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

What’s interesting these days?

Joanne St. Lewis speaks at McGill on Race, Representation and Black Women in Public Life

Thanks to Vrinda Narain for pointing me to this clip produced by Student Television at McGillProfessor Joanne St. Lewis (Ottawa Law) delivered the talk (complete title: Race, Representation and Black Women in Public Life – imagining Michelle Obama) as part of the Annie MacDonald Langstaff workshop series at McGill, named in honour of the first woman to earn a law degree in Quebec.

Interested in the content, but also in how student television at mcGill has nicely packaged this up for broad consumption!

Help with sorting out this M312/Levkovic/etc issue: Eggs Are People Too! Prof. Patricia Williams on the US womb invasion

a little M312 and Levkovic help over at Columbia’s Gender & Sexuality Law Blog, where Pat Williams back in March 2012 tried to move us away from laughing, screaming, chanting and…  Eggs Are People Too!.

How “we the people” come alive in language, not merely in the womb, is the challenge of social justice: our love of life must not be locked away in the perpetually future contingent but fully engaged in the embodied present tense.

and, because I cannot resist,

October 29 Deadline for Proposals for LSA Boston 2013 with Feminist Legal Theory CRN

Thanks to Jennifer Koshan (Calgary) for passing this along.


 …participate in panels sponsored by the Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network at the Law and Society Annual Meeting in Boston, May 30 to June 2, 2013.


Information about the Law and Society meeting (including registration and hotel information) will be posted here:


Within Law & Society, the Feminist Legal Theory CRN seeks to bring together scholars across a range of fields who are interested in feminist legal theory. There is no pre-set theme to which papers must conform, other than that they relate to feminism in some way. We especially welcome proposals that would permit us to collaborate with other CRNs, such as the Critical Research on Race and the Law CRN or the Gender, Sexuality and the Law CRN. Also, because the LSA meeting attracts scholars from other disciplines, we welcome multidisciplinary proposals.


Our goal is to stimulate focused discussion of papers on which scholars are currently working. Thus, while proposals may reference work that is well on the way to publication, we are particularly eager to solicit proposals for works-in-progress that are at an earlier stage and  will benefit from the discussion that the panels will provide.


Our panels will use the LSA format, which requires four papers, but we will continue our custom of assigning a commentator for each individual paper. A committee of the CRN will assign individual papers to panels based on subject and will ask CRN members to volunteer to serve as chairs of each panel. The chair will develop a 100-250 word description for the session and submit the session proposal to LSA before the upcoming deadline in early December, so that each panelist can submit his or her proposal, using the panel number assigned. Chairs will also be responsible for recruiting commentators but may wait to do so until panels have been scheduled later this winter.


If you would like to present a paper as part of a CRN panel, please submit a 400-500 word abstract, with your name and a title, on the Feminist Legal Theory CRN TWEN page (details provided below). If you would like to serve as a chair or a commentator for one of our panels, or if you are already planning a LSA session with four panelists (and papers) that you would like to see included in the Feminist Legal Theory CRN, please let Jennifer Hendricks know (


In addition to these panels, we may try use some of the other formats that the LSA provides: the “author meets readers” format or the roundtable discussion. “Author meets readers” sessions focus on a recently published book; commentators deliver remarks, and the author responds.


Roundtables are discussions that are not organized around papers, but rather invite several speakers to have an exchange focused on a specific topic. If you have an idea relating to feminist legal theory that you think would work well in one of these formats, please let Jennifer know, as well.


[emphasis added]


Proposals have to be submitted through the CRN’s TWEN page.


I think this is how you can register for the TWEN page, hope I’m right about this! SL


 If you haven’t yet registered for the TWEN page, signing up is easy. Just sign onto Westlaw, hit the tab on the top for “TWEN,” then click “Add Course,” and choose the “Feminist Legal Theory” CRN from the drop-down list of National TWEN Courses. Or, if you have a Westlaw OnePass as a faculty member, you can enter the Easy Course Access link below:


Easy Course Access Link:




To submit an abstract, go to the site, look to the left hand margin and click on “Law and Society 2013 – Abstracts.”


Please submit all proposals for paper presentations by Monday, October 29, 2012. This will permit us to organize panels and submit them prior to the LSA’s deadline in early December. If we cannot accept all proposals for the CRN, we will notify you by November 15 so that you can submit an independent proposal to LSA.


We hope you’ll join us in Boston to discuss the scholarship in which we are all engaged and connect with others doing work on feminism and gender.




Beth Burkstrand-Reid


Aya Gruber


Jennifer Hendricks


Linda McClain






IFLS presents Prof. Joanna Erdman on October 25: "New Ideas in an Age-Old Field": Regulating Reproduction

“New Ideas in an Age-Old Field”: Regulating Reproduction
Professor Joanna Erdman
MacBain Chair in Health Law & Policy, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University

Thursday October 25, 1230-2pm

Osgoode Hall Law School IKB 2003
Light Lunch Served, please RSVP to

Poster for emailing, printing, sharing, here.


suggested reading:

Reva Siegel, “The Constitutionalization of Abortion” in M. Rosenfeld & A. Sajó eds., The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law 1057-78 (2012).


Marie Ashe, “Zig-Zag Stitching and the Seamless Web: Thoughts on ‘Reproduction’ and the Law,” (1989) 13 Nova L. Rev. 355  (this is a hein online link and will require access to hein, e.g. through the York library system)

feminists@law Vol 2, No 2 (2012) now available: open access, the person-property problematic


awesome Stacy Douglas artwork

feminists@law has a new issue out, here.   This version of the open access feminist legal journal housed at Kent includes an Editorial: Why We Oppose Gold Open Access in which Rosemary Hunter, Donatella Alessandrini, Toni Williams take on the recommendation of the UK Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings,Accessibility, Sustainability, Excellence: How to Expand Access to Research Publications (the Finch Report) (June 2012):

The Report focuses on the publication of articles in peer reviewed journals. It recommends a move to open access publishing in order to make the results of research undertaken in the UK more widely available to academic researchers, public sector and industry research users, and the general public.  The model of open access publishing it advocates is so-called ‘Gold Open Access’, involving the payment of an article processing/publishing charge (APC) by authors.

The issue also includes “Persons, Property and Community” by Margaret Davies (Flinders).  Here’s the abstract:

The terms ‘persons’ and ‘property’, and the connections between them, have been analysed very thoroughly in several disciplines, including law, philosophy, cultural studies, and anthropology. Like many technical terms, the legal concepts of persons and property are embedded in social practice and reflect its gendered discourse and practices. There is often cross-fertilisation of ‘legal’ and ‘everyday’ or social meanings, as well as a certain productive tension between them. This article introduces and reviews the person-property problematic, and considers how the discourse surrounding these terms and their relationship is changing under increased pressures from a more community-focused (and less individualistic) ethos, influenced in part by feminist thinking about relationality. The article is divided into three parts. First, I introduce some of the difficulties with the concepts of persons and property, and consider what they refer to, and how they are used. Second, I explain what I see as the relationship between these two ideas – how they are supposed to be diametrically opposed, and how they are in fact inextricably linked. Up to this point the article essentially draws pertinent points from a mountainous literature on the topic. The third and more substantial part of the paper takes the matter in a new direction. Here I try to capture new ways of thinking about property which in some ways loosen the property-person nexus, without breaking it altogether. In essence, these new approaches introduce values associated with the community, the environment, and our material futures into our thinking.