Apparently I had a good reason for not going to this conference, June 5-8 in Hawai’i. Now I’m even more annoyed at myself because apparently the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law will host an event on Wed. June 6th (email Deb Parks at Manitoba, parkesd at ms.manitoba dot ca) and the Feminist Legal Theory CRN and Gender & Sexuality CRN’s are also having a dinner ($45) on June 7th (email Nancy Polikoff at law dot ucla dot edu before May 24)
What’s a CRN? It is a LSA based Collaborative Research Network:
originally developed,….to facilitate international research collaboration in selected topics for presentation at the meeting in Budapest in July 2001, …..[m]any new CRNs have since been developed and CRNs have become an significant and integral component in Annual Meetings.
Want to join a CRN? “you should identify yourself by sending an email to organizer (simply click on the organizer’s name to email these recipients simultaneously). In the email message describe your research interest and how it might fit in the subject of the CRN.”
The complete list of CRN’s is here, and you can find all the organizers and descriptions for all the groups, including Feminist Legal Theory
feminist concerns implicate a wide variety of subjects in the legal academy and in other areas of the academy, and there is a broad array of scholars interested in this topic. Although many scholars would benefit from more discussions on feminist issues, the fact that feminist theory cuts across so many fields hampers conversation: many of us, particularly those newer to the academy, do not know one another or the work that is being done on these issues in other fields. A number of us regularly attend the Law and Society Annual Meeting, but simply arrange panels within our own fields and subfields, and the discussion at these panels is more insular than it might otherwise be. Designating a CRN on feminist theory could help change this dynamic. It would allow members to organize panels across fields and encourage more cross-pollination on feminist issues than has been occurring. It would also encourage more research and mentoring relationships. Despite calls for a “break” from feminist legal theory, and cognizant of the well-deserved criticism that some feminist legal theory has essentialized the feminine and excludes many voices, feminism continues to be an energizing force for scholars within law and across other disciplines. This CRN seeks to foster a community of scholars with a shared interest in gender and equality as related to race, class, sexual orientation, disability, and much more. To build our community, the CRN will operate as a working group, with scholars presenting works-in-progress on varied topics related to feminist legal theory. We will not set themes before the meetings but instead will shape the panels around the work of the participants, facilitating an organic discussion that is not constrained by specific topic or inquiry. In addition, we hope to use an annual business meeting to strategize about other ways feminist scholars could more profitably work together, and a roundtable on works-newly-in-progress to further collaboration on existing projects.
and Gender, Sexuality and Law
The interplay between the law, gender, and sexuality is a precarious one. On one hand, the law and legal decision-making are rooted in a tradition of predictability, uniformity, and rigidity. On the other hand, gender and sexuality identities are dynamic, non-discrete, and fluid. As gender and sexuality issues are increasingly resolved in legislatures and courts, the question of how to reconcile these competing motifs themselves are worthy of Law and Society scholarship. The purpose of this CRN is, thus, two-fold: first, to critically examine the law and its relationship to gender and sexual identities — i.e., how the law constructs, constrains, and/or enables gender and sexual minorities at the municipal, state, and national level; and, second, to engage comparatively with international legal systems, both established and emergent, to shed new light on these constructs. Specifically, this network seeks to promote scholarship that looks at gender and sexual minorities as its own research question and not simply as a case study within the discipline (e.g., social movements, tax law, etc.). Using these critical and comparative lenses, not only would this collaborative space cast light on these understudied groups, but it also encourages discussions about broader Law and Society questions such the relationship between law and social change, issues of diversity and citizenship, and transnationalism.