October 23, 2016

A New Book on Borges and the Law, Edited by Jose Calvo Gonzalez

Jose Calvo Gonzalez, University of Malaga, has a new publication out:

Borges en el espejo de los juristas: Derecho y literatura borgeana (Thomson/Reuters, Aranzadi, 2016) (Duo). Here's a description (in Spanish) of the contents.

Once trabajos internacionales de 'Derecho y Literatura' dedicados a la obra de Jorge Luis Borges. Leer a Borges desde el Derecho es la deliberada proyección de un acto de rebeldía jurídica.
Su propósito de Borges en el espejo de los juristas. Derecho y Literatura borgeana ha sido inventar –es decir, construir; o sea, ingeniar– lecturas jurídicas sobre textos borgeanos transfigurando en Derecho el ámbito de legibilidad de su literatura.

This work is the first of its kind dedicated to the study of Borges and the law.

October 21, 2016

Justice Ginsburg and the Daughter of the Regiment

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has her first speaking role in opera--as the Duchess of Krakenthorp in the Washington National Opera's production of Donizetti's The Daughter of the Regiment (Nov. 12 only). It seems that she'll be putting her own stamp on the role. Some lines from her decisions have been incorporated into her part. More here from Law.com.

There's not much of an explanation of the opera available there, though (not that operas generally make much sense). Here's a synopsis from a University of Michigan press release.  This particular Donizetti work is one of my favorites, so if you don't already know it, and you get a chance to see it in person or hear a recording, I suggest that you just enjoy it without trying to make it logical. It's a lot of fun.

Law Library of Congress Video from the Depiction of Law in Film and Television Now Available

The Law Library of Congress has made video from its event The Depiction of Law in Film and Television available here.

The Law Library held the event July 20, 2016.

October 20, 2016

What Do Academics Write About When They Write About Television? Mental Floss @mental_floss Points Us Toward An Answer

Mental Floss leads us to eighteen (yes, I know, a strange number--why not twenty?) papers and dissertations n the academic literature about various aspects of 1990s television shows. There are undoubtedly more, but these are an eclectic mix, and certainly enough to get us started.  

Call For Papers: Conference on Images, Copyright, and the Public Domain in the Long Nineteenth Century, March 29-30, 2018

Via IP and IT Conferences Blog posted by Saurabh Vishnubhakat



Call for Papers: Images, Copyright, and the Public Domain in the Long Nineteenth Century

Call for Papers: Images, Copyright, and the Public Domain in the Long Nineteenth Century
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Abstracts: February 1, 2017
Notifications: June 1, 2017
Conference: March 29-30, 2018
In partnership with LARCA (Laboratoire de recherches sur les cultures anglophones), Université Paris Diderot
A combination of technological, cultural, and economic factors during the long nineteenth century made images more readily available in a wider range of media than ever before. These transformations raised new questions about the ownership and use of images.
Working in the new field of lithography, artists produced portraits, topographical landscapes, caricatures, everyday scenes, and representations of events done “on the spot,” which publishers distributed quickly and relatively cheaply. Thanks to changes in printing techniques and the commercial strategies of publishers, engraved images became more common in books, magazines, and newspapers. The development of photography led to the production and circulation of images in the form of daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, cartes-de-visite, and stereographs. The quest to reproduce photographic images in print inspired numerous photomechanical processes that raised questions about the status of the image and its creator. Meanwhile, increasingly sophisticated printed reproductions of visual works raised new questions about what constituted “authorship” under copyright law; about how to balance the interests of artists, distributors, and collectors; and about how to protect the privacy of individuals whose images were being reproduced and displayed in public. As images and the techniques used to produce them spread across national borders, the question of colonial and international copyright became increasingly important.
Current Project
This project aims to bring together scholars from a range of disciplines and fields (printing history, art history, law, literature, visual culture, book history, etc.) to explore the cultural and legal consequences of the proliferation of images in the long nineteenth century. Our geographic focus will be on Great Britain and the United States in connection with the wider world, not only their colonies and territories, but also their commercial and artistic links with other countries. Contributions that consider the transnational circulation of images, or provide a comparative perspective on copyright, are most welcome, as are case studies that reveal the local factors that shaped attitudes and practices related to the circulation of images. In referring to the “long 19th century,” we want to encourage specialists of earlier and later periods to help us elucidate the broader history of imaging and printing techniques and the legal and cultural norms that surrounded them.
Event Details
As the first stage in the project, we invite interested scholars to propose papers for a conference to be held at Winterthur Museum, Delaware, March 29-30, 2018. Following the conference, authors will be invited to revise papers for possible publication in a special issue of a journal on this topic. In the spring of 2019, a follow-up workshop for contributors will be held at Université Paris Diderot, with the goal of finalizing the joint publication and discussing further research opportunities in this field.
The following list is in no way exhaustive, but reveals some potential lines of inquiry:
  • To what extent did changes in imaging and printing techniques affect the status of images as understood by those who made them and those who viewed them?
  • What norms did artists, architects, photographers, engravers and others establish to govern the circulation and reproduction of their works?
  • How were copyright and/or patent law understood by the people who produced, distributed, and viewed images of various kinds?
  • Was there a sense of a “public domain” in the realm of visual culture, and if so how was this articulated?
  • How did attitudes toward the authorship and attribution of images evolve during this period?
  • What were the perceived boundaries between legitimate and illegitimate copying, and how did these vary across media?
  • In cases where the law was silent or ambiguous, what cultural practices and commercial strategies were developed, either to promote the ownership of images or to contest it?
Submission Instructions
  • Please send an abstract (one page) of your proposed contribution and a short CV (two pages) to imagecopy19@gmail.com by February 1, 2017.
  • We will notify accepted participants by June 1, 2017.
  • Questions may be addressed to imagecopy19@gmail.com.

A Reboot of Enemy of the State Is Headed For the Small Screen

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Jerry Bruckheimer will take charge of a reboot of Enemy of the State, the Will Smith vehicle from a couple of decades ago.

In this updated version, notes THR, the film will focus on an NSA operative, a female attorney, and an FBI agent. More here.

LSU Digital Scholarship Lab Hosts Talk and Workshop on Social Justice and Social Justice and Digital Humanities October 24 and 25

LSU’s Digital Scholarship Lab invites you to attend the upcoming digital humanities events by guest speaker Angel Nieves, who will offer a talk and a workshop about his work on race, social justice, and digital humanities.

Intersectional Cartographies: Social Justice,
Digital Humanities Practices, and 3D Visual Heritage in Soweto, Johannesburg” 

When: Monday, 10/24, 11am-12:15pm
Where: Hill Memorial Library 
Nieves’s talk will address the question: Can digital reconstructions of difficult histories be used to harness the tools of restorative social justice in a preservation-based practice that combines both tangible and intangible heritage? Technologies now at our disposal allow us to layer victim testimony in hypertexts using multiple tools for mapping, text mining, and 3D visualizations. Digital humanities may also help analyze documentation so as to reconstruct and recover an alternative historical narrative in the face of conventional wisdom or officializing histories. The layering of the many narratives also helps lay bare the messiness of archive making, the methodologies of digital ethnography, and, the endangered nature of those archives across South Africa – in particular, those related to the Soweto Uprisings of June 1976.   

 Digital Pedagogy Workshop 

“Race, Social Justice, and DH: Applied Theories and Methods” 

When: Tuesday, 10/25, 10am-12pm
Where: Middleton Library, Room 295 (Dean’s Conference Room) 
Nieves’s workshop will show how – through an interdisciplinary, intersectional, and CRT (Critical Race Theory) framework – both race and social justice can be central to digital humanities teaching, pedagogy, and practice. The workshop will pay special attention to queer theory, critical ethnic studies, postcolonial theory, WOC/Black feminism, Indigenous studies, and disability studies as they currently help to reshape digital humanities teaching and methods across our university/college classrooms. 
Angel David Nieves is an Associate Professor at Hamilton College, Clinton, N.Y. and is Director of the American Studies and Cinema & Media Studies Programs there. He is also Co-Director of Hamilton’s Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi) which is recognized as a DH leader among small-liberal arts colleges in the Northeast. He is also a Research Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.  

Holler on the Marquis de Condorcet and the Two-Dimensional Jury Model

Manfred J. Holler, University of Hamburg, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, is publishing Marquis De Condorcet and the Two-Dimensional Jury Model in Law and Economics in Europe and the U.S.: The Legacy of Juergen Backhaus (Alain Marciano and Giovanni Ramello eds., Springer). Here is the abstract.
The two-dimensional jury model, which is the core of this paper, demonstrates the two, partly conflicting, dimensions in Condorcet’s work and life. There is the dimension of enlightenment, reflected in Condorcet’s jury theorem, i.e., the belief that there is some truth can be approximated in collective decision making. On the other hand, there is creed that individual preferences are the building block of the society with the consequence of inevitable conflicts in aggregating them. This paper combines the idea of winning a maximum of votes in a voting game with utility maximization that derives from the winning proposition. The model assumes a first mover, the plaintiff, and a second-mover, the counsel of the defendant. Typically, these agents represent parties that have conflicting interests. Here they face an arbitration court in the form of jury that consists of three voters such that no single voter has a majority of votes. The agents are interested in both gaining the support of a majority of jury members and seeing their preferred alternative selected as outcome. It will be demonstrated that equilibrium decision making can be derived for this model.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

October 19, 2016

Jessica Lake's New Book on the Beginnings of the Common Law Right to Privacy

Jessica Lake is publishing The Face That Launched a Thousand Lawsuits: The American Women Who Forged a Right to Privacy (Yale University Press, 2016). Here is a description of the contents from the publisher's website.
Drawing on a wealth of original research, Jessica Lake documents how the advent of photography and cinema drove women—whose images were being taken and circulated without their consent—to court. There they championed the creation of new laws and laid the groundwork for America’s commitment to privacy. Vivid and engagingly written, this powerful work will draw scholars and students from a range of fields, including law, women’s history, the history of photography, and cinema and media studies.

Wendie Ellen Schneider on Veracity in the Victorian Courtroom

ICYMI: Wendie Ellen Schneider has published Engines of Truth: Producing Veracity in the Victorian Courtroom (Yale University Press, 2016). Here is a description of the contents from the publisher's website.
During the Victorian era, new laws allowed more witnesses to testify in court cases. At the same time, an emerging cultural emphasis on truth-telling drove the development of new ways of inhibiting perjury. Strikingly original and drawing on a broad array of archival research, Wendie Schneider’s examination of the Victorian courtroom charts this period of experimentation and how its innovations shaped contemporary trial procedure. Blending legal, social, and colonial history, she shines new light on cross-examination, the most enduring product of this time and the “greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth.”

William Baude @WilliamBaude), The First Day of Law School, and the Musical "Hamilton"

Via our friend Lyonette Louis-Jacques @LyoLouisJacques:

Professor William Baude invokes the musical Hamilton in his remarks to the University of Chicago Law School's class of 2019. 

Another Legal Drama In the Works From Shondaland and Writer Paul William Davies @harrierhound

Paul William Davies is working with Shondaland and ABC on a pilot for a legal drama. The show, which doesn't yet have a name, would follow the personal and professional lives of budding legal eagles on both sides of "high profile" cases filed in the Second Circuit. More here from the Hollywood Reporter.

Well, no question--the Second Circuit does have a lively docket, and some fascinating personalities. It will be interesting to follow this development.

"And When You Get the Choice To Sit It Out Or Dance/I Hope You Dance"

Dancing law enforcement officers always get my attention, maybe because I love to dance, and maybe because they seem unique. But as these videos show, dancing LEOS aren't that unusual, and why should they be? Police officers are human, they aren't really "flatfoots" (feet?) and they know how to have a good time. So let's encourage our cops to dance, and let's dance with them. Everybody dance!

This Greater Manchester Police Inspector dances at a Pride Parade in 2015.

This District of Columbia police officer de-escalated a tense situation by engaging in a dance-off (2015).

 A Kansas officer dances at a Black Lives Matter barbeque (2016). 

Some Denver cops dance here. 

Swedish officers dance at a Pride Parade here.

This Ottawa police officer dances on Canada Day here.

The New York Times investigates the "dancing cops" matter more fully here.

Galston on the Puzzle of Alfarabi's Parallel Works

Miriam Galston, George Washington University Law School, has published The Puzzle of Alfarabi's Parallel Works at 77 Review of Politics 519 (2015). Here is the abstract.
Scholars disagree about the correct interpretation of Alfarabi’s Political Regime and Virtuous City, treatises that have striking similarities, yet notable differences. For some, the treatises encapsulate Alfarabi’s philosophy; for others, they express only politically salutary opinions. Both interpretations fail to explain why he wrote parallel works. If both reflect Alfarabi’s genuine philosophic doctrines, why did he compose separate but parallel treatises, both written when his philosophy was mature? Alternatively, if the treatises are political or rhetorical, why did Alfarabi compose two versions, and why did he choose these two accounts rather than others? To answer these questions, I discuss several overarching differences between the treatises, concluding that each work has an inner coherence and develops a distinctive narrative. I offer suggestions to account for the works’ distinctive orientations, both to persuade doubtful readers of their philosophic significance and to suggest to both groups of scholars reasons for their systematic differences.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Venzke @IngoVenzke on Sources and Interpretation Theories: The International Lawmaking Process

Ingo Venzke, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Center for International Law, is publishing Sources and Interpretation Theories: The International Lawmaking Process in Oxford Handbook on the Sources of International Law (Samantha Besson and Jean d'Aspremont eds, Oxford University Press, 2017). Here is the abstract.
It is generally recognized that interpretations do not take meanings from norms but give meanings to them. In this way, the practice of interpretation contributes to the process of international lawmaking. The chapter takes this understanding as its starting point and then asks, first: How should interpreters justify their choice to give one meaning rather than another to a norm, be it in a specific case or more generally? Second, it turns from the rule of interpretation to the reality of the interpretative practice and asks: What do interpreters do when they interpret? The Chapter highlights how these two questions are linked. Understandings of what interpreters should do impact the possibilities of what they practically can do. At the same time, beliefs on how interpreters should go about their business are shaped by the power dynamics biases that characterize the practice of interpretation. A conception of interpretation as a practice of arguing about the meaning of norms invites further questions about the balance of reason, rhetoric and violence in that practice.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

October 18, 2016

Yes--Based On a True Story

From Benjamin Welton: a list of ten novels based on real-life crimes. The titles range from the well-known (Crime and Punishment) to the more obscure (The High Window--that would be a work by Raymond Chandler).

Kate Sutherland, @LawandLit, Law Professor/Poet, Publishes Book of Poetry: How To Draw a Rhinoceros

Kate Sutherland, Professor of Law, Osgoode Hall, has published her first book of poetry, How To Draw a Rhinoceros (Book Thug, 2016). Here is a description of the book's contents from the publisher's website.
Poetry. Environmental Studies. HOW TO DRAW A RHINOCEROS, the first book of poems by Canadian writer, scholar, and lawyer Kate Sutherland, mines centuries of rhinoceros representations in art and literature to document the history of European and North American encounters with the animal—from the elephant- rhinoceros battles staged by monarchs in the Middle Ages; the rhinomania that took hold in France and later in Italy in response to the European travels of Clara the 'Dutch' Rhinoceros in the mid-1700s; the menageries and circuses of the Victorian era; the exploits of celebrated twentieth-century hunters like Teddy Roosevelt and Ernest Hemingway; and the trade in rhinoceros horn artefacts that thrives online today. Along the way, it explores themes of colonialism, animal welfare, and conservation. Sutherland was inspired on this poetic path by Clara, an eighteenth-century rhinoceros she first encountered in porcelain form in an exhibit of ceramic animals at Toronto's Gardiner Museum. This chance experience set her off on a grand quest to learn all she could of Clara's story, and resulted in a collection that combines Robert Kroetschian documentary poetics with the meticulous research and environmental passion of Elizabeth Kolbert, to successfully examine the centuries- long path of the rhinoceros that's brought it to the brink of global extinction. Readers of contemporary poetry, as well as those audiences interested in natural history, animal welfare, and conservation, and people who have followed Sutherland's scholarly and literary careers (and their intersections in her most recent academic work that focuses on law and poetry), will relish the rich detail and odd tales of historical rhinoceroses and the people who have kept, shown, and traded in them, as depicted using a range of poetic techniques that only a critical eye like Sutherland's could deliver.
Law Times noted the book's release.

The book is a CBC Books Fall 2016 Preview selection and a Quill and Quire Fall 2016 Preview Selection.

A "Top Ten List" of Fictional Lawyers From @OllyJarviso

Olly Jarvis offers a list of his ten favorite fictional lawyers here. Do any on the list surprise you? I have to say that the choice of Edward G. Robinson's Victor Scott (Illegal) and Matthew Shardlake (C.D. Ransom's character from a sequence of popular novels) were choices I didn't expect.

Mr. Jarvis is the author of  two legal thrillers, Cut-Throat Defense (2016) and Death By Dangerous (2015). He practices criminal law in Manchester, England.

October 17, 2016

Call For Papers: Law and Literature Conference, Masaryk University, May 31-June 2, 2017

From the mailbox:

Call for papers

Law and literature conference 2017

Masaryk University (Brno, Czech Republic)
31 May – 2 june 2017

 The Law and Literature movement is still quite new in the Central Europe but its importance is growing lately. A unique legal and cultural experience of this area can provide a new inspiration to the Law and Literature discussions so the ambition of the conference is to provide a new platform to explore current possibilities and spaces of the Law and Literature field. It is thus our intention to bring new stimuli to the traditional approach to the mainly West-oriented Law and Literature movement.

Brno is the second largest city of the Czech Republic, home country of Franz Kafka, Milan Kundera and Vaclav Havel. Czech culture is a combination of Slavic, Austro/Hungarian, German and both Christian and Jewish cultural tradition. As well as the multicultural background, also Nazism and Communism left their traces both at the legal and cultural environment. Brno itself is a centre of the Czech judiciary: the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court. Thanks to all these various influences and conditions, the Czech Republic and especially Brno is a perfect venue for the Law and Literature conference.

The conference will take place at the Faculty of Law of Masaryk University which is situated in the city centre of Brno. Keynote speech and welcome toast will be held in the Villa Tugendhat, designed by the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites. Thursday sections and dinner will take place in the Villa Stiassny, designed by architect Ernst Wiesner in 1927 and combining a progressive architectural design and civic tradition.

Streams are as follows:

        Metamodernism and the Transformation of Narrative (New Trends and Possibilities in Law and Literature) - co-convened by Daniela Carpi (English Literature, University of Verona, Italy) and Jeanne Gaakeer (Legal Theory, Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam, Netherlands) (Further details.)

        Muss es Sein? Kundera and Law - convened by Rafał Mańko (University of Amsterdam) (Further details.)

        Fictional-world Jurisprudence – convened by Terezie Smejkalová (Masaryk University, Brno) (Further details.)

        General Stream – co-convened by Martin Škop and Markéta Štěpáníková (Masaryk University, Brno)

 Important dates                                     

Abstract submission deadline:                                 31 October 2016

Notice on acceptance deadline:                                30 November 2016

Draft submission deadline:                                       30 April 2017

Conference date:                                                          31 May – 2 June 2017

 Draft formal requirements

Range:                                                                             min. 2.000 words

Submission:                                                                   on-line at Easychair. 

Conference proceedings

Best papers will be eventually included in the printed book in English.

There will be also an opportunity to publish your conference papers in a special issue of “Časopis pro právní vědu a praxi”, a legal journal of the Law faculty, Masaryk University. 

Conference fees

Early bird registration / students + guests                           200 EUR / 100 EUR

Regular registration / students                                250 EUR / 150 EUR

Conference dinner in Villa Stiassny                                       35 EUR (In order to register you have to create an account at the Faculty of Law Conference System.) Further information is to be found at https://lawandliterature2017.wordpress.com/ and prezi.

Working language of the conference is English.

The titles and the abstracts (200-300 words) of the presentations should be submitted by mail to lawandliterature@law.muni.cz or directly to the stream convenors.

Please indicate your full name, affiliation and e-mail address for contact. We are looking forward to your applications. Kind regards, The Organizing Commitee of the Conference

Pye on African-American Lawyers and the Civil Rights Movement Before Brown v. Board of Education

David Kenneth Pye has published Before Civil Rights Was in Vogue: The Black Lawyer Before Brown. Here is the abstract.
Scholars cannot become too infatuated with Equal Protection arguments. Doing so blinds them to the various tactics employed by the pre-Civil Rights Movement African American bar to combat racial segregation and discrimination. Ignoring the actual arguments of historical actors is a form of teleology, in which we allow our knowledge of the present to direct how we interpret the past. History becomes less objective when done in this manner. Moreover, lawyers of today, when presented with teleological scholarship, can remain blind to possibilities open to them to defend clients in the embattled black community and beyond.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

October 16, 2016

Upcoming: A Lecture on "Comics and Human Rights: at the Radcliffe Humanities Building, Oxford, March 2, 2017 @TORCHOxford

The TORCH Fiction and Human Rights and Comics and Graphic Novels: The Politics of Form networks are co-hosting a lecture on 'Comics and Human Rights'. Speakers include Benjamin Dix; Ruth Kelly (ActionAid); Dominic Davies (University of Oxford). Chaired by Tessa Roynon. The Lecture will take place March 2, 2017.

More here from TORCH: The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities.