September 24, 2020

Call For Submissions: Hedgehogs and Foxes Election Haiku Contest @HedgehogsFoxes

Call for Submissions

Hedgehogs and Foxes Election Haiku Contest

Hedgehogs and Foxes welcomes Haiku submissions from poets and from those who dabble, especially writers from among the legal academy. As you know a Haiku is a type of short form poetry that consists of three phrases. The first phrase contains 5 syllables, the second 7 syllables, and the final 5 syllables.

For example:

            Consider me
            As one who loved poetry
            And persimmons.

            By Masaoaka Shiki

The theme for this contest: Election 2020

Entries may be serious, emotional, spooky, snarky, or funny. We’re all on the 2020 rollercoaster, and anything could happen! What’s on your mind, and how might you express it in seventeen syllables?

H&F will publish the top-five Haiku submissions, as voted on by our Editorial Board. All submissions will receive grand applause from the Editorial Board, including the little hand claps in Zoom, and the winning submission will surely receive tremendous adulation from legal scholars, at least until the next election cycle.

Please email your Haiku submissions to Editorial Board Member, Joshua Aaron Jones: Submissions should be emailed no later than midnight on October 15. We hope to publish by Sunday, November 1. The email subject line should read “H&F Haiku Submission – Your Name.” Please upload your Haiku in Word format and without your identifying information, as we will judge the Haikus anonymously. For all questions, please email Joshua.

Hedgehogs and Foxes (HaF) is led by Editor in Chief Christine Corcos, Associate Professor of Law at Louisiana State University Law Center. HaF collects and integrates information and techniques that lend themselves to the interdisciplinary study of law and the humanities, including literature, film, television, art, music, drama, history, and related disciplines. We provide research tips, teaching materials, interactive materials, interviews, essays, research articles, news, book reviews, poetry, art, and other original publications of interest to scholars in the area. Submission of all relevant media are accepted on a rolling basis. For other submissions or queries, please email Christine Corcos at For more information about HaF, please visit us at


September 19, 2020

Smith on The Mid-Victorian Reform of Britain's Company Laws and the Moral Economy of Fair Competition Enterprise & Society @Laurier

David Chan Smith, Wilfred Laurier University, has published The Mid-Victorian Reform of Britain’s Company Laws and the Moral Economy of Fair Competition Enterprise & Society . Here is the abstract. 

This paper reconstructs the history of the reform of Britain’s company laws during the 1850s and makes three major arguments. First, the Law Amendment Society was the driving force for reform and organized the campaign for change. Second, the advancement of working-class interests and ideas of fairness were central to the conceptualization of these reforms and the course of their advocacy. Company law reform was broadly conceived to include the revision of the law of partnership, corporations, and cooperatives to create a level playing field in which smaller entrepreneurs could compete against established capitalists. Finally, central to this campaign was the institutional logic of “fair competition.” Socialists and liberals both used this logic, demonstrating how moral ideas can shape organizational change. 

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

September 17, 2020

Contributions Wanted: Popular Music and Criminal Justice @PopularMusicJnl

Seeking Contributions

Contributions are invited to a special issue of Popular Music on the complex interface between rap music (taken in its broadest sense to include mainstream rap, gangsta rap, activist rap, drill, grime, etc.) and criminal justice systems around the world.


Rap music is an international youth-cultural powerhouse and, while its spread has been celebrated, it has also been attended by mounting criminalisation. This special issue asks researchers to explore the policing and prosecuting of rap and how this has been framed in media reporting. It also considers what might make rap susceptible to such state criminalisation and how rappers, communities, civil liberties groups, defence lawyers, and scholars have come to challenge the state weaponisation of rap.


The use of rap music in criminal and civil proceedings has emerged as a well-documented issue of public concern in the US—dubbed ‘Rap on Trial’ (Nielson and Dennis; Nielson and Kubrin; Dennis; Dunbar, Kubrin and Scurich). However, outside the US, it is much less understood and there is a pressing need for more scrutiny and critique. This special issue is particularly interested in work that addresses case studies and trends in the global South; in Britain and other non-US parts of the global North; and in comparative work on the US in relation to other countries.


We welcome contributions from a range of disciplines (law, popular music, media studies, sociology, criminology, cultural studies, linguistics, socio-psychology, etc.). We believe this topic—situated at the intersection of law and culture—opens significant opportunities for ambitious interdisciplinary work. We’re keen on approaches that open outwards from concrete discourses, poetics, policies and practices to expose broader social trends, institutional processes, and critical concepts that lay bare state violence (racism; economic injustice; overpolicing, etc.) and that offer radical critiques. We are also keen on applied work, and contributions that engage with musicians, communities, activists, and criminal justice professionals.


Further details:




Bandes and Feigenson on Virtual Trials: Necessity, Invention, and the Evolution of the Courtroom @BandesSusan @DePaulLaw @QuinnipiacU

Susan A. Bandes, DePaul College of Law, and Neal Feigenson, Quinnipiac University School of Law, are publishingV Vrtual Trials: Necessity, Invention, and the Evolution of the Courtroom in volume 69 of the Buffalo Law Review. Here is the abstract.
Faith in the legitimating power of the live hearing or trial performed at the place of justice is at least as old as the Iliad. In public courtrooms, litigants appear together, evidence is presented, and decisions are openly and formally pronounced. The bedrock belief in the importance of the courtroom is rooted in common law, constitutional guarantees, and venerated tradition, as well as in folk knowledge. Courtrooms are widely believed to imbue adjudication with “a mystique of authenticity and legitimacy.” The covid-19 pandemic, however, by compelling legal systems throughout the world to turn from physical courtrooms to virtual ones, disrupts and calls into question longstanding assumptions about the conditions essential for the delivery of justice. These questions are not merely tangential – they implicate many of the core beliefs undergirding the U.S. system of justice, including the whole notion of “a day in court” as the promise of a synchronous, physically situated event with a live audience. Rather than regard virtual courts as just an unfortunate expedient, temporary or not, we use them as an occasion to reflect on the essential goals of the justice system, and to re-examine courtroom practices in light of those goals. We draw on social science to help identify what can be justified after the myths are pared away. Focusing on three interrelated aspects of traditional courts – the display and interpretation of demeanor evidence; the courtroom as a physical site of justice; and the presence of the public – we prompt a reassessment of what our legal culture should value most in courtroom adjudication and what we are willing to trade off to achieve it.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

September 16, 2020

Toussaint on Blackness as Fighting Words @EtienneT_Esq

Etienne Toussaint, UDC School of Law, is publishing Blackness as Fighting Words at 106 Va. L. Rev. Online (2020). Here is the abstract.
The resurgence of worldwide protests by activists of the Movement for Black Lives (BLM) has ushered a global reckoning with the meaning of this generation’s rallying cry – “Black Lives Matter.” As citizens emblazon their streets with this expression in massive artistic murals, the Trump administration has responded with the militarized policing of non-violent public demonstrations, revealing not merely a disregard for public safety, but far worse, a concerted dismantling of protestors’ First Amendment rights. Nevertheless, BLM protests have persisted. Accordingly, this Essay considers the implications of this generation’s acclamation of Black humanity amidst the social tensions exposed during the era of COVID-19. What does the Trump administration’s militarized response to BLM protests mean in a world mutilated by the scars of racial oppression, a wound laid bare by America’s racially biased, aggressive, and supervisory culture of policing? In response, much in the way Cheryl Harris revealed Whiteness as Property, this Essay suggests and defends Black identity itself, or Blackness – whether articulated by the pure speech of racial justice activists who affirm Black humanity, or embodied by the symbolic speech of Black bodies assembled in collective dissent in the public square – as “fighting words” in the consciousness of America, a type of public speech unprotected by the Constitution. The very utterance of the phrase “Black Lives Matter” tends to incite imminent violence and unbridled rage from police in city streets across America. Discussions of “Black Lives Matter” by pundits conjure images of subversion, disorder, and looting, the racialized narratives of social unrest commonly portrayed by the media. Yet, the words “Black Lives Matter” and the peaceful assembly of Black protestors also encapsulate the fire of righteous indignation burning in the hearts of minoritized citizens. This dynamic reflects unresolved tensions in the First Amendment’s treatment of race relations in America. Even more, it exposes the role of policing in smothering the Constitutional rights of Black and Brown citizens. This Essay provides three contributions to the ongoing discourse on policing in the United States. First, it reveals how unresolved racial tensions in the First Amendment – focusing specifically on ambiguities in the fighting words doctrine – perpetuate the racially biased, aggressive, and supervisory culture of American policing. Second, it analyzes how such unresolved racial tensions cast a dark shadow over the liberty of Black and Brown citizens who experience racism at the hands of police officers, yet avoid acts of protest for fear of bodily harm or arrest. Third, it illuminates the embeddedness of racism in American policing culture, more generally; a culture that not only constructs and reconstitutes the racial social order, but also degrades the dignity of Black and Brown citizens. Collectively, these insights lend support toward demands for police abolition from BLM activists. As this Essay concludes, until we as a nation wrestle with the unresolved racial subtext of modern policing – a racist culture woven into law that not only silences the legitimate protests of minoritized citizens in violation of their First Amendment rights, but also rationalizes callous violence at the hands of law enforcement – Black America will remain a peril to the veil of white supremacy that looms over the American constitutional order.
The full text is not available from SSRN.

September 12, 2020

Italian Law Journal Releases Volume 6, Issue 1 (2020) and Issues Call For Submissions @theitalianlawjo

The Italian Law Journal has just released Volume 6, Issue 1 (2020), which you can view and download for free at We wish to thank our dedicated readership and all the authors for their valuable contributions.

We are delighted to announce that submissions are now open for Volume 6, Issue 2 (2020), which is scheduled to be published in January 2021. Articles complying with the editorial criteria and the cultural mission of the Journal ( are welcome.

Please submit your article no later than 15 October 2020, or 31 October 2020 if you are a native English speaker and your article does not require editing for good English grammar and style.

We accept submissions through Scholastica and ExpressO, or you can reach out to us directly at Further information on the general topics and aims of our Journal, as well as on the submission guidelines and the double-blind peer-review process is available at

September 9, 2020

Call For Papers: Polemos: Journal of Law, Literature and Culture @degruyter_lit


We are delighted to announce a Call for Papers for the next volume of Pólemos: Journal of Law, Literature and Culture, thematised ‘JurisApocalyse Now!’ General submissions that do not address the theme are also welcome for our research section.
The forthcoming volume is scheduled for publication in April 2021.
If you have an interest in publishing in this edition of Pólemos, please submit your abstract (maximum 500 words) to by 30 October 2020. Successful submissions will be notified by the editors shortly thereafter, with further details about submission timelines to be advised at that time.  
About Pólemos

Founded in 2007, Pólemos is a leading journal of the growing interdisciplinary research fields of law and literature, law and the humanities and cultural legal studies, showcasing in its issues groundbreaking themes such as ‘Law and Religion’, ‘Law and the Image’, ‘Law and Power’, ‘Law and Equity’ – to name a few. Originally started as an Italian-language journal, Pólemos was re-launched with De Gruyter, in conjunction with the School of Law & Justice, Southern Cross University (Australia), as an international journal with contributions in English that covers the full range of academic issues in law, literature and culture.
The aim of Pólemos is to call attention to, promote and provide a forum for developments in global scholarship dealing with the rich array of topics within the many cultures of law and the laws of culture – aesthetic, textual, semiotic - and to act as a sounding board for innovative critical ideas and new interpretive perspectives, connecting the diversity of scholars working around the world in these exciting and trailblazing fields.
An overview of our latest issue (and past issues) can be found here. 
We look forward to receiving your submission.
More about the journal here at its website. 

September 8, 2020

Plater on Poisoning, Women, and Murder in 19th Century Australia @Adel_Law_School

David Plater, South Australia Law Reform Institute, University of Adelaide Law School, is publishing 'Assuredly There Never Was Murder More Foul And More Unnatural'? Poisoning, Women And Murder In 19th Century Australia in volume 25 of the Canterbury Law Review (2019). Here is the abstract. 

This article examines crimes committed by women involving the use of poison, notably upon their husbands, in 19th century colonial Australia. It draws on the extensive press archives of the period to determine if the historical and British perceptions and experiences of female poisoners of the 19th century were translated to 19th century Australia. The notion of the supposedly devoted wife stealthily poisoning her unsuspecting husband aroused particular revulsion and was viewed as a threat to social order and as the ultimate betrayal of the female role. Women accused of poisoning their husbands might therefore expect an uphill task within the male dominated criminal justice system of the period in escaping conviction and, if convicted, were unlikely to be regarded with sympathy and as worthy of a grant of mercy. However, this article suggests that the reality in colonial Australia was subtler and more complex than the hostile and often exaggerated perception of female poisoners might indicate. Women accused of capital crimes (including murder) involving poison upon their husbands had every expectation of acquittal and, even if convicted, such offenders were still often regarded with sympathy and might even be spared the “last extremity of the law”. 

The full text is not available from SSRN.

September 7, 2020

Call For Submissions: Doctoral Forum In Law & Humanities

 Doctoral Forum in Law & Humanities

10 & 11 December 2020

University of Lucerne


The Institute for Interdisciplinary Legal Studies - lucernaiuris invites submissions for the third meeting of the Doctoral Forum in Law & Humanities to be held at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland, on 10 & 11 December 2020.


The forum is an interdisciplinary platform for PhD students and early career researchers working within and between law and the humanities. Its aim is to bring together a diverse group of young scholars for open discussion of current projects, urgent legal-political concerns, and wider theoretical and methodological issues raised by law and legal theory.


The title of this year’s meeting is Crossing Frontiers: The Law From Within and Without. We interpret the theme broadly and welcome contributions that (re-)think the law from diverse internal and external perspectives. Possible topics might include (but are certainly not limited to):


  • Artistic Representations and Iconography of Law and Justice
  • Narrative Negotiations of Law
  • Law and the Imagination
  • Metaphors in Law
  • Media Law as Technology Law
  • Diversity and Plurality in Law
  • Rights, Justice and Vulnerable/Disadvantaged Groups


Proposals for 15-minute presentations (300 word abstract plus short biographical note and contact details) should be sent to by 16 October 2020. Accepted applicants will be asked to submit a short working paper in advance of the meeting to encourage constructive discussion and feedback. Further details can be found in the flyer attached.


** COVID-19: We are planning on running the event in physical format, though virtual attendance may be possible for a limited number of participants. Should the situation with COVID-19 require it, the forum may switch entirely to a virtual mode.



Institute for Interdisciplinary Legal Studies - lucernaiuris

University of Lucerne

Faculty of Law

Frohburgstrasse 3 | Postfach 4466 | 6002 Lucerne, Switzerland | |

September 4, 2020

Janet Malcolm On Learning To Be a Witness

From the New York Review of Books: Janet Malcolm writes about the assistance Sam Chwat gave her in preparing for her appearance in the famous retrial of Masson v. Malcolm. She says in part: 

The transformation had two parts. The first was the erasure of the New Yorker image of the writer as a person who does not go around showing off how great and special he or she is. No! A trial jury is like an audience at a play that wants to be entertained. Witnesses, like stage actors, have to play to that audience if their performances are to be convincing. At the first trial I had been scarcely aware of the jury. When Morgan questioned me, I responded to him alone. Sam Chwat immediately corrected my misconception of whom to address: the jury, only the jury. As Morgan had been using me to communicate to the jury, I would need to learn how to use him to do the same.

Link to the Supreme Court ruling here.  

More about the litigation in the selected bibliography below.

Kathy Roberts Forde, How Masson v. New Yorker Has Shaped the Legal Landscape of Narrative Journalism 10 Journal of Communication Law and Policy 101 (2010).

Kathy Roberts Forde, Literary Journalism on Trial (University of Massachusetts Press, 2008).

Judith Haydel, Masson v. New Yorker Magazine (1991),

September 3, 2020

Oseid on Judge John T. Noonan Jr. and Writing With Empathy to Prove That the Human Person Is Central to the Law

Julie A. Oseid, University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota), is publishing I See You: Judge John T. Noonan, Jr. Writing with Empathy to Prove that the Human Person is Central to the Law in the University of St. Thomas Law Journal (2021). Here is the abstract.
Long before he became a judge, Judge John T. Noonan, Jr. recognized and highlighted “the central place of the human person in any account of the law.” One of his intellectual legacies as a federal circuit court judge was recognizing the persons, not masks, who appeared before him. How did he do it? Empathy. Judge Noonan’s capacity for empathy as a judge extended beyond his ability to step into the shoes of someone whose life was very different from his own—he was able to write about that person’s encounter with the law in a way that makes you, the reader, also relate to the person with empathy. This article focuses on Judge Noonan’s opinions in three areas of law spanning three decades: civil rights, employment, and criminal law. Judge Noonan believed that you cannot love someone you cannot see. I will focus on how the details of his judicial writing—word choice, concision, and narrative techniques—furthered his philosophy of respecting the dignity of every human. He saw them. We do, too.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Mootz on Corpus Linguistics and Vico's Lament: Against Vivisectional Jurisprudence @jaymootz

Francis Joseph Mootz, McGeorge School of Law, is publishing Corpus Linguistics and Vico's Lament: Against Vivisectional Jurisprudence in volume 20 of the Nevada Law Journal (2020). Here is the abstract.
The “new textualist” approach to legal interpretation, most closely identified with the late Justice Scalia, argues that the meaning of a legal text is just the ordinary meaning that the words would have had for an average competent speaker of the language at the time of their enactment as a statute. Too often, judges appear to be drawing on their vague intuitions about “ordinary meaning,” usually under the cover of citing to malleable and contradictory dictionary definitions. This poses a serious problem, because a primary justification for new textualist methods is the ability to discern legal meaning in an objective manner that rises above a particular judge’s subjective desires. Some legal theorists recently have turned to corpus analysis, claiming that this tool developed by professional linguists provides the empirical methodology capable of identifying the ordinary meaning of words used in a legal text by rigorously examining how the words generally were used at a given point in the past. Although not foolproof, legal scholars argue that corpus analysis often will be able to identify the ordinary meaning of words and phrases as they were used when the legal text was adopted, thereby providing an objective means to specify legal meaning under the new textualist approach. The lure of corpus analysis for legal theorists is the most recent in a long history of similar Siren calls. We are seduced by the promise of a methodology that claims to apply the law to a specific case in a manner that permits observers to monitor and assess whether that application of the law is objectively correct. But this allure inevitably founders on the rocks, leaving us unfulfilled, disappointed, and searching for the next promising suitor to lead us to a method for determining objectively correct answers. In this essay I argue against the deep impulse that motivates the contemporary turn to corpus linguistics precisely because this enticing “new” method re-inscribes the profoundly misguided theoretical premise of modern law that there are clear lines between “the law” and its “application to a specific case.” In his oration at the commencement of the 1708 term at the University of Naples, Giambattista Vico lamented the abandonment of rhetorical understanding and the misguided embrace of Cartesian analysis as the model of genuine knowledge. The past three centuries have borne witness to this slavish adherence to a focus on objective and empirical inquiry, neglecting the unavoidable role of rhetorical persuasion in legal meaning. My essay proceeds in the spirit of Vico’s great oration. I urge that, at long last, we should return to a conception of legal meaning as rhetorical knowledge.

Download the essay from SSRN at the link.