Tag Archives: technology

Wed 25 Sept The Mirage of Merit: Reconstituting the 'Ideal Academic' with Professors Margaret Thornton & Lorraine Code

IFLSEvent Poster - information is available in text of post. and CFR (Centre for Feminist Research at York) are pleased to co sponsor this talk & commentary.  Professor Margaret Thornton of ANU will present her work, The Mirage of Merit followed by comments from Professor Lorraine Code.

Light refreshments will be available.

Room 2003 IKB (Osgoode Hall Law School) 1230 – 2PM September 25, 2013

Please RSVP to lgonsalves@osgoode.yorku.ca by clicking here.

Professor Thornton is stopping at Osgoode en route to U of Alberta Law School’s conference “The Future of Law School” where she her contribution will be titled: The Challenge for Law Schools of Sustaining a Liberal Education in a Marketised Climate.  Her remarks at York/Osgoode will consider the concepts of merit and the “ideal academic”, arguing that as higher education is transformed by the new “knowledge economy”, the characteristics of the ideal academic have shifted to favour the masculinised figure of the “technopreneur”.  Her biography is below:

MARGARET THORNTON is Professor of Law at the Australian National University. She has degrees from Sydney, UNSW and Yale, and is a Barrister of the Supreme Court of NSW and the High Court of Australia. She formerly occupied the Richard McGarvie Chair of Socio-Legal Studies at La Trobe University and has held visiting fellowships at Oxford, London, Columbia, Sydney and York, Canada. She has published extensively on issues relating to women and the law, including the only book-length study of women and the legal profession in Australia: Dissonance and Distrust: Women and the Legal Profession, Oxford University Press, 1996 (also published in Chinese by the Law Press, Beijing, 2001). Her most recent book is Privatising the Public University: The Case of Law, Routledge, London, 2012 Her current research project, ‘Balancing Law and Life’ entails a study of gender and corporate law firms and is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, 2012-14. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. (via https://researchers.anu.edu.au/researchers/thornton-mr , where you will find links to Professor Thornton’s other work)

Commentary will be provided by prominent feminist philosopher and York Professor Emerita Lorraine Code.  Professor Code’s specialities are epistemology, feminist epistemology and the politics of knowledge, epistemic responsibility, 20th-century French philosophy, ecological theory and post-colonial theory.

Join us!



poster design by the talented Ugochi Umeugo, check out her work/find her contact info here: http://ugochiumeugo.designbinder.com/

The Transformation of Pregnancy: Murray on Sanger at Jotwell

Fascinating Jotwell review of Carol Sanger’s article “The Birth of Death”: Stillborn Birth Certificates and the Problem for Law”  by Melissa Murray in Jotwell’s brand new Family Law section (Janet Halley and Melissa Murray, eds), here.

In order to understand the nature of the loss, Sanger explains, one must understand the transformation of pregnancy and childbirth in our culture. Medical technology has “permanently altered our relationship to the fetus.” In particular, obstetric sonography “has made fetuses present” in the lives of their families “in ways that once were possible only after the baby was born.” This process, which Sanger terms “social birth,” now precedes biological birth. And it is the fact of social birth that makes stillbirth—and the standard legal response to it—so confounding to grieving parents. A fetal death certificate seems to many parents of stillborn children “an offensive and bureaucratic response to their circumstances and suffering.” It denies for many the basic fact that there was a pregnancy, labor, and the delivery of an actual baby, rather than a fetus. In short, it is a clinical response that fails to capture the complexity of the parent-child relationship in utero, and in failing to grasp the nature of this relationship, compounds the parents’ grief.


Importantly, Sanger’s critique of the promise and perils of public recognition has implications that extend beyond the narrow context of stillbirth and fetal loss.  For example, scholars of marriage and sexuality have frequently noted the degree to which legal recognition turns on exclusivity—for recognition to mean something, there must be an other that goes unrecognized.

via A Hug From the State: Recognizing Stillbirths – Jotwell: Family Law.

New(ish) When Biometrics Fail: Gender, Race, and the Technology of Identity

It’s spring, and that means I’m getting emails and other messages about “what to read this summer”.    I will be posting more than a few New In Print (published w/in last 12 months) books to the blog over the next few weeks. Got ideas? Send them to me.

Here’s the first. When Biometrics Fail: Gender, Race, and the Technology of Identity, by Asst Prof. Shoshana Amielle Magnet, Institute of Women’s Studies/Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa.

By focusing on the moments when biometrics fail, Magnet shows that the technologies work differently, and fail to function more often, on women, people of color, and people with disabilities.


  • Acknowledgments  ix
    Introduction. Imagining Biometric Security  1
    1. Biometric Failure  19
    2. I-Tech and the Beginnings of Biometrics  51
    3. Criminalizing Poverty: Adding Biometrics to Welfare  69
    4. Biometrics at the Border  91
    5. Representing Biometrics  127
    Conclusion. Biometric Failure and Beyond  149
    Appendix  159
    Notes  165
    Bibliography  171
    Index  199