Tag Archives: Stu Marvel

Where i wish i was this weekend: At an uncomfortable conversation in Atlanta

picture of emory law school at night.It isn’t that I don’t have interesting and fun things on here in Toronto, but check out the lineup at An Uncomfortable Conversation: Vulnerabilities and Identities.

The workshop is on Friday and Saturday in Atlanta at Emory and is part of the ongoing good work of Martha Fineman’s Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative, which we’ve posted about a couple of time before (click here for older posts).  This one looks particularly top notch and exciting (osgoode’s Atlanta secret agent, Stu Marvel used the term of art “doozy”).  If you can’t imagine how a conference of legal academics could be so exciting, well…click through the image below for a bigger version, and have a look at the agenda.

The starting point to all the conversations is Fineman’s vulnerability approach, which you can read about in this open source, on SSRN, which provides a good introduction:

or you can take a shortcut by looking at this page on the Initiative’s website, Definitions.  The Initiative also maintains a publications list, here, and they have this great archive of interviews with all their visiting scholars, here. The website really is a treasure trove of stuff with lots of neat corners and great links – and it will spark ideas on how to provide a really useful web resource.    I am going to spend time in there, since I am not going to Atlanta. I know that those two things are not remotely similar but I will take what I can get. poster for the "uncomfortable conversation" listing speakers and topics. click through to the emory website.

 

 

 

 

Delayed Dispatches from LSA in Hawai'i, Part III

Capping off our series of grad student reports from LSA in Hawai’i, here’s Osgoode own (now Emory’s in a way) Stu Marvel (more about Stu’s current projects at the link). Got a way with words, does our Stu.   Enjoy. And think about what kind of dispatches you might want to send us!

 

Read Part I (Shanthi Senthe) here and Part II (Nikki Karalekas) here.  These “delayed dispatches” from Hawaii are a set of reports and reflections on the substance and the experience of conferencing as a graduate student.  Why read them? Because you want to know what is up with these conferences.  Because you are a grad student and need some encouragement about conferences, and about what networking can be when it’s being “it’s best self”. Because you are a prof and need the same.  Because you are contemplating grad work. Or because you are a professor and it’s always useful for professors to think about what’s happening for the grad students at these events and how we can improve the experience for everyone.

 

Take 2600 sociolegal scholars from around the world, plunk them on the beaches of Waikiki, add Power Point presentations, and serve in a giant pineapple. The most overwhelming part of the 2012 LSA conference in Honolulu was simply how overwhelming everything was. This was conference-going writ large! Thirty-two concurrent panels at all times! Cavernous rooms filled with jet-lagged people in sunglasses! Mega tour bus shuttles whisking everyone off to rolling lawns and the strains of ukulele music!

The organizers were tops (nice work, IFLS’ own Annie Bunting), our hosts were gracious and always present was our debt to the island itself: the green vistas and golden beaches upon which we talked, debated, laughed, lectured, shared and made community. Yet these conversations across a sea of islands also offered an explicit invitation to reframe colonial modalities of landscape and look instead across our waterways; liquid convergences of space and world-making, power and history. Inspired by the work of Polynesian scholar Epeli Hau’ofa, the guiding logic of the conference fluidly shifted dominant frameworks of sovereignty and challenged us all to ask new questions about the cultural and legal terrain of our 65 home countries (and countless more unrecognized nations).

Our conversations flowed especially toward issues of settler colonialism and indigenous rights, eddying through the 525 panels, roundtables, plenaries and author discussions, and rising (for me, anyway) in the keynote given by Jonathan Goldberg-Hiller from the University of Hawai’i. A brilliant meditation on the spatial re-framing advanced by Hau’ofa, this talk was delivered in the Wednesday afternoon session and provided a welcome opportunity to gather with the hundreds of other grad students at the conference. Such attention to grad students and an interest in nurturing our often tentative contributions was keenly felt throughout the week.

Because part of what felt so thrilling to me was the inclusivity of this conference, with seasoned academic rockstars and fledgling young scholars meeting in the halls and hunkering over sandwiches together. The egalitarianism of our rushed lunchtime repasts may not have translated into equal attendance at the panels – I saw a couple sessions where panelists outnumbered the audience; while author talks with high-profile scholars had people crammed into the aisles – but for those wise enough to get themselves on a CRN (Collaborative Research Network) or IRC (International Research Collaborative), there was generally someone to talk to.

Hot tip for y’all: Get yourself onto one of these specially organized sessions! These panels were crafted with much care, and topics and themes could be discussed in breadth over the course of the conference arc. Grad students, talk to your supervisor and find out how to land in your dream CRN stream! Professors, organize more of these in collaboration with your grad students!

And the choice of feminist streams was nothing short of inspiring, with CRNs on Feminist Legal Theory; Gender and Judging; Women in Legal Professions; International Socio-Legal Feminisms; Gender, Sexuality and Law; Gender and Judicial Education; and Gender Equality. There was also an excellent series on Care and Autonomy in the Age of Austerity, as well as CRNs on Critical Research on Race and the Law; Colonization and Law; and Law and Indigeneity, not to mention independent research streams on Taxation, Regulation, Governance, Social Movements, East Asian Law and Civil Justice.    [a bit more on CRN;s at this IFLS post What’s a CRN?” – ed]

With so much to choose from it was hard to narrow down the options. However it was my pleasure to attend 14 panels over the week, with some real standouts from both experienced and emerging scholars. I warmly present my star roster of academic headliners:

 

Legal Construction of the Elusive Embryo: Jenni Millbank, Isabel Karpin and Sheelagh McGuinness

This panel kicked off the conference for me with a spectacular trio of speakers. Discussion ranged from a philosophical exploration of the complex legal ontologies of the embryo, to an analysis of new empirical research coming out of Australia around assisted human reproduction. The only downside was the absence of Osgoode’s own Roxanne Mykitiuk, who was originally scheduled to present on the panel. Seriously top notch and an exciting start to the week.

Roundtable – Today’s Politics of Settler Colonialism: Renisa Mawani, Brenna Bhandar, Carole Blackburn and Nandita Sharma

This was the most contentious panel I attended, as the speakers disagreed substantially over the role of settlers of colour in indigenous solidarity movements. They wrestled over difficult matters of complicity, responsibility and accountability in contemporary settler colonialism, bringing insight from Australia, Canada, the mainland US, Hawai’i and Palestine. Among an incredibly thoughtful set of panelists, Brenna Bhandar was the standout for me in translating complex postcolonial analytics into a compelling engagement with critical indigenous philosophy.

Gender, Race and Violence: Claris Harbon, Hijin Park, Nan D. Stein, Gena Hong and Stu Marvel

This was my own panel, which was tenderly attended by my stalwart colleagues Amaya Alvez and Nikki Karalekas. Here is also where I learned the importance of getting oneself on a CRN.  Bobbing amidst the sea of applicants, my abstract’s offhand mention of conceptual ‘violence’ had landed me on a panel with four women writing about, well, violence: Interracial heterosexual violence, teen dating violence, and the violence of the aborted fetus. Everyone was very kind to my air quotes abstractions, however, and we had a jolly time under the generous chairship of Cynthia Nance.

Author meets Reader – Law’s Relations by Jennifer Nedelsky

I attended two of these author chats and thought them a useful window into the writing and critical process. Jennifer Nedelsky’s new book was energetically discussed by the panel – John Borrows was the standout for me – and as an emerging scholar it was both terrifying and inspiring to see someone’s work so enthusiastically engaged with. Great stuff.

Comparative Perspectives on Indigeneity and Legal Pluralism: Kinka K. Bluesky, Sarah Hunt, Antonia Rivas and Dale J. Dewhurst

This is part of the pleasure of a conference the size of the LSA – listening to people at different stages of their academic career and intellectual projects. Most compellingly for me this panel showcased three emerging female scholars, all of whom were wrestling with the role of indigenous traditions of law within the colonial legal project. I was deeply impressed by the presentation by PhD student Sarah Hunt, who outlined a critical legal geography of the reserve as a “performative ontological project” from which three agentive possibilities emerged. Dazzling stuff about the activation of indigenous space which I’m excited to see developed further.

Cultural Power of Law in Indigenous Legal Experiences in Hawai’i and Canada: Decolonization or Recolonization? – Danielle Conway, Jennifer Llewellyn, Valerie Napoleon, Ronald Niezen, Leslie Jane McMillan

I must admit to feeling a bit of conference fatigue by this point, and I only caught the end of Danielle Conway’s presentation before she ceded the podium to Jennifer Llewellyn. Fresh on the heels of a panel that had solidly rejected the politics of recognition as offering poor concession to a First Nations legal order, I found Llewellyn’s approving overview of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada a bit jarring. However Val Napoleon was the real barnburner on this panel, with a moving and engaging narrative that wove us through the living oral traditions of law and governance from which indigenous legal pluralities emerge. Her deftly gendered analysis pointed the way forward for restorative justice measures based upon the intellectual resources of indigenous song, story and dance. Amazing stuff.

Sexual Mutability and Law: Michael D. Boucai, Lisa Diamond, Terry Kogan, Clifford J. Rosky

I was excited about seeing Lisa Diamond present, as I’ve read her work on sexual fluidity with interest (she has been conducting the longest-running empirical study of sexual identity to date). And gee boy was I right! A truly inspiring speaker, Diamond was funny, charming, whip-smart and juggled a great use of hard science (dynamical systems theory) as applied to understand human motivation and relationality (sexual orientation over time). She had to leave the panel early, and people were literally jumping up in their seats, waving their hands in the air and shouting out questions. It’s like we were at a rock concert.

Author meets Reader – Fatal Intervention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-Create Race in the Twenty-First Century by Dorothy Roberts

Whew! This was the last panel I attended, after four solid days of reunions, presentations, questions, heated discussion and late-night karaoke. Dorothy Roberts was generous and thoughtful in her response to a slew of interlocutors, and offered a pointed riposte to questions from the audience about the role of deploying scientific racism in a strategic manner to mitigate the harms of the criminal justice system. She moved easily between comments from a pharmaceutical researcher to critical race scholars like Lisa Ikemoto and Osagie Obasogie, across the swath of population genomics, personalized medicine, genetic genealogy, and DNA databanks busily resuscitating race as a biological category written in our genes. Fascinating, and lots to think about as I was floating in the sea not fifteen minutes later.

 

Basically, it was a dream conference, and I cannot overstate how grateful I am to everyone that I heard speak, listened to me yammer, and – especially – helped me get there. My thanks lie in particular with Professor Martha A. Fineman, who generously supported my trip and allowed me to act as a mouthpiece for the Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative in her stead. (Note: Check out this website and sign up for updates on our mailing list!)

Thanks also to Debra Parkes for organizing a great gab session sponsored by the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, and to Nancy Polikoff for putting together a smashing feminist dinner at the local Thai restaurant. And the deepest of thanks to the Kanaka Maoli `O Hawai`i for our time on the islands. I learned a great deal in this short, blissful, dizzying week, and was honoured to be a part of it all.

Just what you wanted: An Uncomfortable Conversation (in Atlanta) CFP

Osgoode’s Stu Marvel is down in Atlanta at Emory on a Post-Doc with the Vulnerability and the Human Condition initiative there.  She send this CFP. Deadline for proposals, May 29.  Something to turn to when your marking is done, perhaps?To catch up, resources on vulnerability and resilience can be found on the VCH Initiative website, here.

An Uncomfortable Conversation: Vulnerabilities and Identities:  September 14-15, 2012

Emory University School of Law, Gambrell Hall, Room 575, 1301 Clifton Road, Atlanta 30322

Critical legal scholars have long focused on identity, both highlighting the extent to which the law either protects or subordinates individuals based on their identity categories and also considering the ways in which identity classifications themselves are constructed and mediated by legal thought and culture. Recent movements in critical legal studies have contemplated the institutional and social conditions structuring inequality, including those that overlap with identity frameworks, such as intersectionality theory, as well as paradigms reaching beyond identity to more universal categories such as human rights, capabilities and, more recently, vulnerability.

This workshop seeks to explore the relationships between identity and vulnerability, as well as those between particularity and universality, with an emphasis on the ability of these concepts to deepen existing critiques of legal liberalism and advance questions of substantive justice.

We will examine the possibilities and problems associated with organizing critical legal theory around specific identity categories such as race, gender, or sexual orientation, on one hand, and more universal categories, such as vulnerability or dependency, on the other. Central to this investigation is how we examine and evaluate the impact of both identity-based and universality-based critical theory on the state and institutions organized to provide education, social welfare, employment and training, healthcare, environmental policy, family structure, and cultural recognition. In considering the recent revitalization of purportedly universal or “post-identity” approaches, we ask how these frameworks approach systemic disparities in access, opportunity and resources differently from identities analyses. Specifisec areas of inquiry might include consideration of these issues and questions in the context of feminisms, critical race theory, intersectionality, queer studies, disability, poststructuralism, transnationalism, political and the “class crits” movement.

Guiding Questions:

What are the relationships between vulnerability and identity/universality and particularity?

In what ways do both vulnerability and identity approaches inform or undermine each other?

Do more universal approaches to critical theory simply replicate existing identity paradigms in different forms?

Does identity enable us to think more complexly about the limits of universality? Is the reverse also true?

What is lost or gained by a “post-identity” approach to social justice issues? By an identity-focused approach? Can they be combined?

How do increasingly hostile majority reactions to identity-informed law and policy, like affirmative action, undermine the effectiveness of identity politics and identity-based critical theory?

How does competitiveness over scarce resources influence the shaping of identity politics and/or appeals to universality?

How are identity-based approaches to critical legal theory outside the US context different than within?

Where and to what extent do identity categories magnify balkanization, thus undermining coalitions?

How can identity categories advance social and legal organizing?

How does the state manufacture and maintain the salience of both identity-based and universality-based critical theory?

What does it mean to label something “post-identity”?

Are more universal frameworks necessarily post-identity?

When are some modes of subordination and marginalization more situational and specific and how are these related to identity? To vulnerability?

Workshop Contacts:

Martha Albertson Fineman, Emory University School of Law, mfineman@law.emory.edu

Frank Rudy Cooper, Suffolk University Law School, fcooper@suffolk.edu

Osamudia James, University of Miami School of Law, ojames@law.miami.edu

Katie E. Oliviero, FLT Postdoctoral Fellow, Emory School of Law, koliviero@emory.edu

Submission Procedure:

Please email a paper proposal by Tuesday, May 29th to Emily Hlavaty, FLT Program Coordinator: emily.hlavaty@emory.edu

Decisions will be made by ­­­­mid June and working paper drafts will be due September 4th so they can be distributed prior to the Workshop.

 

Workshop Details:

The Workshop begins Friday at 4PM in room 575 of Emory Law School (1301 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA), followed by dinner in the Hunter Atrium. Panels continue on Saturday from 9:30 AM to 5PM. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

 

 

An Uncomfortable Conversation: Vulnerabilities and Identities 
September 14-15, 2012

Emory University School of Law, Gambrell Hall, Room 575, 1301 Clifton Road, Atlanta 30322

Critical legal scholars have long focused on identity, both highlighting the extent to which the law either protects or subordinates individuals based on their identity categories and also considering the ways in which identity classifications themselves are constructed and mediated by legal thought and culture. Recent movements in critical legal studies have contemplated the institutional and social conditions structuring inequality, including those that overlap with identity frameworks, such as intersectionality theory, as well as paradigms reaching beyond identity to more universal categories such as human rights, capabilities and, more recently, vulnerability. This workshop seeks to explore the relationships between identity and vulnerability, as well as those between particularity and universality, with an emphasis on the ability of these concepts to deepen existing critiques of legal liberalism and advance questions of substantive justice.  

 

We will examine the possibilities and problems associated with organizing critical legal theory around specific identity categories such as race, gender, or sexual orientation, on one hand, and more universal categories, such as vulnerability or dependency, on the other. Central to this investigation is how we examine and evaluate the impact of both identity-based and universality-based critical theory on the state and institutions organized to provide education, social welfare, employment and training, healthcare, environmental policy, family structure, and cultural recognition. In considering the recent revitalization of purportedly universal or “post-identity” approaches, we ask how these frameworks approach systemic disparities in access, opportunity and resources differently from identities analyses. Specific areas of inquiry might include consideration of these issues and questions in the context of feminisms, critical race theory, intersectionality, queer studies, disability, poststructuralism, transnationalism, political and the “class crits” movement.

Workshop Contacts:

Martha Albertson Fineman, Emory University School of Law, mfineman@law.emory.eduFrank Rudy Cooper

, Suffolk University Law School, fcooper@suffolk.eduOsamudia James,

University of Miami School of Law, ojames@law.miami.eduKatie E. Oliviero,

FLT Postdoctoral Fellow, Emory School of Law, koliviero@emory.edu 

Submission Procedure:

Please email a paper proposal by Tuesday, May 29th to Emily Hlavaty, FLT Program Coordinator: emily.hlavaty@emory.eduVarious resources on vulnerability and resilience can be found on the VCH Initiative website: Here 

Decisions will be made by ­­­­mid June and working paper drafts will be due September 4th so they can be distributed prior to the Workshop.

Workshop Details:

The Workshop begins Friday at 4PM in room 575 of Emory Law School (1301 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA), followed by dinner in the Hunter Atrium. Panels continue on Saturday from 9:30 AM to 5PM. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. 
Guiding Questions:

  • What are the relationships between vulnerability and identity/universality and particularity?
  • In what ways do both vulnerability and identity approaches inform or undermine each other?
  • Do more universal approaches to critical theory simply replicate existing identity paradigms in different forms?
  • Does identity enable us to think more complexly about the limits of universality? Is the reverse also true?
  • What is lost or gained by a “post-identity” approach to social justice issues? By an identity-focused approach? Can they be combined?
  • How do increasingly hostile majority reactions to identity-informed law and policy, like affirmative action, undermine the effectiveness of identity politics and identity-based critical theory?
  • How does competitiveness over scarce resources influence the shaping of identity politics and/or appeals to universality?
  • How are identity-based approaches to critical legal theory outside the US context different than within?
  • Where and to what extent do identity categories magnify balkanization, thus undermining coalitions?
  • How can identity categories advance social and legal organizing?
  • How does the state manufacture and maintain the salience of both identity-based and universality-based critical theory?
  • What does it mean to label something “post-identity”?
  • Are more universal frameworks necessarily post-identity?
  • When are some modes of subordination and marginalization more situational and specific and how are these related to identity? To vulnerability?

 

This email was sent to emily.hlavaty@emory.edu by emily.hlavaty@emory.edu |

 

Emory University School of Law | 1301 Clifton Road | Atlanta | GA | 30322

Stu Marvel (Osgoode PhD Candidate) gets postdoc with the Vulnerability and Human Condition Initiative

Osgoode expat Stu Marvel, now resident in the city she calls “Hotlanta,” has accepted a 2 year post-doc through Emory Law’s Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative.

As a grad student, Stu taught here as an adjunct.  Here is her page on Academia.edu (are people using this service?).  She’s going to be working on

queer fertility law and the biokinships of assisted reproduction

I think that is admirably succinct.   I offered her 140 characters, that leaves 76 more!  Here’s more about Stu’s doctoral work, from her academia.edu page:

Stu’s doctoral research relies upon an empirical study of LGBTQ families across Ontario and their use of assisted reproductive technologies, and seeks to develop new legal frameworks for queer kinship and fertility law.

Asked for a book, movie or music recommendation, Stu said that we should all see Pina (pref in 3d).  I’ve put it first so you don’t miss it.

The Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative under Prof. Martha Fineman is an institutional umbrella at Emory and houses a variety of projects across the university. One of these is the Feminism and Legal Theory Project, a long-standing program founded by Prof. Fineman in the early 1980s to fulfill three main objectives:

  • To provide a means to introduce scholarship that applies feminist theory and methodology into legal debate, legislative reform movements, and the broader academic community through publication of the conference papers
  • To support and encourage feminist scholarship on gender and legal equality issues that analyze the differential impact of law on women and men, and to consider also in this regard differences that exist or arise between differently situated women
  • To provide a forum within which feminist theorists can present their work and receive feedback from other scholars who share a common theoretical perspective and methodology

 

The FLTP also hosts visitors, and generally is something you should find out about if you are interested in finding a community of Feminist Legal scholars.    The VHC is a more recent initiative that frames Prof. Fineman’s earlier work through the paradigmatic concept of “The Vulnerable Subject” (for instance The Vulnerable Subject and the Responsive State. Emory Law Journal, Vol. 60; Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 10-130):


The concept has evolved from those early articulations, and I now think it has some significant differences as an approach, particularly in that a focus on vulnerability is decidedly focused on exploring the nature of the human part, rather than the rights part, of the human rights trope. Importantly, consideration of vulnerability brings societal institutions, in addition to the state and individual, into the discussion and under scrutiny. Vulnerability is posited as the characteristic that positions us in relation to each other as human beings and also suggests a relationship of responsibility between state and individual. The nature of human vulnerability forms the basis for a claim that the state must be more responsive to that vulnerability and do better at ensuring the “All-American” promise of equality of opportunity.” (from: The Vulnerable Subject and the Responsive State)

 

Stu heartily recommends reading these pieces and joining the conversation through the VHC symposium series. I hope to have more on these options coming soon as we make use of Stu as an international bridge for feminist/gender related/queer scholars.

CFP: Privatization and Social Responsibility (Feminist Legal Theory Project: Vulnerability)

Atlanta.  In February.  Short turn around time on proposals, but there is flexibility.

This one came via Osgood Grad student and excellent much missed person Stu Marvel, now visiting at Atlanta.  The topic is an important one and ripe for cross-border conversations.  The Conference is Feb 17-18, and the due date for proposals  is December 8, with some flexibility. I’m sure there is a paper to be written here on the attempt to “gender” Ontario’s most recent Social Assistance Review (likewise I am intrigued by the statistics around the digital divide in the US and note the increasing delivery of state services through this non state medium).  Finally, it does seem that the Attawapiskat “crisis” (in quotes because of the variety of different interpretations of what the crisis actually consists of, not because I doubt one exists) and the discussion around “solutions” could be located within the scope of this call.

Enough of me.  Go and draft your ticket to the land of coca cola (among many other things):

SUBMISSIONS PROCEDURE Email a paper proposal by by Thursday, December 8th to Emily Hlavaty, FLT Program Coordinator: emily.hlavaty@emory.edu Decisions will be made prior to the holidays and working paper drafts to be duplicated and distributed prior to the Workshop will be due January 30th.

 

PRIVATIZATION AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY February 17th and 18th, 2012
Emory University School of Law, Atlanta, Georgia [PDF of the call here]

This workshop explores from a cross-cultural perspective how privatization impacts contemporary feminist and social justice approaches to public responsibility. Feminisms have long problematized divisions between the private and the political, partly in reaction to the unprecedented privatization of state responsibilities and public welfare over the past 30 years. Recent critical legal scholarship on vulnerability, state negligence, and resilience can complicate and deepen our understanding of the problems generated by privatization in the 21st century.
We invite papers that explore the effects of diverse forms of privatization from national and cross-national perspectives. Disciplinary and interdisciplinary papers exploring the effects of these privatizations on institutions, individuals, society, welfare, education, healthcare, capitalism, government, military and law are welcomed. State regulation, particularly in the form of socioeconomic welfare, is frequently criticized for policing individual choices and perpetuating social and legal forms of violence. We are particularly interested in how a feminist or progressive analysis of state institutional involvement might mitigate these negative effects and the impact of privatization.

This workshop is the most recent in a series examining the political and theoretical possibilities inherent in thinking about justice and state responsibility in terms of human “vulnerability.”  It builds upon earlier sessions expanding our understandings of vulnerability as a constant part of the human condition that is universal, even as it may be experienced in particular and uneven ways.

These discussions are grounded in the work of the Vulnerability and Human Condition Initiative, founded by Professor Martha Albertson Fineman, and aim to carve out academic space within which scholars can imagine models of state support and legal protection that focus on the commonalities of the human condition – most centrally the universal vulnerability of human beings and the imperfection of the societal institutions created to address that vulnerability.  For more information on the Vulnerability and Human Condition Initiative please visit: http://web.gs.emory.edu/vulnerability/about/index.html