25th Anniversary Silver Jubilee Celebration of Margaret Thornton’s Iconic Work, “Dissonance and Distrust: Women in the Legal Profession”

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On Thursday, November 18, 2022, 10-11:30 a.m. [that’s evening time on Wednesday, November 17, 2022 on the east coast in the US and Canada; time zone converter here], the Australia National University College of Law will be holding a celebratory webinar in honor of Dissonance and Distrust: Women in the Legal Profession (Oxford 1996), a path-breaking work by Margaret Thornton.

Picture of book cover Dissonance and Distrust, Margaret Thornton

Here is a description of the program:

In 1996 Margaret Thornton’s landmark book Dissonance and Distrust was published. This webinar is a celebration of the book’s insights and its continuing relevance and resonance for study of women in the legal profession today. The seminar brings together Emerita Professor Mary-Jane Mossman for her opening address, followed by three Australian speakers, each taking one of the key themes in Dissonance and Distrust: Associate Professor Heather Roberts (ANU College of Law) on the Legal Profession and the Judiciary, Dr Susan Bartie (University of Tasmania) on the Legal Academy, and Associate Professor Ann Genovese (Melbourne Law School) on Critical Feminist Legal Theory. The event will close with a response from Professor Thornton and questions from the audience.

About Dissonance and Distrust

In Dissonance and Distrust: Women in the Legal Profession (Oxford 1996), Margaret Thornton provides a compelling theoretical account of the continuing resistance to the participation of women as legal professionals, despite their increased presence in law schools and in some areas of legal practice. She suggests that women are still ‘fringe-dwellers in the jurisprudential community’ (Thornton 1996: 3-4) and will remain so until it is recognised that the issue is not simply one of women being ‘let in’ to the profession in equal numbers to men, but also involves posing fundamental questions about the character and constitution of law as it is taught and practised.

About Margaret Thornton

Emerita Professor Margaret Thornton is a socio-legal and feminist scholar whose work on the legal academy and the legal profession is internationally recognised. She is regularly invited to participate in international projects.

She has published extensively in the area of discrimination and the law. Her book The Liberal Promise (Oxford, 1990) remains the only critical study of discrimination law in Australia. Her book, Dissonance and Distrust (Oxford 1996) is the only study of women in the legal profession in Australia. It was translated into Mandarin and published in Beijing (Law Press, 2001).

Margaret also has a particular interest in the impact of the corporatisation of universities on the legal academy and has conducted research in the UK, Canada and New Zealand, as well as Australia. Publications from this research include Privatising the Public University: The Case of Law (Routledge, 2012). Her current ARC-funded research focuses on work/life balance in corporate law firms, particularly the gendered effects of globalisation, competition and technology.

More details and the registration link are here.

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