Join the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies {& invite your friends] as three feminist legal scholars critically think through the ways in which feminists and others are rallying under the banner of #metoo


THURSDAY NOV 22 2018 1230 -2PM | ***ROOM CHANGE**** ROOM 4034 Room 1014 (Helliwell Centre – beside the JCR, Across from Alumni)

Lunch served. IMPORTANT TO RSVP (space, food)

Reading/Reference list will follow, watch this space.


Printable 11x17poster 

IFLS Speaker Series Jan 23 2019 [correction: not 25th, but 23rd]

WED JAN 23 2019

Lunch served. Please RSVP

1230 -2PM | ROOM TBA


Building Community, Accessing Justice:A conversation with the author of Scarborough

Click here for PDF poster for printing

Catherine Hernandez is the award winning author of Scarborough
(Arsenal Pulp Press). Scarborough won the 2015 Jim Wong-Chu
Award, was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award, the Evergreen
Forest of Reading Award, Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction, the Trillium Book Award; and longlisted for Canada Reads 2018. It made the “Best of 2017” list for the Globe and Mail, National Post, Quill and Quire, and CBC Books.

Privacy, Drones, Feminism

So much on all these topics lately (Sidewalk Labs Toronto, anyone?). Here’s Windsor’s Kristen Thomasen’s latest:

🍁 Thomasen, Kristen, Beyond Airspace Safety: A Feminist Perspective on Drone Privacy Regulation (April 1, 2017). Presented at We Robot 2017 (Yale Law School, New Haven CT, March 31-April 1). Publication details forthcoming.  Available at SSRN: or

 In particular, various features of the technology allow it to take advantage of the ways in which privacy protection has traditionally been - and in many cases continues to be - gendered. The paper ultimately argues that drone regulators cannot continue to treat the technology as though it is value-neutral - impacting all individuals in the same manner. Going forward, the social context in which drone technology is emerging must inform both drone-specific regulations, and how we approach privacy generally. This paper is framed as a starting point for a further discussion about how this can be done within the Canadian context and elsewhere.

New in Print: Inspirations from the past, thoughts about the future, plus cookies

Work from scholars on SSRN, in my pile of reading, two about feminist women and their work, one about future people, and bonus about cookies.

🍁Adjin-Tettey, Elizabeth and Calder, Gillian and Cochran, Patricia and Deckha, Maneesha and Kodar, Freya and Lessard, Hester and Parmar, Pooja and Plyley, Kate and Zion, Mark,  Claire L’Heureux-Dubé: A Life, Constance Backhouse (Vancouver: UBC Press for the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History 2017) — A Collective Review (October 10, 2018). Alberta Law Review, Vol. 56, No. 1, 2018. Available at SSRN:

McClain, Linda C., Formative Projects, Formative Influences: Of Martha Albertson Fineman and Feminist, Liberal, and Vulnerable Subjects (September 10, 2018). Emory Law Journal, Vol. 67, No. 1175, 2018; Boston Univ. School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 2018-20. Available at SSRN:

This essay, contributed to a symposium on the work of Professor Martha Albertson Fineman, argues that Fineman is a truly generative and transformative scholar, spurring people to think in new ways about key terms like “dependency,” “autonomy,” and “vulnerability” and about basic institutions such as the family and the state. It also recounts Fineman’s role in creating spaces for the generation of scholarship by others. The essay traces critical shifts in Fineman’s scholarly concerns, such as from a theory of dependency to vulnerability theory and from a gender lens to a skepticism about a focus on identities and discrimination. In evaluating Fineman’s call to move beyond identities and antidiscrimination law, the essay explores the rhetoric of vulnerability in the briefs in the recent Masterpiece Cakeshop litigation.

🍁 Eisen, Jessica and Mykitiuk, Roxanne and Scott, Dayna Nadine, Constituting Bodies into the Future: Toward a Relational Theory of Intergenerational Justice (2018). (2018) 51:1 UBC L Rev 1. Available at SSRN:

In this context, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development ("Standing Committee") recently recommended that the Government of Canada create "an advocate for Canada's future generations." The Standing Committee's report expressly cites growing transnational and international attention to the demands of "intergenerational equity" noting that various jurisdictions have experimented with institutional committees or advocates for future generations. The challenges to such projects are daunting. How can we know our obligations to future persons who do not yet exist, or may not even come into being?
Four biscotti with miniature figures climbing the front biscotti, as if rock climbing.
Matteo Stucchi:

Finally, this study “Availability of cookies during an academic course session affects evaluation of teaching” has been making the rounds. See here.

Results from end-of-course student evaluations of teaching (SETs) are taken seriously by faculties and form part of a decision base for the recruitment of academic staff, the distribution of funds and changes to curricula. However, there is some doubt as to whether these evaluation instruments accurately measure the quality of course content, teaching and knowledge transfer. We investigated whether the provision of chocolate cookies as a content-unrelated intervention influences SET results.

Well the point is obvious. But there are so many other things to investigate. A short list:

  • Is there any influence of cookies on LEARNING? if so is the mechanism nutritional, or more through the emotional reaction to receiving of a gift of cookies?
  • If we give students cookies IN ORDER TO obtain better evaluations, does it still work?
  • Does store bought/home baked matter? That is, is the indication of the instructors TIME rather than MONEY matter? What if the cookies don’t even come from the teacher?
  • Any influence on effects of gender of student/teacher?  Are homebaked cookies from an older man the same as homebaked cookies from a middle aged woman (asking for a friend).
  • What about fruit instead of cookies?

My ethics application is pending. no it’s not, but now i’m hungry.  If you’re interested in all kinds of questions about legal education, have a look at this post from Osgoode Grad student Sarah Nussbaum, about the legal education reading group she runs here at Oz (reading list included).  Teaching evaluations generally suck; but talking to students about teaching and learning is very interesting and worth our time.  Everything is method.


Laura Beth Nielsen at Yorku Law & Society/ Socio-Legal Studies on October 22

Laura Beth Nielsen at Yorku Law & Society/ Socio-Legal Studies on October 22

“Rights, Reinscription and Racial Inequality”  Monday, October 22nd 2:30-4:00pm S 701 Ross  All Welcome

Rights, Reinscription, and Racial Inequality

This presentation examines how law perpetuates inequalities of race, sex, disability, in different ways in different social locations.  I hope to engage you in thinking about the relationship between rights, law, hierarchy, and legal consciousness in my research which is primarily in the US context in order to introduce you to the theoretical concept I am currently developing that I am calling “Relational Rights.”  All of my research centers on one theoretical question:  Under what conditions can law be harnessed for progressive social change. Specifically, how can law be used to remedy inequalities of unearned privilege like race, sex, sexual orientation, ability, and the like? Using a variety of methods in different organizational, institutional, and legal contexts, I use legal consciousness as a theoretical and methodological framework for my questions. The talk will focus on research about street harassment, employment discrimination, and campus sexual assault.

Laura  Beth Nielsen is a Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation,  Professor of Sociology, & Director of the Center for Legal Studies  at Northwestern University.  She received a PhD in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from UC Berkeley  in 1999 and her law degree also from Berkeley in 1996. She is the author  or editor of 5 books, including  License to Harass: Law, Hierarchy, and Offensive Public Speech, published by Princeton University Press in 2004 which studies racist and sexist street speech, targets’ reactions and responses to it, and attitudes about using law to deal with such speech.  Rights on Trial: How Employment Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality (Chicago, 2017) examines  the litigation system of employment civil rights in the United States.   In addition to her scholarly publications in the UCLA Law Review, Law and Society Review, & Law and Social Inquiry, she has participated in Congressional briefings  about federal hate crime legislation and the role of speech in hate  crime. Coverage of her scholarship and her own commentary have appeared  in the New York Times, Time Magazine, the LA Times, FOX News, Morning Edition (NPR), ABC Radio, Al-Jazeera English, the  Huffington Post, USA Today, and the Nation.