole in Prohibition-Era New York: Discretionary Justice in the Administrative State in volume 54 of the Osgoode Hall Law Journal. Here is the abstract.
Historians of early-modern England and British colonies have productively applied Douglas Hay’s germinal study of mercy. In contrast, historians of the U.S. have overlooked the utility of the conceptual tools Hay provided to prise open the mitigation of punishment across time and place. In the decade that followed the First World War, disputes over the proper role of mercy and administrative discretion were as heated as they were in Hanoverian England. In Jazz Age New York, fears of gangsterism, and concern over the apparent laxity of parole regulations put the proponents of Progressive penology on the defensive. To analyse this moment, this essay asks what drove opinion against discretionary justice in the form of the pardon and parole, and traces the conditions that give rise to judgments that discretionary justice was too frequent and injudicious. A new vision of order, fixated on penal certainty, came into sharp focus over the 1920s, when mandatory sentencing statutes were introduced. Yet gubernatorial clemency survived that crisis, and in 1930 parole was professionalized and placed under stricter management. This paper confirms that modernity proved no match for discretionary justice. In its personal and administrative forms, it penetrates penal justice, despite the earnest drive to certainty and the persistent demands to terrorize criminals.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Baker on Musings and Silences of Chief Justice William Osgood: Digest Marginalia About the Reception of Imperial Law

Blaine Baker, Mc Gill University, is publishing Musings and Silences of Chief Justice William Osgoode: Digest Marginalia about the Reception of Imperial Law in volume 54 of the Osgood Hall Law Journal. Here is the abstract.
This essay focuses on musings and silences in the margins of Canadian Chief Justice William Osgoode's late-eighteenth-century law library, to understand the role he assigned to Westminster-based imperial law in the transmission of 'British justice' to the colonies. It concludes that role was limited, mostly by Osgoode's greater commitment of time and energy to legislative and executive branches of government than to the judiciary, and by his sometimes cavalier impatience with English courts and legal commentators.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Benvenisti and Lustig on Codifying the Laws of War to Restore the European Order, 1856-1874

Eyal Benvenisti, Cambridge University Faculty of Law, and Doreen Lustig, Tel Aviv University, Faculty of Law, have published Taming Democracy: Codifying the Laws of War to Restore the European Order, 1856-1874. Here is the abstract.
In this article, we contend that the canonical narrative about civil society’s efforts to discipline warfare during the mid-nineteenth century - a narrative of progressive evolution of Enlightenment-inspired international humanitarian law (IHL) - does not withstand scrutiny. On the basis of archival work and close reading of protocols, we argue that European governments codified the laws of war not for the purpose of protecting civilians from combatants’ fire, but rather to protect combatants from civilians eager to take up arms to defend their nation - even against their own governments’ wishes. We further argue that the concern with placing “a gun on the shoulder of every socialist” extended far beyond the battlefield. Monarchs and emperors turned to international law to put the dreaded nationalist and revolutionary genies back into the bottle. Specifically, we propose that it was the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 - 1871 and the subsequent short-lived, but violent, rise of the Paris Commune that prompted governments (more than any other war during this formative era of international law) to adopt the Brussels Declaration of 1874, the first comprehensive text on the laws of war. The new law not only exposed civilians to the war's harms, but also supported the growing capitalist economy by ensuring that market interests would be protected from the scourge of war and the consequences of defeat. The laws of war, in this formative stage, were more about restoring the political and economic order of Europe than about wartime.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

June 24, 2017

Smith on Larry Alexander as Anarchist

Steven Douglas Smith, University of San Diego School of Law, has published Alexander as Anarchist. Here is the abstract.
This essay, written for a festschrift for Professor Larry Alexander, considers the implications of Alexander’s rigorously intentionalist account of legal interpretation for the problem of legal and political authority. The essay argues (or so it seems) that Alexander’s hermeneutics, though persuasive, and though respectable enough in their exoteric meaning, constitute a surreptitious project aimed at producing anarchy.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

June 23, 2017

Donald Trump and Vladimir Nabokov @ArsScripta @FrankPasquale @NPR

Over at NPR, Danielle Kurtzleben has an interesting discussion of Donald Trump as a "unreliable narrator," asking whether he resembles Nabokov as a writer and offering us an explanation of why his Twitter feed fascinates us so much (well, apart from the part that he sits in the Oval Office, at least for now). She quotes Wayne C. Booth, the creator of the term "unreliable narrator" as writing, "All of the great uses of unreliable narration depend for their success on far more subtle effects than merely flattering the reader or making him work. Whenever an author conveys to his reader an unspoken point, he creates a sense of collusion against all, those, whether in the story or out of it, who do not get that point."

What point or points is Trump making and to whom? Commentators have already spilled a lot of ink and spent a lot of tv time opining on this issue. Who is his audience? Is he persuading anyone? Or is that even his purpose? Is he constructing an alternate reality, or presenting the reality that at least a substantial minority of the US public agrees exists?

BTW, Wayne C. Booth is just about my favorite literary theorist. His books, The Rhetoric of Fiction and The Rhetoric of Irony, are just amazing.

Via @ArsScripta, @FrankPasquale.

From the Creators of "Sherlock": A New Version of "Dracula"

Sherlock creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat are turning to an interpretation of Bram Stoker's Dracula  as their next project. Given that Sherlock  was quite an interesting contemporarization (is that a word?) of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories,  I'm looking forward to seeing what the pair does with Dracula. 

A lawyer plays a prominent role in the story--solicitor Jonathan Harker is initially involved in a property transaction for the Count, and things only get murkier from there. Read the text here (courtesy of Project Gutenberg).

There have been a few adaptations fairly recently of Dracula for tv and film, including the 1979 John Badham directed version with Frank Langella, the 1992 Francis Ford Coppola film treatment with Gary Oldman, the 2013 10 episode tv adaptation with Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and 1973's Philip Saville-directed Count Dracula starring Louis Jourdan (be still, my heart--my favorite version). Check IMDB.com for more interpretations, adaptations, and continuations of the Dracula legend.

Selected Readings

Maria Aristodemou, Casting Light On Dracula: Studies in Law and Culture, 56 Modern Law Review 760 (September 1993).

A. McGillivray, He Would Have Made a Wonderful Solicitor: Law, Modernity, and Professionalism in Bram Stoker's Dracula, in Lawyers and Vampires 225 (David Sugarman and W. Wesley Pue, eds., Hart Publishing, 2004).

Falletti on Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) and the Sunset of Ancien Regime Legacy on Modern Legacy Culture

Elena Falletti, Carlo Catteneo University, has published Le Nozze di Figaro and the Sunset of Ancien Régime Legacy on Modern Legal Culture. Here is the abstract.
The purpose of this abstract is focused on the character of the Count of Almaviva as representative of the transition from the Ancien Régime to the Nouveau Régime. From the private law perspective, the Count exploits Figaro's promise of marriage to Marcellina in the event of the breach of a debt incurred some time before. Despite his conflict of interest because he is the master, the Count tries to mislead the judgement of his subordinate, unsuccessfully, due to the parent-child relationship between Marcellina and Figaro themselves. However, he does not give up and the final double exchange of role keeps him in a ridicolous situation to obtain forgiveness from his wife, the Countess, quite a proto-feminist in this opera. From the public law perspective, the crisis of the figure of the Count of Almaviva clearly represents the decline of aristocracy itself. None of his subjects are afraid of him. For instance, Cherubino escapes the mandatory enrollment in the Count's regiment by dressing up as a girl. This as not only of scenic value, but it could represent a crisis of social roles on the eve of the French Revolution. The Marriage of Figaro represents an indispensabile inspiration for historical and multidisciplinary reflections to analyze the paradigm shifts which occurred in the late XVII Century and the legacy they have left on today's legal culture.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

June 22, 2017

Klatt on Legal Argumentation and the Rule of Law @profklatt

Matthias Klatt, University of Graz, Faculty of Law, has published Legal Argumentation and the Rule of Law. Here is the abstract.
Both the concept of legal argumentation and the concept of the rule of law are contested and subject to irrationality objections. The present article refutes these objections by analysing the two concepts and focussing on their mutual relation. Based on a new account of the rule of dual-natured law, it elaborates in detail on how law’s dual nature play out in the various forms and problems of legal reasoning, allowing for a third theory of legal argumentation which integrates formal and material elements by means of optimization.
This essay has appeared as "The Rule of Dual-Natured Law, in Legal Argumentation and the Rule of Law 27-46 (Eveline Feteris, Harm Kloosterhuis, Jose Plug, and Carek Smith, eds.; The Hague: Eleven International Publishing, 2016). Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Priel on Law and Digestion: A Brief History of an Unpalatable Idea

Dan Priel, Osgoode Hall, has published Law and Digestion: A Brief History of an Unpalatable Idea. Here is the abstract.
According to a familiar adage the legal realists equated law with what the judge had for breakfast. As this is sometimes used to ridicule the realists, prominent defenders of legal realism have countered that none of the realists ever entertained any such idea. In this short essay I show that this is inaccurate. References to this idea are found in the work of Karl Llewellyn and Jerome Frank, as well as in the works of their contemporaries, both friends and foes. But I also show the idea is older than the legal realists. One finds casual references to it in academic literature and newspapers from around that time, which suggest that the phrase reflected something of a received, if cynical, wisdom. Although none of the realists ever studied the question seriously, I further explain how it fit within their views on law, as well as how it might be tested today.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

June 21, 2017

June 20, 2017

Forthcoming: The Oxford Handbook of English Law and Literature, 1500-1700 @ArsScripta @maksdelmar @OUPAcademic @ChrisVVarren

Now available on Google Books (before it's available for purchase): The Oxford Handbook of English Law and Literature, 1500-1700 (Lorna Hutson, ed., OUP, 2017).   Available July 22.

This volume contains amazing essays from leading scholars, including Christopher Warren, Simon Stern, Lorna Hutson, Peter Goodrich, and Kathy Eden. See below for the impressive list of contributors.

Here's the Google Books link to the contents.

A must buy (though it's pricey) if you are in this field. Maybe put it on the holiday want list?

List of contributors
Alastair Bellany, Rutgers University
Martin Butler, University of Leeds
Alan Cromartie, University of Reading
Frances E. Dolan, University of California, Davis
Martin Dzelzainis, University of Leicester
Kathy Eden, Columbia University
Peter Goodrich, Cardozo School of Law
Paul D. Halliday, University of Virginia
Edward Holberton, University of Bristol
Robert Allan Houston, University of St Andrews
Daniel Hulsebosch, NYU School of Law
Lorna Hutson, University of Oxford
David Ibbetson, University of Cambridge
Norma Landau, University of California, Davis
James McBain, University of Fribourg
Margaret McGlynn, Western University
Bernadette Meyler, Stanford University
Mary Nyquist, University of Toronto
Joshua Phillips, University of Memphis
Paul Raffield, University of Warwick
Joad Raymond, Queen Mary University of London
Jason P. Rosenblatt, Georgetown University
Carolyn Sale, University of Alberta
Ethan H. Shagan, University of California, Berkeley
Barbara J Shapiro, University of California, Berkeley
James Sharpe, University of York
Quentin Skinner, Queen Mary University of London
Nigel Smith, Princeton University
Virginia Strain, Loyola University of Chicago
Tim Stretton, Saint Mary's University
Henry S. Turner, Rutgers University
Elliott Visconsi, University of Notre Dame
Christopher N. Warren, Carnegie Mellon University
Ian Williams, University College London
Jessica Winston, Idaho State University
Andrew Zurcher, University of Cambridge

Miller on The Law of Time Travel @nyulaw @HUJILaw

Akiva A. Miller, New York University School of Law; Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law, has published The Law of Time Travel. Here is the abstract.
Even as time machines remain as fictional as ever, time-travel stories hold important lessons for legal reasoning. Starting from the ancient paradigms of prophecy, the article explores the key features of the genre. Considering four key time-travel themes — the self-fulfilling prophecy, predictive policing, evil time-travelers, and getting one shot to undo a fateful moment — the article discusses how time-travel movies express subtle (and not-so-subtle) critiques of cornerstone legal concepts such as mens rea, culpability, obedience to law and individual freedom, regulation of information asymmetries, and negligence. Through this analysis, the article aims to introduce time-travel movies into the broader field of law and film studies.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Something Legal This Way Comes: A Trial For "Macbeth"'s Weird Sisters

Tonight (June 19, 2017), the Shakespeare Theatre Company held its semi-annual mock trial. Tonight the problem was derived from Macbeth, petitioners were the Weird Sisters, and respondent was the Kingdom of Scotland. 

The government of Scotland charged the Weird Sisters with practicing witchcraft, and aiding and abetting Macbeth with the murder of Duncan. Here's a link to the scenario. 

Here's a link to petitioners' brief; here a link to respondents' brief. 

Presiding justice: Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Via @KevinDaleyDC, @ThisInHaste.

June 19, 2017

New from the University of Toronto Press: Indigenous Women's Writing and the Cultural Study of Law by Cheryl Suzack @utpress

New from University of Toronto Press: Cheryl Suzack, Indigenous Women's Writing and the Cultural Study of Law (2017). Here from the publisher's website is a description of book's contents from the publisher's website.
In Indigenous Women’s Writing and the Cultural Study of Law, Cheryl Suzack explores Indigenous women’s writing in the post-civil rights period through close-reading analysis of major texts by Leslie Marmon Silko, Beatrice Culleton Mosionier, Louise Erdrich, and Winona LaDuke. Working within a transnational framework that compares multiple tribal national contexts and U.S.-Canadian settler colonialism, Suzack sheds light on how these Indigenous writers use storytelling to engage in social justice activism by contesting discriminatory tribal membership codes, critiquing the dispossession of Indigenous women from their children, challenging dehumanizing blood quantum codes, and protesting colonial forms of land dispossession. Each chapter in this volume aligns a court case with a literary text to show how literature contributes to self-determination struggles. Situated at the intersections of critical race, Indigenous feminist, and social justice theories, Indigenous Women’s Writing and the Cultural Study of Law crafts an Indigenous-feminist literary model in order to demonstrate how Indigenous women respond to the narrow vision of law by recuperating other relationships–to themselves, the land, the community, and the settler-nation.

Indigenous Women's Writing and the Cultural Study of Law 

Matal v Tam and Miracle on 34th Street

From today's ruling in
If private speech could be passed off as government speech by simply affixing a government seal of approval, government could silence or muffle the expression of disfavored viewpoints. For this reason, we must exercise great caution before extending our government-speech precedents.
Matal v. Tam, No. 15–1293. Argued January 18, 2017—Decided June 19, 2017. 

The court's decision in Miracle on 34th Street:

Uh, since the United States government declares this man to be Santa Claus, this court will not dispute it. Case dismissed. 
Harper, J.  

June 18, 2017

A New Book On Joyce and Law From Adrian Hardiman (Head of Zeus Books) @JJ_Gazette @HoZ_Books

Just published by Head of Zeus Books: Adrian Hardiman, Joyce in Court (2016). Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's contents.
Books about the work of James Joyce are an academic industry. Most of them are unreadable and esoteric. Adrian Hardiman's book is both highly readable and strikingly original. He spent years researching Joyce's obsession with the legal system, and the myriad references to notorious trials in Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. Joyce was fascinated by and felt passionately about miscarriages of justice, and his view of the law was coloured by the potential for grave injustice when policemen and judges are given too much power. Hardiman recreates the colourful, dangerous world of the Edwardian courtrooms of Dublin and London, where the death penalty loomed over many trials. He brings to life the eccentric barristers, corrupt police and omnipotent judges who made the law so entertaining and so horrifying. This is a remarkable evocation of a vanished world, though Joyce's scepticism about the way evidence is used in criminal trials is still highly relevant.
The late Adrian Hardiman was a judge of the Irish Supreme Court. He died in 2016.

June 17, 2017

James Joyce and Law: Some Readings

It's Bloomsday! Here are some references on the topic of James Joyce and the law.

On James Joyce and censorship:

A. Craig, The Banned Books of England and Other Countries: A Study of the Conception of Literary Obscenity (Allen & Unwin, 1962).

Paul Vanderham: James Joyce and Censorship: The Trials of Ulysses (Macmillan Press, 1998).

On copyright:

Robert Spoo, Copyright Protectionism and Its Discontents: The Case of James Joyce's "Ulysses" in America, 108 Yale L.J. 633-667 (1998).

Robert Spoo, Without Copyrights: Piracy, Publishing, and the Public Domain (Oxford, 2013) (Modernist Literature and Culture). Chapters 4-6.

On James Joyce and law generally:

Adrian Hardiman, Joyce in Court (Head of Zeus, 2016).

Joseph Valente, James Joyce and the Problem of Justice: Negotiating Sexual and Colonial Difference (Cambridge University Press, 1995).

Tips of the beret to @JJ_Gazette.

June 15, 2017

Curtis on Due Process Demands as Propaganda: The Rhetoric of Title IX Opposition

Annaleigh E. Curtis, Independent, is publishing Due Process Demands As Propaganda: The Rhetoric of Title IX Opposition in volume 29 of the Yale Journal of the Law and the Humanities (2017). Here is the abstract.
This Article focuses on a particular kind of objection to Title IX, which I call due process demands. They may take many forms, but the central idea is that students who are accused of misconduct, like sexual harassment or assault, are denied due process in campus adjudications—that such adjudications are unfair to the accused. This has become a criticism of Title IX, rather than universities themselves, largely because of the Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), which clarified some of the ways that universities must conduct these adjudications. This, in turn, is taken to be either a devastating objection to compliance with the DCL and/or an imperative on universities to provide more process for the accused, whether within the bounds of the DCL or not. I argue that such demands function as political rhetoric, specifically as a sort of propaganda, drawing on a recent taxonomy of propaganda. First, I explain what due process demands are, focusing particular attention on the discourse surrounding Title IX at Harvard Law School. Second, I explain what propaganda is and is not, drawing on recent philosophical work on propaganda and philosophy of language generally. Third, I apply the analysis to the case of due process demands, showing how and why such demands function as propaganda. Finally, I draw conclusions about what this means for the debate over Title IX itself.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Allen on Blackstone, Expositor and Censor of Law Both Made and Found

Jessie Allen, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, is publishing Blackstone, Expositor and Censor of Law Both Made and Found in Blackstone and His Critics (Wilfrid Prest and Anthony Page, eds., Hart Publishing, forthcoming). Here is the abstract.
Jeremy Bentham famously insisted on the separation of law as it is and law as it should be, and criticized his contemporary William Blackstone for mixing up the two. According to Bentham, Blackstone costumes judicial invention as discovery, obscuring the way judges make new law while pretending to uncover preexisting legal meaning. Bentham’s critique of judicial phoniness persists to this day in claims that judges are “politicians in robes” who pick the outcome they desire and rationalize it with doctrinal sophistry. Such skeptical attacks are usually met with attempts to defend doctrinal interpretation as a partial or occasional limit on judicial policy making. But this essay takes a different approach. I view the judicial performance of legal interpretation described in Blackstone’s Commentaries as a kind of ritual in which Blackstone participates. This response might seem to prove Bentham’s point. In the mainstream modern view, ritual is quintessentially false and irrational - an empty ceremony that distracts us from reality. But there is another way to think of ritual. On this account, ritual’s fictional performance is neither deceptive nor delusional. Rather, ritual practitioners act as if their ritual world is real, while recognizing the gap between ritual order and a chaotic, messy world. In my reading, Blackstone’s Commentaries describes an ambiguous ritual of judicial discovery, in which judges act as if they are finding objectively determined outcomes, while they - and we - understand and acknowledge that subjective creativity is involved in producing those results. Ritual is often associated with maintaining traditional social structures, and in the U S today Blackstone continues to be claimed by conservative “originalists” who treat the Commentaries as an authoritative guide to American law at the time of the country’s founding. But, while ritual cannot finally resolve real social conflicts, it need not always preserve a static social reality. The essay closes with an analysis of the judicial technique in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, a recent U.S. federal appeals court decision that deployed the ritual of judicial discovery to expand protection for the rights of LGBT Americans.

Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Calling Alexander Graham Bell

Ayun Halliday investigates the uses of inventor Alexander Graham Bell as representative of all kinds of TV spokesperson, from the obvious (electronic equipment) to the somewhat less so (chewing gum--well, maybe it's linked to speech, which goes into the phone?) to the obscure (Legos--Bell as a child making a phone out of the product--I'm really in the weeds now). Along the way, she points out that intellectual property law can be a concern if one uses images of dead figures in one's advertising. Public figures may also have post-mortem rights of publicity, depending on the jurisdiction.

For Open Culture. 

June 13, 2017

Spaak on Legal Positivism, Conventionalism, and the Normativity of Law @Stockholm_Uni

Torben Spaak, Stockholm University, has published Legal Positivism, Conventionalism, and the Normativity of Law. Here is the abstract.
The aim of this article is to investigate and see whether we can account for the normativity of law within the framework of legal positivism and whether the idea of a social convention could be of help in this endeavor. As I shall explain, I do not believe that it is possible to offer such an account; and to illustrate the difficulties involved in trying to do so, I am going to consider the accounts of the normativity of law proposed by three prominent jurisprudents, who all work in the tradition of legal positivism, namely, Hans Kelsen, Gerald Postema, and Andrei Marmor. I argue (A) that we need to distinguish carefully between (a) the problem of accounting for the normativity of law, conceived as a necessary property of law, and (b) the problem of accounting for the use of normative legal language on the part of judges, attorneys, legal scholars, and others; (B) that the contemporary debate about the normativity of law, which mainly concerns (a), is in substance, if not in form, more or less identical to the old debate between legal positivists and non-positivists; (C) that one simply cannot account for the normativity of law, conceived along the lines of (a), within the framework of legal positivism, whether or not one invokes the idea of a social convention, and that the problem of the normativity of law thus conceived and considered within the framework of legal positivism, is not an open, and therefore not a very interesting, legal-philosophical question; (D) that the important question for a legal positivist is whether a given legal order (or legal system) is in fact normative, in roughly the sense of justified (or authoritative) normativity (a notion to be explained below), and that to determine whether this is so, one needs to consider the content and the administration of this legal order; and (E) that the idea of conditional normativity, or normativity from a point of view, although of considerable interest when discussing (b), is of little or no interest to those who are concerned with (a). As regards claim (C), I argue, more specifically, (C1) that Kelsen’s theory of the basic norm offers no solution to (a), because it offers nothing more than normativity from a point of view, and that it is better understood as aiming to solve (b), (C2) that Gerald Postema’s coordination convention account, although in many ways a very fine account, cannot (as Postema is well aware of) generate obligations for the citizens, as distinguished from the legal officials, and (C3) that Andrei Marmor’s constitutive convention account, which capitalizes on the idea of conditional normativity, does not and cannot take things further than Kelsen’s basic-norm account does. On route to establishing claims (A)-(E), I also argue (i) that when discussing (α), we should focus on the level of legal orders (legal systems), not on the level of individual legal norms, (ii) that the claim that law is necessarily normative is to be understood as the conceptual claim that necessarily, if x is a legal norm, x is normative, not as the essentialist claim that if x is a legal norm, x is necessarily normative, and (iii) that we should think of the concept of a legal ‘ought’ as having the function of connecting grounds (or conditions) and consequences in legal norms and of the import of the concept of ought (or, roughly, the meaning of the word ‘ought’) as being the same in different fields. Furthermore, I argue (iv) that we should distinguish between different grades (or degrees) of normativity; (v) that the most interesting grade of normativity when discussing (α) is what Joseph Raz has called justified normativity; and (vi) that we may think of moral philosopher David Copp’s notion of authoritative normativity as an illuminating specification of the somewhat loose idea of justified normativity.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

June 12, 2017

First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All the Deans @chronicle

Ms. Mentor, channelled through Emily Toth, Professor of English and Women's Studies at LSU, offers her annual-ish list of academic list of novels for summer reading here for the Chronicle of Higher Education. This year, the theme is nasty deans. I wouldn't have thought there were all that many to choose from. I am so naive.

  • Alfred Alcorn, Murder in the Museum of Man (1997).
  • Saul Bellow, The Dean’s December (1982).
  • Willa Cather, The Professor’s House (1925).
  • David Fleming, It’s All Academic (2000).
  • John Gardner, Mickelsson’s Ghosts (1982).
  • Jean Hanff Korelitz, The Devil and Webster (2017).
  • Bernard Malamud, A New Life (1961).
  • Bourne Morris, The Red Queen’s Run (2014).
  • Cathy Perkins, The Professor (2012).
  • Joanne Rendell, The Professors’ Wives’ Club (2008).

  • Kim A. Smith, The Cora Crane School of Journalism: a Novel of Academic Shenanigans (2016). 

  • To the list I suggest looking at film and tv deans: check out the Dean Bitterman trope in TV Tropes.  See also the Perry Mason episode The Case of the Decadent Dean (s7, ep. 5).

    From my own wonderful dean, Tom Galligan, (definitely not a candidate for literary extermination and who provided the title for this post: "Out, out, damned deans!"

    Call for Papers: Argumentation Conference, Brno, The Czech Republic @ThomGiddens @MasarykUni

    Here is a link to a CFP  for the International Conference on Alternative Methods of Argumentation in Law, Faculty of Law, Masaryk University, October 27, 2017. The submission deadline is July 31st, 2017.

    The Faculty of Law has held previous conferences in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015.

    Via @ThomGiddens

    June 10, 2017

    TV Watching and Trump @ConversationUK

    James Shanahan, Dean of the Media School, Indiana University, and Michael Morgan, Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, identify a correlation between higher television watching and support for the current President. Read more here at The Conversation. 

    June 9, 2017

    Pop Culture Profs and the Profs Who Love Them @chronicle

    Images of pop culture professors: do real life academics see themselves on the screen? On tv? In novels? More here from Suhuana Hussain in The Chronicle of Higher Education. 

    A Blog For Crime Fiction Mavens @CriFiLover

    If you like to read crime fiction, check out the blog Crime Fiction Lover, written and edited by Catherine Turnbull, Mike Parker, MarinaSofia, Garrick Webster, Purity Brown, Sandra Mangan, Jeremy Megraw, Louis Bravos, Vicki Weisfeld, Mal McEwan, and Philip Rafferty, They cover books (classic and newly published), news, events, and other material of interest to lovers of the genre. Follow the blog on Twitter at @CriFiLover.

    Poscher on the Hermeneutics of Law @CambridgeUP

    Ralf Poscher, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, is publishing The Hermeneutics of Law: An Analytical Model for a Complex General Account in The Cambridge Companion to Hermeutics (Michael Forster and Kristin Gjesdal, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2017). Here is the abstract.
    In contrast to monistic conceptions of hermeneutics as interpretation, legal hermeneutics has always been acutely aware of the complexity of our hermeneutic practices. The legal tradition thus speaks in favor a complex conception of hermeneutics that identifies the different activities involved. The essay tries to show that such diverse activities as interpretation, rule-following, construction, association, the exercise of discretion, and judgments on significance can all be involved in the application of the law. All of these distinct practices involve distinct theoretical issues, most of which can be linked to particular debates in analytic philosophy. To prove the point that this complex conception of hermeneutics is not specific to the law, but applies to hermeneutics in general, some parallels in the field of the hermeneutics of art are drawn. In theoretically following up on the distinctions inherent in legal doctrine and methods, hermeneutics in general can live up to Gadamer’s observation that there is something to be learned from looking at the law.
    Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

    Finding Meaning In "The Sopranos"

    Rachel DiCarlo Currie interprets the David Chase series "The Sopranos," and offers us an explanation for the mysterious ending. More here at Acculurated. 

    More about The Sopranos in the materials below.

    G. Gabbard, The Psychology of the Sopranos: Love, Death, Desire, and Betrayal in America's Favorite Gangster Family (Basic Books, 2008).

    Martha P. Nochimson, "Whaddya Lookin' At?" Re-Reading the Gangster Genre Through "The Sopranos," 56 Film Quarterly 2-13 (Winter 2002).

    Reading the Sopranos (David Lavery ed., I. B. Taurus, 2006).

    The Sopranos and Philosophy: I Kill, Therefore I Am (Richard Greene and Peter Vernezze eds., Open Court, 2004).

    Maurice Yacowar, The Sopranos on the Couch (Continuum, 2003).

    June 8, 2017

    Stern on Samuel Richardson and the Law @ArsScripta

    Simon Stern, University of Toronto Faculty of Law, has published Samuel Richardson and the Law in Samuel Richardson in Context 231-38 (Peter Sabor and Betty A. Schellenberg, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2017). Here is the abstract.
    This chapter discusses the forensic mentality that pervades Samuel Richardson's novels, his correspondence, and his writings about fiction. Scholars have explored numerous doctrinal contexts in which Richardson's novels address legal issues including marriage, rape, inheritance, citizenship, copyright, and liability for accidents. This chapter extends that discussion by asking how his fiction, and his writings on fiction, engage with the logic of the case, understood both as an example that may set a precedent, and a specific instance that illustrates a general principle. Although Richardson held out both his characters and his novels as exemplifying general laws, when pressed about their exemplary status he repeatedly defended them by stressing their unique individuality, effectively undercutting his claims about their precedential significance. We see a similar pattern when he complained about the Dublin booksellers who reprinted his last novel, Sir Charles Grandison (1753), without authorization. Treating their conduct as an affront to "the Cause of Literature, in general," Richardson held out his own very unusual case (as someone who was both a successful novelist and a printer of his own novels) as exemplifying the harms of literary piracy.

    Download the essay from SSRN at the link. 

    Collins on Narrative and Lyrical Elements in International Investment Agreements @CityLawSchool

    David A. Collins, The City Law School, City, University of London, has published Narrative and Lyrical Elements in International Investment Agreements: Towards an Imagination-Inspired Understanding of International Legal Obligations. Here is the abstract.
    Drawing upon the field of Law and Literature, this article applies literary analysis to the unconventional subject of International Investment Agreements (IIAs), treating these sources of international law as if they were works of fiction with a view to uncovering insights into how they might be received by their readers. It proposes that IIAs may be imaginatively appreciated both for their narrative features (their capacity to tell stories in the tradition of novels or plays) as well as their lyrical ones (their poetic or figurative elements). Rather than leading to any concrete conclusions concerning how IIAs may have been misunderstood as a consequence of readers’ neglect of these instruments’ literariness or how they should thereby be construed going forward, the article calls upon readers of IIAs to be more aware of the feelings which these instruments might inspire, much as we would expect from novels or poems. This could in turn enhance our understanding of these treaties are be viewed by the legal practitioners who draft and interpret them as well as the people whose rights they affect.
    Download the article from SSRN at the link.

    June 7, 2017

    A New Book on Heritage, Culture, and Rights, Edited by Andrea Durbach and Lucas Lixinski (Hart Publishing) @hartpublishing @IntHeritageLaw @UNSWLaw

    New from Hart Publishing:

    Heritage, Culture and Rights: Challenging Legal Discourses (Andrea Durbach and Lucas Lixinski, eds., 2017). Here is a description from the publisher's website of the book's contents.
    Cultural heritage law and its response to human rights principles and practice has gained renewed prominence on the international agenda. The recent conflicts in Syria and Mali, China’s use of shipwreck sites and underwater cultural heritage to make territorial claims, and the cultural identities of nations post-conflict highlight this field as an emerging global focus. In addition, it has become a forum for the configuration and contestation of cultural heritage, rights and the broader politics of international law.
    The manifestation of tensions between heritage and human rights are explored in this volume, in particular in relation to heritage and rights in collaboration and in conflict, and heritage as a tool for rights advocacy. This volume also explores these issues from a distinctively legal standpoint, considering the extent to which the legal tools of international human rights law facilitate or hinder heritage protection. Covering a range of issues across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and Australia, this volume will be of interest to people working in human rights, heritage studies, cultural heritage management and identity politics around the world.

    Media of Heritage, Culture and Rights 

    New Issue of Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics Devoted To Discussion of Images of Sexual Violence In Comics and Graphic Novels @JGNandComics

    In the new issue of Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics: 

    Mihaela Precup and Rebecca Scherr, Editorial, Sexual violence in comics

    Erin Barry, Eight-page eroticism: sexual violence and the construction of normative masculinity in Tijuana Bibles

    Lorna Piatti-Farnell, 'For God’s sake, cover yourself’: sexual violence, disrupted histories, and the gendered politics of patriotism in Watchmen 

    Michael J. Prince, The magic of patriarchal oppression in Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s From Hell

    Brenna Clarke Gray and David N. Wright, Decentering the sexual aggressor: sexual violence, trigger warnings and Bitch Planet 

    Tiffany Hong, ‘Of course we record it’: legacy, textual violence, and fridging in Ales Kot’s Zero

    Elizabeth Lowry, Book review: Matt Upson, C. Michael Hall, and Kevin Cannon, Information now: A Graphic Guide to student research 

    Cormac McGarry, Book review, Bart Beaty and Benjamin Woo, The greatest comic book of all time: symbolic capital and the field of American comic books

    Valentino L. Zullo, Book review, Barbara Brownie and Danny Graydon, The superhero costume: identity and disguise in fact and fiction

    Eszter Szép, Book review, Daniel Worden, Jackson, A review of the comics of Joe Sacco. Journalism in a visual world

    (A subscription may be required).

    Jewel on Neurorhetoric, Race, and the Law @ljewel

    Lucy A. Jewel, University of Tennessee College of Law, is publishing Neurorhetoric, Race, and the Law: Toxic Neural Pathways and Healing Alternatives in volume 76 of the Maryland Law Review (2017). Here is the abstract.
    Neurorhetoric is the study of how rhetoric shapes the human brain. At the forefront of science and communication studies, neurorhetoric challenges many preconceptions about how humans respond to persuasive stimuli. Neurorhetoric can be applied to a multiplicity of relevant legal issues, including the topic of this Maryland Law Review Symposium Issue: race and advocacy. After detailing the neuroscientific and cognitive theories that underlie neurorhetoric, this Essay theorizes ways in which neurorhetoric intersects with the law, advocacy, and race. This Essay explores how toxic racial stereotypes and categories become embedded in the human brain and what can be done about it.
    Download the article from SSRN at the link.

    June 6, 2017

    McCormack on How and When Canadian Courts Cite the Major Philosophers @QueensULibrary

    Nancy McCormack, Queen's University Faculty of Law, has published When Canadian Courts Cite the Major Philosophers: Who Cites Whom in Canadian Caselaw. Here is the abstract.
    This paper discusses the results of a search of Canadian case law from 1860 to 2016 to determine which major philosophers (born before 1900) were cited most and least often (or never), as well as which judges and courts cited them. The survey indicates that judges from every level of the Canadian courts have, over the years, made explicit references to major philosophic figures in their decisions. Many of the citations deal with eminently practical matters, but the courts have also thought it beneficial to call upon the philosophers for a variety of more strictly “philosophic” notions, for example, Thomas Aquinas on the doctrine of free will, and Bertrand Russell on logical constructions. Who cites whom and in what context and jurisdiction is set out in detail.
    Download the article from SSRN at the link.

    Kevin Curran's New Book on Shakespeare and Law Published by Northwestern University Press @kevdcurran

    New from Northwestern University Press: Kevin Curran, University of Lausanne, has published Shakespeare's Legal Ecologies: Law and Distributed Selfhood (2017) (Rethinking the Early Modern Series). Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's contents.
    Shakespeare’s Legal Ecologies offers the first sustained examination of the relationship between law and selfhood in Shakespeare’s work. Taking five plays and the sonnets as case studies, Kevin Curran argues that law provided Shakespeare with the conceptual resources to imagine selfhood in social and distributed terms, as a product of interpersonal exchange or as a gathering of various material forces. In the course of these discussions, Curran reveals Shakespeare’s distinctly communitarian vision of personal and political experience, the way he regarded living, thinking, and acting in the world as materially and socially embedded practices. At the center of the book is Shakespeare’s fascination with questions that are fundamental to both law and philosophy: What are the sources of agency? What counts as a person? For whom am I responsible, and how far does that responsibility extend? What is truly mine? Curran guides readers through Shakespeare’s responses to these questions, paying careful attention to both historical and intellectual contexts. The result is a book that advances a new theory of Shakespeare’s imaginative relationship to law and an original account of law’s role in the ethical work of his plays and sonnets. Readers interested in Shakespeare, theater and philosophy, law, and the history of ideas will find Shakespeare’s Legal Ecologies to be an essential resource.

    Order the paperback edition with the code NUP2017 for a 25 percent discount per Dr. Curran (see his tweet) @kevdcurran.  

    June 5, 2017

    Call For Proposals: Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy

    From the mailbox:

    Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy
    DJCLPP Annual Spring Symposium: Call for Proposals

    The Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy (DJCLPP) seeks submissions for a Symposium on amending the Constitution to be held at Duke University School of Law on February 2, 2018.

    This year, our Symposium will be organized with the assistance of Professor Stephen Sachs.


    The Founders recognized that the Constitution was an imperfect document. Over the past 230 years, however, Article V’s amendment procedure has been used only rarely. The topic for the 2018 Spring Symposium will be An Even More Perfect Union: Proposed Amendments to the Constitution. Each article will propose a different amendment to the Constitution. Articles will offer enactment-ready language for these amendments, defend the need for their adoption, explain the choices made in their drafting, and describe possible routes to enactment.

    Invited participants will receive assistance with travel and lodging expenses. Practitioners and others working in the field are welcome to attend.

    How to Submit Your Proposal

    Proposals should be sent with the subject line “Symposium Proposal” to Proposals should be sent with the subject line “Symposium Proposal” to clj-submissions@law.duke.edu by July 14, 2017. Please attach a copy of your CV to your proposal. Inquiries via this email address should be directed to DJCLPP ’s Special Projects Editor, Wendy Becker.

    Proposals should include the following:
    ·       A proposed title for your article
    ·       Draft text for your proposed amendment
    ·       An abstract or brief description (no more than 500 words) explaining and defending your proposal

    Important Dates
    ·        July 14, 2017: Deadline to submit proposals
    ·        July 28, 2017: Proposals selected on or before this date
    ·        August 4, 2017: Deadline for commitments received from authors
    ·        January 5, 2018: Draft articles due
    ·        February 2, 2018: Symposium held at Duke University School of Law
    ·        Spring 2018: DJCLPP’s Volume 13 published 

    For questions, comments, or information about the Journal, please feel free to email the above address.
    Thank you, and we look forward to your proposal.
    Wendy Becker
    Special Projects Editor
    Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy, Volume 13

    June 4, 2017

    Like Mystery Books? Maybe That Interest Could Lead To a Career @DSimpsonAuthor

    Via writer Duncan Simpson @DSimpsonAuthor, a reference book after my own heart: Blythe Camenson’s Careers for Mystery Buffs & Other Snoops and Sleuths (McGraw-Hill, 1997), mentioned at  The Booklist Reader.  Among the careers mentioned: mystery writer (by lawyer John Grisham). The book is o.p., but available from used book dealers (e.g. abebooks, alibris). 

    June 3, 2017

    Wonder Woman and Lawyers

    Christie Marston writes  (Hollywood Reporter) about her grandmother, lawyer Elizabeth Holloway Marston, who was the inspiration for Wonder Woman, the creation of  her husband, William  Moulton Marston.

    Mr. Marston was also an attorney, as well as quite an adventurous soul. Read more about him, his wife Elizabeth, his mistress, and all the feminist and sexual symbols in his work (I said he was adventurous) in Jill Lepore's book The Secret History of Wonder Woman (Random House, 2014). More here from NPR.

    The Links Between Images and Social Justice

    Seph Rodney interviews Sarah Lewis on the links between images and social justice, and how Professor Lewis's Harvard course on "Vision and Justice" translated into a similar but shorter course at the Brooklyn Public Library.

    More here at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

    PhD Studentship Available At VR Lab, Bristol

    From the mailbox, via Dr. Thom Giddens @ThomGiddens

    Collaborative PhD Studentship - Authoring Augmented Public Space: Design for Experiential Placemaking

    Applications are open for a three-year full-time Doctoral studentship, fully funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council/National Productivity Investment Fund (AHRC/NPIF), to undertake practice-led research into creative forms that consider new forms of engagement with public space in light of new immersive experiences.

    Technologies for the Creative Industries, specifically technologies of immersion like augmented and virtual reality, will reshape the ways in which we experience increasingly hybrid physical and digital spaces. Fundamental to these technologies are well-designed immersive and interactive experiences that put the human at the centre of the experience. This practice-based studentship, working alongside the research team in Bristol’s newly launched VR Lab, will explore a set of speculative experience design experiments that consider how public spaces will become more playful and engaging through the use of technologies of immersion.

    Combining theories of design, human-computer interaction, emerging & transformative digital technologies and immersion and presence, with speculative prompts and design provocations from industry collaborator and mentor Arup Global Research, you'll explore and develop near future experiences of the Augmented City. Design research topics will investigate creative approaches to storytelling and performance, considering playful and playable experiences with enchanted public spaces that might exist at the intersection of the physical and digital world.

       Possible research areas include:  
    • Immersive Technologies, including Augmented and Virtual Reality
    • Speculative Futures and Design Fiction
    • Human-Computer Interaction
    • Experience Design for Immersive Experiences
    • Architecture and Urban Design
    Joining an interdisciplinary Design Futures Lab cohort of 12 collaborative PhD students, you will be part of an innovative and cutting-edge group of researchers dedicated to reshaping industrial technologies and processes through embedded practice-based research.

    The DCRC has a strong track record of successful PhD completions and offers access to an exciting creative and intellectual community, and students researching emerging creative practices. The Centre, based in the Pervasive Media Studio is home to the i-Docs research group and symposium and the Ambient Literature project. We expect research students to take a full and active role in the Research Centre and to take part in regular workshops, conferences and seminars. The studentship commences October 2017.

    Applicants will be expected to attend an interview in Bristol on either July 10 or 11 and demonstrate:
    • imaginative and viable preliminary ideas for research into this subject area
    • an appreciation of the nature of PhD study and of both independent and collaborative research
    • evidence that you have, or can develop, the skills required to start the proposed research
    For an informal discussion about the studentship contact jennifer.stein@uwe.ac.uk

    Deadline for applications is 17:00 on Monday June 19.

    Further information regarding eligibility and the application process visit: http://3d3research.co.uk/information/npif-studentships-general-information-live

    The NPIF studentships comprise tuition fees at Home/EU rates and, for UK award holders, a maintenance award (£14,553 per year) tenable for a minimum period of 3 academic years. EU students are welcome to apply, but are eligible for tuition fees only. We also welcome applications for part-time studentships; these comprise tuition fees and a pro-rata maintenance award for a 5-year period.