Tag Archives: non fiction

A little roundup of reading for reading week

I’ve been neglecting the blogging, again in favour of easy but less satisfying tweets.  Here is a small round up of reading material, for reading week, which at Osgoode is… next week. 

First, this (which is from twitter, so sorry for duplication):  17 Essays by Female Writers That Everyone Should Read buff.ly/14OeowT what a treasure trove this is. Incls 1 law prof, Ruthann Robson   (a piece that is already on at least one Canadian law school syllabus that I know of).   The list is very america-centric, but it is still a list of 17 essays you might like.  And of course if you don’t, it’s the inspiration for your own list.  These aren’t particularly, or at all, law, but they are examples of well written and thoughtful non fiction – when does that ever get old?

Second,  Jotwell.  If you are looking for things to read, the Jotwell Equality section (Kim Brooks & I are nominally editors to the set of contributors) gives you one new monthly option – check out the other sections for other reads.  This month, Davina Cooper is recommending Erik Swyngedouw, Interrogating post-democratization: Reclaiming egalitarian political spaces, 30(7) Political Geography 370 (2011).  This isn’t light reading, as you can see from the quote below, but both the review and the article deserve a chance.

Swyngedouw suggests democratic political spaces are active moments in constructing new egalitarian spatialities inside and through existing geographies of the police order. These active moments go beyond demands for inclusion that work to sustain a post-political consensus; they go beyond rituals of resistance which leave the police order intact; and they go beyond acts of violence that generate and legitimate, in turn, the reciprocating violence of the state. “Proper politics,” Swyngedouw suggests, involves practices that challenge the symbolic order of the police; it involves designing space as an egalitarian and libertarian field of disagreement, opening up room for other speech acts; and it involves radically re-organizing what can be heard, seen and known. At the same time, politics may take shape as refusal: “I’d prefer not to” — a strategy Swyngedouw argues that is also an invitation to think again, and to form new egalitarian imaginaries. Fundamentally, Swyngedouw argues we need to rethink equality politically – not as a sociological concept which demands policy responses to inequality but as a presupposed condition of democracy.

Third, some books.

I still haven’t ordered Mariana Valverde’s latest (the review in the Globe wasn’t positive, but made me want to read the book): Everyday life on the street: City governance in an age of diversity (Chicago)

Gender, Religion, and Family Law: Theorizing Conflicts between Women’s Rights and Cultural Traditions Eds Lisa Fishbayn Joffe, Sylvia Neil out of the Brandeis Project on Gender Culture Religion and the Law.   Here is a link to the Table of Contents, which includes papers by two women working at Canadian law schools Ayelet Shachar and Pascale Fournier.  Lisa Fishbayn Joffe is an Osgoode Alum, too. 

Columbia U P (i’m not using links to online booksellers anymore – a bit late, but I’ll be linking to the presses instead and will encourage the effort to find these at a bricks and mortar store or library….) is republishing 1983’s Scotch Verdict: The Real-Life Story That Inspired “The Children’s Hour”  by Lillian Faderman.  Luckily for me, I drive @lawandlit to the subway and chatter at her the whole way – she was the one who let me know that the “new book” i was curious about was about thirty years old.  Ahem. Anyway, 30 years old means “new to many of us”, I shall claim.  New forward, but it’s not clear whether there’s any new material, so probably not. 

In 1810, a Scottish student named Jane Cumming accused her school mistresses, Jane Pirie and Marianne Woods, of having an affair in the presence of their students. Dame Helen Cumming Gordon, the wealthy and powerful grandmother of the accusing student, advised her friends to remove their daughters from the Drumsheugh boarding school. Within days, the institution was deserted and the two women were deprived of their livelihoods.

Award-winning author Lillian Faderman recreates the events surrounding this notorious case, which became the basis for Lillian Hellman’s famous play, The Children’s Hour. Reconstructing the libel suit filed by Pirie and Woods—which resulted in a scotch verdict, or a verdict of inconclusive/not proven—Faderman builds a compelling narrative from court transcripts, judges’ notes, witnesses’ contradictory testimony, and the prejudices of the men presiding over the case. Her fascinating portrait documents the social, economic, and sexual pressures shaping the lives of nineteenth-century women and the issues of class and gender contributing to their marginalization.

Finally, from the Thesis Whisperer  who is also/really Dr. Inger Mewburn of Australia.  She runs a really amazing site with all kinds of fabulous things for grad students, supervisors, academics…but this time it isn’t one of her great tips or tricks, but rather just a post, about academic assholes.  It serves as both self check (am i doing that?) and many other things (helpful cheat sheet for ranting, “oh, that’s what that was about” reminder after faculty talk, warning about what will happen if you don’t become the solution, fun anthropological approach to academic culture).  Worth a read.  She concludes: “I am deeply uncomfortable with the observation that being an asshole can be advantageous for your career” and asks us all to think about what we can do about it.  She’s on twitter here. If you have grad students, or are a grad student, you might want to have a look.

Here are some other little snippets from Twitter  you might have missed.

Ready to read? Other suggestions welcome.   I am off to Kent and Boalt Hall and  long plane rides = time to read.