Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Richness from Juxtaposition

The Comparative Law Blog is an opportunity to connect and collaborate, and I'm excited to be part of the team.  From my first encounter with the American Society of Comparative Law at the 2008 annual meetings at U.C. Hastings, I've been struck by the range of expertise in contemporary comparative law.  Fellow participants at subsequent workshops (Yale 2011, Illinois 2013) impressed me with their depth.  The blog promises more of both. 

One of the most productive aspects of a blog is freedom from the genre constraints of our usual venues.  Liberation from the journal article format should open up some interesting innovations.  And unlike a panel or workshop, we're not limited to a half an hour discussion.  The continuity of a blog opens space for extended dialogue and thoughtful exchange.  I'm hoping to supplement my contributions with mini-interviews that give a window into the thinking of others shaping our field. 

The blog can be both a workspace and a play space.  As a workspace, it can be a place in which to float trial balloons, scrub bad ideas, and sharpen arguments.  I'm hoping we can offer each other the kind of insightful comments and rigorous scrutiny that hones.  At the same time, the blog allows for spontaneity, ease, and improvisation.  And pictures! As a playspace, it allows for different forms of connection that I'm also happily anticipating. 

The nature of comparative work -- deriving richness from juxtaposition -- seems particularly well-suited to the collective enterprise of thought that a blog can enable.  I'm looking forward to becoming better acquainted with a broad spectrum of comparativists and seeing the community that emerges in this space.  

Monica Eppinger


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