September 28, 2018

Davison on Law and Neighborhood Names

Nestor M. Davison, Fordham University School of Law, is publishing Law & Neighborhood Names in Vanderbilt Law Review. Here is the abstract.
This Article provides a novel investigation of how law both enables and constrains the ability of city residents to claim, name, and often rename their neighborhoods. A rich interdisciplinary dialogue in areas such as geography and sociology has emerged on the significance of place names, but this literature has largely ignored the legal dimensions of the phenomenon, with its implications for urban governance, belonging, and community conflict. This Article’s empirical exploration of the role of law in change and conflict regarding neighborhood identity thus advances the discourse both for legal scholars focused on urban dynamics and across disciplines. From gentrification fights sparked by efforts to rename the southern part of Harlem as “SoHa,” to a successful community movement to change the name of the area once known as South Central to “South Los Angeles,” neighborhood identity has long sparked controversy and is increasingly leading to proposals for legal change. These conflicts raise fundamental questions about urban governance and people’s sense of ownership over their communities: How do neighborhoods actually get their formal names and why is neighborhood identity so hotly contested? And how does law mediate what we use to identify local communities? Understanding the texture and significance of neighborhood naming conflicts, moreover, carries implications in two distinct areas of legal theory. First, in terms of property, neighborhood identity provides insights into collective cultural ownership in the absence of formal rights, reflecting the central tension in property theory between economic value and personhood. Likewise, conflicts over neighborhood naming shed new light on our understanding of local government law, foregrounding often-overlooked dynamics of formality and informality and the micro-scale interplay of public and private forces in urban governance. These related theoretical frames, finally, supply insights into the normative stakes in conflicts over neighborhood naming, where the advantages of formalization must be balanced against dynamics of exclusion and vulnerability, suggesting notes of caution for any attempt to reform the legal foundations of neighborhood identity.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

September 27, 2018

Anker on Law As...Forest: Eco-Logic, Stories, and Spirits in Indigenous Jurisprudence

Kirsten Anker, McGill University Faculty of Law, has published Law As… Forest: Eco-Logic, Stories and Spirits in Indigenous Jurisprudence at 21 Law/Text/Culture 191 (2017). Here is the abstract.
This paper was presented as part of the Law As... Symposia series at Berkeley in 2016, this one on "Minor Jurisprudence." Taking up the suggestion that minor jurisprudence may consist either in the perpetual critique of the outsider to major jurisprudence or in the initiation of new grounds for jurisprudence, the essay wonders whether some forms of Indigenous jurisprudence – with a focus on the articulations of North American scholars – might do both. Emerging out of embodied relations with sentient forests, mountains, rivers and other non-humans, practices of Indigenous jurisprudence are at once a living critique of the disenchanted character of modern law, as well as a literal grounding of jurisprudence in relationships to place. The essay takes Indigenous jurisprudence on its own terms, particularly through ecologies as teacher, place-based stories and a participatory consciousness that experiences the spirit of the land, while attempting to articulate this jurisprudence in the idiom of the author’s own intellectual tradition, such as through the scientific foundations of Earth jurisprudence, through metaphor in the analysis of myth, and through semiotics as a way of comprehending a sentient landscape.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

September 24, 2018

Weingast on Adam Smith's Theory of the State

Barry R. Weingast, Department of Political Science, Stanford University, has published Adam Smith's Theory of the State: The Logic of Military Competition and Its Implications for State Capacity. Here is the abstract.
International security in a competitive militarized environment requires that states have the capacity to defend themselves. The effects of this competition can be summarized with an equilibrium-comparative statics logic: (i) at any given moment in time, for a type of state to survive, it must have the financial, material, organizational, and military means to defend itself against other states with possibly different forms of government and territorial organization. (ii) As the nature of military (and financial and organizational) competition changes, so too does the form of the state. Adam Smith appeals to this logic again and again in his corpus to explain why, in a particular era, one type of state out-competes another. For example, Smith uses this logic to explain the equilibrium structure of feudalism; how the trading towns emerged to out-compete locally feudalism’s military organization; that the town’s militias later proved no match for the professional standing armies of authoritarian monarchies; and how intense military competition for markets and territory around the world led large nation-states to foster forms of liberty or limited government so as to grow and finance longer and larger wars.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

September 22, 2018

Mary Shelley's Legacy @insidehighered @mclemee

Scott McLemee takes a look at some new university press books that analyze the enduring impact of Mary Shelley's famous work Frankenstein (piece published at Inside Higher Ed). Link here.

September 21, 2018

Delahunty on Commonwealth and Commodity: Shakespeare's "King John"

Robert J. Delahunty, University of St. Thomas School of Law, is publishing Commonwealth and Commodity: Shakespeare's 'King John' in the Journal of Catholic Legal Studies. Here is the abstract.
Shakespeare increasingly, and deservedly, enjoys the reputation of being a political thinker of the first rank. In his King John (ca. 1595) — one of his most infrequently performed and unappreciated plays — Shakespeare uses a twelfth century crisis over King John’s right to succeed to the Crown as a vehicle for exploring the subtle interplay of law, custom and power in the fashioning of political legitimacy. The play is an extended meditation on the effects of John’s illegitimate kingship. Shakespeare presents us with a decentered moral universe that is spiraling towards self-destruction and that is governed solely by the principle of power-seeking or “commodity.” The action of the play concerns how the disintegrating world of “commodity” can be rescued from itself before it collapses. Although Shakespeare does not use the term “commonwealth” here, it figures in other Tudor-era writers on politics, often in opposition to “commodity.” Indeed, a polar opposition between “commodity” and “commonwealth” structures the play. The roots of the idea of “commonwealth” grow out of a pre-modern communitarian tradition. In the play, the idea is epitomized in the unhistorical, but dramatically powerful, character of “the Bastard,” the illegitimate son of John’s brother, King Richard the Lion-Hearted. King John reveals the corrosive effects of the individualistic ethos of modernity that was already emerging in Elizabethan England. It also dramatizes the power of a countervailing English nationalism that may have looked back to a vanishing past but that was also taking on fresh vitality in this period. This paper seeks to situate a wrongly neglected play in its rich context of Elizabethan law, culture and politics, and to show why it remains of enduring value.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

September 20, 2018

Bruce on The Architecture of Drama: How Lawyers Can Use Screenwriting Techniques To Tell More Compelling Stories in Legal Writing

Teresa Bruce, University of Colorado Law School, is publishing The Architecture of Drama: How Lawyers Can Use Screenwriting Techniques to Tell More Compelling Stories in Legal Writing: J. Writing Inst. Here is the abstract.
Hollywood writers have a secret. They know how to tell a compelling story—so compelling that the top-grossing motion pictures rake in millions, and sometimes billions, of dollars. How do they do it? They use a simple formula involving three acts that propel the story forward, three "plot points" that focus on the protagonist, and two "pinch points" that focus on the adversary. The attached Article argues that lawyers should build their stories in the same way Hollywood writers do. It deconstructs the storytelling formula used in movies and translates it into an IRAC-like acronym, SCOR. Attorneys who use SCOR will not have to design the architecture of their clients' stories anew each time they sit down to write. SCOR will do it for them. Using SCOR will therefore make their jobs as writers easier and quicker—and it will result in more compelling, convincing stories and, ultimately, better client outcomes. The Article is a good candidate for publication for two reasons. First, it is unique. There is a robust body of scholarship on lawyers as storytellers, and some of it delves into strategies taken from the world of fiction. But none of it discusses the open secret in Hollywood, that motion pictures virtually all follow a standard story structure, and applies that structure to legal writing. Second, the Article is innovative. It attempts to do for facts sections what IRAC does for argument sections: provide an off-the-shelf pattern for telling client stories (SCOR) that will both make the lawyer-writer's job easier and make the audience better situated to comprehend the story the lawyer is trying to tell. Everyone agrees that storytelling matters to lawyers; the question is not whether to tell a story, but how to tell it. This Article addresses the "how" of story structure.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Shabalala on IP, Traditional Knowledge, and Traditional Cultural Expressions In Native American Tribal Codes @Dyebo

Dalindyebo Bafana Shabalala, University of Dayton School of Law, CWRU School of Law, Maastricht Faculty of Law, is publishing Intellectual Property, Traditional Knowledge, and Traditional Cultural Expressions in Native American Tribal Codes in volume 51 of the Akron Law Review (2017). Here is the abstract.
Indigenous peoples and nations have been making demands for protection and promotion of their intellectual property, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions in domestic and international fora. The power of the basic demand is one that lies in claims of moral duty and human rights. This Article argues that in order for such claims to have power, one of the necessary elements for success is that the demandeurs themselves need to provide such protection within whatever scope of sovereignty that they exercise. In the context of Native American tribes seeking protection for Native American intellectual property under federal law in the broader territory of the United States, this Article argues that a necessary condition for success may be ensuring such protection on their own tribal territory. This Article serves as an early contribution to a broader research agenda aimed at providing more data as a basis for tribal claims for protection of their traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions. It presents a survey of the nature and scope of legal and formal protection that tribal legislation in the United States has provided for traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions. It further surveys and analyzes the nature and scope of protection provided under federal law and assesses the gap between what tribal codes provide and what federal law provides. It then proposes a series of next steps as a research agenda.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

CFP, Deadline October 15, 2018: Art as Cultural Diplomacy, November 23-24, 2018

Call for Papers for the Panel:
Art as Cultural Diplomacy
As part of
7th Euroacademia Forum of Critical Studies: Asking Big Questions Again
23 – 24 November 2018
Nice, Côte d’Azur, France
Deadline for Paper Proposals: 15th of October 2018

Panel Organizer: Cassandra Sciortino, University of California, Santa Barbara

Panel Description

The panel Art as Cultural Diplomacy seeks papers that explore the function of art (in its broadest definition) as an instrument of cultural diplomacy by the state and, especially, by nongovernmental actors. The main theme of the session is the question of art and diplomacy in Europe before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. This focus however does not limit the thematic  universe of papers to be included in the panel to Europe. Papers are welcome which explore issues related to the role of art, diplomacy and the politicization of Europe, as are those which consider how the arts have pursued or resisted East-West dichotomies and other narratives of alterity in Europe and worldwide. The panel seeks to combine a wide range of interdisciplinary perspectives to explore how art -its various practices, history, and theory - are an important area of inquiry in the expanding field of cultural diplomacy. Papers addressing the role of art in consolidating soft power of states are welcome together with contributions addressing the role of art as cultural diplomacy in the context of significant historical political events.

Some examples of topics include
•       How can art serve as a neutral platform for exchange to promote dialogue and understanding between foreign states?
•       How can art, including organized festivals (i.e. film, art, music.), cultivate transnational identities that undermine political dichotomies and narratives of alterity making in international relations?
•       The implications for art as an instrument of diplomacy in a postmodern age where geopolitics and power are increasingly mobilized by image based structures of persuasion.
•       How has/can art facilitate cohesion between European Union member states and candidate states that effectively responds to the EU’s efforts to create “unity in diversity.”
•       The politics of mapping the world: mental and cartographic
•       Community based art as a social practice to engage issues of political identity
•       The difference between art as cultural diplomacy and propaganda
•       The digital revolution and the emergence of social media as platforms for art to communicate across social, cultural, and national boundaries?
•       Diplomacy in the history of art in Europe
•       Artists as diplomats
•       Art history as diplomacy--exhibitions, post-colonial criticism, global art history, and other revisions to the conventional boundaries of Europe and its history of art
•       The international activity of cultural institutes
•       Art as cultural resistance in non-democratic regimes
•       Art as instrument of international promotion
•       Art as instrument of social change and democratization
•       Art, social movements and protest
•       The critical function of art in cultural diplomacy

Please apply on-line using the electronic form on the conference website or submit by e-mail a titled abstracts of less than 300  words together with the details of your affiliation until 15th of October 2018 to

If you are interested to apply, please see complete information about the conference and details for applicants at:

September 19, 2018

Domingo on Sources of Roman Law

Rafael Domingo, Emory School of Law; University of Navarra School of Law, has published Sources of Roman Law. Here is the abstract.
This chapter addresses the origin and development of Roman legal sources — that is, the methods and procedures for establishing new legally binding rules, standards, and norms. The source of a legal norm gives it ultimate validity. Legal sources can be classified in many different ways. In this chapter the classification will be based on the distinction between power (potestas) and authority (auctoritas) because this is probably the most comprehensive way to understand the legal implications of Rome’s transformation from the Republic to the Principate and then to the later Empire. During the Republic, the legal sources produced by individuals or institutions vested with power (popular assemblies and magistrates) were basically the statutes (leges and plebiscita) and the edicts of the magistrates. On the other hand, the legal sources produced by individuals or institutions vested with moral authority (auctoritas) were the legal opinions (responsa) of the jurists and the resolutions of the Senate (senatus consulta). The Principate brought a major alteration in the system of legal sources when the authority of the jurists and senators was subordinated to the power of the emperor. The emperor granted legislative power to the Senate. As result, senatorial resolutions became, in practice, legislation, that is, a source of coercive power instead of a source of moral authority. The responsa of the jurists, however, were submitted to imperial influence, opening the door to imperial rescripts, elaborated by the imperial chancellery under the direct control of the emperor. During the later Empire, all sources of law ended up being mere expressions of the imperial power (imperial constitutions). The authority of jurists and senators ceased to be a constitutional limit on imperial power. Moral authority and imperial power were entirely identified in the person of the emperor, whose will had the force of a statute.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

September 18, 2018

Call For Papers 2019 Law and Humanities Junior Scholars Workshop

Call for Papers

Columbia Law School, Georgetown University Law School, Stanford Law School, UCLA School of Law, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Southern California Center for Law, History, and Culture invite submissions for the thirteenth meeting of the Law and Humanities Junior Scholars Workshop, to be held at Penn Law School in Philadelphia, PA, on June 2 and 3, 2019. 

The paper competition is open to untenured professors, advanced graduate students, and post-doctoral scholars in law and the humanities. In addition to drawing from numerous humanistic fields, we welcome critical, qualitative work in the social sciences. Based on anonymous evaluation by an interdisciplinary selection committee, between five and ten papers will be chosen for presentation at the June Workshop. At the Workshop, two senior scholars will comment on each paper. Commentators and other Workshop participants will be asked to focus specifically on the strengths and weaknesses of the selected scholarly projects, with respect to subject and methodology. The selected papers will then serve as the basis for a larger conversation among all the participants about the evolving standards by which we judge excellence and creativity in interdisciplinary scholarship, as well as about the nature of interdisciplinarity itself.

The selected papers will appear in a special issue of the Legal Scholarship Network; there is no other publication commitment. (We will accommodate the wishes of chosen authors who prefer not to have their paper posted publicly with us because of publication commitments to other journals.)

The Workshop will pay the domestic travel and hotel expenses of authors whose papers are selected for presentation. For authors requiring airline travel from outside the United States, the Workshop will cover such travel expenses up to a maximum of $1000.

Papers must be works-in-progress that do not exceed 15,000 words in length (including footnotes/ endnotes); most papers selected for inclusion in recent years have been at least 10,000 words long. An abstract of no more than 200 words must also be included with the paper submission. A dissertation chapter may be submitted, but we strongly suggest that it be edited so as to stand alone as a piece of work with its own integrity. A paper that has been submitted for publication is eligible for selection so long as it will not be in galley proofs or in print at the time of the Workshop; it is important that authors still be in a position at the time of the Workshop to consider comments they receive there and to incorporate them as they think appropriate in their revisions.

We ask that those submitting papers be careful to omit or redact any information in the body of the paper that might serve to identify them, as we adhere to an anonymous or “blind” selection process.

Submissions (in Microsoft Word—no pdf files, please) will be accepted until December 1, 2018, and should be sent by e-mail to: Please be sure to include your name, institutional affiliation (if any), and phone and e-mail contact information in your covering email, not in the paper itself.

For more information, please send an email inquiry to

To see selected papers from previous years’ workshops, go to:

Anne Dailey, University of Connecticut Law School
Katherine Franke, Columbia Law School
Sarah Barringer Gordon, University of Pennsylvania
Nan Goodman, University of Colorado
Ariela Gross, University of Southern California
Martha Jones, Johns Hopkins University
Naomi Mezey, Georgetown University Law Center
Paul Saint-Amour, University of Pennsylvania
Hilary Schor, University of Southern California
Norman Spaulding, Stanford Law School
Clyde Spillenger, UCLA School of Law
Nomi Stolzenberg, University of Southern California
Martha Umphrey, Amherst College

Conveners, 2019 Law and Humanities Junior Scholars Workshop

September 16, 2018

Call For Proposals: Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities (ASLCH) @Law_Cult_Huma

From The Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities (ASLCH):

We are pleased to announce that the Twenty-Second Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities will be held at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada on March 22-23, 2019. The event is co-sponsored by The Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. Information regarding the pre-conference Graduate Student Workshop will follow shortly.We welcome quality proposals on any topic related to law and legal studies. We warmly welcome proposals on all topics, and are particularly interested in proposals addressing the intersections between gender, sexuality, race and law.

All proposals are due Wednesday, October 15, 2018.

Individual proposals should include title and an abstract of no more than 250 words.

We also welcome proposals for panels, roundtables, and streams (two panels on one theme). Panels should include three papers (or, exceptionally, four papers). Specify a title and a chair of your panel. The panel chair may also be a panel presenter. It is not necessary to write an abstract or proposal for the panel itself. To indicate your pre-constituted panel, roundtable, or stream, please ensure that individual registrants provide the name of the panel and the chair in their individual submissions on the registration site. All panel, roundtable, or stream participants must make an individual submission on the registration site.  

All proposals must be submitted on this website: will be sent by mid-December, 2018.

The fees for participation in the Conference, which include membership to the Association, will be:·      Graduate students and post-doctoral scholars: $35
          • Income less than $75,000: $125          • Income between $75,000-$99,999: $155          • Income between $100,000-$124,999: $210          • Income $125,000 and over: $260

The Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities is an organization of scholars engaged in interdisciplinary, humanistically-oriented legal scholarship. The Association brings together a wide range of people engaged in scholarship on legal history, legal theory and jurisprudence, political, law and cultural studies, law and anthropology, law and literature, law and the performing arts, and legal hermeneutics. We want to encourage dialogue across and among these fields about issues of interpretation, identity, and values, about authority, obligation, and justice, and about law's role as a constituent part of cultures and communities. If you have any general questions about the conference, please do not hesitate to contact us

Myers on Victorian Trial Literature in the Oxford Handbook of British Romanticism @ArsScripta @OxUniPress

Victoria Myers has published Trial Literature in The Oxford Handbook of British Romanticism 294 (David Duff, ed., OUP, 2018). 

CFP: Handbook of Heritage Law and Discourse


Handbook of Heritage Law and Discourse 
A Triadic Dimension: Protection, Regulation and Identity 

Editors: Le Cheng and Anne Wagner

The past four decades has witnessed the remarkable extension of enthusiasm in cultural heritage or property from the perspective of international laws, or international legal framework as the multilevel legal instruments for safeguarding, protection and maintenance of cultural heritage, property, or rights. In our project, the identification of “Heritage” employs specific discourses, codes, transcending values, and images that conceal assumption about members of a people comprising a people within a nation. Heritage narrates constructions of belongings that become tethered to negotiations for power and resistance over time and throughout a people’s history leading to powerful discursive narratives. While such likeness may be preserved, conserved or even perpetuated, the idea of “Heritage” may be socially, politically, culturally, and historically contested to reveal competing pasts, presents, and futures, esp. with innovation in arts leading to new social norms and identities.

Besides, the visual decoding of heritage is evocative and ideologically representative with meanings that prescribe a story of Protection, Regulation and Identity, since these meanings are subject to multiple interpretations and reinterpretations related to Rights, among the integrity of heritage right and human rights, and the integrated framework of right in rem and right in personae. Yet, through semiotic accumulation, evolution and confrontation, there may be different interdisciplinary paths leading to different truths, to tensions (contestation and/or negotiation), and applications of significance. We should then investigate these transmitted values, discourses over time and space. 

We should therefore investigate these transmitted values under various perspectives (amongst others but not limited):

- How to transmit Heritage and which values are being transmitted?
- How are the narratives created?
- Is there a social stratification in transmitting, preserving and conserving Heritage?
- What are the cognitive and symbolic aspects of Heritage through different temporal parameters? Is there a shift in cultural and/or collective meaning from one space to another? 
- What are the sources?
- What is the relationship between law and “heritage” (tangible or intangible elements) in visual representations?
- What is the shared collective and/or cultural memory beyond this visual representation?
- How Heritage is connected to the preservation and conservation of a people’s memory?
- How Heritage is interpreted within legal settings or international legal framework from temporality and spatiality?

- What are the interactions between cultural heritage and human rights within the diversity and tolerance within socio-legal contexts?

Considering the complexity and diversity in the building of a common memory or discourse community through tangible and intangible cultural heritage, we would suggest our contributors interrogate the complex sign system of a particular country or region and their meanings attentive to a complex configuration of historical, social and cultural conditions that shift over time and space.

Keywords: Heritage, Sign System, Law, Discourse Narratives, Conservation, Preservation.

Editors: Le Cheng & Anne Wagner 

Please send abstracts to both Anne Wagner ( and Le Cheng ( by 28 Feburary 2019 at the latest.

September 13, 2018

CFP: Literature and International Law at the Edge, NYC, December 14-15, 2018

Literature and International Law at the Edge
New York City, December 14/15, 2018
Abstracts/proposals due by October 31, 2018

The past decade has seen a steady increase in interdisciplinary scholarship interested in the relationships between literature and international law. Much of this scholarship has remained deeply rooted in the home disciplines of the scholars, who not only operate with the prevailing assumptions and methodologies of those disciplines, but also tend to treat the other disciplines as stable and unproblematic. Moreover, while claiming to tell a global history, that scholarship largely repeats the Eurocentric bias that has historically characterized the fields of comparative literature and international law. In fact, much of the new scholarship on comparative literature and international law not only fails to take account of imperialism and its histories in the formation of disciplinary knowledge, it also tends to marginalize events and thinkers at the colonial and global edges, ignoring their roles as actors and agents of literary and legal world-making. In doing so, this new scholarship seems to be replicating the traditional prejudices of its contributing disciplines.

Through a series of events to be held in 2018 and 2019 (in, amongst other places, New York, London and Nairobi) this project aims to explore the imbrications of literature and international law at the edges. The project seeks to challenge many of the basic disciplinary blindnesses and Eurocentric assumptions that have characterized the emerging conversation by putting the Global South at the center of our interdisciplinary inquiry.

For a day-long workshop/conference, to be held in New York City on December 14/15, 2018, we are seeking contributions that:

-       Explore interdisciplinary interfaces among literary, historical, and legal studies, and from positions of geo-historical marginalization across the Global South.
-       Address the intersections between particular texts of “world literature” and Third World Approaches to International Law.
-       Map the theoretical and historical relationships between comparative literature and international law as world-making, world-imagining, and world-governing regimes.
-       Trace the historical global flows of knowledge at the “margins” of world literary and legal space that have been overlooked in the canonical and narrow focus of the separate disciplines, as well as new flows of global knowledge among the disciplines and across (and about) the Global South.
-       Consider how the basic assumptions and doctrines of international law and comparative literature (e.g., sovereignty, self-determination, territoriality, equality of states, ethno-cultural nationalism, national languages, and rights to natural and cultural resources) were worked out historically in the Global South.

Please email short proposals/abstracts/inquires by 31 October 2018 to:

We hope to have some funds to assist scholars from the Global South with travel costs.

Organizers: Joseph SlaughterColumbia UniversityVasuki NesiahNew York UniversityGerry SimpsonLondon School of EconomicsChristopher GeversUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal

September 12, 2018

Harry Ransom Center Now Accepting Applications For 2019/2020 Research Fellowships @ransomcenter

The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin invites applications for its 2019­-2020 research fellowships.

Ten dissertation fellowships and up to 50 postdoctoral fellowships will be awarded for projects that require substantial on-site use of its collections.  The fellowships support research in all areas of the humanities, including literature, photography, film, art, the performing arts, music, and cultural history.  

The Center’s film collections include the papers of producers David O. Selznick and Lewis Allen, director Nicholas Ray, actors Gloria Swanson, Robert De Niro, and Eli Wallach, screenwriters Ernest Lehman and Paul Schrader, acting teacher Stella Adler, special effects master Norman Dawn, and the Interstate Theatre Circuit, the Mad Men archive, among others. For more information about the Center’s film collections, visit

 The deadline for applications, which must be submitted through the Center’s website, is November 15, 2018, 5 p.m. CST. Applicants, with the exception of those applying for dissertation fellowships, must have a Ph.D. or be independent scholars with a substantial record of professional achievement.

 The fellowships range from one to three months, with stipends of $3,500 per month. Travel stipends and dissertation fellowships provide stipends of $2,000. International fellows receive an additional $500 stipend to offset visa and travel costs. Applicants will be notified of decisions on March 31, 2019.

Fellowship residencies may be scheduled between June 1, 2019, and August 31, 2020. During the fellowship, scholars will work on-site at the Ransom Center in Austin, Texas.

Fellows will become part of a distinguished group of alumni. Since the fellowship program's inauguration in 1990, the Ransom Center has supported more than 1,200 research projects.

For details and application instructions, visit:

Questions about the fellowship program or application procedures should be directed to

Solan on Lies, Deceit, and Bullshit in Law

Lawrence M. Solan, Brooklyn Law School, has published Lies, Deceit, and Bullshit in Law at 56 Duquesne L. Rev. 73 (2018). Here is the abstract.
The law purports to disapprove of dishonesty. But not all species of dishonesty are created equal, and not all contexts are equivalent when it comes to the law’s intolerance of dishonest conduct. This article distinguishes among three types of dishonesty: lies, deceit, and bullshit. Lying is a statement that the speaker projects as true, while believing it to be false. Deceit depends on altering the hearer’s state of mind to believe something the speaker believes to be false, regardless of whether the deceitful statement is true or false. Bullshit, following the work of philosopher Harry Frankfurt, is a statement made without regard to its truth or falsity. The article touches on such areas of law as perjury, making false statements to government agents, fraud, pleading requirements, as well as political speech.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

September 11, 2018

Thornton and Roberts on Women Judges, Private Lives: (In)Visibilities in Fact and Fiction @ANU_Law

Margaret Thornton and Heather Roberts, both of ANU College of Law, have published Women Judges, Private Lives: (In)Visibilities in Fact and Fiction at 40 University of New South Wales Law Journal 761 (2018). Here is the abstract.
Once unseen, women are now visible in increasing proportions on the bench in common law courts, although this reality has generally not percolated into fictional worlds, where ‘the judge’ is invariably male. Fiona, cast by Ian McEwan as the protagonist, in The Children Act, is a notable exception. In the novel, McEwan directs our gaze beyond the traditional separation of judicial identity into public/private (visible/invisible) facets of life and raises questions regarding the impact of life on law, and law on life. This article draws on McEwan’s work to illuminate a study of how judicial swearing-in ceremonies tell the stories of Australian women judges. At first glance, this may seem an unusual pairing: The Children Act is an international best-selling work of fiction whereas the official records of court ceremonial sittings are a somewhat obscure body of work largely overlooked by scholars. However, the speeches made in welcome in open court on these occasions by members of the legal profession and by the new judge in reply, offer glimpses of the attributes of women judges not discernible in formal judgments. These ‘minor jurisprudences’ challenge the familiar gendered stereotypes found in the sovereign body of law.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Good Dad @washingtonpost

Sonia Rao discusses the emergence of the caring, sensitive father in popular culture, here, for the Washington Post (subscription may be required). 

Bam on Defending Judicial Speech @UMaineLaw

Dmitry Bam, University of Maine School of Law, has published Seen and Heard: A Defense of Judicial Speech at 11 Liberty U. L. Rev. 765 (2018). Here is the abstract.
Judicial ethics largely prohibits judges from engaging in political activities, including endorsing or opposing candidates for public office. These restrictions on judicial politicking, intended to preserve both the reality and the appearance of judicial integrity, independence, and impartiality, have been in place for decades. Although the Code of Conduct for United States Judges does not apply to the Supreme Court, Supreme Court Justices have long followed the norm that they do not take sides, at least publicly, in partisan political elections. And while elected state judges have some leeway to engage in limited political activities associated with their own candidacy, the Justices of the United States Supreme Court have consistently remained on the sidelines in contested partisan elections. That is why the events of July 2016 were so surprising. With the 2016 presidential election less than four months away, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg shocked everyone when she bluntly spoke out against the Republican presidential nominee, and the ultimate winner of the election, Donald Trump. On multiple occasions, she expressed her disdain for Trump in no uncertain terms, calling Trump a "faker," criticizing Trump's failure to release his tax returns, and even joking that her husband would have suggested moving to New Zealand if Trump were to be elected president. Given the ethical rules and the long-standing norms of judicial behavior, these were jarring statements from a sitting Supreme Court Justice. Immediately, there was a near-unanimous outcry against the propriety of Ginsburg's comments, ultimately leading her to apologize. The chorus of critics included both conservative and reliably leftist pundits, media commentators, legal academics, numerous politicians, and Donald Trump himself. It was not just conservatives who rebuked her statements. Despite her near-mythical status in progressive circles, among the critics were some of Justice Ginsburg's biggest supporters. In an election that saw little bipartisan agreement on almost anything, nearly everyone seemed to agree that Justice Ginsburg's statements violated ethical rules and norms. This Article examines whether Ginsburg's many critics were right. I suggest that the norms may be built on a shaky foundation and grounded in long-abandoned myths about the judicial role and judicial decision-making. The traditional restraints on Supreme Court Justices expressing their own strongly-held political views does not further, or at least does not significantly further, any of the important goals generally served by the ethics codes. While Justice Ginsburg's comments, and comments like hers, may change the way the people view the Court and its Justices, their mere utterance causes little damage to the reputation and standing of the federal judiciary generally, or the Supreme Court in particular. In addition, stifling judicial speech disserves the American people by misleading them about judges and judging and concealing potentially important heuristic information from the electorate.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

ACLA 2018 Seminar Proposal: Crime Fiction and Global Spaces, Georgetown Unversity, March 7-10, 2019 @ACLAorg @thomgiddens

ACLA (American Comparative Literature Assocation) 2018 Seminar Proposal: Crime Fiction and Global Spaces 

Georgetown University, Washington DC, 7-10 March 2019 

Organizers: Patrick Deer, New York University (, Andrew Pepper, Queen’s University Belfast (

The transnational “turn” in crime fiction and studies of the genre has produced a new understanding of the complex interplays between crime, policing and security. Just as crime is increasingly understood as a transnational phenomenon linking spheres of production and consumption across discreet national territories, policing now constitutes a set of networked activities connecting internally-facing police forces and externally-facing intelligence/security agencies across the globe. This seminar provides an opportunity to think about how crime fiction has sought to make sense of these transformations and the accompanying reordering and disordering of global spaces.

We are keen to explore what these changes mean for crime fiction as genre; that is, as an elastic and endlessly varied body of work that is nonetheless recognizable as crime fiction. Individual papers might consider the ways in which crime fiction contributes to a larger biopolitical project, whereby populations are scrutinized, managed and regulated, or whether the genre’s most incisive interventions come from writers who are keen to interrogate the disorder and violence that is inevitably bound up in, and caused by, new techniques and dispensations of power. If the lone cop investigating a murder in a single locale remains an important staple, the genre’s opening up to the global dimensions of crime and policing requires or presupposes inevitable mutations; and as such we are especially keen to think about the emergence of new hybrid forms as the distinctions between crime, sf, thrillers, war fiction, spy and espionage forms are eroded. We also welcome papers that consider representations of the populations and resistance movements targeted by both criminalization and by the militarization of policing (Occupy, BLM, or activist groups in the Global South).

This seminar is particularly interested in the seeming collapse of distinctions between “internal” and “external”, between policing and militarization, and between realm of everyday life and the spectre of militarized violence. Just as crime can no longer be understood as belonging exclusively to either the domestic or international realm, policing and security initiatives inevitably bleed into one another. And just as domestic policing increasingly assumes a military dimension (police in paramilitary gear and armored vehicles being “sent” into “unsafe” parts of the city), militarization that assumes an international dimension is typically characterized as policing or “police actions.” We want to consider how these semantic blurrings are interrogated in and by genre fiction and what kind of thematizations of order and disorder are created. Papers are also encouraged that explore how or whether the internationalization and indeed militarization of policing and security (“war on drugs”, “war on terror” etc.) produces a particular kind of fiction capable of connecting discreet encounters within particular locales (e.g. cities) and across disparate parts of the globe.

We welcome papers that explore crime fiction as what Jameson might call a process of “cognitive mapping,” where the totality of social relations are explored or at least hinted at within individual or serial works (e.g. The Wire, Breaking Bad, The Millennium Trilogy). Alternatively, contributors might think about whether the ordering of space in one locale is repeated and repeatable elsewhere and if not, what the Marxist and post-colonial implications of this distinction might be (e.g. whether violence and disorder, for example, in poorer areas in the Global South are directly related to the policing and governance practices pursued elsewhere).

In welcoming papers on these and related questions from as many parts of the globe as possible, the seminar hopes to build on and deepen the discussions pursued so well in “Crime Fiction as World Literature” (ACLA 2015), “Translating Crime: Production, Transformation and Reception” (ACLA 2016), “Worlding Crime Fiction: From the National to the Global” (ACLA 2017), and “Crime Fiction, Cosmopolitanism and Non-Violent Crime” (ACLA 2018).

If you are interested in submitting a paper to this seminar stream, you will need to do so (and provide an abstract of 200-250 words approx.) via the American Comparative Literature Association website by Thursday 20 September ( But we would encourage you to get in touch with us as soon as possible to register your interest: Patrick Deer ( or Andrew Pepper (

Via @thomgiddens

September 10, 2018

Reichmann on Anti-Chinese Racism at Berkeley: The Case For Renaming Boalt Hall

Charles Reichmann, UC Berkeley School of Law, has published Anti-Chinese Racism at Berkeley: The Case for Renaming Boalt Hall. Here is the abstract.
Those familiar with UC Berkeley School of Law know its traditional name and the name of its primary classroom building - Boalt Hall. Yet few know much about the man who gave the law school its name. A close look at John Boalt’s legacy, however, calls out for a reexamination of the law school’s continued association with Boalt, given the contrast between UC Berkeley’s stated values and Boalt’s influential views that the Chinese were an unassimilable race that ought to be excluded from the United States. Boalt's racial theories were identical to John C. Calhoun's, whose name Yale University recently removed from a residential college on the grounds that Calhoun's principles and legacy are at odds with Yale's mission and values. Through his widely-circulated and virulently racist 1877 address "The Chinese Question" and his proposal for a plebiscite on further immigration, Boalt was instrumental in catalyzing support for the Chinese Exclusion Act.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

de la Rasilla del Moral on Bartolomé De Las Casas: A Radical Humanitarian in the Age of the Great Encounter @hartpublishing

Ignacio de la Rasilla del Moral, Wuhan University, Institute of International Law, is publishing Bartolomé De Las Casas: A Radical Humanitarian in the Age of the Great Encounter in The Faces of Human Rights (Kasey McCall-Smith, Jan Wouters, and Felipe Gomez Isa, eds., Hart Publishing 2019). Here is the abstract.
Few lives may be as propitious to an understanding of the biographical genre as a way of addressing a larger historical theme than the life of the greatest advocate for justice and freedom for the Amerindian peoples in the sixteenth century. For generations, the life and works of Bartolomé de las Casas have served as lenses to look through at events and processes unleashed by the ‘great encounter’. Deeply intertwined with what came to be known as the ‘duda indiana’ (the ‘Indian Doubt’) among Spanish intellectual and political elites, were three interwoven dimensions that situate the praxis and theory of de las Casas’ life and work within the theological, moral and legal debates triggered by the Spanish Conquest of America. Traditionally, this has been considered as the birthdate of international law and, for some, building on the Lascasian legacy, of contemporary human rights law too.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Halberstam on the History and Philosophy of Federalism(s) in the United States and Europe @UMichLaw

Daniel Halberstam, University of Michigan Law School, has published 'A People for Certain Purposes': On the History and Philosophy of Federalism(s) in the United States and Europe as U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 619. Here is the abstract.
This brief guide to the philosophy of federalism provides an original analysis distinguishing the flurry of competing conceptual accounts of federalism in the United States and Europe. It draws out and critically examines the theories of sovereignty and federalism of James Madison, James Wilson, John C. Calhoun, Hans Kelsen, and Carl Schmitt, all with a view to understanding the kind of federation we have in the European Union today.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Afflerbach on on Intellectuals, Abortion, and Tess Slesinger's Modernism @ArsScripta @UNG_News

Ian Afflerbach, Assistant Professor of American Literature, University of North Georgia, has published Liberal Use of Possession: Intellectuals, Abortion, and Tess Slesinger's Modernism, 85 ELH 801 (2018).

Via @ArsScripta

September 6, 2018

Khorakiwala on Judicial Iconography and Access to Justice in the Bombay High Court

Rahela Khorakiwala, Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences/Max Planck Institute for European Legal History; Jawaharlal Nehru University, has published Judicial Iconography and Access to Justice in the Bombay High Court at 7 Südasien-Chronik/South Asia Chronicle 351 (2017)
In this paper I argue that certain aspects of the judicial iconography of the Bombay High Court and its practices hinder access to justice. The idea of access to justice that I refer to, is the physical accessibility of the court building which is read through Franz Kafka’s parable on Before the Law. Further, the article focuses on the public interest litigation that has been filed in the Bombay High Court for the creation of a new high court building. Based on my ethnographic study, I look at the restrictions through the visual in the form of the dress worn by judges and lawyers and the ban on photography in court premises. In conclusion, I discuss the idea of law as heritage and how the Bombay High Court deals with its iconography in relation to its heritage and eventually, how this affects the process of access to justice.
. The full text is not available from SSRN.

Leclair on The Story of Constitutions, Constitutionalism, and Reconciliation: A Work of Prose? Poetry? Or Both?

Jean Leclair, Université de Montréal Faculty of Law, is publishing The Story of Constitutions, Constitutionalism and Reconciliation: A Work of Prose? Poetry? Or Both? in the Review of Constitutional Studies. Here is the abstract.
Reconciliation is a profoundly political matter, and politics having to do with power, so does true reconciliation. First, it has to do with how power is constituted, i.e. set up. Second, inasmuch as reconciliation is generally associated with claims for greater participation in a State’s political arrangements or for greater autonomy within the State, it raises the question of how the power of dominant social-political elites can be limited. Now those are precisely the questions that constitutions and constitutionalism have been designed to address. The study of constitutions and constitutionalism, i.e. the business of constituting and limiting power, has a very long history. A great variety of normative conceptions of constitutionalism have been proposed in order to mend Canada’s broken relationship with Turtle Island’s Indigenous peoples. Many are rooted in deeply aspirational perspectives orbiting around the idea of a dialogic democracy according to which, if we could collectively construct a new vocabulary and a more embracing kind of shared understanding, a non-imperialist form of constitutionalism would eventually blossom. I call this constitutional idealism or poetic constitutionalism. Some dismiss such normative approaches by claiming a more realist conception of constitutionalism. They argue that, if looked at from a bottom-up perspective, rather than the top-down perspective of normativists, constitutionalism as a form of government has only allowed for legally limited government when and where it served the dominant political elites. I call this constitutional realism or prosaic constitutionalism. My claim is that both the poets and the prosaists are partly right. I argue that, although fragile and reversible, a form of imperfect, diffuse and reflexive constitutionalism has grown out of Canada’s non-indigenous constitutional tradition. One that, under certain circumstances and conditions, has the potential of helping Indigenous peoples obtain greater self-governing powers than our constitutional structure now allows for.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

September 5, 2018

Rutherglen on The Framers' Coup by Michael J. Klarman

George A. Rutherglen, University of Virginia School of Law, is publishing In What Sense a Coup? A Review of the Framers’ Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution by Michael J. Klarman in the Journal of Law and Politics. Here is the abstract.
In his majesterial history of the fraught and compromised origins of the Constitution, Professor Klarman explores in absorbing detail all the dimensions of the tumultuous events that led to the drafting, ratification, and amendment of the Constitution by the Bill of Rights. The book aspires, in the author’s words, to put the entire history of these developments “between two covers.” This vast panorama of issues, actors, and historical context unfolds before the reader as each of the crises of the years from 1787 to 1791 comes into focus. Klarman invites the reader to relive the making of the Constitution in all its contingencies, some predictable and perennial, like the opposition between large and small states, some nearly forgotten, like disputes over navigation of the Mississippi River. Klarman gives the reader the good, the bad, and the ugly: the good in the farsighted vision of the Framers; the bad in their tolerance of slavery and general distrust of democratic government; the ugly in the often cynical processes of ordinary politics that led to ratification of the Constitution. If you want a history unencumbered by hagiography of the Framers—and by the same token, of their Antifederalist opponents—this is the book for you. And it should be the book for everyone who wants a comprehensive and unvarnished look at the framing of the Constitution.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Pushaw on Ulysses S. Grant and the Lost Opportunity for Racial Justice

Robert J. Pushaw, Pepperdine University School of Law, has published Ulysses S. Grant and the Lost Opportunity for Racial Justice (Reviewing Ron Chernow, Grant (2017)) at 33 Const. Comment. 331 (2018). Here is the abstract.
Every law student, legal academic, and attorney would benefit from reading Ron Chernow's exhaustive biography of Ulysses S. Grant. At first glance, that recommendation sounds counterintuitive, because Grant was not a lawyer--much less one like Alexander Hamilton. Nor was Grant a distinguished intellectual like Woodrow Wilson, whose novel vision of the Constitution reshaped America in ways that reverberate to this day. Rather, Grant was a failed businessman, a ruthlessly effective but not especially brilliant general, and a mediocre President. Chernow attempts to rehabilitate Grant's military and political reputation. He does so primarily by highlighting Grant's one indispensable contribution to American law and government: spearheading the implementation of Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and the various constitutional amendments and statutes that sought to guarantee former slaves not merely their liberty but also their civil and political rights.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

September 4, 2018

Allison on Minimising Magna Carta and Modernising Exposition of the Rule of Law in the English Historical Constitution

John W. F. Allison, University of Cambridge Faculty of Law, is publishing Minimising Magna Carta and Modernising Exposition of the Rule of Law in the English Historical Constitution in Handbook on the Rule of Law (Christopher May and Adam Winchester, eds., Edward Elgar, 2018). Here is the abstract.
Dicey’s view of the English constitution as historical was traditional, but he promoted, and imported to that constitution, a history that was comparative, critical and modernist. His promotion of history as comparison affected his treatment of Magna Carta and his view of its importance to the rule of law. Provisions of Magna Carta provisions are compared and contrasted with Dicey’s exposition of the rule of law to explain his disdain for Magna Carta’s importance, to show the extent to which his exposition of the rule of law marked its modernisation in the English historical constitution, and to illustrate Diceyan history as comparison. The historical comparison serves as an illustration with which to consider the value of history as comparison - for Dicey in his treatment of Magna Carta and for normative interpretivists in drawing upon his rule of law. (This is a draft chapter that has been accepted for publication by Edward Elgar Publishing in the forthcoming 'Handbook on the Rule of Law' edited by Christopher May and Adam Winchester and due to be published in 2. Chapter 10 is available at:
Download the chapter from SSRN at the link.

Law and Literature: New Perspectives and Methodologies: A Conference at King's College, London, September 14, 2018 @KingsCollegeLon @VehmeLit

Law and Literature: New Perspectives and Methodologies, a Conference at King's College, London, September 14, 2018

The symposium takes place within the framework of the project VehmeLit – Legal Cultures and Literary Trials in the Age of Goethe, based at King’s Department of German.
There are two sessions:
Session 1:
Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives | 14th September, 14.00–18.30
14.00–14.30    Arrival and registration
14.30–14.45    Opening remarks – Dr Daniele Vecchiato (King’s College London)
Chair: Prof Matthew Bell (King’s College London)
14.45–15.45    Keynote Lecture:
Law, Literature, and the Question of Reading – Prof Marco Wan (University of Hong Kong)
15.45–16.00    Discussion
16.00–16.20    Tea and Coffee Break
16.20–16.50    Law, Poetry and Philosophy in an Age of Uncertainty – Prof Lorenzo Zucca (King’s College London)
16.50–17.20    Writing and Righting: Literature in the Age of Human Rights – Prof Lyndsey Stonebridge (University of Birmingham)
17.20–17.40    Discussion
17.40–18.10    The Voyeur in the Archive: Solidarity and Spectatorship in Godard and Meiselas – Dr Anna Bernard (King’s College London)
18.10–18.30    Discussion and Conclusion
Session 2:
German Perspectives (18th and 19th centuries) | 15th September 2018, 10.00–14.00
Chair: Dr Daniele Vecchiato (King’s College London)
10.00–10.30    “What do we owe each other”: Contracts and the Law in Goethe’s Götz – Prof Claudia Nitschke (University of Durham)
10.30–11.00    Schiller’s Demetrius Project: Questions of Legitimacy for the 20th Century? – Prof Maria Carolina Foi (Università degli Studi di Trieste)
11.00–11.20    Discussion
11.20–11.40    Tea and Coffee Break
11.40–12.10    Bridging the Gap: Foreign Language Approaches in Legal Hermeneutics – Dr Hans Jochen Lind (Yale University)
12.10–12.40    Writing for Relevance and Writing for the Nation in German Exile Literature – Dr Steffan Davies (University of Bristol)
12.40–13.00    Discussion
13.00–13.15    Closing remarks
13.15–14.30    Refreshments and networking
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 744413.
This is a free symposium and registration is required. 
Click here to register your attendance to Session 1.
Click here to register your attendance to Session 2.
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After the Rule: A Symposium on Alternative Traditions of Law, Norms, and Rules: Australian National University, September 21-22, 2018 @ourANU


There’s many a slip twist the tongue and the lip


australian National University

21 & 22 SEPTEMBER 2018 | sir roland wilson building | anu

The ANU Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, in collaboration with the ANU Centre for Law, Arts and the Humanities, is pleased to present this symposium exploring comparative, historical, and cultural dimensions of laws, rules and norms. Scholars from across the disciplines will be exploring alternative traditions of hermeneutics, with papers drawing on Islamic, indigenous, gender theory, and critical legal perspectives, as well as Australia’s own common law tradition. This symposium will suggest new ways of seeing the relationship between interpretation, law, and justice: other spaces and cultural practices, other ways of reading and non-reading, other crystallisations of rules, order and discipline.
After the Rule is interested in traditions that break our comfortable understanding of law as a formal set of procedures and institutions standing above the hurly-burly of life. We look to the playing out norms and rules: in liturgy, in courtroom drama, in religious traditions, in the vocation of the lawyer or advocate, in gendered characters, and in visual and other forms of art and narrative. In this context, papers will cover research as diverse as classical modes of Sharia interpretation, sorcery in PNG, radical figures in the contemporary graphic novel, comparative constitutionality, and the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
The symposium should be of particular interest to students and scholars of law, socio-legal studies, and Islamic studies, as well as the general observer interested in alternative traditions of decision-making and interpretation.

Via @ThomGiddens