Like many other popular series featuring lawyers and law-related characters that are not primarily legal shows, Will & Grace was and is primarily a “relationship” show. The show features the friendships and closeness among the four main characters, best friends Will Truman and Grace Adler, who originally met in college, and Will’s friend Jack McFarland and Grace’s friend Karen Walker, who are brought together through their relationships with Will and Grace and also eventually become friends. Jack and Karen’s friendship is an exaggerated analogue of Will and Grace’s relationship. While it is not a legal show, Will & Grace does often feature legal themes, partly because one of its main characters is an attorney and partly because the law is such an important part of daily American life. If we have a problem or a dispute, we often consider whether the appropriate solution is a legal one, or whether we will be satisfied with a less formal and perhaps less binding outcome. More and more, we tend to view relationships and interactions through the legal system, using the law’s language and the law’s behavior. However, the characters in Will & Grace do not always decide on legal solutions to their problems. They may fashion other solutions that they think suit their needs, or they may never consider the law at all.Download the article from SSRN at the link.
August 31, 2020
August 27, 2020
Racism is the use of Black people to achieve the goals of white people without regard to the personhood, humanity, and agency of Blacks. This essay explores this definition of racism by tracing the influence of the twin institutions of law and religion in creating and maintaining the slave system in early colonial America. The essay then demonstrates the pernicious and persistent nature of racism by mapping this definition onto the current COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on Black Americans.Download the article from SSRN at the link.
August 25, 2020
This article explores the nature of cultural appropriation claims as a statement of possession over cultural property and a performative utterance that resists oppression. A close study of the aesthetics and ethics of tribal tattoo imagery, and in particular the tattoo created by artist S. Victor Whitmill for former world heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson, is used to reflect upon the politics of alleging cultural appropriation. Empirical fieldwork with Māori tā moko artists is used to show that cultural appropriation claims are unstable property claims whose politics exceed the merely possessive. Critical perspectives on performativity expand the inquiry. It is argued that seeking inspiration from the art of the Other, as tribal tattoos do, is problematic – not so much because of the appropriation of cultural property per se but rather because doing so recreates colonial dynamics of demand, desire, and oppression.Download the article from SSRN at the link.
Between March and October of 1807, Aaron Burr stood for two treason trials arising from the same set of facts: the first, for a felony charge, and the second, for a misdemeanor charge. Chief Justice John Marshall presided over the proceedings in the Circuit Court for Virginia in Richmond. During this period, Marshall issued seventeen written opinions, and delivered several shorter decisions from the bench, that spanned over two-hundred pages in the reporter. In the end, based on Marshall’s narrow construction of the crimes of treason, the jury acquitted Burr of both the felony and the misdemeanor charges. Marshall’s rulings, however, were not limited to technical aspects of criminal law. In both trials, Aaron Burr asked the court to issue a subpoena duces tecum to President Jefferson. Such a subpoena would have required the witness to appear in court, and bring a specific document. Specifically, Burr wanted Jefferson to produce a letter authored by General Wilkinson, dated October 21, 1806. Burr insisted that this transmission to the President was material to his defense. Moreover, the Defendant demanded that Jefferson produce the original copy of Wilkinson’s letter. The United States Attorney, George Hay, would only offer to provide a redacted copy of the letter, with certain portions excluded. As the deliberations proceeded, Hay would frequently write to the President, who traveled between the White House and Monticello. Jefferson, who took a keen interest in the case, would usually write back immediately. The correspondences between Jefferson and Hay outside of court can shed light on the interactions between Hay and Marshall in court. That is, the government’s positions were based on direct instructions from the President himself. In the felony trial, Marshall ordered that Jefferson was required to submit the original copy of the letter, without redaction. Jefferson did not comply with this order. In the misdemeanor trial, Jefferson would provide a redacted copy of the letter. Because of the lengthy nature of the proceedings — in which Marshall and Jefferson took different positions at different junctures — it is difficult to draw too many broad conclusions from the prosecution as a whole. This essay will walk through each phase of the proceedings, with an eye towards understanding the limits on presidential subpoenas.Download the article from SSRN at the link.
August 24, 2020
CFP: Special Issue, Art Law and Cultural Heritage Law, Brazilian Journal of International Law @franca_marcilio
|All content published by the Journal, except where identified, is licensed under a Creative Commons attribution-type BY-NC. This will ensure the widest dissemination and protection against copyright infringement of articles. The “article” is defined as comprising the final, definitive, and citable Version of Scholarly Record, and includes: (a) the accepted manuscript in its final and revised form, including the text, abstract, and all accompanying tables, illustrations, data; and (b) any supplemental material.|
As an author, you are required to secure permission to reproduce any proprietary text, illustration, table, or other material, including data, audio, video, film stills, and screenshots, and any supplemental material you propose to submit. This applies to direct reproduction as well as “derivative reproduction” (where you have created a new figure or table that derives substantially from a copyrighted source). The reproduction of short extracts of text, excluding poetry and song lyrics, for the purposes of criticism may be possible without formal permission on the basis that the quotation is reproduced accurately and full attribution is given.MANUSCRIPT STRUCTUREGuidelines for preparing and submitting your manuscript to this journal are provided below.
The Journal considers all manuscripts on the strict condition that they have not been submitted elsewhere, that they have not been published already, nor are they under consideration for publication or in press elsewhere. Contributions must report original research and will be subjected to review by referees at the discretion of the Editorial Committee.GENERAL GUIDELINES
Born in Havana, Félix Varela y Morales was an eminent Cuban intellectual of the nineteenth century. An educator, philosopher, and deputy, he advocated for Cuban independence through peaceful revolution. He was ordained a priest in 1811, lived modestly, and disposed of his property for the benefit of the poor. Varela served as a professor of constitutional law in Havana, wrote one of the first books on constitutional law in Spanish, and served as a deputy to the Spanish Constitutional Cortes in 1822 and 1823. This chapter explores Varela’s constitutional thought through his writings and service as a deputy to the Cortes. His work in this field reveals a form of eclectic liberalism infused and consistent with Catholic thought. In the Cortes, Varela’s interventions advocated for autonomous structures of colonial government in the Americas and urged Spanish recognition of the independence of new American republics. He defended the interests of the church and promoted a wide variety of issues related to education. He spent his last thirty years in the United States in exile from his Cuban homeland. He was a thoughtful apologist for the Catholic Church in New York and served several parishes there. His poor health led him to return to Saint Augustine, Florida, where he had spent his childhood.Download the essay from SSRN at the link.
August 20, 2020
In 1989 the Stanford University Law School professor Lawrence Friedman offered a definition of “popular legal culture.” In an often-cited article, he wrote that, “In the first place, legal culture acts as an intervening variable, a mechanism for transforming norms of popular culture into legal dress and shape. In the second place, legal and popular culture, as images of each other, help explicate and illuminate their respective contents”. He notes that law and culture interact in two ways. Law is outward-looking; it depends on and interacts with the society from which it springs. At the same time it shapes that society. We can and do also talk about at least two current and differing uses of law and popular culture in legal education. We can use law and popular culture to teach legal principles. This use makes legal doctrine entertaining and accessible. We can also dig for the messages it gives us about the interaction of law and society. This second method requires us to interact with the texts of both law and popular culture. Currently in legal education we can and do examine at law and popular culture in both of the ways Friedman identifies. I suggest that we can identify and should examine a third intersection of law and popular culture that scholars have begun to study, that I suggest we should formally acknowledge as a part of law and popular culture studies. This third intersection is the actual trans-formative effect or trans-formative turn that popular culture and law have on each other. I would suggest both that certain types of intellectual property studies and certain types of activity fall into this category. One example is law’s response to the creation of fan fiction and of fan use of copyrighted and trademarked materials that force a response from the rights holders, or force fans to cease a particular activity because the rights holders refuse permission to proceed. We have many examples of the legal responses and changes in norms that illustrate these interactions. What we don’t yet seem to have in the general theory of law and pop culture is a definition for this third intersection. It may be that this third intersection is now most obvious in intellectual property law, perhaps because of the accessibility and spread of technology as well as the overwhelming importance of social media in our lives today. It exists in other areas of law as well, for example in family law, in criminal law, in privacy law, and has for some time. I would suggest that this intersection creates the possibility for the working out of the tensions between law and culture, as the public through pop culture identifies how the law works, what the law is, and then reacts to the law, makes demands on the law, and in some cases, forces changes in the law.The full text is not currently available from SSRN.
Do transitions really matter? Yes. This article explores the impact of transitions in legal writing beyond simply improving flow and readability. First, with the help of cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists, the science behind transitions is addressed, because science shows that transitions increase comprehension and improve processing times. Second, the omnipresence and significance of transitions is addressed with the help of singer-songwriter Justin Timberlake and his song, “SexyBack” and comedian Brian Regan and his stand-up bit, “I Walked on the Moon.” Third, various types of transitions in legal writing are addressed with a special focus on the “magic of three” in persuasion in both legal writing and beyond.Download the article from SSRN at the link.
August 14, 2020
August 12, 2020
This paper will argue that the insights of professional historians can and should be used to better understand the use of history in constitutional argument. Historiography—the methodology of professional historians—demonstrates that history is frequently used selectively to advance a favored outcome. Judges and constitutional scholars should therefore be highly critical of claims that history provides objective answers to constitutional questions. At the same time, historiography shows that non-selective accounts of history can and should play an important role in finding answers to contemporary constitutional questions. In this role, history is under-determined and best used to support or shed new light on a constitutional argument. Historiography therefore demonstrates not just the perils of historical argument but also its possibilities for constitutional argument.Download the article from SSRN at the link.
Call For Submissions: The Crossroads of Crime Writing: Historical, Sociological, and Cultural Contexts/Intersections/Perspectives
August 5, 2020
International Conference: CFP: Detecting Europe in Contemporary Crime Narratives: Print Fiction, Film, and Television @DetectH2020
International Conference: Call for Papers
Detecting Europe in contemporary crime narratives: print fiction, film, and television
21-23 June 2021
Link Campus University
Via del Casale di San Pio V 44 – Rome
Conference Website: https://www.detect-project.eu/detect2021/
Among the different expressions of popular culture, no other genre more than crime – meant as a composite made up of many different variants or subgenres -- has proved able to travel and expand its reach into international markets and with audiences. Nor has any other genre been more adept at laying bare the conflicts and contradictions – social, political and historical – that characterise contemporary European societies. The Detecting Europe conference offers an open forum to explore and discuss how narratives of crime and investigation, as well as their production and reception, have helped define the major industrial, commercial, thematic and stylistic trends of European popular culture since 1989, fostering both the transnational circulation of its products and the appearance of new transcultural representations in line with the emergence
of new social identities. We welcome proposals that interrogate the notion of Europeanness as a critical category, and its viability for the study of contemporary popular culture, both in print and screen media. We wish to explore both the scope and limits of the interrelated notions of transnational identity and cosmopolitanism when applied to the works of European crime fiction, including print fiction, film, and TV.
A few general — but not exclusive — questions may be asked. Are we to conceive of cosmopolitanism and the process of European transculturation merely as unifying factors, fostering the generation of a shared and uniform transnational identity? Or should we better acknowledge the existence of a variety of European transcultural identities, expressed in different writing and audio-visual styles, characteristic narrative models, place-specific production cultures and distribution and consumption patterns? What is the impact of national media ecologies in shaping the idea of the European, and how the national translate the European when foreign products appear in its mediascape? Should hybridization and transculturation be assumed as markers and powerful drivers of cultural homologation? Or rather the opposite is true, namely that cultural hybridization entails a growing differentiation of narrative forms and styles, contents and formats, production and reception practices, thus contributing to the emergence of a post-national assemblage of multiple and possibly diverging cosmopolitan identities? We deem it important, at this particular time, that the notion of Europeanness and its eventual instantiations in contemporary crime narratives is approached having in mind the multiple crises that are currently affecting the continent and its population.
We invite proposals from multiple fields of cultural studies, including representation studies, industry and production studies, and reception and audience studies. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Main stylistic trends of the crime-genre works produced in Europe in the last 30 years.
Debating/reframing Euronoir as a critical category for cultural studies.
• Hybridization and transculturation: toward homologation or increased cultural differentiation?
• Crime fiction and the European crisis: immigration, migrant labour, Brexit, and the rise of right-wing popularism.
• The restaging and critical analysis of Europe’s recent past in the work of crime writers, screenwriters and directors.
• Images of Europe and Europeans: investigating social change through the study of popular crime narratives.
• Restating vs challenging class, gender and ethnic stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination in the representation of crime.
• The multiple facets of European diversity: how have social, spatial and historical identities been expressed in the works of the European crime genre?
• Ecocriticism and environmental humanities in the era of widescale ecological crisis: eco-noir and the challenges to European environment policies.
• The profiled position of crime in fostering transnational cooperation in the European cultural and creative sectors.
• Relationships and discrepancies between national/local creative industries and transnational cultural policies in the production milieu of the European crime genre.
• Transnational production and distribution and the emergence of transcultural formats.
• The hopes and limits of European cohesiveness, as revealed in practices of co-production and
distribution of crime novels, films and TV dramas across the continent.
• Crime narratives and the media discourse on organized trans-European crime.
• Fictional representations of legal and forensic practices in comparative perspective.
• Translation, dubbing, subtitling as strategies for cultural adaptation and appropriation.
• The imbrication of local, national and transnational identities in the reception of foreign crime stories, between old and fresh perspectives on proximate or distant neighbors.
• Transnational distribution and the role of audiences in shaping the circulation patterns of European crime narratives across the continent.
• Detecting transcultural identity and social change through the study of the audiences’ response to crime stories and trans/cross-media universes.
• Engagement and design of crime audiences in the age of digital markets and online distribution.
• Making sense of social change through the audience’s response to the representation of female, gay, lesbian and queer characters.
• Theorising transnational/transdisciplinary research for the study of European crime narratives in print and screen media.
Monica Dall’Asta (University of Bologna), Federico Pagello (University of Chieti-Pescara), Valentina Re (Link Campus University)
Luca Antoniazzi (University of Bologna), Sara Casoli (University of Bologna), Massimiliano Coviello (Link Campus University), Paola De Rosa (Link Campus University), Lorenzo Orlando (Link Campus University)
Stefano Arduini (Link Campus University), Maurizio Ascari (University of Bologna), Jan Baetens (KU Leuven), Luca Barra (University of Bologna), Stefano Baschiera (Queen’s University Belfast), Giulia Carluccio (University of Turin), Silvana Colella (University of Macerata), Caius Dobrescu (University of Bucharest), Andrea Esser (University of Roehampton), Nicola Ferrigni (Link Campus University), Katarina Gregersdotter (Umeå University), Kim Toft Hansen (Aalborg University), Annette Hill (University of Lund), Dominique Jeannerod (Queen’s University Belfast), Sandor Kalai (University of Debrecen), Matthieu Letourneux (University Paris Nanterre), Natacha Levet (University of Limoges), Giacomo Manzoli (University of Bologna), Janet McCabe (Birkbeck University), Jacques Migozzi (University of Limoges), Andrew Pepper (Queen’s University Belfast), Marica Spalletta (Link Campus University)
Deadlines and practicalities
Abstracts deadline: 15 November 2020
Feedback: 15 December 2020
Registration deadline: 31 January 2020
Regular conference fee: €120
Reduced conference fee (PhD students, Postdoctoral researchers): €90
Further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Submissions are welcome as individual papers (max. 20 minutes) and pre-constituted panels (3/4 papers).
Individual presenters are required to provide their name, email address, the title of the paper, an abstract (max. 300 words), references (max. 200 words), and a short bio (max. 150 words).
Submit your paper proposal here
Submit your panel proposal here (panel organizers are also asked to submit a panel title and a short description of the panel (max. 300 words).
The conference is supported by CUC – Consulta Universitaria del Cinema, Italy.
Università di Bologna
Dipartimento delle Arti
Via Barberia, 4, 40123 Bologna (IT)