January 23, 2018

International Conference on Jacques Lacan's Ecrits: Call For Papers

Via @thomgiddens:

21-22 September 2018 the Department of Psychoanalysis at Ghent University organizes an international conference on Jacques Lacan’s Écrits. 

Keynote speakers at the conference include Bruce Fink, Patricia Gherovici, Adrian Johnston, Dany Nobus, Ed Pluth, Manya Steinkoler, Paul Verhaeghe, and Eve Watson. The conference chairs are Derek Hook (Duquesne University), Calum Neill (Edinburgh Napier University), and Stijn Vanheule (Ghent University).

A call for papers and panels is open at http://lacanecritsconference.psychoanalysis.be

We invite you to write papers focusing on:
*Specific conceptual topics and texts from the Écrits
*Themes from the Écrits in relation to philosophy, history, arts, literature, gender studies, organization studies, education, psychology…

* The clinical use of ideas from the Écrits

Call For Papers For a Volume on the Female Detective In Television

From the mailbox, via @thomgiddens,


Because The Basic Human Form is Female: The female detective in Television. Edited by Anna Backman Rogers and Laura Nicholson.

For decades, the female detective has occupied space within a genre that is all-too-often reserved for the celebratory storylines of self-sacrificial men. She has served to break down sexist barriers placed before women within professional and personal frameworks, acting as an on-screen surrogate for (female) spectators, globally. The female detective has succeeded in cultivating widespread audience attention and high ratings for multiple series across the world, underlining the popularity of, and desire for, the women-led, crime TV genre. It is curious then, that critical literature exploring this central figure’s contemporary, cultural significance is scarce. Given the abundance of on-screen material that has been produced throughout years of prime-time TV and (more recently) online streaming, it seems the female detective, in all her guises, has yet to be afforded the praise and exploration she deserves.

In response to this paucity of critical text, we are assembling the foundations of a special collection on the female detective in crime TV, in the format of a book to be edited by Anna Backman Rogers and Laura Nicholson. The proposal for this research comes just as we are witnessing a cultural ‘boom’ in detective shows featuring women as driving forces, across multiple media platforms. As such, the need for critical literature that explores the feminist realisations and potential of the female detective and her contemporary cultural importance, is timely.

We are calling for papers from scholars across disciplines, in order to shed light on the legacy of the female detective and the ways in which these powerful characters continue to inspire far-reaching audiences, while responding to the socio-political backdrop of their time.

We especially encourage papers from LGBTQ+, Feminist and BME scholars. We also seek contributions from a global perspective that bring to the fore series that we may be unaware of.

We hope to approach a major university publisher with this project after final decisions made by the editors on the collection.

Please send proposals of no more than 600 words to Laura Nicholson and Anna Backman Rogers before March 5th, 2018 at the following e mail addresses.

Topics may include, but are by no means limited to:

  1. The intersectional feminism(s) of the female detective

  1. Queering the female detective

  1. Fashion and the female detective

  1. Regionally-specific depictions of the female detective

  1. Post-recessionary representations of the female detective

  1. The female detective in period TV drama

  1. The generational politics of the female detective ‘revamp’

  1. The female detective team

  1. Cross-cultural imaginings of the female detective

  1. Interpretations of the female detective across international remakes

  • Female detective articulations of contemporary cultural flashpoints

  • The portrayal of violence and the female detective.



    TV shows with leading female detectives include, but are not limited to:

  1. Get Christie Love! (1974-1975, US)

  1. Police Woman (1974-1978, US)

  1. The Gentle Touch (1980-1984, UK)

  1. Cagney & Lacey (1982-1988, US)

  1. Miss Marple (1984-1992, UK), Agatha Christie’s Marple (2004-, UK)

  1. Prime Suspect (1991-2006, UK)

  1. Engrenages/Spiral (2005-, France)

  1. Ashes to Ashes (2008-2010, UK)

  1. Vera (2011-, UK)

  1. Forbrydelsen (2007-2012, Denmark), The Killing (2011-2014, US)

  1. Bron/Broen (2011-, Sweden/Denmark), The Tunnel (2013-, UK/France)

  1. Scott and Bailey (2011-2016, UK)

  1. The Bletchley Circle (2012-2014, UK)

  1. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (2012-, Australia)

  1. The Fall (2013-2016, UK)

  1. Top of the Lake (2013-, New Zealand/Australia/UK)

  1. Happy Valley (2014-, UK)

  1. Quantico (2015-, US)

  1. Jessica Jones (2015-, US)

  1. Agent Carter (2015-, US)

  1. Deep Water (2016, Australia)

  1. Frankie Drake Mysteries (2017-, Canada/UK)

Dr Anna Backman Rogers | Founding Editor/Editor-in-Chief
MAI: Feminism & Visual Culture


Centre for Law and Culture and Roma Tre Law Announce One-Day Conference, Island and Mainland: Perspectives on Law and Humanities, February 27, 2018, St. Mary's University, Twickenham @thomgiddens

The Centre for Law and Culture is pleased to announce a one-day conference, reflecting on the nature and differential development of law and humanities, organised in conjunction with Roma Tre Law.

‘Island and Mainland: Perspectives on Law and Humanities’ will take place at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London, on 27 February 2018. Registration is free, and refreshments will be provided. Please follow the link below for more details and to register your attendance. Please share widely.

Draft programme:

0945 - 1000: Welcome and Tea/Coffee

1000 - 1200: Session 1
Emanuele Conte
Connal Parsley
Discussant: Thomas Giddens

1200 - 1230: Lunch

1230 - 1430: Session 2
Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos
Anne Wagner
Discussant: Angela Condello

1430 - 1500: Tea/Coffee

1500 - 1700: Session 3
Angela Condello
Thomas Giddens

Discussant: Luke Mason

via @thomgiddens

Law, Literature, and Humanities Association of Australia Awards 2017 Penny Pether Prize to Marco Wan For "Masculinity and the Trials of Modern Fiction" (Routledge, 2017) @routledgebooks

The Law, Literature, and Humanities Association of Australia has awarded the 2017 Penny Pether Prize to Marco Wan's Masculinity and the Trials of Modern Fiction (Routledge, 2016). Here's a description of the book's contents from the publisher's website.
How do lawyers, judges and jurors read novels? And what is at stake when literature and law confront each other in the courtroom? Nineteenth-century England and France are remembered for their active legal prosecution of literature, and this book examines the ways in which five novels were interpreted in the courtroom: Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Paul Bonnetain’s Charlot s’amuse, Henry Vizetelly’s English translation of Émile Zola’s La Terre, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness. It argues that each of these novels attracted legal censure because they presented figures of sexual dissidence – the androgyne, the onanist or masturbator, the patricide, the homosexual and the lesbian – that called into question an increasingly fragile normative, middleclass masculinity. Offering close readings of the novels themselves, and of legal material from the proceedings, such as the trial transcripts and judicial opinions, the book addresses both the doctrinal dimensions of Victorian obscenity and censorship, as well as the reading practices at work in the courtroom. It situates the cases in their historical context, and highlights how each trial constitutes a scene of reading – an encounter between literature and the law – through which different forms of masculinity were shaped, bolstered or challenged.

Each year the Association awards the prize "to the author or authors whose book, in the judgment of the Committee, made the most significant contribution to the field of law, literature and humanities in Australasia."

 Masculinity and the Trials of Modern Fiction (Hardback) book cover

Nachbar on Form and Formalism @UVALaw

Thomas Nachbar, University of Virginia School of Law, has published Form and Formalism as Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2018-01. Here is the abstract.
Formalism has become an insult. Defined by its critics as the mechanical (even disingenuous) application of rules, or unthinkingly equated with textualism or originalism, the various forms of formalism supposedly promise legal certainty. Having been found unable to provide that certainty, formalism been consigned by its critics to the role of foil for other, more promising, approaches. Yet most critics of formalism inaccurately conflate modern formalism, which emphasizes form, with the deterministic formalism of the Langdellian legal order. Far from the unrealistically deterministic, conceptualist understanding of law attacked by the Realists, modern formalism is best understood as a commitment to form in legal interpretation and legal thinking. Once we free formalism from the role it has been given by its detractors, its merits become more apparent. Formalism allows us to focus not just on legal outcomes, but on the form of the rules that generate those outcomes. Formalism is a recognition that law must appear in some form and that law is an act not only of social control but of social communication. By acknowledging the view of the law that formalism represents we can uncover previously unidentified meaning in law, lawmaking, and adjudication.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

January 22, 2018

Legal Legacy: A Blog of Events @LawLegalHistory

The blog Legal Legacy features posts on historical events and reviews of history and legal history books. Its contributors are a lawyer/MBA and a librarian/political scientist, who provide an index of posts (with "see" references--now, that's organization). The historical events featured are of both a political and social nature (the anniversary of the date George and Martha Washington married, the anniversary of the death of Rosa Parks), and the books reviewed cover the world ("The Girls of Atomic City," "Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman"). Something for everyone.

Grant and Moses on Technology and the Trajectory of Myth @lyria1 @ElgarPublishing

New from Elgar Publishing: David Grant, University of Melbourne Law School, and Lyria Bennett Moses, UNSW Sydney, have published Technology and the Trajectory of Myth (2017).
This book presents an entirely new way of understanding technology, as the successor to the dominant ideologies that have underpinned the thought and practices of the Western world. Like the preceding ideologies of Deity, State and Market, technology displays the features of a modern myth, promising to deal with our existential concerns on condition of our subjection to them. Utilising robust empirical evidence, David Grant and Lyria Bennett Moses argue that the pathway out of this mythological maze is the production of means to establish a new sense of political, corporate and personal self-responsibility.

Technology and the Trajectory of Myth  

Comparative Law and Anthropology: New From Edward Elgar Publishing @ElgarPublishing

New from Edward Elgar: Comparative Law and Anthropology (James A. R. Nafzier, ed., 2017).
The topical chapters in this cutting-edge collection at the intersection of comparative law and anthropology explore the mutually enriching insights and outlooks of the two fields. Comparative Law and Anthropology adopts a foundational approach to social and cultural issues and their resolution, rather than relying on unified paradigms of research or unified objects of study. Taken together, the contributions extend long-developing trends from legal anthropology to an anthropology of law and from externally imposed to internally generated interpretations of norms and processes of legal significance within particular cultures. The book's expansive conceptualization of comparative law encompasses not only its traditional geographical orientation, but also historical and jurisprudential dimensions. It is also noteworthy in blending the expertise of long-established, acclaimed scholars with new voices from a range of disciplines and backgrounds.

Comparative Law and Anthropology 

Patrick and Lieberman on How Disgust Becomes Law

Carlton Patrick and Debra Lieberman, both University of Miami, are publishing How Disgust Becomes Law in The Moral Psychology of Disgust (Nina Strominger and Victor Kumar, eds., Rowman and Littlefield, 2018). Here is the abstract.
This chapter provides a psychological examination of the many ways in which disgust permeates the law. Using an evolutionary lens, the chapter explores the various adaptive functions of disgust, and shows how those functions can be co-opted by psychological systems designed to generate and enforce moral norms. In doing so, the chapter also provides an explanation for why and how many of the behaviors we view as "disgusting" tend to become behaviors we label "wrong."
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

January 21, 2018

ICYMI: Being Social: Ontology, Law, Politics (From Counterpress Publishing) @2counterpress


Being Social: Ontology, Law, Politics (Daniel Matthews and Tara Mulqueen, eds., Counterpress Publishing, 2015). Here is a description of the book's contents, from the publisher's website.

Being Social brings together leading and emerging scholars on the question of sociality in poststructuralist thought. The essays collected in this volume examine a sense of the social which resists final determination and closure, embracing an anxiety and undecidability of sociality, rather than effacing it. Through issues including queer politics, migration, and Guantanamo, recent events such as the occupation of Gezi Park in Istanbul, and theoretical explorations of themes such as writing, law, and democracy, contributors assess how a reconfigured sociality affects thinking and practice in the legal and political realms. With a particular emphasis on Jean-Luc Nancy, whose work brings questions of community to the fore, these essays explore how the consistent ‘unworking’ of sociality informs the tenor and form of political debate and engagement.

January 20, 2018

Crime Songs and the Law @CriFiLover

Crime songs and the law? Yes, please. Crime Fiction Lover offers this list of top twenty songs related to crime fiction  or "about crime or the effects of crime..." and they include such classics as "Bang, Bang," "I Fought the Law," and "Folsom (not Fulsom) Prison Blues." But what? No "Jailhouse Rock"? And one commentator notes that Bob Dylan's "Hurricane" ought to be on the list.

And check out this article in The Strand on Bruce Springsteen's "crime songs." For fiction inspired by Mr. Springsteen's work, see the collection Trouble in the Heartland (Gutter Books, 2014).

Lacey on Women, Crime, and Character in Twentieth Century Law and Literature: In Search of the Modern Moll Flanders @LSEnews

Nicola Lacey, London School of Economics, Law Department, has published Women, Crime and Character in Twentieth Century Law and Literature: In Search of the Modern Moll Flanders as LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 20/2017. Here is the abstract.
The twentieth century saw decisive changes in women’s legal, social, economic and political position. But how far have these changes been reflected in women’s position as subjects of criminalisation in the courts, in legal thought or in literary fiction? This paper takes up the story of the gradual marginalisation of criminal women in both legal and literary history, asking whether a criminal heroine such as Moll Flanders (1722) is thinkable again, and what this can tell us about conceptions of women as subjects of criminal law. How far do the conceptions of, and dilemmas about, female subjectivity, agency, capacity and character which emerge successively in 20th Century literary culture reflect and illuminate the relevant patterns and debates in criminal law and philosophy?
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Miniter on Cather's My Antonia and Legal Thought in the Late Nineteenth Century @CreightonLawRev

Paulette C. Miniter has published Willa Cather's My Antonia and Legal Thought in the Late Nineteenth Century at 51 Creighton Law Review 119 (2017). Here is the abstract.
In the 1918 novel My Ántonia, Willa Cather offered an unusual portrait of the American experience. Cather’s method was to present a central female character through the eyes of a male narrator. The narrator, Jim Burden, is a Harvard-educated lawyer in New York for “one of the great Western railways.” Ántonia Shimerda is a friend from his childhood in Nebraska during the waning days of the frontier. Jim tells the story of how Ántonia, the daughter of poor Bohemian homesteaders, survives the suicide of her father and the disgrace of being an unwed mother to build a life on the land and thus bear out the “pioneer ideal.” Despite their disparate social statuses and divergent life paths, Jim sees Ántonia as the utmost symbol of “the country” and “conditions” of his youth.
Download the article at this link.

Chalmers on The Chameleon Subject: Representation, Law, and the Problem of Living Dead @MelbLawSchool

Shane Chalmers, Institute for International Law and the Humanities, Melbourne Law School, is publishing The Chameleon Subject — Representation, Law, and the Problem of Living Dead, in Law, Culture, and the Humanities. Here is the abstract.
This essay is concerned with the life of the subject that is always also an object. More specifically, it is concerned with the condition of being exposed to death by law, and how this is a condition of the living subject. The essay examines this condition through analysis of two photographs by Joseph Moise Agbodjélou and Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou. These photographs enable us to see how representation is critical to the emancipation of the subject, creating the conditions for the ‘customisation’ of existence. They also enable us to see how law, like photography, is not to be perfected by transcending its representational frameworks. The critical work is ensuring such frameworks remain media of an ‘autonomous subjectivation’. The autonomous subject here is the emancipated subject: a living dead figure whose ‘autonomy’ marks her off from the death-like petrifaction of mere representation without slipping into the conceit of a god-like subjectivity.

Download the article from SSRN at the link. 

MWA Announces Edgar Award Nominations for 2018 @EdgarAwards

And here they are, from the Mystery Writers of America, the Edgar Award nominations for this year:

Best Novel

The Dime by Kathleen Kent (Hachette Book Group - Little, Brown & Co./Mulholland Books)
Prussian Blue by Philip Kerr (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke (Hachette Book Group - Little, Brown & Co./Mulholland Books)
A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee (Pegasus Books)
The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti (Penguin Random House – The Dial Press)

Best First Novel By an American Novel

She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper (HarperCollins – Ecco)
Dark Chapter by Winnie M. Li (Polis Books)
Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love (Penguin Random House – Crown)
Tornado Weather by Deborah E. Kennedy (Macmillan – Flatiron Books)
Idaho by Emily Ruskovich (Random House)

Best Paperback Novel
In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen (Amazon Publishing – Thomas & Mercer)
Ragged Lake by Ron Corbett (ECW Press)
Black Fall by Andrew Mayne (HarperCollins Publishers – Harper Paperbacks)
The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola (Sourcebooks – Sourcebooks Landmark)
Penance by Kanae Minato (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown & Co./Mulholland Books)
The Rules of Backyard Cricket by Jock Serong (Text Publishing)

Best Fact Crime

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (Penguin Random House – Doubleday)
The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple by Jeff Guinn (Simon & Schuster)
American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse (W.W. Norton & Company – Liveright)
The Man From the Train: The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery by Bill and Rachel McCarthy James (Simon & Schuster – Scribner)
Mrs. Sherlock Holmes: The True Story of New York City's Greatest Female Detective and the 1917 Missing Girl Case that Captivated a Nation by Brad Ricca (St. Martin’s Press)

Best Critical/Biographical

From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women who Created an Icon by Mattias Bostrom (Grove/Atlantic – The Mysterious Press)
Manderley Forever: A Biography of Daphne du Maurier by Tatiana de Rosnay (St. Martin’s Press)
Murder in the Closet: Essays on Queer Clues in Crime Fiction Before Stonewall by Curtis Evans (McFarland Publishing)
Chester B. Himes: A Biography by Lawrence P. Jackson (W.W. Norton & Company)
Arthur and Sherlock: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes by Michael Sims (Bloomsbury USA)

Best Short Story

“Spring Break” – New Haven Noir by John Crowley (Akashic Books)
“Hard to Get” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Jeffery Deaver (Dell Magazines)
“Ace in the Hole” – Montana Noir by Eric Heidle (Akashic Books)
“A Moment of Clarity at the Waffle House” – Atlanta Noir by Kenji Jasper (Akashic Books)
“Chin Yong-Yun Stays at Home” – Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine by S.J. Rozan (Dell Magazines)

Best Juvenile

Audacity Jones Steals the Show by Kirby Larson (Scholastic – Scholastic Press)
Vanished! By James Ponti (Simon & Schuster – Aladdin)
The Assassin’s Curse by Kevin Sands (Simon & Schuster – Aladdin)
First Class Murder by Robin Stevens (Simon & Schuster – Simon & Schuster BFYR)
NewsPrints by Ru Xu (Scholastic – Graphix)

Best Young Author

The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group – Feiwel & Friends)
Grit by Gillian French (HarperCollins Publishers – HarperTeen)
The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak (Simon & Schuster)
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (Simon & Schuster – Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (HarperCollins Publishers – Balzer + Bray)

Best Television Episode Teleplay

“Episode 1” – The Loch, Teleplay by Stephen Brady (Acorn TV)
“Something Happened” – Law and Order: SVU, Teleplay by Michael Chernuchin (NBC Universal/Wolf Entertainment)
“Somebody to Love” – Fargo, Teleplay by Noah Hawley (FX Networks/MGM)
“Gently and the New Age” – George Gently, Teleplay by Robert Murphy (Acorn TV)
“The Blanket Mire” – Vera, Teleplay by Paul Matthew Thompson & Martha Hillier (Acorn TV)
Robert Fish Memorial Award

"The Queen of Secrets" - New Haven Noir by Lisa D. Gray (Akashic Books)

Grand Master

Jane Langton
William Link
Peter Lovesey

Raven Award

Kristopher Zgorski, BOLO Books
The Raven Bookstore, Lawrence Kansas
Ellery Queen Award

Robert Pépin

Simon and Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award

The Vineyard Victims by Ellen Crosby (Minotaur)
You’ll Never Know Dear by Hallie Ephron (HarperCollins – William Morrow)
The Widow’s House by Carol Goodman (HarperCollins – William Morrow Paperbacks)
Uncorking a Lie by Nadine Nettmann (Llewellyn Worldwide – Midnight Ink)
The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day (HarperCollins – William Morrow Paperbacks)

Photos of the covers of the nominated titles here.

January 19, 2018

The Vidocq Society, the Court of Last Resort, and Cold Cases

This 2013 article from Mental Floss focuses on the Vidocq Society, an amateur detecting club that considers "cold cases," and occasionally solves them. While the Society has no official status, its members have professional qualifications. The Vidocq Society is named for Francois-Eugene Vidocq, the world's first private detective, and model for such fictional detectives as Sherlock Holmes.

An organization like the Vidocq Society reminds me of the Court of Last Resort, set up by the last Erle Stanley Gardner, creator of Perry Mason. Gardner and some friends thought an informal "court of last resort," experts working to solve cases that seemed to be miscarriages of justice, would be a good use of their leisure time. They did manage to obtain reversals of fortune for some of those convicted and sentenced. Gardner wrote about the cases in The Court of Last Resort: The True Story of a Team of Crime Experts Who Fought To Save the Wrongfully Convicted. A new edition is available from Open Road Media (2017), in paperback and etext editions.

More here about the Court of Last Resort.

Tranter on Seeing Law: The Comic and Icon as Law @GriffLawSchool

Kieran Mark Tranter, Griffith Law School, is publishing Seeing Law: The Comic and Icon as Law in volume 33 of the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law (2017). Here is the abstract.
This special issue examines how the comic and the icon prefigure forms of legality that are different to modern law. There is a primal seeing of law unmediated by reading, writing or possibly thinking. This introduction identifies the primacy of the eye, the emergence of visual jurisprudence and the transformations of law as a paper-based material practice to a digitally enabled activity.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

January 18, 2018

ICYMI: Some Books on Film Noir To Add To Your Bookshelf


Two interesting books by Sheri Chinen Biesen on film noir:

Blackout: World War II and the Origins of Film Noir (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005).

Music in the Shadows: Noir Musical Films (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014).

More here from Noirbooks.

In addition, check out

John Grant, A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir: The Essential Reference Guide (Limelight Press, 2013).

Foster Hirsch, The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir, 2d ed. (Da Capo Press, 2008).

Alain Silver et al., The Film Noir Encyclopedia (Overlook Press, 2010).

Narrative and Metaphor in the Law: Forthcoming From Cambridge University Press @CambridgeUP @ArsScripta

Forthcoming from Cambridge University Press: Narrative and Metaphor in the Law (Michael Hanne and Robert Weisberg, eds., 2018). Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's contents.
It has long been recognized that court trials, both criminal and civil, in the common law system, operate around pairs of competing narratives told by opposing advocates. In recent years, however, it has increasingly been argued that narrative flows in many directions and through every form of legal theory and practice. Interest in the part played by metaphor in the law, including metaphors for the law, and for many standard concepts in legal practice, has also been strong, though research under the metaphor banner has been much more fragmentary. In this book, for the first time, a distinguished group of legal scholars, collaborating with specialists from cognitive theory, journalism, rhetoric, social psychology, criminology, and legal activism, explore how narrative and metaphor are both vital to the legal process. Together, they examine topics including concepts of law, legal persuasion, human rights law, gender in the law, innovations in legal thinking, legal activism, creative work around the law, and public debate around crime and punishment. Takes the form of nine conversations between pairs of eminent scholars in different disciplines Opens up discussion for the first time of the joint roles of narrative and metaphor in the law Topics include legal persuasion, gender in the law, judicial opinions and public debate around crime and punishment
Contents include:

Introduction Michael Hanne and Robert Weisberg

1. Narrative, metaphor and concepts of justice and legal systems Greta Olson and Lawrence Rosen

2. Narrative and metaphor in legal persuasion Michael R. Smith and Raymond W. Gibbs

3. Narrative and metaphor in judicial opinions Simon Stern and Peter Brooks

4. Narrative, metaphor and gender in the law Linda L. Berger and Kathryn M. Stanchi

5. Narrative, metaphor and innovations in legal thinking Roberto H. Potter

6. Narrative and metaphor in public debate around crime and punishment Dahlia Lithwick and L. David Ritchie

7. Narrative and metaphor in human rights law Katherine Young and Bernadette Meyler

8. Narrative and metaphor in creative work around the law Lawrence Joseph and Meredith Wallis

9. Narrative and metaphor in legal activism Mari Matsuda.

Psychology and Pop Culture

Lawyers aren't the only professionals who can find fault with the way popular culture portrays them or issues and ideas drawn from their work, as we know. Still, we watch TV and film, and enjoy novels.

From Mental Floss, a short discussion of dissociative identity disorder (DID), how pop culture portrays it, and how it does so incorrectly.

More about pop culture and psychology (drawn from The X-Files) here, from Lawrence Rubin, for Psychology Today.

Peter Romans discusses psychological issues depicted in the show M.A.S.H. here.

Melanie Tannenbaum surveys a number of issues depicted in various shows here, for the blog PsySociety.

January 17, 2018

CFP: Representations of Law, Justice, and the Subject in "Engrenages" @Engrenages

From the mailbox:


Editor-in-chief: Anne WAGNER
Université Lille – Nord de France
Centre de Recherche Droits et Perspectives du Droit, équipe René Demogue

Special issue:
Representations of Law, Justice and the Subject in Engrenages
This is a call for papers for a forthcoming special issue of the International Journal of the Semiotics of Law/Revue international de Sémiotique juridique, the leading international journal on legal semiotics.
The special issue will be devoted to exploring legal themes, representations, and images in the French television series Engrenages (known to English-speaking audiences as ‘Spiral’).
We therefore invite proposals for papers exploring themes from all six series of Engrenages including (but not necessarily limited to):
 Portrayal of the relationships between branches of the justice system in Engrenages and/or how these are symbolized by relationships between the characters;
 Portrayals of norm-transgression (which might include crime, corruption, and/or non-legal transgressionse.g. of roles, or norms of expected behaviour);
 Portrayals of violence;
 Imagery/discourses of the human body (living and/or dead);
 Interpretations of gender and/or sexuality;
 Representations of ethnicity, race, and/or migrants;
 Representations of sex work/sex workers.

Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be emailed to the guest editors, Dr Mary Neal (mary.neal@strath.ac.uk), Professor Peter Robson (peter.robson@strath.ac.uk), and Dr Sylvie Da Lomba (Sylvie.da-lomba@strath.ac.uk) by 28 February 2018. Decisions will be made by 15 April 2018, with submission of full papers due by 30 January 2019 and publication of the special issue anticipated in 2019/20.

ISA RCSL PODGÒRECKI PRIZE 2018: Call for Nominations

From the mailbox:

CALL FOR NOMINATIONSISA RCSL PODGÒRECKI PRIZE 2018 FOR YOUNG SCHOLAR’S PUBLICATION The Podgòrecki Prize The ISA Research Committee on the Sociology of Law established the Podgòrecki Prize in 2004, to honour the memory of Adam Podgòrecki, the founding father of RCSL and a leading figure within the inter­national sociological community. The Prize Committee awards the prize annually for outstanding achievements in socio-legal research, in alternate years for either distinguished and out­standing lifetime achievements, or outstanding scholarship of a socio-legal researcher at an earlier stage of his or her career.  The prize for emerging socio-legal scholars will be a commemorative certificate and a money prize, to honour and encourage colleagues that have yet to leave a mark on the international level of production of socio-legal research but who have published one or more significant works within no later than 10 years of his or her doctorate. Publications can be in any language. For works in languages other than those familiar to the Prize Committee, the nominations should give some indication of the value of the work and provide selected translations. To consider works in less well-known languages, the Prize Committee can co-opt and consult other members of the research committee. General information about the prize and the Podgò­recki Prize rules can be found at:
http://rcsl.iscte.pt/rcsl_apodgpr.htm Call for 2018 nominationsIn 2018, the Prize will be awarded for an outstanding published study by an emerging socio-legal scholar. Previous winners of this prize have been Leonidas Cheliotis (2016), Iker Barbero (2014), Fatima Kastner and Stefan Larsson (2012), Flora di Donato (2010), Liora Israël (2008) and Kiyoshi Hasegawa (2006). The Study may be in the form of a book, an article or a series of articles. Nominations of emerging socio-legal scholars are invited for the 2018 Podgòrecki Prize. Candidates are eligible if they have published one or more significant works within 10 years of their doc­torate. Nominations require support from at least two members of the RCSL. Publications can be in any language. For works in languages other than those known by the prize committee, the nominations should ideally provide selected translations. It is desirable, but not essential, that nominees are members of RCSL. Nominations must include:the candidate’s CVa short statement from each nominator on the value of the candidate’s workcopies of relevant publications The members of the 2018 Podgòrecki Prize Com­mittee are Professor Hakan Hyden (Chair, Sweden), Professor Stefan Machura (U.K.) and Professor Susan Sterett (U.S.A.).

Nominations should be sent to the Chair of the committee, Hakan Hyden (hakan.hyden@soclaw.lu.se) to be received by 1 May 2018. The prize will be awarded at the ISA World Congress in Lisbon 10-13 September, 2018. 

ICYMI: The Art of Law: Three Centuries of Justice Depicted (Lannoo Publishers, 2016) @Lannoo

ICYMI: Vanessa Paumen, Tine van Poucke, Stefan Huygebaert, and Georges Martyn have published The Art of Law: Three Centuries of Justice Depicted (Lammoo Publishers, 2016).  Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's contents (English).
'Law is an art, and the title The Art of Law reflects this concept: law reflected in art and law as an art.' Till-Holger Borchert, Director of Musea Brugge &; Renaat Landuyt, Mayor of the City of Bruges During the late-medieval period, law courts frequently commissioned paintings to grace their Aldermen chambers. Among the favourite themes were the so-called exempla iustitiae, examples of 'good' and 'bad' justice, derived from Biblical, historical and legendary tales. It was not until the Renaissance that the well-known image of Lady Justice took shape, recognised by her scales, sword and blindfold. In this book, depictions of the Last Judgement and other justice scenes, as well as allegories and visualisations of (sometimes gruesome) torture and execution practices are placed within an art-historical and legal-historical context. The authors' approaches to the highly popular theme of law and justice will appeal to both experts and novices with the subjects. For the exhibition, more than 120 works from Belgian and international collections, including private collections, are brought together, with masterpieces from Bruges forming the core of the exhibition.

Here is a link to a description of the book (original Dutch).

January 16, 2018

"Black Lightning," a New Superhero Show, Debuts on the CW @blacklightning @TheCW

Jason Johnson reviews the new superhero show, Black Lightning, for The Root. As he points out, it's not the first black superhero show to make it to the small screen, but he thinks it's the best by far.

More about Black Lightning: Variety's review here, THR's review here, Matt Webb Mitovich's  review for TVLine here.

The show premieres January 16 at 9 p.m., 8 Central time, on the CW. It stars Cress Williams (Hart of Dixie) as Jefferson Pierce, the hero of the title, Christine Adams as his ex-wife Lynn, James Remar as Pierce's sidekick Peter Gambi, Damon Gupton as Inspector Henderson, and Marvin "Krondon" Jones, III, as Tobias Whale, Black Lightning's nemesis.

Fitzpatrick and Varghese on Scalia in the Casebooks @VanderbiltU

Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Vanderbilt Law School, and Paulson Varghese, Vanderbilt Law School (Students), are publishing Scalia in the Casebooks in volume 84 of the University of Chicago law Review. Here is the abstract.
In the time since Justice Antonin Scalia’s untimely death, much has been written about what his influence has been and what his influence will be. In this Essay, we try to quantify Scalia’s influence in law school constitutional-law curricula by studying how often his ideas are explored in constitutional-law casebooks. In particular, relative to other justices, we look at how often Scalia’s opinions (for the Court, or his separate opinions) are excerpted in the principal cases and how often he is referred to by name in the notes preceding and following the principal cases. We find that Scalia is at or near the top of most of the metrics we explore here, but he does not tower over the competition. Indeed, the data reveal that perhaps the most important factor driving inclusion in our casebooks is seniority: chief justices and justices who led their ideological wings of the Court have a great deal of power to assign themselves opinions that are likely to end up in our casebooks. We find that the most notable exception in the data is not Scalia, but Justice Samuel Alito: he is included in our casebooks to an especially surprising extent given that, until this year, he has always been the most junior member of his wing of the Court.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Bhargavi on Manjula Padmanabhan's "Lights Out" @magnolialotus

Vasishta Bhargavi, RGM College of Engineering & Technology, has published The Marxist Analysis of Manjula Padmanabhan's 'Lights Out'. Here is the abstract.
The societal rules have been largely shaped by the male-dominated legislators and forces where there is a limited right to exist for a woman. The woman though married or unmarried or a prostitute the way the society looks at her is not changing though we are globalized. Indian women, in some ways, have also made some strides. Millions of women have joined the workforce. Leaders like the Prathibha Singh Patel, Sushma Swaraj, Anandiben are role models who show that women can rise to great heights. But one of the greatest tragedies in our country is that women are on their own when it comes to their safety. According to many studies, it’s understood that most of the rape cases of rape are never reported because of the stigma surrounding gang rape. Considering this wide scenario, this article touches on Indian women’s vulnerability with a Marxist approach. I have applied the Marxist approach to analyse literary text, Lights Out by Manjula Padmanabhan in Indian English Theatre. In her work, the author proposes the urgent need to address women’s subordinated position as they are subjected to different forms of discrimination. In this article, I have focused on difference issues such as gender discrimination, injustice, and fear of the law, police and judicial apathy. I conclude by suggesting recommendations for the improvement of women’s situation in India..
The full text is not available for download from SSRN.

January 15, 2018

Call For Applications: Erasmus School of Law Post-Doc Research Position

Erasmus School of Law (ESL) is appointing a post-doc researcher (1 year, renewable) in interdisciplinary studies of the rule of law and human rights to work within the research project Integrating Normative and Functional Approaches to the Rule of Law and Human Rights (INFAR). The post-doc researcher is expected to work closely with colleagues of the ESL and the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam.

The particular research project of the post-doc researcher should focus on a contextual (socio-legal or historical) analysis of a particular problem with a transnational or international dimension, in which legal values and policy objectives are in tension. The proposed research should either contribute to understanding law and policy dimensions of the rule of law, or of human rights.

In addition, the post-doc researcher is expected to assist with a range of key organizational tasks associated with the second phase of INFAR (2018-2020), including the organization of conferences and other meetings, the preparing of funding proposals and project reporting.

This is the link:

Schultz and Ost on Shakespearean Legal Thought in International Dispute Settlement @IHEID

Thomas Schultz, King's College London, School of Law, and Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, and François Ost, Saint-Louis University, Brussels, have published Shakespearean Legal Thought in International Dispute Settlement. Here is the abstract.
In this article, the authors examine the contributions of Shakespearean legal thought to our understanding of core aspects of international dispute settlement. These aspects include: the sweeping role of masks in law and in the resolution of disputes; the construction and deconstruction of authority; the purpose of law in arousing desire and thus action; the limits in recognizing informal international law as law; the benefits of exaggeration; the problematic ambition of adjudicators; the key role of passion, against rationality, in understanding and dealing with international disputes; the decision-making resources to be found in logics of life; exercising measure in the enforcement and reach of law; remembering that law deals with human beings in our quest for law’s purity and systematic organization; resisting single-mindedness; the relevance of a dialectic form of proportionality; and the inescapable need to embrace uncertainty. The authors also discuss the general relevance of law & literature, and law & theatre, for all manner of legal professionals and review Shakespeare’s own legal background and thus his a priori ability to deal with legal matters.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Some Cities Ending Participation in Reality Show "Live PD," Citing Negative Image @OfficialLivePD

Some municipalities are ending their participation in A&E's popular reality show "Live PD," citing "image" problems. Law enforcement authorities in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Streetsboro, Ohio, for example, say the show puts the spotlight on crime, instead of highlighting more positive sides of their cities. "Live PD" is now beginning its second season.

January 13, 2018

Gill on Law, Metaphor, and the Encrypted Machine @citizenlab

Lex Gill, University of Toronto, Munk School of Global Affairs, Citizen Lab, has published Law, Metaphor and the Encrypted Machine. Here is the abstract.
The metaphors we use to imagine, describe and regulate new technologies have profound legal implications. This paper offers a critical examination of the metaphors we choose to describe encryption technology in particular, and aims to uncover some of the normative and legal implications of those choices. Part I provides a basic description of encryption as a mathematical and technical process. At the heart of this paper is a question about what encryption is to the law. It is therefore fundamental that readers have a shared understanding of the basic scientific concepts at stake. This technical description will then serve to illustrate the host of legal and political problems arising from encryption technology, the most important of which are addressed in Part II. That section also provides a brief history of various legislative and judicial responses to the encryption “problem,” mapping out some of the major challenges still faced by jurists, policymakers and activists. While this paper draws largely upon common law sources from the United States and Canada, metaphor provides a core form of cognitive scaffolding across legal traditions. Part III explores the relationship between metaphor and the law, demonstrating the ways in which it may shape, distort or transform the structure of legal reasoning. Part IV demonstrates that the function served by legal metaphor is particularly determinative wherever the law seeks to integrate novel technologies into old legal frameworks. Strong, ubiquitous commercial encryption has created a range of legal problems for which the appropriate metaphors remain unfixed. Part V establishes a loose framework for thinking about how encryption has been described by courts and lawmakers—and how it could be. What does it mean to describe the encrypted machine as a locked container or building? As a combination safe? As a form of speech? As an untranslatable library or an unsolvable puzzle? What is captured by each of these cognitive models, and what is lost? This section explores both the technological accuracy and the legal implications of each choice. Finally, the paper offers a few concluding thoughts about the utility and risk of metaphor in the law, reaffirming the need for a critical, transparent and lucid appreciation of language and the power it wields.

Notes: DISCUSSION DRAFT ONLY As this document is a discussion draft, please do not cite or reproduce this work without the author’s written permission.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

January 12, 2018

Witte on The Universal Rule of Natural Law and Written Constitutions in the Thought of Johannes Althusius @EmoryLaw

John Witte, Jr., Emory University School of Law, has published The Universal Rule of Natural Law and Written Constitutions in the Thought of Johannes Althusius, at Morality and Responsibility of Rulers: Chinese and European Early Modern Origins of a Rule of Law for World Order 167 (Janne Nijman and Tony Carty, eds., Oxford University Press, 2017).
Calvinist jurist Johannes Althusius (1557-1638) developed what he called a “universal theory” of law and politics for war-torn Europe. He called for written constitutions that separated the executive, legislative, and judicial powers of cities, provinces, nations, and empires alike and that guaranteed the natural rights and liberties of all subjects. To be valid, he argued, these constitutions had to respect the universal natural law set out in Christian and classical, biblical and rational teachings of law, authority, and rights. To be effective, these constitutions had to recognize the symbiotic nature of human beings who are born with a dependence on God and neighbor, family and community, and who are by nature inclined to form covenantal associations to maintain liberty and community. Althusius left comprehensive Christian theory of rule of law and political that anticipated many of the arguments of later Enlightenment theorists of social and government contracts.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Roth-Isigkeit on Machiavelli's International Legal Thought @goetheuni

David Roth-Isigkeit, Goethe University Frankfurt, Cluster of Excellence Normative Orders, is publishing Niccoló Machiavelli's International Legal Thought – Culture, Contingency and Construction in System, Order, and International Law: The Early History of International Legal Thought (Stefan Kadelbach, Thomas Kleinlein, and David Roth-Isigkeit, eds., Oxford University Press, 2017). Here is the abstract.
This essay suggests a progressive reading of Machiavelli, relying on the unity of his national and international thought. It argues that his focus on the unification of political communities through the medium of law allows for a sophisticated theoretical understanding of international law. The essay starts with a discussion of the relationship of his biographical events and his social epistemology. It proceeds with the relationship of Machiavelli's concept of law as a governance tool to the area of morality and normativity. Ultimately, the focus lies on his understanding of imperialism and international relations in order to shape a novel understanding of Machiavelli that depicts him as a reasonable historical starting point for a modern, post-critical understanding of international law.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

In Science Magazine's January 20, 2018 Issue: The Legacy of "Frankenstein" @sciencemagazine

Science Magazine devotes its January 2018 issue to Frankenstein. Included are several articles on the novel and its legacy:

Jon Cohen, How a Horror Story Haunts Science

David Shultz and Adolfo Arranz, Creating a Modern Monster

Kai Kupferschmidt, Taming the Monsters of Tomorrow

For more on the law, popular culture, and science of Frankenstein, here's a selected bibliography.

Josh Gilliland, Justice for Frankenstein's Monster (on the 1931 film)

Bridget M. Marshall, The Transatlantic Gothic Novel and the Law, 1790-1860 (Routledge, 2011).

Lee McAuley,  The Frankenstein Complex and Asimow's Three Laws

John R. Reed, Will and Fate in Frankenstein

January 11, 2018

New From Cambridge University Press: Law and Literature, edited by Kieran Dolan @CambridgeUP

Forthcoming from Cambridge University Press:

Law and Literature (Kieran Dolan, ed. 2018). Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's contents.

Law and Literature presents an authoritative, fresh and accessible new overview of the many ways in which law and literature interact. Written by a team of international experts, it provides a multi-focused history of literary studies' critical interest in ideas of law and justice. It examines the effects of law on writers and their work, ranging from classical tragedy to comics, and from East Africa to Elizabethan England. Over twenty chapters, contributors reveal the intricate and multivalent historical interactions between law and literature, both past and present, and trace the intellectual genesis of the concept of law in literary studies, focusing on major developments in the history of the interdisciplinary project of law and literature, as well as the changing ideas of law, and the cultural contests in which it has figured. Law and Literature will appeal to graduates and scholars working on the intersection between law and literature and in key related areas such as literature and human rights.
Provides a multi-focused history of literature's critical interest in ideas of law and justice
Explores how legal concepts and practices contribute to literary studies
Presents a history of law and literature, and its contemporary applications

Call For Papers: Jurilinguistics II: Interdisciplinary Approaches To the Study of Language and Law

Jurilinguistics II: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Language and Law
Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Seville, Spain) - October 25th and 26th, 2018

Dear colleague,

We hope that this message reaches you well. You may find attached the Call for Papers for the symposium Jurilinguistics II: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Language and Law, to be held at the Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Seville, Spain) on 25-26 October 2018. After the successful first edition in 2016, we have decided to continue this initiative, which aims at offering a solid background not only into the professionalisation in language and Law; but also at exploring new areas of study and/or research. This time, we are pleased to announce that our confirmed keynote speakers will be Carmen Bestué (Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain), Jan Engberg (Aarhus University, Denmark), Eva Pons (University of Barcelona, Spain) and Lawrence Solan (Brooklyn Law School, United States).  

To this regard, the organising committee would like to receive proposals of papers and/or panels on the following relevant topics, but not restricted:
·         Legal Translation
·         Court Translation and Interpreting and international asylum seeking
·         Translation and Interpreting at international and European institutions
·         Legal language: research, teaching and learning
·         Legal training for translators and interpreters: regulation, professional and ethical issues of Legal, Sworn and Court Translation
·         Bilingual teaching and/or learning in Law
·         Linguistic research methods applied to Law
·         Terminological research in Law
·         Legal corpus analysis
·         Accessibility in Courts: sign language and other means of accessibility in legal settings
·         Processing and drafting of multilingual documents in international organisations
·         Law and multilingualism: bilingual and multilingual legislation
·         Translation and Interpreting in court settings and international Police cooperation
·         Human rights and language: the right to interpreting
·         Transsystemic approaches to the study of Comparative Law and language
·         Linguistic and intercultural mediation in legal settings
·         Minoritised languages: legal language, terminological normalization, planning

We welcome proposals from professionals and researchers in both disciplines. Abstract submissions (in English or Spanish) should include a title and a 400-word summary of the paper, along with a brief biography of the author(s). These details should be submitted electronically to jurilinguistica@upo.es before March 1st, 2018.

All the relevant information can be found on the conference official website (http//www.jurilinguistica.com), but you may address any queries to the submissions e-mail.

We hope that the topics to be covered in our event are of interest to you, and we would kindly appreciate if you could circulate the Call for Papers (which you may download here) among your colleagues.

Looking forward to your participation and hearing more back from you.

The organising committee

Juan Jiménez Salcedo (Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Spain)
Javier Moreno Rivero (University of California, Los Angeles)