Angela P Harris Keynote: Compassion & Critique

This keynote is from the really interesting Law and the Curated Body conference put on by my colleague Faisal Bhabha and Jennifer Fisher of York’s Department of Visual Art and Art History.

Angela P. Harris will be known to most readers of this blog.  Now at UC Davis School of Law, she’s been at the forefront of critical race and critical legal scholarship for a long time now.  She’s one of the editors of Presumed Incompetent:​ ​The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia (2012, Utah State UP) (there is a transcribed interview, here, where she discusses the book, it’s reception, and the impact of increased corporatization of universities).

In this talk, she explores the connections between mindfulness (she teaches a course called “Mindfulness and Professional Identity: Becoming a Lawyer While Keeping Your Values Intact”) and critical race scholarship, illustrating the ways in which she sees the two as intimately connected.  The talk isn’t an easy one – she details violence and challenges our responses to it.   Harris also spotlights the work of many Black female artists in the accompanying slides.   Take the time to have a look.


What should we be reading? (suggestions very welcome)

What’s on your summer reading list? Anything (even tangentially) law-related that you want to suggest?

write me @osgoodeIFLS on twitter or in the comments. Here are a few things I am going to put on mine.

Islands of Decolonial Love, by  Leanne Simpson

Bought this collection of short stories for someone else and failed to surreptitiously read prior to gifting it. Need my own copy, soon.

The Borders of Human Rights 

Jaya Ramji-Nogales (Temple)  likes  Moria Paz’s (Stanford Fellow) new work, lots:

….Paz has illuminated the central quandary in the relationship between human rights and migration. The current “focus on physicality . . . substitutes complex political criteria . . . with a set of arbitrary rules that require [answers to] relatively simple questions.” This approach hands to courts questions unresolved politically, thereby avoiding the messier, though potentially ultimately more effective, practice of negotiation, compromise, and politics.

Moving beyond the Pregnant/non Pregnant Dichotomy in Pregnancy Discrimination Law based on the lived experience of New Mothers

Ann Tweedy (Hamline) likes this new work by Saru Matambanadzo’ (Tulane). lots:

Matambanadzo’s compelling arguments add a new dimension to legal scholarship on pregnancy in that they challenge not only the treatment of pregnant workers but also the firmly ingrained notion of pregnancy itself. Indeed the dichotomy between pregnant and not pregnant is paradigmatic in American culture—so much so that it exemplifies other black and white dichotomies, as illustrated by the expression that one cannot be “almost pregnant.” Matambanadzo successfully convinces the reader to rethink the notion of pregnancy itself.

Robson: Enhancing Reciprocal Synergies Between Teaching and Scholarship

I particularly need this one by amazing feminist scholar/writer/teacher Robson (“even as increasing demands can make institutional and individual balancing acts difficult”).

This essay confronts the canard that one can be a good law teacher or a good legal scholar, but not both. It contends that many legal academics are good teachers and scholars, even as increasing demands can make institutional and individual balancing acts difficult. This essay first considers the empirical studies about the relationship between teaching and scholarship in legal academia. It then turns toward the experiential, with the simple overarching suggestion that individual legal academics can enhance the synergies between our scholarly and pedagogical endeavors by paying attention to them. The essay highlights four categories — the doctrinal, the theoretical, the methodological, and the professional — and discusses ways to strengthen their mutually reinforcing aspects. The essay ends by offering three techniques to assist legal scholars and teachers in paying attention regardless of the category and thus enhance the reciprocal synergies between scholarship and teaching.

Recognizing the struggle: IFLS Graduating Student Award 2015

IFLS is delighted to invite nominations for our graduating student award.   These are due FRIDAY MAY 1 2015 by noon.

There is no application form. Your application or nomination should be sent by email to Student Financial Services ( and should include the following a cover letter that clearly identifies that you are nominating someone for this award and makes your case to the Student Awards Committee as to why you believe  your colleague is an excellent candidate for the award; and (if possible)  a detailed resume.
Make sure you look at the criteria for this award, especially: Since this Award is intended to recognize Osgoode students who have made important contributions, but have not otherwise been recognized, recipients of other graduation awards such as the Dean’s Gold Key, are not eligible.”  

IFLS Graduating Student VANGUARD award

Presented annually to a graduating student who has shown bravery and intelligence in bringing attention to issues of importance for feminism(s), including but not limited to gender, poverty, sexuality, sexual orientation, violence against women, racism, Indigeneity, and equality. The Award winner will have displayed leadership qualities including the ability and willingness to engage in critical &/or constructive difficult conversations.

Up to two awards will be offered in any given year. Recipients will be profiled on the IFLS website and will receive a small financial award.

Since this Award is intended to recognize Osgoode students who have made important contributions, but have not otherwise been recognized, recipients of other graduation awards such as the Dean’s Gold Key, are not eligible.

Nominations of graduating Osgoode students are welcome from Faculty, students and staff.  Self-nominations are also welcome. The Director of the IFLS and three IFLS members will review the nominations and select recipient(s).

Nominations should not exceed 750 words in describing how the candidate meets the purpose of the award as described above. A list of names of all those supporting the nomination and their relationship to Osgoode (student/class year, staff, faculty, other) should be provided with the nomination.

Click here for a word version of this post.

Nominations are due to

Inaugural IFLS Vanguard Award Winner:  Kisha Munroe (class of 2014)