Category Archives: What we’re thinking/reading/doing (IFLS blog)

What’s interesting these days?

Save the Date! IFLS Events 2015/16

The leaves are changing colour and the law school is once again abuzz with activity. (Where did September go?)  Time to get the word out about the many exciting events that the IFLS has in store for this academic year. In the whirlwind of classes, lectures, seminars, workshops, book clubs, conferences, camps, and colloquia, don’t forget to pencil these in!

( I will update this post on an ongoing basis so you can use it as a reference throughout the year)


September 28, 2015, 12:30-2:30pm 
“Time, ‘Remaindered Lives’, and the 26 Week Qualifying Period”
Dr. Emily Grabham, Reader in Law, Kent Law School

October 7, 2015, 12:30-2pm
IFLS Meet and Greet

Oct 14, 2105, 12:30-2:30pm
IFLS Student Days: “Shut up and Write!”

Oct 28 social: CANCELLED

November 4, 2015
“Undocumented Stories”
Prof. Kathryn Abrams, Berkeley School of Law

 Nov 11, 2105, 12:30-2:30pm
IFLS Student Days: “Shut up and Write!”

 November 27, 2015, 9am-2pm
Graduate Student Writing Workshop [closed/participants only] 9am-12:30pm

Lunch/Social with Prof. Susan Boyd (UBC), 12:30-2:30pm 

January 8, 2016
“Expert witnesses and gendered violence: disappearing violence against women?”
Prof. Emma Cunliffe, Allard School of Law, UBC

 February 10, 2016
“Reforming Prisons, Reforming Women: Ann Vickers and Abortion Law”
Prof. Suzanne Bouclin, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law

 February/March 2016
Prof. Janine Benedet, Allard School of Law, UBC (Title TBA)





IFLS Meet and Greet: October 7 @ 12:30-2pm

The IFLS meet and greet is coming up on October 7 @ 12:30-2pm! (The originevent posterally scheduled event on September 23rd is now cancelled.) This is our inaugural social event of the year. All are welcome to attend.

New and old faces of the IFLS will be there to welcome everyone to our wonderful shared space in Rm 3067. Come mingle with the Osgoode feminist community and hear about all of the exciting things we have planned for the coming year! Refreshments will be served.  Hope to see you there!






CFP: Joint Scholars & Scholarship Workshop on Feminist Jurisprudence

pict of Broadway, NYC

An interesting workshop opportunity in New York City, recently posted here on the Feminist Law Professors blog:

Joint Scholars & Scholarship Workshop on Feminist JurisprudenceJanuary 6, 2016
Fordham Law School

Sponsored by the Legal Writing Institute (LWI), the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD), and the Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).

LWI, ALWD, and the AALS Legal Writing Section are excited to collaborate with Fordham Law School in celebration of feminist scholars and scholars of feminist jurisprudence by offering a half-day workshop.   The Scholars & Scholarship Workshop will take place at Fordham Law School on January 6, 2016, the day prior to the beginning of the 2016 AALS Annual Meeting in New York City.

The Workshop is focused on scholarly writing and teaching in the field of feminist jurisprudence. Our goal is to encourage and support the work of scholars, including jurists and practitioners, as they challenge patriarchy and other hierarchical structures, critique existing jurisprudence from multicultural feminist perspectives, and share strategies and techniques for bringing a feminist perspective into the classroom.  It extends the conversation of the more than 50 scholars involved in the creation of the edited volume, Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court (Kathryn  Stanchi, Linda Berger & Bridget Crawford eds., Cambridge University Press 2016).  We hope to more broadly support the work of feminist scholars in the academy, regardless of their subject area of study.

If you are interested in presenting a draft paper to receive feedback from an audience of informed scholars in a safe and supportive environment, please submit an abstract to the Scholars & Scholarship Workshop by October 5, 2015.  Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words in length and should be emailed to Professors Nantiya Ruan at and Shailini Jandial George at  Those submitting abstracts will be informed of whether they were chosen to participate by October 31, 2015, and drafts will be sent to readers in mid-December.

If you are interested in attending the workshop, you can register here:

For more on feminist judgment projects, see a couple of our posts from earlier this year:  here and here.



Dr. Emily Grabham at Osgoode: “Remaindered Lives”

“Time, ‘Remaindered Lives’, and the 26 Week Qualifying Period”
Talk by Dr. Emily Grabham, Reader in Law at Kent Law School
Monday, September 28, 2015
Room 2027 @ Osgoode 

event poster, all info included in post Abstract: 
In a recent article published in South Atlantic Quarterly, Neferti Tadiar describes the experiences of apparently ‘unskilled’ women labourers in manufacturing centres in Mexico and China as the ‘remaindered lives’ of global capital. Tadiar’s forceful and eloquent account contrasts with the stories of capital’s total seizure of life that can be found in much global north thinking on the present economic moment, stories dominated by entrepreneurs, artisans, and cultivated selves. Arguing that the new political economy of life overlooks the racialised ‘broader immiserative logic’ that creates experiences of life as essentially ongoing degradation, Tadiar reminds us of the surplus and waste that is needed for capital to expand. Life, experienced by some as a project, portfolio or career in particular economic contexts, is experienced by many instead as ‘fate playing’ and wastage.

Yet ‘remaindered lives’ are legally as well as politically or economically achieved. This paper argues that a combination of often outlandishly short contracts with time-related qualifying conditions on employment rights contributes to many women’s experiences not only of work, but also of life, as fateful, full of unanswered hopes and essentially wasted chances. The right to claim ‘family friendly’ rights in UK law is often de-limited by a qualifying period of 26 weeks (6.5 months) work. Yet women working across a range of sectors in the UK find it increasingly hard to obtain contracts of over 3 months. For racialised and immigrant women, obtaining permanent or semi-permanent work is fraught with particular difficulty. Drawing on interviews of women in precarious work, I outline the strangely productive effects on lives that happen when new contractual practices meet apparently marginal provisions in apparently progressive labour legislation. Through a renewed focus on legal technicalities, the hope is that we can continue the work of accounting for the production of ‘remaindered lives’ through the regulation of labour.

About Dr. Emily Grabham (from her profile page at Kent Law School, found here):

BA (Law) University of Cambridge; LLM Queen’s University, Canada; MSc (Gender, Society & Culture) Birkbeck College, London; PhD (Law) University of Kent. Qualified Solicitor.

Emily Grabham is a Reader in the Law School. Emily’s primary research areas include labour law, law and time, interdisciplinary perspectives on labour and value, and feminist legal theory. She is particularly interested in interdisciplinary approaches to legal analysis, drawing on methods and perspectives from legal anthropology, feminist theory, science and technology studies, and critical legal theory. Her current research includes:

1. Law and time. Emily’s forthcoming monograph Doing Things with Time (University of Toronto Press, 2016) draws on perspectives from actor-network theory and legal anthropology, as well as empirical legal research, to think about how legal temporalities are ‘brewed’ in UK and Canadian Law. Case studies include debates about ‘progression’ and ‘likelihood’ in the context of HIV law, ‘work-life balance’ in labour law, and ‘transition’ in the context of transgender legal rights.

2. Work-life balance. Her current project investigates the development and rationale of ‘work-life balance’ laws as a means of resolving tensions in unpaid care and work, drawing on legal ethnography, doctrinal analysis, and feminist legal theory. This feminist genealogy of work-life balance law in the UK is partially funded through an ESRC ‘Future Research Leaders’ award:Balancing Precarious Work and Care.

3. Regulating Time Network. With Sian Beynon Jones (Sociology, University of York UK), Emily co-ordinates the AHRC-funded scholarly network Regulating Time: New Perspectives on Regulation, Law and Temporalities. This interdisciplinary network investigates how law and regulation are shaped by dominant concepts of time.

Emily is also co-founder (with Judy Fudge) of the Gendering Labour Law Research Network.

She is a member of the peer review colleges of the Economic and Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. She sits on the editorial board of Feminist Legal Studies.

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.