November 30, 2017

American Bar Association Invites Entries For the 61st Annual Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts @ABAesq

The American Bar Association invites entries for the 2017 Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts. Below is information about the process from the ABA.

The nine eligible categories include: books, magazines, newspapers, commentary, drama and literature, documentaries, television, radio, or multimedia. 
All entries must have been originally published, produced, or presented in the 2017 calendar year.

Distinguished past awardees include:
- Sidney Lumet’s jury room drama Twelve Angry Men- PBS Fred Friendly series “The Constitution: That Delicate Balance”
- Jonathan Harr's A Civil Action (Random House)
Serial: Season OneMaking a Murderer- Matthew Desmond's Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (Crown)

The entry deadline is January 8, 2018.

Here is a link to the guidelines and the entry form.

November 28, 2017

Shucha on Wisconsin's Early Sex Trade @shucha @WisconsinLaw @WisBlawg

Bonnie J. Shucha, University of Wisconsin Law School, has published Badger State Infamy: Wisconsin's Early Sex Trade at Wisconsin Lawyer 22 (October 2017). Here is the abstract.
This article describes the early sex trade in northern Wisconsin. Alarmed by numerous newspaper reports of sex trafficking, concerned citizens pressed the governor, state legislators, and law enforcement officials to rein in the booming sex trade. Results were mixed, but the efforts in Wisconsin were only the first of many to protect vulnerable adults and children from human trafficking, attempts that continue to the present day.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Petrovic on International Legal Protection for Culture at Risk in War @MonashUni

Jadranka Petrovic, Monash University, is publishing International Legal Protection for Culture at Risk in War in volume 18 of International Humanitarian Law Magazine (2016). Here is the abstract.
Cultural objects have been innocent victims of warfare from time immemorial. While some destruction has been incidental, frequently objects which are today considered 'cultural property' have been targeted willfully. These include immovable structures (eg, buildings and bridges) and movable objects (eg, artworks, books) which have architectural, historical, artistic, archaeological or scientific interest. The deliberate destruction of the world's largest Buddha statutes in Afghanistan, the looting of Iraq's national museum and the ongoing cultural onslaught on Aleppo, Palmyra and other cultural property sites in Syria, are the recent grim reminders that cultural wrongs ate not buried in the past. In fact, since the 1990s, with the changing nature of armed conflict and the escalation of terrorism and other non-conventional methods of warfare, the mistreatment of cultural property has intensified. Cultural property - with its symbolic, identity-generating and economic dimensions - has increasingly become the target of deliberate and systematic attacks. This is often done with the aim to belittle, humiliate and shock the 'other', permanently scare them away from their territory, 'erase' the past and provoke public outrage. It has been observed - particularly in relation to ISIS (the armed group which has brutally destroyed cultural heritage in present day Iraq and Syria) and the powerful tools they use for disseminating their savage acts - that the loss of human life has become such a regular feature in the coverage of conflict that it often takes something beyond the 'ordinary' to draw attention. These acts and similarly vicious approaches to cultural property are in disturbing dissonance with law.
The full text is not available from SSRN.

November 27, 2017

Behrens on the Life and Work of Thomas M. McDade @DukeLawLibrary

Jennifer L. Behrens, J. Michael Goodson Law Library, Duke University School of Law, has published Beyond 'The Annals of Murder': The Life and Works of Thomas M. McDade. Here is the abstract.
Thomas M. McDade is best known (if not well-known enough) for his seminal 1961 reference bibliography, The Annals of Murder: A Bibliography of Books and Pamphlets on American Murders from Colonial Times to 1900. Beyond that singular text on early American murder trial accounts, though, lies more than 70 additional publications on American legal history, law enforcement, and literature, gathered together for the first time in an annotated bibliography of McDade’s lesser-known writings. The article also examines McDade’s fascinating life and varied career as an early FBI agent, World War II veteran, corporate executive, and true crime chronicler.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Call For Papers: Political Theology Network Inaugural Conference, February 15-17, 2018

From the mailbox:
Call For Papers
Political Theology Network Inaugural Conference:
February 15-17, 2018 Emory University Conference Center, Atlanta
Deadline for submission of proposals: December 18, 2017
Notification of acceptance: December 22, 2017
Keynotes: Hussein Ali Agrama (Anthropology, University of Chicago); Shawn Copeland (Theology, Boston College); Faisal Devji (History, Oxford, UK); Cathleen Kaveny (Law and Theology, Boston College); Elettra Stimilli (Philosophy, Sapienza, Rome)
Conveners: Vincent Lloyd (Villanova) & Ted Smith (Emory)
We invite proposals of 200-300 words for papers 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, Christian theologians have reflected on the role of memory and hope in political engagement, and cultural theorists have performed ideology critique. We are looking for papers that may draw on but also challenge and transform such classic conversations about political theology. In doing so, we aim to bring together scholars working with ethnographic, theoretical, theological, 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, and racializations. Proposals engaging non-Christian and/or non-Western traditions are encouraged. This conference will inaugurate 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 in the academy could look like.
Funding is available to cover travel and registration costs of a limited number of contingent faculty or graduate student participants with exceptional proposals. Please indicate if you would like to be considered for this funding opportunity.
Conference registration is not required to submit proposals. Nor is a proposal required to register.
To register, visit

Marber on Bloody Foundation? The Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt at the American Museum of Natural History

Sinclaire Deverux Marber, London School of Economics, Law Department, has published Bloody Foundation? The Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt at the American Museum of Natural History. Here is the abstract.
On October 27, 2017, protestors calling themselves the Monument Removal Brigade ("MRB") splashed red paint on the base of an equestrian statue of Theodore Roosevelt outside the American Museum of Natural History in New York ("AMNH" or the "Museum"). The portrait of the twenty-sixth President of the United States is flanked on either side by African and Native American men intended to represent their respective continents. On its anonymous blog, MRB called for the statue's removal and claimed, “[t]he true damage lies with the patriarchy, white supremacy, and settler-colonialism embodied by the statue.” The Museum responded that because the sculpture rests on public land, AMNH does not have the power to remove it. The AMNH protest occurs within a larger national debate about the place of public monuments. That the equestrian statue is situated on museum grounds presents a unique opportunity to foster thoughtful dialogue around this topic. The AMNH today uses science to look forward, but also to interpret the past. Natural history museums have their own dark histories of discriminatory practices; modern investigations should not just be relegated to artifacts, but to institutional histories. Who created this sculpture? What traditions inform the way it represents these three men? Why does the city own it? What did Theodore Roosevelt have to do with the museum? This interdisciplinary article will present the history of a particular statue and proposals for its future as a case study in dealing with controversial monuments.
The full text is not available for download from SSRN.

Gibson on Taming Uncivil Discourse: Does Reappropriating Group Insults Work? @WUSTL @SimonTheTam

James L. Gibson, Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Political Science, has published Taming Uncivil Discourse: Does Reappropriating Group Insults Work? Here is the abstract.
In an era of increasingly intense populist politics, a variety of issues of intergroup prejudice, discrimination, and conflict have moved center stage in American politics. Among these is “political correctness” and, in particular, what constitutes a legitimate discourse of political conflict and opposition. Yet the meaning of legitimate discourse is being turned on its head as some disparaged groups seek to reclaim, or reappropriate, the slurs directed against them. Using a Supreme Court decision about whether “The Slants” – a band named after a traditional slur against Asians – can trademark its name, we test several hypotheses about reappropriation processes, based on a nationally representative sample with an oversample of Asian-Americans and several survey experiments. In general, we find that contextual factors influence how people understand and evaluate potentially disparaging words, and we suggest that the political discourse of intergroup relations in the U.S. has become more complicated by processes of reappropriation.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Duncan On What Not To Do What Your Roommate Is Murdered In Italy: Amanda Knox, Her "Strange" Behavior, and the Italian Legal System @EmoryLaw

Martha Grace Duncan, Emory University School of Law, is publishing What Not to Do When Your Roommate Is Murdered in Italy: Amanda Knox, Her 'Strange' Behavior, and the Italian Legal System, in the Harvard Journal of Gender and the Law. Here is the abstract.
One of the most widely publicized cases of our time is that of Amanda Knox, the college student from West Seattle who was convicted of murdering her British roommate in Italy and served four years in prison before being acquitted and released. Retried in absentia, she was convicted again, only to be exonerated by the Italian Supreme Court, which handed down its final opinion in September, 2015. Throughout its eight-year duration, the case garnered worldwide attention, in part because of the pretty, photogenic defendant and the drug-fueled sex game that the prosecutor adduced as the motive for the crime. Interest in the case spiked again with the release of a Netflix original documentary, Amanda Knox, in the fall of 2016. While the Amanda Knox case has been remarkable for its ability to fascinate an international audience, it is not altogether unique. Rather, it is emblematic of broader themes and a broader problem−that of human beings’ prejudice against “strangeness” and our desperation for a hasty assessment of guilt or innocence‒qualities that can bleed into a legal system to the detriment of the quest for truth. In this Article, I explore the Amanda Knox case in the context of our defective ability to judge. In Part One, I use the conceit of a “What Not to Do” list to highlight the role played by Amanda’s “strangeness” in bringing about her arrest and two convictions. In Part Two, I re-examine the usual rationale for Amanda’s behavior and suggest that a better explanation lies in her age and developmental stage. In Part Three, I shift from the interpreted to the interpreters, arguing that the latter were powerfully affected by the Madonna/whore complex and cultural differences between Perugia and Seattle. In Part Four, I analyze the impact of the Italian legal system, with its deep roots in the inquisitorial paradigm and its limited adversarial reforms. This Article is based not only on scholarly research but also on my four sojourns in Italy, where I retraced Amanda’s footsteps and discussed the case with numerous legal experts. I had the opportunity to interview Amanda herself after she was free in Seattle.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Tranter on Law, the Digital, and Time: The Legal Emblems of Doctor Who @GriffLawSchool

Kieran Mark Tranter, Griffith University Law School, is publishing Law, the Digital and Time: The Legal Emblems of Doctor Who in volume 30 of the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law (2017). Here is the abstract.
This article is about time. It is about time, or more precisely, about the absence of time in law’s digital future. It is also about time-travelling and the seemingly ever-popular BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who. Further, it is about law’s timefullness; about law’s pictorial past and the ‘visual baroque’ of its chronological fused future. Ultimately, it is about a time paradox of seeing time run to a time when time runs ‘No More!’ This ‘timey-wimey’ article is in three parts. The first part looks to a hazy remembered past of the legal emblem tradition as presented in Peter Goodrich’s Legal Emblems and the Art of Law to learn visual litercy and also glimps the essential elements of modern legality with authority, decision and violence. The second part maps how these images and icons of modern legality are manifest in the Doctor Who fiftieth year anniversary special ‘The Day of the Doctor.’ The third stage looks beyond these first order meanings to understand the chronological chaos of ‘The Day of the Doctor.’ The technicity of the image as a portal through time and space that the narrative revolves around charts the implications for the digital end of time for law.

Download the article from SSRN at the link. 

November 22, 2017

Via @maksdelmar: Conversation In Law and Society, a Project from the Center for the Study of Law and Society @CSLSatBerkeley

Of interest: Conversations in Law and Society, a project from the Center for the Study of Law and Society, University of California, Berkeley Law.

These discussions began in 2010, and include interviews with Joseph R. Gusfield, Stewart Macaulay, Lawrence Friedman, Laura Nader, Marc Galanter, Jerome Skolnick, Sally Falk Moore, Sanford H. Kadish, William K. Muir, Harry N. Scheiber, Richard D. Schwartz, David M. and Louise G. Trubek, Robert A. Kagan, Sally Engle Merry, John and Jean Comaroff, Malcolm Feeley, Susan S. Silbey, Austin Sarat, and Kitty Calavita.

Via @maksdelmar. 

November 21, 2017

A New Book From Edward Elgar Publishing: Negotiating Cultural Rights, Edited by Lucky Belder and Helle Potsdam @ElgarPublishing

New from Edward Elgar Publishing: Negotiating Cultural Rights: Issues at Stake, Challenges and Recommendations (Lucky Belder and Helle Potsdam, eds., 2017).
The various reports on cultural rights by UN Special Rapporteur Faridah Shaheed have provided a new universal standard for topics ranging from cultural diversity, cultural heritage, the right to artistic freedom and the effects of today's intellectual property regimes. This book’s team of international contributors reflects upon the many aspects of cultural rights discussed in Faridah Shaheed’s reports and discusses how cultural rights support cultural diversity, foster intercultural dialogue and contribute to inclusive social, economic and political development. Drawing from a range of disciplines, the contributing authors explore the meaning and position of cultural rights and the implications these may have for international relations, the international legal order and cross-cultural understanding, while also offering recommendations for the future. Key topics discussed include the link between culture and science, gender and human rights, rights to artistic freedom, the importance of historical narratives and the impact of advertising and marketing on the enjoyment of cultural rights. This worthwhile contribution to the current cultural rights debate will be of interest to academics and students teaching and studying in the fields of culture, heritage and human rights as well as policymakers who are working within cultural rights related issues.

Negotiating Cultural Rights

November 20, 2017

A New Book From Thomas Giddens: On Comics and Legal Aesthetics @ThomGiddens @routledgebooks

Forthcoming from Routledge: Thomas Giddens, St. Mary's University, On Comics and Legal Aesthetics: Multimodality and the Haunted Mask of Knowing (forthcoming, 2018). Here is a description of the book's contents.
What are the implications of comics for law? Tackling this question, On Comics and Legal Aesthetics explores the epistemological dimensions of comics and the way this once-maligned medium can help think about – and reshape – the form of law. Traversing comics, critical, and cultural legal studies, it seeks to enrich the theorisation of comics with a critical aesthetics that expands its value and significance for law, as well as knowledge more generally. It argues that comics’ multimodality – their hybrid structure, which represents a meeting point of text, image, reason, and aesthetics – opens understanding of the limits of law’s rational texts by shifting between multiple frames and modes of presentation. Comics thereby exposes the way all forms of knowledge are shaped out of an unstructured universe, becoming a mask over this chaotic ‘beyond’. This mask of knowing remains haunted – by that which it can never fully capture or represent. Comics thus models knowledge as an infinity of nested frames haunted by the chaos without structure. In such a model, the multiple aspects of law become one region of a vast and bottomless cascade of perspectives – an infinite multiframe that extends far beyond the traditional confines of the comics page, rendering law boundless.

Meyn on Why Civil and Criminal Procedure Are So Different: A Forgotten History @WisconsinLaw

Ion Meyn, University of Wisconsin Law School, has published Why Civil and Criminal Procedure Are So Different: A Forgotten History at 86 Fordham Law Review 697 (2017). Here is the abstract.
Much has been written about the origins of civil procedure. Yet little is known about the origins of criminal procedure, even though it governs how millions of cases in federal and state courts are litigated each year. This Article’s examination of criminal procedure’s origin story questions the prevailing notion that civil and criminal procedure require different treatment. The Article’s starting point is the first draft of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure — confidential in 1941 and since forgotten. The draft reveals that reformers of criminal procedure turned to the new rules of civil procedure for guidance. The contents of this draft shed light on an extraordinary moment: reformers initially proposed that all litigation in the United States, civil and criminal, be governed by a unified procedural code. The implementation of this original vision of a unified code would have had dramatic implications for how criminal law is practiced and perceived today. The advisory committee’s final product in 1944, however, set criminal litigation on a very different course. Transcripts of the committee’s initial meetings reveal that the final code of criminal procedure emerged from the clash of ideas presented by two committee members, James Robinson and Alexander Holtzoff. Holtzoff’s traditional views would ultimately persuade other members, cleaving criminal procedure from civil procedure. Since then, differences in civil and criminal litigation have become entrenched and normalized. Yet, at the time the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure were drafted, a unified code was not just a plausible alternative but the only proposal. The draft’s challenge to the prevailing notion that civil and criminal wrongs inherently require different procedural treatment is a critical contribution to the growing debate over whether the absence of discovery in criminal procedure is justified in light of discovery tools afforded by civil procedure. The first draft of criminal procedure, which called for uniform rules to govern proceedings in all civil and criminal courtrooms, suggests the possibility that current resistance to unification is, to a significant degree, historically contingent.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Howlin on Maamtransna: The Trial of Miles Joyce in 1882 @N_Howlin

Niamh Howlin, Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin, has published Maamtrasna: The Trial of Myles Joyce in 1882 as UCD Working Papers in Law, Criminology, & Socio-Legal Studies Research Papers No. 1817. Here is the abstract.
At Maamtrasna, County Galway, five members of the Joyce family were brutally killed in August 1882. The initial victims were John Joyce his mother, Margaret Joyce, his wife, Bridget Joyce, his daughter, Margaret Joyce (also known as Peggy). John’s son, Michael Joyce, died of his injuries the following day. The sole survivor of the attack was Patsy Joyce, John’s youngest son, aged around nine or ten years. Myles Joyce was convicted in November 1882 of murdering his cousin, Margaret Joyce. He was one of ten men arrested. Two of these men, Anthony Philbin and Thomas Casey, later testified against the others. Five pleaded guilty and received prison sentences; these were Michael Casey, Martin Joyce (Myles’s brother), Patrick Joyce (another brother of Myles), Tom Joyce (Patrick’s son) and John Casey. Three men, Myles Joyce, Patrick Joyce and Patrick Casey were tried, convicted and hanged. Given the number of victims, accused persons and accusers, and the remote, tight-knit nature of the area, it is unsurprising that there were various relationships between the main protagonists. They were neighbours, cousins, brothers, fathers and sons, many of whom shared the same names and surnames. Myles Joyce’s death sentence was executed at Galway Gaol in December 1882. Right up until the point of death Myles protested his innocence, and is now widely accepted as having been innocent of the offence. Two other men who were hanged alongside Myles, (Patrick Joyce and Patrick Casey), claimed responsibility for the murders before they were executed. Both emphasised Myles Joyce’s innocence. The question for this paper is whether the circumstances Myles’s conviction were inconsistent with the legal standards of the period.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Richards on an Expressive Theory of Tax @CornellLaw

Kitty Richards, Independent, is publishing An Expressive Theory of Tax in volume 26 of the the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy (2017). Here is the abstract.
The tax code is full of ineffective, inefficient, inequitable, or otherwise problematic provisions that make little sense when evaluated through the lens of traditional tax policy analysis, yet remain popular with citizens and legislators alike. The tax literature is equally full of carefully-researched, technically precise, and theoretically sound proposals for reform that nonetheless fail to get traction in the public debate. Why? What tax scholarship is missing is the importance of social meaning: what do our tax laws say about our society’s values, and how is taxation being used to construct cultural ideals in contested spaces? This article applies expressive theory, well developed in the criminal and constitutional law literature, to a series of tax policy puzzles, demonstrating how attention to social meaning can help to explain otherwise inexplicable behavior by legislators and policymakers, and can allow scholars to engage more productively in the policy process. From the tax treatment of Nevada’s legal brothels to tax preferences for retirement savings, social meaning matters, and frequently dominates traditional tax policy concerns. This observation has far-reaching implications for tax scholarship, policy design, and advocacy.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Soucek on Aesthetic Judgment in Law @BRSoucek @UCDavisLaw

Brian Soucek, University of California, Davis, School of Law, has published Aesthetic Judgment in Law at 69 Alabama Law Review 381 (2017). Here is the abstract.
Almost no one thinks the government should decide what counts as art or what has aesthetic value. But the government often does so, and often, it should. State actors — from judges and legislators down to customs officials and members of local zoning boards — make aesthetic judgments every day, in areas ranging from tax and tariff law to obscenity and public-funding decisions, from historic preservation and land-use regulations to copyright, trademark, and patent law. This Article details the breadth and surprising philosophical depth of the law’s engagement with aesthetic questions. And bucking conventional wisdom, it argues that in many areas of law, government should define artistic categories and promote aesthetic values. The usual reasons for treating aesthetic judgment as what Justice Holmes famously called a “dangerous undertaking” turn out to be bad ones. Arguments based on the expertise of judges or the subjectivity of aesthetic judgment are not just unconvincing, they are in tension with one another. And the one persuasive argument — derived from the First Amendment’s prohibition on government-imposed orthodoxies — applies only as far as the First Amendment itself does. This Article offers a framework for deciding when the First Amendment limits aesthetic judgment in law. And in doing so, it also identifies appropriate sites of aesthetic judgment — places where we need more open debate about the substantive aesthetic values we want the law to endorse.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

November 17, 2017

Palombella on Interlegality and Justice

Gianluigi Palombella, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa; University of Parma, has published Interlegality and Justice. Here is the abstract.
This articles suggests a peculiar perspective on law., that is, "interlegality". Amidst the plurality of orders, regimes, legal systems, and the overlapping of legalities, hardly arbitrated by hierarchy, are the system-based paradigms, be they monist, dualist or pluralist, still capable of reflecting the present complexity? The main concern triggering an inter-legality approach is not the coexistence among legalities as they create parallel worlds of normativity (that of global trade, of world health, of state welfare, of regional security, and so forth) but the resilience of the material interconnectedness that comes to affect the nature and functioning of legality. Without giving into the mainstream temptation of drawing a global constitutional promise, interlegality attempts at changing the epistemic perspective on law. To do so, it draws some theoretical frame that not only has to avoid the monist-dualist alternatives, but also relocates the achievements of legal pluralism and steps beyond it.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Mulcahy on Eyes of the Law: A Visual Turn in Socio-Legal Studies? @LindaMulcahy2

Linda Mulcahy, London School of Economics, Law Department, has published Eyes of the Law: A Visual Turn in Socio‐Legal Studies? at 44 Journal of Law and Society S111 (2017). Here is the abstract.
A number of sub‐disciplines have emerged in recent years with the specific goal of examining the visual dynamics of academic fields of inquiry. The turn to the visual masks a multitude of meanings about the significance of the image, ranging from new ways of defining a field of inquiry, to what constitutes legitimate sources for research or discussions of image production or visual prompts as a data collection method. This article asks what it means for socio‐legal scholars to engage with the image and the opportunity it might provide us with to see what law looks like from the perspective of law's subjects. These might include art installations in galleries, images of the places where justice is administered as well as photographs created by those who are subjected to legal regulation. In addition to a written essay I offer up three visual essays which can be read and contemplated with or without the written text which accompanies them.
The full text is not available from SSRN.

November 15, 2017

Wesson on The Chow: Depictions of the Criminal Justice System as a Character In Crime Fiction @ColoLaw @alafairburke

Marianne Mimi Wesson, University of Colorado Law School, has published The Chow: Depictions of the Criminal Justice System as a Character in Crime Fiction at 51 New Eng. L. Rev. 101 (2017). Here is the abstract.
Having been honored by a request to contribute to a Symposium honoring my talented friend Alafair Burke, I composed this essay describing the various ways the criminal justice system has been depicted in English-language crime fiction. This survey, necessarily highly selective, considers portrayals penned by writers from Dickens to Tana French. Various dimensions of comparison include the authors’ apparent beliefs about the rule of law (from ridiculously idealistic to uncompromisingly cynical), the characters’ professional perspectives (private detective, police officer, prosecutor, defense lawyer, judge, victim, accused), and the protagonists’ status as institutional insiders or outsiders or occupants of the uncomfortable middle. The essay considers as well the protagonists’ insights (often useful, too often nonexistent) regarding issues of gender, race, and economic status — in their own professional lives, and as determinants of how one accused of a crime, or victimized by one, will experience the institutions of criminal justice. The essay concludes with some worried observations about what the election of Donald Trump may portend for crime fiction, in its likely corrosion of the rule of law and thus of the institutions of criminal justice.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Call for Applications: War and Society: Post-doctoral Fellowship in the Humanities at Haverford College, 2018-2020 @haverfordedu @haverfordcah

From the mailbox:

War and Society: Post-doctoral Fellowship in the Humanities at Haverford College, 2018-2020
Location: Haverford, PACloses: Jan 9, 2018 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time
The John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities of Haverford College invites applications for a two-year Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities to begin Fall 2018 (see for details). We seek a scholar interested in the comparative history, social and cultural impact, and artistic representation of war. Candidates should have broad theoretical and interdisciplinary interests.
During the first year of the program, the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow will participate in a year-long faculty seminar, led by Professor Paul Jakov Smith (History and East Asian Studies), that will bring together faculty with a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Applicants should make clear the nature of their potential contributions to this seminar, which will explore how war has been entwined with politics, science, and the material world, and how it is reflected in artistic genres and the written, visual, and oral records of the present and the past. (For a more detailed description, see
In the second year, the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow will organize and present a spring symposium related to his or her scholarly field funded by the Hurford Center.
During each of the four semesters at Haverford College, the Mellon Fellow will teach one course at the introductory/intermediate or advanced level and engage a diverse student body. Applicants should submit two brief course proposals related to their area of interest, one for a broad-based introductory or intermediate course and the other for a more specialized or advanced course.

Candidates who earned their Ph.D. no earlier than 2013 and have completed all requirements for the Ph.D. by the application deadline of January 9, 2018 are eligible to apply.
Application Instructions
Applicants are asked to submit a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, two course proposals, and a writing sample of no more than 25 pages, and should arrange to have three confidential letters of recommendation submitted via Interfolio at: .
Questions can be directed to Noemí Fernández ( )

November 14, 2017

Comics, Taxes, and Civil Rights

Winnipeg high school student Elly Hooker has won a national award for the comic she created which tells the story of Nova Scotian Viola Desmond's fight for civil rights. Ms. Desmond, born in Halifax, became famous in 1946 for refusing to sit in a segregated area of a New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, movie theater.  She didn't realize that the ticket she had bought was only good for a balcony seat, where all African-Canadians had to sit. Downstairs seating was only for white Canadians. She wanted to purchase a downstairs ticket but the cashier refused. When she tried to take a downstairs seat, police arrested her. The next day, she paid a fine for refusing to pay the one cent difference between the ticket prices (based on the "amusement tax" due to the provincial government).

She eventually appealed to the courts. Although she died in 1965, her sister continued the fight for her. In 2010, the then Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia granted Ms. Desmond a pardon. In 2016, the Bank of Canada chose Viola Desmond as the first Canadian woman to appear on a Canadian banknote (the ten-dollar bill).

Ms. Hooker will receive the Kayak Kids' Illustrated History Challenge in Ottawa for her comic celebrating Viola Desmond.

A short Viola Desmond bibliography below:

Heritage Minutes: Viola Desmond; Historica Canada: Heritage Minutes

How Civil Rights Icon Viola Desmond Helped Change Course of Canadian History

The Story of Viola Desmond, "Canada's Rosa Parks"

Who's the Woman on Canada's New $10 Bill? A Viola Desmond Primer

John Kerrigan on Shakespeare's Binding Language (OUP, 2016) @Canbridge_Uni


John Kerrigan, Professor of English, Cambridge University, has published Shakespeare's Binding Language (Oxford University Press, 2016).
This remarkable, innovative book explores the significance in Shakespeare's plays of oaths, vows, contracts, pledges and the other utterances and acts by which characters commit themselves to the truth of things past, present, and to come. In early modern England, such binding language was everywhere. Oaths of office, marriage vows, legal bonds, and casual, everyday profanity gave shape and texture to life. The proper use of such language, and the extent of its power to bind, was argued over by lawyers, religious writers, and satirists, and these debates inform literature and drama. Shakespeare's Binding Language gives a freshly researched account of these contexts, but it is focused on the plays. What motives should we look for when characters asseverate or promise? How far is binding language self-persuasive or deceptive? When is it allowable to break a vow? How do oaths and promises structure an audience's expectations? Across the sweep of Shakespeare's career, from the early histories to the late romances, this book opens new perspectives on key dramatic moments and illuminates language and action. Each chapter gives an account of a play or group of plays, yet the study builds to a sustained investigation of some of the most important systems, institutions, and controversies in early modern England, and of the wiring of Shakespearean dramaturgy. Scholarly but accessible, and offering startling insights, this is a major contribution to Shakespeare studies by one of the leading figures in the field.


Call For Papers: Workshop: The Othered Senses: Law, Regulation, Sensorium

From the mailbox:



The Othered Senses:
Law, Regulation, Sensorium

May 1-2, 2018
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The Othered Senses: Law, Regulation, Sensorium is an intensive scholarly workshop in Montreal, Quebec to take place on May 1-2, 2018.

The Othered Senses launches from, and seeks to trouble, two premises. The first is that law and legal studies has come lately to the study of the sensual, and when the law has thought about the senses, the story is frequently one of discipline, translation, and the movement of non-rational senses into rational Law, with a capital “l”. The second premise is that inquiry into the senses remains dominated by a focus on the ocular- and aural-centric, leaving the study of the ‘other’ senses (taste, touch, and smell) understudied, treating the senses in isolation, and reproducing a five-sense understanding of sensation. We suggest the time is right for intellectual and political creativity in the imagined and material spaces where legal regulation and sensorial experience clash, where laws and sensing bodies entangle, and where sensuality and legal institutions flirt. We invite scholars to explore the multi-directional flows of legal-sensory encounter and its multiple modes and registers.

In this workshop we seek to animate an interdisciplinary discussion that brings together scholars interested in the unlikely, messy, and less studied ways in which sensing bodies and legal(ized) practices interact in powerful ways. We hope to disrupt the normal and normalizing order of senses, to counter law’s attachment to reason, and to de-romanticize the body. We ask: whose senses count and do not count in law’s register? What invisible work do the ‘lower’ senses do? How can regulatory structures take account of the synaesthetics of embodied experience? How does the hierarchy of the senses intersect with the debilitating structuring dualisms of Western culture: mind/body; person/property; human/animal; adult/child; abled/disabled; settler/savage? And how might we disrupt and dismantle the regulatory apparatuses which invest in these dualisms? In what ways might legal logics and sensorial pleasures productively stimulate each other?

We invite questions in the spirit of, but not in any way limited to, the following:

-                      how do drones touch, and not only see, their objects of surveillance?
-                      can a pig be a witness? can an android?
-                      does smoke have agency? does noise? water? a camera?
-                      how does the stride function as a technology of normative mobility?
-                      what are the cultural effects of tales of extra-sensory perception?
-                      how does feeling ‘at home’ intersect with the production and disruption of legally enforced borders, social and geographic?
-                      how does the law know silence? who gets to be noisy in public space? who is quieted?
-                      how are the bodies of the sovereign and its subjects re-produced in the state deployment of sounds as weapons?
-                      how do different skins shape the self- and other- regulation of intimacies? When should the law take note, if at all?
-                      what are the inter-subjective effects of the exhortation, “don’t touch!”
-                      in what vocabulary could a sexual assault victim give taste testimony?
-                      if one’s hand is one’s bond in law, how is touch figured? What happens when touch in public is subject to regulation?

This event is a collaboration between the Canadian Initiative in Law, Culture and Humanities at Carleton University and the Centre for Sensory Studies at Concordia University. It will be held in conjunction with the Uncommon Senses 2: Art, Technology, Education, Law, Society and Sensory Diversity, an international conference taking place on May 2-5, 2018 (see link

We invite submission of abstracts of 300 words for individual papers to Please provide your contact information and a 100 word biographical statement in the email attaching your abstract. The final deadline for all submissions is November 30th.

Authors of those papers selected for The Othered Senses will be asked to prepare and circulate drafts of their papers in advance, each paper will receive a dedicated respondent, and the work will be discussed intensively at the workshop. Those refereed papers not able to be accepted for participation in The Othered Senses will be included in the Uncommon Senses 2 conference.

Tucker on Writing Labor Law History: A Reconnaissance @OsgoodeNews

Eric Tucker, York University, Osgoode Hall; Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (Visiting), has published On Writing Labour Law History: A Reconnaissance as Osgoode Hall Legal Studies Research Paper No. 66/2017. Here is the abstract.
Labour law historians rarely write about the theoretical and methodological foundations of their discipline. In response to this state of affairs, this article adopts a reconnaissance strategy, which eschews any pretense at providing a synthesis or authoritative conclusions, but rather hopes to open up questions and paths of inquiry that may encourage others to also reflect on a neglected area of scholarship. It begins by documenting and reflecting on the implications of the fact that labour law history sits at the margins of many other disciplines, including labour history, legal history, labour law, industrial relations and law and society, but lacks a home of its own. It next presents a short historiography of the writing of labour law history, noting its varied and changing intellectual influences. Next the article notes some of the methodological consequences of different theoretical commitments and discusses briefly the possibilities opened up by computer technologies as revealed by two interesting projects that rely heavily on the construction of sophisticated data bases. Finally, the article reflects on the methodological challenges I have experienced in my current project on labour law’s recurring regulatory dilemmas and conclude with some thoughts on the contribution labour law history can make to our understanding of the dynamics that shape its current challenges.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Finchett-Maddock on Outsider Poesis in Street Art and Graffiti @Palgrave_

Lucy Finchett-Maddock, Sussex School of Legal Studies, is publishing In Vacuums of Law We Find: Outsider Poiesis in Street Art and Graffiti in the Art Crime Handbook (Duncan Chappell and Saskia Hufnagel, eds., Palgrave MacMillan) (forthcoming). Here is the abstract.
This piece seeks to demonstrate the striating role of property within street art and graffiti, creating a threshold where criminal and intellectual property meet to both outlaw and protect street art at the same time. Street art reveals a legal vacuum for poiesis, protest and property on the threshold of aesthetic and juridical legitimacy and illegitimacy, illustrating where law means all and nothing at once. Legal sanction is argued as affecting the aesthetics of street art, where criminalisation protects the rights of property owners over the creative rights of artists, reasserting the exclusionary nature of law, intertwined with reasserting the ‘outsider’ nature of their art. This is argued as not coincidental, but that notions of aesthetics are not only prioritised by the art ‘establishment’, but also supported by law, to the detriment of other forms of aesthetics such as street art and graffiti. As such, street art and graffiti reveals the elixir of property in both the art and legal establishments, coming to pass as a result of violent histories of expropriation through art property and real property. Ultimately, street art and graffiti is argued as a protest against the legal-aesthetic hegemony, the analysis of criminal, real and intellectual property meeting points telling us more about the congenital role of art in law and vice versa than solely explaining the legalities of random acts of illicit expression.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

November 13, 2017

Schauer on Oliver Wendell Holmes's Interpretation of the First Amendment @UVALaw

Frederick Schauer, University of Virginia School of Law, is publishing Every Possible Use of Language? in an Oxford University Press volume and as Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2017-61. Here is the abstract.
This essay, written for a forthcoming Oxford University Press volume edited by Geoffrey Stone and Lee Bollinger, probes Oliver Wendell Holmes’s almost offhand statement in Frohwerk v. United States, 249 U.S. 204 (1919), that “the First Amendment... cannot have been intended... to give immunity for every possible use of language.” Although Holmes may not have seen the difference between this conclusion and the clear and present danger idea he offered contemporaneously in Schenck v. United States and Debs v. United States, in fact it may be the first hint of the now-important distinction between the coverage of the First Amendment and the protection it offers for covered speech. In observing that the First Amendment does not even apply to a vast range of linguistic behavior, Holmes provides the opportunity not only to recover Frohwerk’s importance in the pantheon of 1919 free speech cases, but also to explore the continuing relevance and importance of understanding that much – perhaps even most – linguistic behavior does not implicate the First Amendment at all, and thus does not trigger any form of heightened scrutiny.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

CFP: University of Detroit Mercy Law Review: The Return of Sanctuary Cities @UDMLawReview @DetroitMercyLaw

Call For Proposals:

The Return of Sanctuary Cities: The Muslim Ban, Hurricane Maria, and Everything in Between

The University of Detroit Mercy Law Review is pleased to announce its annual academic Symposium to be held on March 23, 2018 at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

This Symposium will contemplate a broad range of issues associated with Sanctuary Cities presentations may focus on a specific era past, present, or future or may discuss a subject through the past, present and propose future solutions. Presentation topics could include, but are not limited to:

·         The potential consequences of Trump’s immigration policies (including the Muslim Ban);
·         The ability or inability of Trump and ICE to carry out these immigration policies;
·         The constitutionality of Trump’s and ICE’s policies and actions;
·         The efficacy of Program 287(g) and the potential consequences thereof;
·         The impact of the Countering Violent Extremism (“CVE”) program;
·         The efficacy of states’ Sanctuary legislation, like (pro) California and (anti) Texas;
·         The ability or inability of cities and states to provide protection to undocumented citizens;
·         The rights that undocumented citizens, particularly youth, should enjoy;
·         Strategies and policies that cities and states can adopt to protect their undocumented citizens;
·         The potential benefits or consequences for cities and states who adopt Sanctuary laws;
·         The consequences for the changes made to the DACA program and possible solutions; and
·         The position that SCOTUS would take on these issues, including existing legislation & DACA.

The Law Review invites interested individuals to submit an abstract for an opportunity to present at the Symposium. Those interested should send an abstract of 300-400 words that details their proposed topic and presentation. Included with the abstract should be the presenter’s name, contact information, and a copy of their resume/curriculum vitae. Since the above list of topics is non- exhaustive, the Detroit Mercy Law Review encourages all interested parties to develop their own topic to present at the Symposium. In addition, while submitting an article for publication is not required to present at the Symposium, the Law Review encourages all speakers who are selected to submit a piece for publication in the 2018-2019 edition of the Law Review.

The deadline for abstract submissions is December 3, 2017. Individuals selected to present at the Symposium will be contacted by December 10, 2017. Law Review editorial staff will contact those selected for publication in 2018 regarding details and deadlines for full-length publication.

The submissions, and any questions regarding the Symposium or the abstract process, should be directed to Law Review Symposium Director, Jessica Gnitt at Please cc the Detroit Mercy Law Review Editor-in-Chief, Matthew Tapia, at

Steven Gerrard on The Modern British Horror Film (New From Rutgers University Press) @RutgersUPress @leedsbeckett

New from Rutgers University Press:

Steven Gerrard, Northern Film School, Leeds-Beckett University, The Modern British Horror Film (Rutgers University Press, 2017) (Quick Takes: Movies and Popular Culture).

When you think of British horror films, you might picture the classic Hammer Horror movies, with Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, and blood in lurid technicolor. Yet British horror has undergone an astonishing change and resurgence in the twenty-first century, with films that capture instead the anxieties of post-Millennial viewers.

Tracking the revitalization of the British horror film industry over the past two decades, media expert Steven Gerrard also investigates why audiences have flocked to these movies. To answer that question, he focuses on three major trends: “hoodie horror” movies responding to fears about Britain’s urban youth culture; “great outdoors” films where Britain’s forests, caves, and coasts comprise a terrifying psychogeography; and psychological horror movies in which the monster already lurks within us. 
Offering in-depth analysis of numerous films, including The DescentOutpost, and The Woman in Black, this book takes readers on a lively tour of the genre’s highlights, while provocatively exploring how these films reflect viewers’ gravest fears about the state of the nation. Whether you are a horror buff, an Anglophile, or an Anglophobe, The Modern British Horror Film is sure to be a thrilling read.

The Modern British Horror Film