Tag Archives: workshops

Representation on Conference Panels: gentle pressure

Let’s start a[nother] conversation about representation on conference panels

my general thought is, who are the allies to whom we might suggest a policy of light or heavier pressure on conference organizers to get women on panels before you will agree to participate?  I know two people with such policies and I’m sure there are more.  Very junior academics and lawyers probably aren’t the folks who can take up this policy – but who might? Why not ask? After my tweets at the Federation of Asian Canadian lawyers (see below), I ran into a (the?) person who had seen them, has a policy, and is raising the issue in organizations he works with.

The thing is that once you are asked to be on panels, you

a. get better at it and

b. get asked to be on more

Feet in the door matter hugely, in other words.  Other justifications can be found in the links below.  Naturally, gender is not the only issue, so there are ways that women can be active participants with their own policies too, rather than simply “locked out”.

Here is info about the Gendered Conference Campaign from Feminist Philosophers.  Here and here you can find articles about the issue in tech. Here a man describes some of the challenges of operationalizing a hard pledge.


At  FACL [Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers] w  lawschool classmates & students i have taught from 2002 to last thursday. Lots of great women here. Binders full, possibly.
This particular panel at  FACL FedAsian CdnLawyers on public service =all men. But all racialised & 3  osgoode grads incl @jagmeetNDP
Hi  FACL – @GeraldChanRSCH is fab & <3 panel on Asian Canadian Litigators but  wherearetheAsianwomen? Yr VP Rebecca Huang wld be perfect!
[a few days later]
so i know some expert  lawyers &  lawprofs who try to avoid sitting on panels w/o any  women … I bet more out there @blberger @agarwalr
Broadening the representation on all kinds of expert panels requires those who ARE invited to suggest others & insist on representation.
see similar calls in tech & academic philosophy. How much resistance will these allies face in our  academic and  professional spaces?



PS: i have no qualms about people assuming this “quota” is a reason someone is on a panel.  I have plenty of reasons for dismissing this as a concern, including:

  • if people do a good job. who cares
  • if they don’t, there are plenty of men in that category too and one goal is that women should be able to be as prominently mediocre as men in this profession
  • invitations to be on panels are not distributed evenly nor does anyone pretend they are handed out by a meritocratic system.  There are all kinds of reasons why they are handed out.  Most are no more defensible – or less defensible – than a policy which prioritizes representation.

here is a problem I think i have encountered;

getting asked to be on too many things (two birds/one stone issue?) and allowing it to take up my time and set my agenda.


Good ideas: Workshop – Making Sense of Abortion and Assisted Reproduction



This invitation only workshop strikes me as such a good idea in both form and substance.  Imagine! Thinking and talking!  Making Sense of Abortion and Assisted Reproduction Workshop at Rutgers

I look forward to seeing what comes out of this series.  Such an important conversation to have – certainly one we need to keep having in Canada.

Here’s the schedule and below from the invitation as shown on the website.

Questions we imagine tackling include:

  • Whether a right to create a pregnancy through assisted reproduction is or should be as rooted in the constitution as a right to terminate a pregnancy?
  • What common ground and common cause can be found between those who advocate on behalf of people who use ART and women who want to terminate pregnancies?
  • What are the commonalities between different ways in which women might be stigmatized for using their reproductive capacity, such as working as surrogates, versus exercising a right not to use that capacity by terminating a pregnancy?
  • Is paternalism in the use of ART different from and/or more justified than paternalism in decision making about terminating pregnancies?


Where i wish i was this weekend: At an uncomfortable conversation in Atlanta

picture of emory law school at night.It isn’t that I don’t have interesting and fun things on here in Toronto, but check out the lineup at An Uncomfortable Conversation: Vulnerabilities and Identities.

The workshop is on Friday and Saturday in Atlanta at Emory and is part of the ongoing good work of Martha Fineman’s Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative, which we’ve posted about a couple of time before (click here for older posts).  This one looks particularly top notch and exciting (osgoode’s Atlanta secret agent, Stu Marvel used the term of art “doozy”).  If you can’t imagine how a conference of legal academics could be so exciting, well…click through the image below for a bigger version, and have a look at the agenda.

The starting point to all the conversations is Fineman’s vulnerability approach, which you can read about in this open source, on SSRN, which provides a good introduction:

or you can take a shortcut by looking at this page on the Initiative’s website, Definitions.  The Initiative also maintains a publications list, here, and they have this great archive of interviews with all their visiting scholars, here. The website really is a treasure trove of stuff with lots of neat corners and great links – and it will spark ideas on how to provide a really useful web resource.    I am going to spend time in there, since I am not going to Atlanta. I know that those two things are not remotely similar but I will take what I can get. poster for the "uncomfortable conversation" listing speakers and topics. click through to the emory website.





Improvisation, Community and Social Practice (& a digression at the end on Lupe Fiasco) (& two links to music)

I just heard from former Osgoode student, now a McGill graduate student, Salman Rana.  Find out  more about Salman from this Canadian lawyer profile from 2008. Or watch this video of his ’08 track ft Kardinal Offishall,  Relate to Me.  He is at this Summer Institute 2012 | Improvisation, Community and Social Practice being held at Guelph U.

It sounds so interesting, on many levels.

Intended for students and scholars who have an interest in musical improvisation and its potential for dynamic forms of community building, the biennial Summer Institute marks the emergence of a new field of interdisciplinary work that promotes vibrant exchange and encourages new, socially responsive forms of community building across national, cultural and artistic boundaries. This year’s graduate level courses will explore the material effects that critical studies in improvisation can have on North American society, with an emphasis on the research themes: law and justice, pedagogy, and social policy.

The Summer Institute provides an unparalleled opportunity for graduate and post-graduate students from various disciplines, along with other interested participants, to come together and, over the course of two weeks, attend lectures and workshop their research interests with top scholars and artists in the field of Improvisation Studies. Each lecturer will bring different disciplinary viewpoints to the Institute, allowing for truly interdisciplinary work to take place. The Institute, being a site of innovative alliances, exposes participants to excellent training and networking opportunities.


Prof Imani Perry (JD PhD) is a scholar of law, culture and race.  She’s a  Professor at the Centre for African American Studies at Princeton.  She has an informative website (scroll down for pdf’s of her publications) here and tweets under @imaniperry.  NYU press published her More Terrible and More Beautiful: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States in 2011. I really enjoyed her suggestion of race as an architecture rather than a categorization in this 2005 article Of Desi, J. Lo and Color Matters: Law, Critical Race Theory the Architecture of Race 52 Clev. St. L. Rev. 139 (she has the full text on her website, see above).

In this article I want to posit two ways in which a critique of the black white binary leads us to understandings of race and racism that are useful for the struggles of all peoples of color. The first is, the critique should lead us to advocate for an understanding of race as an architecture rather than categorical. LatCrit scholarship has introduced questions of language, nationalism, citizenship and border-crossing as part of critical race theory. These categories bring to the fore some of the meta-narratives that are part of how race is constructed, beyond the four “racial” classifications. I use meta-narrative here to refer to those grand stories used in a culture in order to legitimize mechanisms of social control. A meta-narrative of race might not refer directly to race, but yet is still a narrative used to legitimize racist practice. The meta-narratives race found in language, geography, and color are highlighted for Latinos, who are multi-racial, multinational and largely multi-lingual, but are not exclusive to Latinos in being constitutive of racialized experience. These meta-narratives of race suggest that we should not simply understand race as a function of membership in one of the four (or five) categories, but as part of a complex structure, and that elements of that structure beyond racial classification, should become part of racial jurisprudence. This structure is what I call the architecture of

Can’t wait to hear more from Salman about the workshop. One can’t write about hip hop without writing about gender, in case you’re wondering.  Are you following the discussion of Lupe Fiasco’s latest (sorry, video starts with an ad)? For instance, here and here.  So because I am kind of a big fan  (all black everything on repeat, summer 2011, for instance) for people who doubt that music makes a special place for meaning and politics) i was very cheered to find colorlines Akiba Solomon taking a different view, here:

…I thought “Bitch Bad” was a decent, well-intentioned attempt at sorting out a complicated dynamic. I also fantasized about how much better the song would be if Fiasco had just tweaked the order of the hook to “bitch bad, lady good, woman better.”

I don’t love the track – lyrics aside, there just isn’t much to it for me – so I though i might not have to completely sort out how I feel about it.  But the debate is worth looking at.  When is it mansplaining, and when is it a real well intentioned attempt that falls slightly short. Huge difference.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/imaniperry/status/239034285745639424″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/imaniperry/status/240573704554307584″]




CFP: Emerging Scholars Workshop Series at Osgoode

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION & ABSTRACTS Emerging Scholars Workshop 2011-2012
See the full CFP (.pdf) here for guideline and details! Deadline DECEMBER 20 2011

Critical & Constructive Engagement
The aim of the workshop is to promote critical and constructive engagement with the work-inprogress of workshop participants. Rather than presenting your own material, your project is presented by a fellow researcher, offering a fresh look at your work, accompanied by comments and questions. Before the author is given a chance to ‘respond’, other workshop participants offer their feedback. Building on this engagement with each other’s scholarship, participants are furthermore encouraged to experiment and explore new opportunities of collegial collaboration, such as co-authorship, interdisciplinary work or conference organization.

Skills Development
Certain sessions of the Workshop will be dedicated to interactive professional development, where participants learn about the alchemy of preparing recruitment talks, conference presentations, grant proposals, course design, publishing and conference conceptualization.

The Critical Research Laboratory in Law & Society (CRL), together with the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies (IFLS) at Osgoode Hall Law School announces the Emerging Scholars Workshop (ESW). The ESW will add a cutting-edge level of intellectual life and discourse to
the new graduate work spaces at the Law School. Each workshop presents new scholarship by Osgoode students, faculty and visiting scholars at CRL and IFLS. The Workshop will contribute to the forming Graduate School in Law & Regulatory Governance and compliments the existing Graduate Seminar in Legal Research. The Workshop will bring together scholars with a focus on innovative and interdisciplinary research, including comparative and experiential work.
The ESW fosters a thriving collaborative community of scholars in the early stages of their career as well as established researchers and faculty. At the bi-monthly ESW, we will create a collegial and supportive research environment where we can develop skills, present work at
different stages, invite and provide constructive feedback and commentary. All interested researchers are invited to participate and to submit a proposal of their work that they would like to present at one of the forthcoming workshops.