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

What’s interesting these days?

We should be paying more attention to the emotional labour of teaching | Higher Education Network | Guardian Professional

H/T to Deb Parkes for sending me Janni Aragon’s (UVic polisci) Guardian blog post on the emotional labour of teaching.  Summer’s a better time to confront some of these questions, no?  There are both fewer students, and some particularly difficult post-marks meetings with students.

In my time as an academic, I’ve accompanied students to the police department to report a sexual assault and listened to others talk about the old memories triggered by a reading or a discussion. This is part of the emotional labour of the job. Granted, for some students, it’s not issues of violence but rather issues related to coming out, finances, a bad break up, eating disorders, and many more. My degrees are not in mental health, so I know that it’s best if I listen and then make a referral. But here’s the thing: I never attended a professional development seminar about students and mental health until I was more than 10 years into my career. I am not qualified to help the students with the array of issues that they might have.

via We should be paying more attention to the emotional labour of teaching | Higher Education Network | Guardian Professional.


See also:

Emotional Labor in Academia: The Case of Professors by Marcia L. Bellas The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science January 1999 vol. 561 no. 1 96-110 

abstract:  Most professors divide their time between teaching, research, service, and, for some, administration. As in the nonacademic labor market, there is a gendered reward structure in academia. Teaching and service are most closely aligned with characteristics and behaviors culturally defined as feminine, and, in the aggregate, women spend more time in these activities than men. Teaching and service clearly involve substantial amounts of emotional labor, but this labor is generally not seen as involving valued skills and is conse quently poorly rewarded. In contrast, research and administration are associated with traits culturally defined as masculine, and, on average, men spend more time in these activities. Although research and administration also involve emotional labor, their emotional aspects are largely ignored, while intellectual, technical, or leadership skills are emphasized and highly compensated. Aside from differences in the propensity of women and men to engage in different activities and the gendered reward structure associated with these activities, even when the tasks are the same, the type and intensity of emotional labor required of the sexes may differ.

Equality vs. Fairness: Intention & Discrimination (and juries) (and…)

Ruthann Robson reviews Nina Chernoff‘s  Wrong About the Right: How Courts Undermine the Fair Cross-Section Guarantee by Imposing Equal Protection Standards (March 15, 2012).  Hastings Law Journal, Forthcoming (here on SSRN) at Jotwell Equality under the heading Equality vs. Fairness.
Chernoff’s paper is about US Courts wrongly applying US 14th Amendment (Equal Protection) standards to claims under the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a jury composed of a fair cross section.  The critical difference is that, famously, the 14th Amendment requires intent to discriminate, but (explains Robson):

[t]he Sixth Amendment… guarantees an “impartial jury.”  In common parlance, this is a “jury one one’s peers.”  In constitutional doctrine, it requires that the jury members be “drawn from a fair cross-section of the community.

Chernoff describes a rash of cases in which claims under the 6th amendment have been denied on the basis of lack of intent to discrimination.  She argues this is simply, doctrinally wrong.

Robson uses Chernoff’s exposé to encourage readers (mainly, probably, Americans) to start questioning the intent requirement itself and the many injustices that are placed beyond the reach of American Equal Protection law because of that requirement.

Section 15 jurisprudence (Canadian Charter equality protection) of course, lacks an intent requirement.  Robson reminds us that the US Supreme Court was concerned about an impact rule, saying:

in Washington v. Davis [426 US 229 (1976)] [it] would raise “serious questions about, and perhaps invalidate, a whole range of tax, welfare, public service, regulatory, and licensing statutes that may be more burdensome to the poor and to the average black than to the more affluent white.”

Well.  Maybe.  Somehow we have avoided all those transformational claims here in Canada, despite clear statistical indications that race and gender salient in this country.

On the other issue, the jury issue, some will be aware that former Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci has been appointed by the government of Ontario (Terms of Reference of his appointment here) to head an Independent Review of the representation of First Nations people on juries in Ontario.

In 2008, it was first revealed during an inquest that the jury roll in the Kenora district in northern Ontario only contained names from 14 of the 49 Nishnawbe Aski First Nations.

A court-operations supervisor said in an affidavit that only 44 natives were being considered for jury selection in the district even though aboriginals make up a large proportion of the population.

The affidavit said Ottawa had not provided the jury centre with band electoral lists in years.

From:  Ont. calls inquiry into aboriginal participation on juries The Canadian Press
Posted: Aug 11, 2011 8:12 PM ET. Here.

'Omak’s Minimum Pay Law Joan D’Arc': Telling the Local Story of West Coast Hotel v. Parrish (1937) by Helen Knowles

‘Omak’s Minimum Pay Law Joan D’Arc': Telling the Local Story of West Coast Hotel v. Parrish (1937)

by Helen Knowles (Whitman)

New at SSRN.

Scholars agree about the socio-political significance of West Coast Hotel v. Parrish (1937), in which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Washington State minimum wage law for women. However, they tend to focus on the decision’s relationship to FDR’s Court-packing plan. Little attention has been paid to the stories of the parties; beyond identifying her as the famous-for-five-minutes “Wenatchee chambermaid,” scholars have provided us with minimal information about the plaintiff Elsie Parrish, and even less is known about the lawyers and lower court judges who participated in this landmark case.

Using analysis of local newspaper coverage, the original court documents, and drawing upon information provided by descendants of Elsie Parrish, her lawyer C.B. Conner, and Fred Crollard, the attorney for the West Coast Hotel Company, in this article I bring to light many previously untold details of the local story of Parrish. This material highlights the importance of telling the stories of Supreme Court cases, because it demonstrates that for the residents of Washington State it was the local story, rather than the national narrative, of Parrish that captured their attention.


First annual international conference
York University, Toronto, Canada
May 3-5 2013

The purpose of this conference is to bring together researchers whose interests in the digital economy are positioned at the intersection of social media and the engaged university. Social media enable social interaction through connectivity on the Internet, and therefore lend themselves to any and all aspects of social communication, including those at the university. Given that social media (Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.) are very popular and ubiquitous, it is advantageous to submit their use in universities to a close scrutiny. The main aim of the conference, therefore, is to analyze, discuss, and answer the following four questions:
1. Can universities substantially change the manner in which they achieve their mission by using social media?
2. What are the opportunities, impacts, and challenges of social media on the workings of the university?
3. How innovative and effective is the use of social media for the purposes of research, teaching, and administration in a university setting?
4. Do social media have a critical function in the mobilization and dissemination of knowledge?
The specific themes which prospective participants may wish to address include but are not limited to:
(1) Teaching/learning and social media
Pedagogical strategies across disciplines; Transformative nature of social media in the classroom; Panacea/problem for large and small classes; Acquisition of digital skills in higher education and how they contribute to student learning outcomes; Student engagement with specific subject matter through social media; Professional schools and social media
(2) University administration and social media
Implications for recruitment and retention; University Web site vs. presence on Facebook/Twitter of University for marketing, recruitment, and other strategies; Expanding access to education; Role of the alumni and university-community partnerships
(3) Research and social media
Social media and the humanities, social sciences, arts, and sciences; Social media and the promotion of research collaboration; Conducting and assessing research in and with social media
(4) Civic engagement and social media at the university
Social media and university-community collaboration; Impact of social media on socio-cultural practices
(5) Poster sessions presented by undergraduate and graduate students on a variety of topics related to social media and the university experience.
Confirmed Keynote Speakers
Professor Mark Bauerlein, Emory University (
Professor Susan C. Herring, Indiana University (
Professor Sidneyeve Matrix, Queen’s University (
(Social Media Panel of Experts yet to be confirmed…)
Please send a title and abstract (350 words excluding bibliography) to the organizers before 1 July 2012, for a 20 minute presentation. All abstract submissions will undergo peer review and notification of acceptance will be sent out in early November 2012. Please also include your name, affiliation, contact address and telephone number.
Conference organizers
Professor Roberta Iannacito-Provenzano (York University, Toronto, Canada;
Professor Jana Vizmuller-Zocco (York University, Toronto, Canada;

Feminist sociolegal conferencing: LSA in Hawaii

Just in case you’re wondering what you’re missing, well, this:

and of course, even better, this:

You  missed Emma Cunliffe (L) at her author meets reader session.  [From the Program]

Author Meets Reader–Murder, Medicine and Motherhood, by Emma Cunliffe

Chair: Eve Darian-Smith (University of California, Santa Barbara)   Author: Emma Cunliffe (University of British Columbia)

Readers: Gary Edmond (University of New South Wales), Reader: William Haltom (University of Puget Sound), Reader: Karen A. Porter (Hanover College), Reader: Mehera San Roque (University of New South Wales)

apparently there is time between sessions for this (feminist content: three feminists, and a birthday girl).

In sum, “wish i was there”.




photo credits: Ruthann R, Gillian C, Claire Y, Susan B, Amanda G, Deb P.