This morning, I attended the “New Voices in Gender Studies” program sponsored by the AALS Section on Women in Legal Education. The presenters were the five winners of the section’s scholarly paper competition, chosen on a blind basis. (Self-disclosure: I was one of the judges for the competition.)
The presenters were David S. Cohen (Drexel), Suzanne A. Kim (Rutgers Newark), Melissa E. Murray (Berkeley), Nicole B. Porter (Toledo) and Kara Swanson (Northeastern). Here is a brief overview of each professor’s project.
David Cohen presented his work on The Stubborn Persistence of Sex Segregation (available here). He gave a taxonomy of the different types of sex segregation and explained how sex segregation limits equality. Professor Cohen’s scholarship is some of the best on the subject. Definitely worth reading in connection with his related piece Keeping Men Men and Women Down: Sex Segregation, Anti-Essentialism, and Masculinity (available here).
Suzanne Kim presented Toward Skeptical Marriage Equality, which is forthcoming in the Harvard Journal of Gender and the Law. Professor Kim asks to what extent equality-based arguments can inform marriage-skeptical arguments (and vice versa) in leading to a more descriptively egalitarian marriage.
Melissa Murray presented her work, Marriage as Punishment. The same article was the co-winner of the annual AALS Scholarly Papers Competition. Professor Murray’s work highlights the way in which marriage is used as a form of state regulation and governance. The piece takes broad account of legal history and contemporary politics.
Nicole Porter spoke on the subject of employment discrimination, presenting her paper Paycheck Fairness Act to the Rescue! Precluding the Market Defense and Reviving the Equal Pay Act, 12 Georgetown Journal of Gender & the Law __ (forthcoming 2011).
Kara Swanson is an IP specialist who also has a Ph.D. in the History of Science. She is working on a book called Banking the Body, about how the commercial market in human body parts.
This was a super line-up of scholars. Attending the program made me feel very optimistic about the future of gender-related legal scholarship!