CFP:”Working From the World Up: Equality’s Future”A New Legal Realism Conference Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Feminism and Legal Theory Project

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“Working From the World Up: Equality’s Future”

A New Legal Realism Conference Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Feminism and Legal Theory Project

Sponsored by: The University of Wisconsin Law School, the Institute for Legal Studies, the Feminism and Legal Theory Project at Emory University, and the Wisconsin Women’s Law Journal/Wisconsin Law Journal of Gender and Society.

Dates: March 14-15, 2008 at the University of Wisconsin.

The conference will begin on Friday afternoon and end with a dinner session. Panel sessions will continue all day Saturday, ending around 5:00 p.m.

Location: Sessions will take place at the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street, Madison.

Hosted by Victoria Nourse, Burrus-Bascom Professor of Law vfnourse@wisc.edu and Jane Larson, Voss-Bascom Professor of Law janelarson@wisc.edu at the University of Wisconsin Law School, and cohosted by Martha Albertson Fineman, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law and Director of the Feminism and Legal Theory Project at Emory University, and the editorial staff of the Wisconsin Women’s Law Journal/Wisconsin Law Journal of Gender and Society.

Conference Overview: We are at a historic juncture in the progress of race and sex equality in American life, with the election of the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives and the first Presidential race in which female and African-American candidates have a serious chance of capturing the White House. This conference aims to honor the institutions and the people who have theorized sex and race in ways that have helped to change the world, and to forge the future of the study of race and sex equality in the law. In short, it will be an opportunity to reflect on the key concepts of the past, so as to better understand the future

Twenty-five years ago, the Feminism and Legal Theory Project, under the direction of Professor Martha Fineman, helped to bring feminist thought to the forefront of the legal academy. It was (and is) a project born of the world, responding to real lives and needs, reflecting the law and society tradition of reasoning-from-the-world-to-law. From this tradition was born a vibrant scholarship not only on sex equality but also on the”intersection”of race, sex and sexuality, inaugurated by the work of pioneer theorists such as Kimberle Crenshaw and Patricia Williams.

The conference will feature a keynote address by Patricia Williams, the James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia University, and six panels discussing contemporary issues. Invited guests include Vicki Schultz (Yale), Jane Schacter (Stanford), Beth Mertz (Wisconsin and ABF), Boa Santos (Coimbra and Wisconsin), Robin West (Georgetown), Angela Harris and Leti Volpp (Berkeley), and others. Topics to be explored include the role of realist methods (new and old) and equality; the idea of intersectionality and its present implications; critiques of feminism by theorists of sexuality and sexual orientation; history and social science as methods of revealing intersectionality; and the role of global norms in combating violent sex and race inequalities. The conference is expected to draw participants from around the country. This event should be of interest to students and more advanced scholars in law, women’s studies, public policy, sociology, history, and political science.

Call for Proposals/Deadline Dec. 15th: Both senior and junior scholars are encouraged to submit a one-page proposal that focuses on the topics above. Please submit your proposal to Pam Hollenhorst, Associate Director, Institute for Legal Studies, at pshollen@wisc.edu. Decisions will be made by January 10th; working drafts for circulation to conference participants will be due Feb. 14th. Selected conference papers will be published in the Wisconsin Women’s Law Journal/Wisconsin Law Journal of Gender and Society.

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