Category Archives: Co-hosted events

Kathryn Abrams @ Osgoode Nov 4: “Undocumented Stories”

Don’t miss what is sure to be a fascinating talk by renowned feminist legal scholar Kathryn Abrams of Berkeley, coming up on Nov 4.  Co-hosted by the IFLS and Law Arts Culture.

“Undocumented Stories”
Talk by Katherine Abrams of Berkeley Law 
Wednesday November 4, 2015 
Rm 2027, Osgoode Hall (Keele campus) 

Event poster Kathryn Abrams is Herma Hill Kay Distinguished Professor of Law at UC-Berkeley. Her areas of expertise include feminist legal theory, law and social movements, constitutional law, and law and the emotions. Her widely-anthologized work has appeared in Yale Law Journal, Columbia Law Review, California Law Review, Law and Philosophy, and Nomos, among others. She is the editor of two special issues: “Witness” for Women’s Studies Quarterly (co-edited with Irene Kacandes, 2008) and “Legal Feminism Now,” for Issues in Legal Scholarship, 2011. Her current empirically-based project explores the legal consciousness of undocumented immigrants in the anti-immigrant state of Arizona. It analyzes the ways that narrative, tactical innovation, and emotion management have enabled undocumented immigrants to emerge as effective legal claims-makers under highly adverse political circumstances.

 Please also note that the IFLS socials scheduled for Wednesday October 28 and Wednesday November 25 are now cancelled.  The next social will take place on Friday, November 27 at 12:30-2:30, joined by Prof Susan Boyd of UBC. More details to come!

Upcoming on Oct 22: Dr. Vandana Shiva on “Navigating the Anthropocene” and Dr Caroline Shenaz Hossein on “The Black Social Economy”

Just wanted to highlight a couple of events that are coming up next week at York, on Thursday, Oct 22.

1) “Navigating the Antropocence”: An Interview with Dr. Vandana Shiva  (12:30-2pm)

2) “THE BLACK SOCIAL ECONOMY: Banker Ladies and Money Pools in the Americas”: A talk by Dr. Caroline Shenaz Hossein

These events are happening one after another, so you can make a feminist day of it. Details below.


  “Navigating the Anthropocene” 
An Interview with Dr. Vandana Shiva 

event poster

 FES welcomes Dr. Vandana Shiva for an up-close and personal interview with Dean Noël Sturgeon.

Thursday, October 22 12:30pm to 2pm
HNES 140
Light refreshments will be served

The IFLS is co-hosting this event, which is part of the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) Speaker Series for 2015-16.

About Dr. Shiva (from event poster):
Dr. Vandana Shiva is a world-renowned academic, author and activist, working and writing on the perils and promises of globalization, industrial agriculture, biotechnology, genetic engineering and biodiversity, and their connections with gender issues in the Global South.

Dr. Shiva is a founder of many effective research and advocacy organizations, including the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology in Dehra Dun, dedicated to high quality and independent research to address the most significant ecological and social issues of our times, and Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources and to promote organic farming and fair trade.

Dr. Shiva’s many publications are widely read in university classrooms and NGOs. Time Magazine identified Dr. Shiva as an environmental ‘hero’ in 2003, and Asia Week has called her one of the five most powerful communicators in Asia. In November 2010, Forbes Magazine identified Dr. Shiva as one of the Seven Most Powerful Women on the Globe. This week in Toronto, she will be recognized by the Planet in Focus Film Festival as the 2015 International Eco-Hero.

To submit a question for Dr. Shiva:


The Black Social Economy: Banker Ladies and Money Pools in the Americas
Talk by Dr Caroline Shenaz Hossein
Thursday, October 22nd, 2:30-4pm
 626 Kaneff Tower

Introduced by Dr. Alison Crosby, Director, Centre for Feminist Research

This event is co-sponsored by The Harriet Tubman Institute. Light refreshments served. RSVP to

Event description from CFR:

Millions of Black people in the Americas participate in informal banks (or ROSCAs) – money pools managed by women known as “banker ladies”. In her talk, Dr. Caroline Shenaz Hossein will explain that the banker ladies organize money pools as a form of contestation against the commercialized banking systems, and explore the deliberate nature of the banker ladies’ work in the social economy, and the ways in which women are building socially conscious money systems.
Dr. Caroline Shenaz Hossein is an Assistant Professor of Business and Society in the Department of Social Science, and is a CFR Research Associate, as well as an executive member at the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diaspora at York University. Dr. Hossein’s research interest is squarely in the social economy, where she writes on community economic development in urban communities and examines issues of exclusion in business. She has conducted extensive field work in Africa, as well as in the African diaspora in Canada and the Caribbean. She holds a PhD in Political Science and Gender and Women Studies from the University of Toronto, an MPA from Cornell University, an LL.B from the University of Kent at Canterbury and BA from Saint Mary’s University (Halifax). Previously, she was a U.S Fulbright Fellow at the Caribbean Policy and Research Institute and at the University of West Indies-Mona, Jamaica. Her first book, Politicized Microfinance: Power, Politics and Violence in the Black Americas is under review with the University of Toronto Press.


CONFERENCE: Law & Markets: Regulating Controversial Exchange

conference poster with short description and agenda

The IFLS and the Nathanson Centre are co-hosting what is bound to be a fascinating one-day conference at Osgoode on September 15, on the topic of Law & Markets: Regulating Controversial Exchange. The conference has been organized by Professor Poonam Puri, with the help of this year’s Genest Fellows: Professors Mitu Gulati and  Kimberly Krawiec.


The conference will take place on Tuesday September 15th from 10:15am to 3:15pm in the Faculty Common Room (Room 2027) at Osgoode. 

Speakers will touch upon issues in constitutional law, criminal law, immigration and refugee law, sexuality and the law, bioethics, and business law.

The keynote will be delivered by Professor  Margaret Jane Radin,  from 12:15pm to 1:15pm over a complimentary lunch. Professor Radin is a Distinguished Research Scholar at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, winner of the Scribe Book Award in 2014 for her book Boilerplate: The Fine Print, Vanishing Rights, and the Rule of Law, and author of over seventy articles, two of which were included in a list of the 100 most cited legal articles of all time. Her book, Contested Commodities, is foundational in the field of controversial exchange.

From the agenda:

Conference Concept: Within market-based economies, parties are generally free to exchange goods and services as they choose. Freedom of contract is the guiding principle, though the exchange may be regulated to protect consumers, promote competition and collect taxes. This symposium will focus on a number of conspicuous exceptions to the principle of freedom of contract.

There are certain goods and services in which governments do not allow trade. Within Canada, human biological material, sexual services, sovereignty, and refugees fall into this category of forbidden exchange. States use an arsenal of tools, from refusal to enforce such contracts to armed intervention, to prevent these markets from flourishing.

The purpose of this symposium is to critically explore the reasons for restricting trade in these commodities and the implications of doing so. The discomfort elicited by use of the word “commodity” in connection with childbearing, sex, and political participation is revealing. These activities are understood to be inherently non-commercial. While love, duty and altruism are permissible motives for participating in these activities, payment typically is not. Children, sex, and political belonging are seen to exist within a realm of non-market values and morals that are incompatible with commodification.

Prohibiting exchange can have harmful unintended consequences. For instance, the use of the blunt instrument of the criminal law to suppress markets in sexual services forces sex workers underground and into unsafe working environments. Similarly, the refusal to consider exchanging control over a separatist region for financial compensation can result in violence, to the detriment of both the region itself and the state to which it belongs. These significant harms call into question the role that morals should play in the decision to restrict a market.

Some goods and services are unavoidably dangerous or coercive and ought to be prohibited. Yet in other instances, the moral and policy concerns that lead states to suppress a market may be better addressed by regulating exchange rather than forbidding it. Market-based regulatory mechanisms, like pricing, taxes, and mandatory disclosure, can reduce harms and internalize negative market externalities. In such cases, law has a vital role to play in structuring markets. This symposium aims to critically analyze the concerns surrounding controversial markets and strengths and limitations of market allocation and regulation as an alternative for addressing them. Evolving regulatory methods and recent developments in reproductive technologies, prostitution laws, and international relations make a reconsideration of the state’s response to controversial markets timely. Due to the nature and variety of the subject matter, we expect and welcome a wide range of perspectives. The aim of the conference is to stimulate lively and respectful discussion of a number of pressing contemporary issues to which the best approach remains an open question.

Please email me at if you would me to forward a copy of the agenda.