Tag Archives: culture

NIP Carmela Murdocca: To Right Historical Wrongs: Race, Gender & Sentencing in Canada via UBC Press

York University Associate Professor Carmela Murdocca‘s (Sociology) book is just out from UBC Press in the Law and Society series. (Tell your librarian!)

In To Right Historical Wrongs, Carmela Murdocca brings together the paradigm of reparative justice and the study of incarceration in an examination of this disconnect between political motivations for amending historical injustices and the vastly disproportionate reality of the penal system — a troubling reality that is often ignored.

Drawing on detailed examination of legal cases, parliamentary debates, government reports, media commentary, and community sources, Murdocca presents a new perspective on discussions of culture-based sentencing in an age of both mass incarceration and historical amendment.

via Ubcpress.ca :: University of British Columbia Press.


Interested in some of Carmela Murdocca’s other work?  Some is listed in her faculty bio, of course, for instance: (2010), “There Is Something in That Water”: Race, Nationalism, and Legal Violence. Law & Social Inquiry, 35: 369–402. (not open access requires access to Wiley pubs) and  “From Incarceration to Restoration: National Responsibility, Gender and the Production of Difference,” Social and Legal Studies18, 1 (2009): 23-45. (not open access requires access to Sage Publications) and Murdocca, C., “Pursuing National Responsibility in a post-9/11 World: Seeking Asylum in Canada for Gender Persecution” Not Born A Refugee Woman: Contesting Identities, Rethinking Practices, Hajdukowski-Ahmed, Khanlou and Moussa, eds.  Berghahn Books and Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, 2008, 254-263.   Three papers are on SSRN here (open access).  Enjoy!

Jotwell: Grant reviews Fournier, McDougall & Dekker "Dishonour, Provocation and Culture: Through the Beholder’s Eye?"

Isabel Grant (UBC Law) reviews Pascale Fournier (Ottawa Civil Law Section), Pascal McDougall & Anna R. Dekker, Dishonour, Provocation and Culture: Through the Beholder’s Eye?, 16(2) Can. Crim. L. Rev. 161 (2012), here.

In their thought-provoking work Dishonour, Provocation and Culture: Through the Beholder’s Eye?, Pascale Fournier, Pascal McDougall and Anna R. Dekker use a unique blend of historical, cross-cultural and empirical analysis to reveal the connections between so-called “honour killings” and intimate femicides where the defence of provocation is invoked.  While “honour killings” typically involve “non-Western” defendants, and concerns about gender equality are more explicit, intimate femicides raise similar equality concerns which are often unrecognized and concealed.  The authors acknowledge that there are differences between our typical conception of honour killings and the spousal homicides in which provocation is raised by Western defendants.  For example, traditional honour killings invoke the idea of public honour, whereas in the provoked intimate femicides, “the locus of honour has shifted from the traditional extended family to the individual man” (178).line drawing of an eye


CFP Gendered Rites/Gendered Rights : 2013 Conference of the Project on Gender, Culture, Religion, and the Law

CFP Deadline December 31; Conference April 14-15 2013

GENDERED RITES/GENDERED RIGHTS:Sex Segregation, Religious Practice, and Public Life 2013 Conference Project on Gender, Culture, Religion, and the Law Hadassah-Brandeis Institute

This call for papers via Osgoode grad, former Iacobucci J. clerk, and Director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law, Dr. Lisa Fishbayn Joffe

GENDERED RITES/GENDERED RIGHTS:Sex Segregation, Religious Practice, and Public LifeCall for PapersThe Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Project on Gender, Culture, Religion, and the Law seeks paper proposals for an international conference entitled Gendered Rites/Gendered Rights: Sex Segregation, Religious Practice, and Public Life. The Conference will be held at Brandeis University on April 14-15, 2013. Anat Hoffman, chairperson of Women of the Wall and Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center will open the conference, delivering the 5th Annual Markowicz Memorial Lecture on Gender and Human Rights.Many religious traditions prescribe sexually differentiated roles in religious rites and in public life. Doctrines that deem women the repository of family or communal honor may be interpreted to require that women’s behavior be carefully monitored and controlled. Conceptions of women as vulnerable to temptation or as the embodiment of temptation for men may justify demands for the segregation of women during prayer and study. In both theocratic and secular states, attempts are being made to permit segregationist practices to migrate from the religious realm to the public sphere.The challenge posed by the intersection of religious traditions that mandate these forms of sex segregation with civic norms of gender equality can be seen around the world and across religious traditions. Recent developments in Israel pose a particularly challenging example as women are subjected to demands for segregation on public buses, trains, supermarkets, doctor’s waiting rooms and merely walking in the street. This conference seeks to explore the historical and theoretical underpinnings of these developments and to identify effective and appropriate responses.

Submissions dealing with these issues in a range of religious traditions and national contexts are invited. The closing date for submission of proposals is December 31, 2012. Please include an abstract of 200 words accompanied by a brief biography. The Project on Gender, Culture, Religion, and the Law has limited funds to support travel and accommodation expenses but participants will be asked to explore funding from their own faculties. Please submit proposals and queries to Lisa Fishbayn Joffe, Director of the Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and Law at fishbayn@brandeis.edu

Hadassah-BrGCRLhomeandeis Institute  |  515 South Street

Prof. Leti Volpp on cultural difference – text, video, audio

Framing Cultural Difference: Immigrant Women and Discourses of Tradition by Leti Volpp
I have been enjoying Volpp’s work for many years now.  She’s at Berkeley and you can see her faculty profile here.  You can see her below, at the 2012 Duke Women’s Studies Sixth Annual Feminist Theory Workshop on “The Indigenous as Alien”

And you can hear her talk about her work on KPFA 94.1 program “Against the Grain”, “about double standards and the perilous politics of culture,” here.

Those strange people’s culture is to blame, we’re told, when wife-battering or other interpersonal violence occurs in the households of immigrants from certain parts of the world. But does culture determine violent or misogynist behavior? And are non-Western cultures in fact regressive, as they’re so often represented to be? Leti Volpp talks about double standards and the perilous politics of culture.

An IFLS Screening Series? Kikkik E1-472

Following on my post about Rex v Singh, my colleague and Grad Program director  Ruth Buchanan alerted me to another film that would be great for the series, one that she and Rebecca Johnson (Uvic) are writing on, called Kikkik E1-472 (2002).  It’s a harrowing true story from the 1950’s, another one which involves a trial and takes up questions about the use of/place of race and culture in Canadian nation building projects.

The bones of the story are here, on wikipedia.

Kikkik was an Inuit woman who, in 1958, was charged with but acquitted of murder, child neglect and causing the death of one of her children.

Here is an article from the Nunatsiaq News which looks at the participation of Elispee Karetak, one of Kikkik’s children and a student at Akitsiraq law school, in the making of the film:

The story recounts the relocation of Inuit in the interior of the Kivalliq region, the devastating starvation that followed, the murder of Karetak’s father and her mother’s struggle to keep her starving children alive. It is the heart of Kikkik, a documentary the crew is filming in Iqaluit.

The camera is rolling and Karetak, a 45-year-old originally from Arviat, is ready to unravel the emotional tale.

“This is a story of my people, the Ihalmiut, and what happened to us after the first contact with the white people and their government,” Karetak says in Inuktitut.

The 2002 version was made by a team including Karetak, Martin Kreelak and Ole Gjersted in English and Inuktitut.  The judge who acquitted Kikkik, John Sissons, commissioned an incredible series of three sculptures to tell Kikkik’s story (for more on Sissons and those carvings, see this book).