CFP: “Law, Humanities and the Vulnerable Subject”

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From the FLP mailbox, this CFP:

Call for Panelists AALS Section on Law and Humanities

“Law, Humanities and the Vulnerable Subject”
2013 AALS Annual Meeting
January 4-8, 2013
New Orleans, LA

The recent (and ongoing) economic upheaval in the United States and elsewhere highlight the extent to which individual well-being is connected to actions and actors beyond individual control. American legal history is marked by contestation between our society’s assumption of individual capacity and sovereign autonomy and legal and policy commitments that recognize the limits of such capacity. Efforts to protect the public have often been derided as contrary to the values of individualism and anti-paternalism within American law and society. The ideological commitment to individual capacity has underwritten certain legal determinations that fail to take into account the fragility of individual (or national) well-being, whether in the due process context or in international law.

Even where vulnerability is recognized in American law, it is often recognized as an exceptional state of affairs—bestowed upon children or the aged. Moreover, the recognition of vulnerability is often denied certain classes of persons based on race or class, as in the case of the treatment of minority juvenile offenders, or particular victims of domestic violence. Can vulnerability be understood as the ordinary state of affairs? Can humanistic inquiries aid in the law’s capacity to take vulnerability (both individual and global) seriously in a society committed to the freedom and autonomy of the individual? This panel will take up these issues in wide-ranging areas, included, but not limited to, race, class, age, ethnicity, geography, affectional orientation, disability, foreign affairs, and national security. Methodological approaches include, but are not limited to, historical, philosophical, literary, theological, and critical.

This program will explore these issues with several invited panelists and panelists who are accepted through this call.

To be considered as a panelist, please submit a statement of interest by Friday, March 30, 2012, including a description (2-3 paragraphs are sufficient) of your presentation that will address themes highlighted in the above description, and the methodology through which you advance such themes. Please also submit an updated curriculum vitae.

Panelists will be selected by April 16, 2012. The Section hopes to have these papers published as part of an online mini-symposium sponsored by a law review, either in print or online.

All panelists will be responsible for paying their annual meeting registration fee and travel expenses. Full-time faculty members of AALS member and fee-paid law schools are eligible to submit papers. Foreign, visiting (and not full-time on a different faculty) and adjunct faculty members, graduate students, and fellows are not eligible to submit.

Any inquiries about the Call for Panelists should be submitted to Professor Charlton Copeland, University of Miami Law School, via electronic mail at

-Bridget Crawford

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