In a 1995 Stanford Law Review article, Professors Akhil Reed and Vikram David Amar argued that the U.S. Constitution’s Succession Clause and its “officer”-language does not permit legislative officer succession. They concluded that the nation’s first succession act—passed by the Second Congress—which put the Senate’s and House’s presiding officers in the line of presidential succession—was unconstitutional. The modern presidential succession statute also puts legislative officers in the line of succession, and so the Amars concluded that it too was unconstitutional. In reaching their conclusion, they opined on the Succession Clause’s history, text, purpose, etc. The largest part of their argument was of a more intuitive variety: i.e., argument based on so-called “constitutional structural.” The Amars supported their intuition, in substantial part, by claiming James Madison shared their intuition. Or, to put it more precisely, they renewed an argument which, according to the Amars, was first put forward by James Madison in a letter to Edmund Pendleton (hereinafter the “Madison-to-Pendleton Letter”), and then they claimed Madison as high authority for the position they put forward. My object in this short paper is limited: it is to show why the Amars were wrong to rely on James Madison. The argument they put forward is their intuition, and not Madison’s. The Amars’ argument may be right on the merits (i.e., legislative officer is unconstitutional) and it may be wrong (i.e., the first succession act and its modern successor are both constitutional)—but the Amars’ claiming the mantle of Madison in support of their position is and always was largely historical error. The intellectual stakes here are not only reasonably high, but also peculiarly timely. The meaning of the Constitution’s Succession Clause and its “officer”-language is always two heartbeats away from contemporary relevance. That issue is always of at least some concern, even absent hype and the more idiosyncratic concerns of cloistered academics. Today, the presidential succession issue is relevant not merely because we are two heartbeats away, but also because we are one impeachment and one heartbeat away from applying the 1947 Presidential Succession Act—which puts the two presiding legislative officers, i.e., the Speaker of the House and the Senate President Pro Tempore (“SPPT”), in the line of succession. Finally, the Amars’ article and the Madison-to-Pendleton Letter are the key (modern) article and the key (premodern) historical evidence discussed in the academic debate over the Constitution’s “office”-language. That debate no longer resides exclusively in the halls of the academy—it has moved into the federal courts which are now litigating civil claims brought against the President under the Foreign Emoluments Clause. That latter clause applies to “Person[s] holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States].” How we resolve or should resolve the issue of whether the President holds an office of profit or trust under the United States will depend, in part, on the rightness (or wrongness) of the Amars’ analysis, the meaning of the Succession Clause and its “officer”-language, and the meaning of the Madison-to-Pendleton Letter. Finally, I add that over ten years ago, I hypothesized that: “There is some reason to believe that [in the Madison-to-Pendleton Letter] all Madison was doing [was] reporting prior debate. Viz., each of ‘Madison’s’ four arguments in his letter to Pendleton had already been expressed on the floor of the House by speakers other than Madison in prior debate.” Today, I intend to make that claim good.Download the article from SSRN at the link.
February 28, 2020
Tillman on the 1792 Madison-to-Pendleton Letter: A Time for Reconsideration, Reflection, and Response? @SethBTillman
Seth Barrett Tillman, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Faculty of Law, has published The 1792 Madison-to-Pendleton Letter: A Time for Reconsideration, Reflection, and Response? Here is the abstract.
February 27, 2020
IUPUI Law: Visiting Assistant Professor of Law Position in Legal Communication and Analysis @IUMcKinney
Visiting Assistant Professor in Legal Communication and Analysis
Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law invites entry-level and experienced applicants for a visiting professorship in the school’s nationally ranked Legal Communication and Analysis Program.
The visitor position is a full-time position. The visitor is expected to teach up to 40 first-year students in Legal Communication and Analysis, which is a year-long course. The course is a graded, two-credit course each semester. Responsibilities include creating course materials, teaching in the classroom and in one-on-one student conferences, reviewing outlines and drafts, assessing papers, and providing detailed feedback to students.
The visitor position is ideal for one seeking entry into the legal academy. An entry-level visitor would have the opportunity to work with and learn from IU McKinney’s Legal Communication and Analysis faculty—Cynthia Adams, Brad Desnoyer, Jim Dimitri, Allison Martin, and Joel Schumm—who have decades of experience as nationally recognized teachers and scholars. The position would be a ten-month appointment for the 2020–21 academic year, with the possibility for reappointment for the 2021–22 academic year. The visitor would be given the opportunity to attend legal writing conferences and to write scholarship in the legal writing field. The visitor would not be required to serve on faculty committees or to teach during the summer.
The compensation package includes an entry-level salary of $70,000, a generous professional development fund that may be used to travel to conferences, a generous research assistant fund, and university benefits.
The law school is strongly committed to achieving excellence through intellectual diversity and strongly encourages applications from persons of color, women, persons with disabilities, the LGBT community, veterans, and members of other groups that are under-represented on university faculties. The law school is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. For more information about the school, visit http://mckinneylaw.iu.edu/.
Applicants must demonstrate a strong academic record and strong writing skills. Ideal candidates will have teaching experience and experience as a judicial clerk or a practitioner.
To apply, please send a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, three references, a writing sample, and teaching evaluations (if available) to Professor Jim Dimitri, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, 530 West New York Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202-3225; firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals who require a reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process must notify Professor Dimitri a reasonable time in advance.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis but must be received no later than March 25, 2020.
CALL FOR PAPERS: The Female Detective on TV
MAI: Feminism & Visual Culture (maifeminism.com) invites academic authors with expertise in television studies and other related disciplines to contribute to our upcoming special issue on female detectives on TV.
For decades now, the female detective has occupied space within a genre that has been all-too-often reserved for the celebratory storylines of self-sacrificial men. She has served to break down sexist barriers placed before women within professional and personal frameworks, acting as an on-screen surrogate and inspiration for (female) spectators. The popularity of female-led TV crime drama across the world points to her success in captivating widespread audience attention.
The topic of women in TV crime drama has inspired a range of significant feminist scholarship (see for example, Pinedo 2019; Coulthard, Horeck, Klinger, McHugh 2018; Greer 2017; Buonanno 2017; Moorti and Cuklanz 2017; Steenberg 2017, 2012; Jermyn 2017; Weissman (2016; 2010; 2007); McCabe 2015; Turnbull 2014; Brunsdon 2013; D’Acci 1994). This work has examined female-led TV crime drama from a variety of angles, including transnational cultural exchanges and currencies, serial form and narrative, gender, class, sexual and racial politics, and postfeminist identities and logics.
Certain series such as The Killing (Denmark 2007-2012, US 2011-2014), The Bridge (Sweden 2011-2018, US 2013-2014), The Fall (UK 2013-2016), and Top of the Lake (NZ/Australia 2013/2017), have been singled out for how their female protagonists (Sarah Lund/Sarah Linden; Saga Noren; Stella Gibson, and Robin Griffin) resonate with viewers across transnational borders. Meanwhile, on primetime episodic US TV crime drama, Mariska Hargitay’s 21-year stint as Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (US 1999-present) – the longest running live-action TV series in American history – has turned her into a ‘touchstone figure’ (Moorti and Cuklanz 2017). Hargitay’s real-life activism, and her dedication to fighting sexual violence against women, has attained important cultural recognition, as Law & Order: SVU itself has received renewed critical consideration in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Notably, though, the female detectives mentioned in the above paragraph are overwhelmingly white. What shifts occur in the genre when a non-white female actor helms the main role as detective? What new possibilities, for example, are opened up by the emergence of black female legal investigators and detectives on network series such as ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder (US 2014-2019) and online TV series such as Netflix’s Seven Seconds (US 2018)? And to what extent is TV crime drama able to meaningfully engage with issues of intersectionality and the precariousness of social justice in twenty-first century society?
This special issue seeks to build on the existing body of feminist writing on women in TV crime drama, through a further investigation of the figure of the female detective at this critical juncture for feminist television studies. What new feminist visions of the female detective have emerged with changes in industrial practices and the growth of online streaming and niche television? How does the female detective of streaming TV compare to the images of the female detective found in the middlebrow crime dramas of linear TV? In an era of networked media in which popular feminism and popular misogyny (Banet-Weiser 2018) are more intertwined than ever before, what notions of empowerment are articulated through the figure of the female detective? To what extent does the female detective enable an exploration of central issues regarding female subjectivity and political resistance against systemic forms of violence?
We hope to open further debate on the subject of the female detective in all her guises. Staying true to MAI spirit, we are seeking papers written from intersectional and multivalent feminist perspectives. We hope this issue not only examines the figures and representations of women crime investigators on the screen, but also situates their work in related social, cultural and political contexts.
Our definition of the female detective is broad and inclusive. She can, but doesn't have to be a private eye or a police professional, just as long as she pursues social justice or truth.
While analyses of current and recent examples seem to be an obvious priority as far as contribution to the field knowledge of visual culture analysis, we also welcome papers on female detectives from the past.
In particular, we would like to encourage authors to consider submitting articles on the following titles:
How to Get Away with Murder
Top of the Lake
The Bletchley Circle
Cagney and Lacey
We recognise that there are many more titles of interests, and the list could run quite long. If you wish to propose a paper on any other TV title, please get in touch with the editors to discuss your suggestion: email@example.com
We plan to publish this issue in the first half of 2021.
The editorial team includes:
Tanya Horeck (Anglia Ruskin University, UK)
Jessica Ford (University of Newcastle, Australia)
Anna Backman Rogers (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
Anna Misiak (Falmouth University, UK)
300-word Abstracts due: 30 May 2020
4000-6000 word Full Papers due: 1 December 2020
Please consult the MAI submission guidelines before submitting: https://maifeminism.com/submissions/
Please send your abstracts and forward responses to this call to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Anna Misiak
MA Film & Television Course Leader
MA Film & Television Course Leader
School of Film and TV
MAI: Feminism & Visual Culture
MAI: Feminism & Visual Culture
February 26, 2020
M. C. Mirow, Florida International University College of Law, is publishing Legal Iconography and Painting Constitutional Law in Painting Constitutional Law: Xavier Cortada's Images of Constitutional Rights (M.C. Mirow & Howard M. Wasserman, eds., Leiden: Brill, Forthcoming). Here is the abstract. Predominantly a European phenomenon, the study of legal iconography has expanded to the common law world and informed approaches to Anglo-American legal development. European painting, sculptures, and other artwork were used in forensic settings to channel behavior of judges, lawyers, and litigants. Such artwork often combined religious perspectives, such as depictions of the Last Judgement, but might also reflect more secular notions such as Justice. Cultural historians and theorists have supplemented these more traditional approaches by expanding the scope of the analysis of the relationship between image and law. This study illustrates the potential for legal iconography to offer deeper insights into law, legal institutions, justice, injustice, and legal change in modern society. Download the essay from SSRN at the link.
February 19, 2020
Shyrete Matoshi, Independent Researcher, and Fejzulla Berisha, University of Kadri Zeka, Gjilan, have published Social Norms and Legal Culture. Here is the abstract.
Moral, as well as the right, in their implementation, are based in the consciousness of citizens, but the difference between the right and moral stands in the fact that unlike moral, the right is set and sanctioned by the state, while moral norms are set by the public opinion and can treat moral as an internal sanction in the context of psychological consciousness and with this people know the done and undone actions, respectively the purposes of action or inaction. It is understood that the norms issued and sanctioned by social organizations can’t be contrary to the legal order, with norms that have higher legal power. It is understood that the norms that are issued – adopted by social organizations can’t be contrary to the legal order – the positive right, with norms with higher legal power that in this context are issued – adopted by the state as a strong social organization. With the term ‘right’ we mean the norms that are created by the organized society and that are applied by that society which is called state, and the norms that are applied by the state are called the right. The state is an organization of organized violence based on legal norms is distinguished by other organizations, mostly thanks to its external element – physical force. In the state and right there might be slow changes that happen in the society, which we can call evolutionary changes, ongoing changes, for example the change of some legal clauses in the acts of some laws. Simply, only some clauses change. All these, in one way or another, change the state and law, (but partly) the essence remains the same. The state and right in essence remain unchangeable and within these changes of state and right are: changes called reforms, coup and conspiracy. The reform is also a promoter of changes of the function of state and right, by following and incorporating the results, contemporary achievements in general social relations. Coup – these kinds of changes are unacceptable for the society, don’t coincide with the principles of the democratic order, because they don’t bring important favors for the society in general, but only for a certain group of people. The difference between coup and state conspiracy stands in the fact that state coup is done by a certain group of people in the state hierarchy, while the conspiracy is done by people that are not part of this hierarchy, that are outside state structures, respectively persons that are not part of state hierarchy. But it is also a characteristic of the conspiracy to emphasize that it doesn’t change the state and right in essence, in this context it remains unchanged. The revolution entails two meanings, respectively two notions: the revolution exercised by violence, and the revolution exercised peacefully. The revolution exercised by violence, physical violence, means armed conflicts between the carriers of state power and the ones that depend from this power, when an organization goes after the old state organization until the seizure of power, the political and economic one. The economic revolution is also reflected in the state and right in general, because it also changes the system of property, which means that, the state and right also change. According to the new democratic principles, starting from the system of property with different revolutions different property holders appear.Download the article from SSRN at the link.
Scott D. Gerber, Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law, has published Law and Religion in Plymouth Colony at 8 British Journal of American Legal Studies 167 (2019). Here is the abstract.
2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the planting of Plymouth Colony. Although the literature about Plymouth is voluminous, the discussion about law and religion has been inappropriately superficial to date. This Article addresses the Pilgrims’ conception of law on matters of religion and the new insights into the Pilgrims’ story that can be ascertained by focusing on law. “Law” has been defined in many different ways by many different people throughout history. Aristotle, Cicero, Thomas Aquinas, and other proponents of natural law argued that law is the exercise of reason to deduce binding rules of moral behavior from nature’s or God’s creation. The renowned English positivist John Austin, in contrast, maintained that law is the command of the sovereign. To Friedrich Karl von Savigny and other proponents of the so-called historical school, law is the unconscious embodiment of the common will of the people. To the philosophical school, law is the expression of idealized ethical custom. The dominant contemporary view seems to be that law is the reflection of social, political, and economic interests. For the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony, law was both the memorialization of their commitment to the Word of God and an instrument for exercising social control so as to effectuate that commitment. The Pilgrims, of course, used law to regulate the more mundane aspects of life as well. Indeed, quantitatively speaking, more laws were enacted by the Pilgrims that addressed the day-to-day activities of life in Plymouth Colony than memorialized the Pilgrims’ commitment to eternal glory in the afterlife, but the latter was unquestionably more important, qualitatively speaking, than the former. In the oft-quoted words of a young William Bradford, “to keep a good conscience, and walk in such a way as God has prescribed in his Word, is a thing which I must prefer before you all, and above life itself.”Download the article from SSRN at the link.
February 18, 2020
Call for Proposals:
Through a Glass Darkly:
European History and Politics in Contemporary Crime Narratives
Monica Dall’Asta, Jacques Migozzi, Federico Pagello, Andrew Pepper eds.
To talk about the crime genre—as opposed to detective or spy or noir fiction—is to recognise the comprehensiveness of a category that speaks to and contains multiple sub-genres and forms (Ascari, 2007). In this volume, we want to uncover the ways in which the crime genre, in all of its multiple guises, forms and media/transmedia developments, has investigated and interrogated the concealed histories and political underpinnings of national and supranational societies and institutions in Europe, particularly after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
Two most popular expression of the crime genre, the detective novel and the spy novel, have long been identified as ‘sociological’ in their orientation (Boltanski, 2012). These forms often tackle enigmas or uncover conspiracies that are concealed by and within states, asking searching questions about the failures of democracy and the national and international criminal justice systems to deliver just societies. Similarly, following the example of U.S. hard-boiled fiction, the ‘noir’ variant of the genre has also established itself as a ‘literature of crisis’ (according to Jean-Patrick Manchette’s formula), where the shredding of official truths and of ‘reality’ itself ends up revealing dark political motives that elicit an even starker set of ethical and affective interrogations (Neveu, 2004). While the obvious links between the ‘noir’ and the ‘hard-boiled’ traditions of crime fiction (e.g. between Manchette and Hammett) suggest an American-French or trans-Atlantic connection, we are keen to stress that the sociological and political orientation of the European crime genre—especially since 1989 and the corresponding opening up of national borders and markets—requires examining both global/glocal and multi-national (and state-bound) issues and challenges. It is here that the European dimension of the proposed volume is best articulated because, to do justice to this context, we need to pay attention not just to discreet national traditions, but the ways in which contemporary iterations of the genre interrogate the workings of policing, law, criminality and justice across borders and nations (Pepper and Schmid, 2016).
The transnational framework of the DETECt project (Detecting Transcultural Identities in Popular European Crime Narratives) is necessarily and acutely concerned with civic and ethical issues linked to the construction of new European new identities. The proposed volume aims to explore the ways in which these new identities are formulated and thematised in European crime novels, films or TV series, particularly in relation to the interrogations raised by the uncovering of hidden aspects of both the historical past and the contemporary political landscapes. Contributions are encouraged which look at particular case studies or identify larger national and/or transnational trends or synthesise the relationship between individual texts and these larger trends. It is envisaged that the volume will be organised into the three sections outlined below. Prospective contributors are invited to identify where their articles might sit within this structure as well as to outline the particular focus adopted by their essay in relation to the general topic. The list of topics in each section is to be regarded as indicative rather than exhaustive.
1. Crime Narratives and the History of Europe
European crime narratives from the last thirty years have frequently referred to collective traumas and conflicts that have torn European societies apart throughout the 20th century. Contributions are invited that look at the ways in which these fictional works have restaged and critically reinterpreted some of the most tragic pages in European recent history, including (but not limited to) the following iterations of violent rupture and social breakdown:
- The Civil War and Francoist dictatorship in Spanish crime narratives (e.g. Montalbán, La isla minima);
- Fascism, surveillance and the police-state (e.g. Lucarelli, Gori, De Giovanni) and the role of oppositional memory (e.g. Morchio, Dazieri) in Italian detective fiction;
- Fascistic/right-wing nationalist movements in interwar Scandinavia (e.g. Larsson, Mankell);
- The Third Reich as the historical biotope of crime fiction (e.g. Kerr, Gilbers);
- The constant presence of wars as a breeding ground for crime in French crime novels: World War I and II, collaboration, the Algerian War, colonisation, post-colonisation (e.g. Daeninckx, Férey);
- The heavy presence of Cold War images and axiology in spy novels and films, including those appeared after the fall of the Berlin Wall, both in Western and Eastern Europe (e.g. Kondor, Furst);
- The ‘Troubles’ in Irish and British crime fiction (e.g. Peace, McNamee).
2. Crime Narratives and the Present of Europe
Our present time is characterized by a number of social, political, financial/economic crises that threaten the construction of a cosmopolitan pan-European identity in line with the EU’s founding ideals. Crime narratives attempt to offer realistic representations of such contemporary crises by putting in place a number of ‘chronotopes’ that symbolise social divisions and peripheral and marginalized identities. We encourage essays that examine the ways in which post-1989 European crime narratives have represented the emergence of nationalisms, xenophobia, racism and other threats to the social cohesiveness of European democracies. We also invite contributions that use the trope of the crisis to explore how the links between crime, business and politics have polluted or corrupted the democratic imperatives of European social democracies and institutions from the outset. Topics might include:
- The Kosovo War, and more broadly the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s, as the first signs of a generalised geopolitical chaos (e.g. in French noir novels);
- The financial crisis of 2008 and its devastating consequences for individuals, communities and whole societies (e.g. Bruen and French in Ireland; Markaris in Greece; Dahl in Sweden; Lemaître in France);
- The migrant crisis (within and outside the EU) and the emergence of new anxieties about belonging and/or otherness (e.g. Mankell, Dolan, Rankin);
- Climate change, pollution, and environmental destruction (e.g. Tuomainen, Pulixi);
- The blurring of crime and capitalism and the depiction of crime as a form of social protest vis-à-vis the effects of global capitalism and neoliberal deregulation and privatisation (e.g. Manotti, Carlotto, Heinichen, the TV series Bron);
- Inquiries into the effects of contemporary forms of patriarchy, gendered violence and misogyny and their links to other forms of oppression and domination (e.g. Lemaître, Slimani, Macintosh, Gimenez-Bartlett Larsson, McDermid).
3. Crime Narratives and the Future of Europe
European crime narratives explore a broad range of social and cultural identities across different scales: from the more stable identities attached to local contexts through the new mobile, precarious and mutating identities fostered by the dynamics of globalization. This section will look into how these different identities and their complex interplay can suggest ways to frame the future of Europe. Contributions could address how crime narratives try to make sense of the complex, if yet perhaps contradictory, set of representations circulating across different European public spaces and collective imaginaries. On the one hand, we might ask whether something like a European crime genre even actually exists, given that these works typically demonstrate suspicions about ‘outsiders’ and only rarely offer positive representations of post-national transcultural identities. On the other hand, however, the genre does give us glimpses into what might be achieved through cross-border policing initiatives, organised under or by Interpol and Europol, in the face of organised crime gangs involved in transnational smuggling and trafficking networking. Contributions to this final section are encouraged to reflect upon how crime narratives produced by and in between the discreet nation-states frame the hopes and limits of European cohesiveness and the continent’s future or futures. Essays could focus on one or more of the following topics:
- The interplay between local, regional, national and transnational identities as represented through specific narrative tropes, such as in particular the local police station, the interrogation room, the frontier or border, and so on;
- The connection between social deprivation at the local end of the geopolitical scale and different global systems and networks at the other end;
- The role of borders, cities, violence, rebellion, policing and surveillance in producing new identities and subjectivities not wholly anchored in discreet nation-states. Attention could also be given to formal innovations insofar as these allow or enable the expression of new identities;
- The hope and consolation offered by the resilient community or village (Broadchurch, Shetland) or the extended family (Markaris’s Kostas Charistos series) in the face of the messy, brutal contingencies of a world ruled by criminal and business elites;
- Social banditry as a form of contestation directed against social inequalities produced by capitalism (Carlotto’s Alligator series; La casa de papel).
If you are interested in submitting a proposal to be considered for inclusion in this volume, please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a short biography to email@example.com by May 31, 2020. We would encourage you to identify the section of the proposed volume where your essay would be best situated. We are looking to commission up to 14 essays in total of 7000 words each including footnotes and bibliographic references.
February 17, 2020
From M. C. Mirow, Professor of Law, Chair, Peter Gonville Stein Book Award Committee, F.I.U. College of Law
Peter Gonville Stein Book Award
American Society for
February 14, 2020
David J. Brennan, University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law, has published Publication in the History of Patents and Copyright: Harmony or Happenstance? in Across intellectual property: essays in honour of Sam Ricketson edited by Graeme Austin, Andrew Christie, Andrew Kenyon, Megan Richardson (Cambridge University Press, 2020). Here is the abstract.
Aspects of patent and copyright law might be better understood by a greater appreciation of a shared history between patent and copyright law. Such an appreciation leads to the recognition that, ostensibly, the resolution of the question of literary property could have sparked a reshaping of patent doctrines in the late 18th Century, and that in turn those patent doctrines could have had a reciprocal influence upon an important aspect of English copyright law of the 19th Century. While these connections are speculative, when patent history and copyright history are put in overlay, the connections emerge as plausible ones.Download the chapter from SSRN at the link.
February 13, 2020
Francisco Castilla Urbano, University of Alcalá, has published The Salamanca School on Slavery: From Naturalism to Culture and Awareness as Max Planck Institute for European Legal History Research Paper Series No. 2020-02. Here is the abstract.
This article examines the reflections on slavery by a group of 16th-century scholastics considered members or followers of the so-called School of Salamanca. I show that a gradual process of critical awareness developed regarding both the concept of natural slavery and its justifications. After pointing to the fact that Native Americans and Africans were the first victims of the modern application of the concept of natural slavery, I identify the most important milestones leading up to the intellectual dismantling of the concept, effectively leaving it without a recognizable point of reference in the real world. In a further step, I point out that, despite the theory of natural slavery having been abandoned, the practices that protected legal slavery since antiquity persisted in Spanish America, especially when applied to African slaves. Some of these thinkers contributed to a first wave of accusatory pleadings against the persistent deception intentionally used by slave sellers and owners to circumvent the legal clauses dictated by the Spanish Monarchy governing the release of Africans unjustly deprived of freedom. Nevertheless, and despite the pioneering critiques offered by figures such as Bartolomé de Las Casas and Tomás de Mercado, the Salamanca scholars were not unanimous in their support of this criticism. In fact, we can identify in the writings of Francisco de Vitoria and Domingo de Soto the core of the legal and moral-theological argumentation utilized by many buyers and sellers all the way up to the 19th century. As I show, at this time, an alleged invincible ignorance about the conditions under which a slave brought to the Western Indies had been enslaved was sufficient to warrant a just title, thus granting the ownership to holders in the Americas.Download the article from SSRN at the link.
From Adrien K. Wing, University of Iowa College of Law
The University of Iowa is reinstituting its Faculty Fellow program. We are specifically seeking candidates from diverse backgrounds. Please pass the word to your networks. See the details at:
February 11, 2020
ICYMI: Charles on Panic in "The Project": Critical Queer Studies and the Matthew Shepard Murder @CaseyCharles67
ICYMI: Casey Charles, College of Humanities and Sciences, University of Montana, has published Panic in "The Project": Critical Queer Studies and the Matthew Shepard Murder, at 18 Law & Literature 225 (2006). Published online December 19, 2013. Here is the abstract.
Adopting a critical queer studies approach, this essay revisits the Matthew Shepard murder in relation to a recent attempt by ABC’s 20 ⁄ 20 to recast the case as a drug crime rather than a hate crime. The network’s devaluation of homophobia in the case points to abiding flaws in the law of unwanted sexual advance, including the homosexual panic defense that defendants McKinney and Henderson pleaded in the Shepard case. The persistence of the panic defense in trial practice is indicative of a larger set of social myths about gay men, myths that emerge in The Laramie Project. This play’s indebtedness to Aristotelian tragedy aligns it with a cathartic and contained form of cultural panic that is analogous to and may in fact reinforce the legal doctrine. These discursive intersections between media, law, and theatre in turn demonstrate how ideological fictions continue to influence legal practice.
Abramson on Matrimony and Legal Interventionism in Silent Divorce Comedies @LoyolaChicago @NRFTSJournal
Leslie H. Abramson, Loyola University Chicago, has published Evidence to the Contrary: Matrimony and Legal Interventionism in Silent Divorce Comedies in volume 18 of the New Review of Film and Television Studies (2020). Here is the abstract.
Captivated by the vagaries of romance, American silent cinema was smitten from the outset with the narrative possibilities of not only attraction but the gamut of ensuing legal entanglements. Divorce and near-divorce comedies appeared in cinema as early as the turn of the century, contrary to their prevailing historicization. Moreover, focusing on the catalysts, processes, emotional turbulence, and romantic fantasies of divorce even among loving spouses, key silent comedies incriminate the law as a central agent in instigating and facilitating the couple’s disunion. This essay examines how Why Mrs. Jones Got a Divorce (1900), Getting Evidence (1906), and Max Wants a Divorce (1917) indict the modern legal system’s seductively broadened possibilities for divorce via modern methodologies and technologies for capturing attraction and licentiousness. These silent comedies pass judgment on the overriding appeal of fingerprints, the detective camera, and the private investigator, as well as other forms of legal documentation. The essay considers early divorce films’ association with silent cinema’s own weddedness to institutional codes and cinema’s commentary on its formal capacity to document the inconstancies of romance. Ultimately, insofar as intoxication with documentation rather than the spouse foregrounds the detriments of establishing actionable legal evidence, these divorce comedies implicate the law’s own capacity for unfaithfulness to a more perfect union.Download the article from the website at the link.
February 10, 2020
February 5, 2020
Howard Wasserman, Florida International University College of Law, has published Academic Feeder Judges as Florida International University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 20-02. Here is the abstract.
This paper identifies “academic feeder judges”—the federal judges (especially from courts of appeals) for whom law professors clerked at the beginning of their careers and the judges who “produce” law professors from the ranks of their former clerks. The study is based on a summer 2019 review of publicly available biographies and c.v.’s of full-time faculty at ABA-accredited law schools, identifying more than 3000 “academic former clerks” and the judges for whom each clerked. From this, the paper identifies: 1) 101 lower federal judges with the most academic former clerks, 2) 52 federal trial judges, 3) 53 federal judges appointed since 1995, 4) top state-court judges, and 5) SCOTUS justices, current and past. For each judge within each grouping, the study examines appointing presidents, biographical information such as former career, numbers of academic former clerks, rankings of the schools at which former clerks teach, and a projection of how many academics newer judges might produce over a 35-year judicial career. The study closes with some comments and conclusions from the data. (Spoiler alert: The leading academic feeder judge is Guido Calabresi (Second Circuit), followed closely by Stephen Reinhardt (Ninth Circuit, died in 2018), Stephen Williams (D.C. Circuit), and Dorothy Nelson (Ninth Circuit)).Download the article from SSRN at the link.
Law and Humanities Summer School: Law, Art, Politics
(15-19 June 2020, University of Lucerne)
The Law and Humanities Summer School is an intensive one-week study programme, to be held at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland, from 15 to 19 June 2020. The school is co-organised by the following partners:
- Institute for Interdisciplinary Legal Studies – lucernaiuris, University of Lucerne
- Centre for Law, Arts and Humanities, The Australian National University
- Law Department, University of Roma Tre
- Institute for Art History, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
Bringing together leading scholars, researchers and postgraduate students, the school will showcase cutting-edge work at the intersections of law and the humanities, and serve as a laboratory for exploring a range of contemporary methods, approaches and issues.
Focus: Law, Art, Politics
The 2020 Summer School will focus on the entanglements of law, art and politics. From statues of the Roman Emperors to Picasso’s Guernica, some of the world’s most celebrated works of art have been explicitly political. But in the twenty-first century everything has been disrupted – including law, including art, including politics. We live in a world obsessed by images and distrustful of politics; a world in which the public sphere is collapsing and private interests seem more powerful than ever. What, then, is the role of art in making and unmaking, representing and challenging the language of law and the power of politics? Can art disrupt the disruptors?
Starting from this contemporary perspective, the school will offer a panorama of the dynamic intercourse between law, art and politics across a variety of sites, contexts and periods. The programme will draw on the expertise of scholars working in different research fields and across multiple critical traditions to address such questions as:
• How do images and aesthetics shape the character of law?
• What role does art play in transmitting legal and political ideology, or in fostering critique or social change?
• How might we understand the relations between forms of artistic cultural expression and legal identities?
• What are the effects of art’s material manifestations on the law?
• How does art participate in, activate, or reflect upon the imagining of legal futures?
Further information here.
February 4, 2020
David D. Davis, Copyright Clearance Center; Graham School, University of Chicago, is publishing Noah Webster, America’s First Copyright Lobbyist in the New England Journal of History. Here is the abstract.
In The Federalist #43, James Madison observed, regarding the patent and copyright clause in the U.S. Constitution, that in it "the public good fully coincides … with the claims of individuals." Noah Webster, creator of “An American Dictionary of the English Language” and the 'Blue-Backed speller’, was an early and important advocate of copyright in the young Republic. He was also a lobbyist in his own interest, i.e. for-profit commercial publishing. In his efforts to bring about copyright reform, he exemplified Madison's dictum, of the coincidence of public and private interest, and so provides us with an early example of how intellectual property laws come to be crafted, and revised, a process which continues to the present day.Download the article from SSRN at the link.
February 1, 2020
Call For Papers: Special Issue, International Journal for the Semiotics of Law: Heritage, Law and Discourse: A Triadic Dimension in Protection, Regulation & Identity @AnneWag26082949
CALL FOR PAPERS
“Heritage, Law and Discourse: A Triadic Dimension in Protection, Regulation & Identity”
International Journal for the Semiotics of Law
Guest Editors: Anne Wagner & Cheng Le
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.
Please send your proposal to Anne WAGNER (firstname.lastname@example.org) by late April 2020.