Gender and the Law Prof Blog

Editor: Tracy A. Thomas
University of Akron School of Law

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Bicentennial

Ms. The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Bicentennial: A Missed Opportunity for Study and Reflection

November 12 was the bicentennial of the birth of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, one of America’s most prominent and extraordinary women’s right leaders. The event passed largely un-noticed. We missed a chance to pause and reflect on her leadership and also on the issues she wrestled with, some of which are still with us.


Stanton deserves more recognition. She was, of course, the main organizer of the famous Seneca Falls women’s rights convention in 1848, which issued a ringing declaration demanding the right to vote. But there are several other reasons for studying her career.

We didn't miss it at the Con Law Colloquium at Akron Law.  The entire colloquium featured Stanton scholars of law and history delving into Stanton's contributions to gender equality and constitutional thinking of the vote, political economy, marriage, the family, and religious liberty. 

Here's my prior blog post and all the details from the program.


November 25, 2015 in Conferences, Constitutional, Law schools, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Colloquium on the Origins of Gender Equality

I had the fortune to participate in The Center for Constitutional Law at Akron's Colloquium last week, The Origins of Gender Equality.  The Colloquium scheduled for the 200th Anniversary of Elizabeth Cady Stanton's birth celebrated Stanton's vast intellectual and political contributions to the law. 

The New York Times Book Review often asks authors, if you could have dinner with any writers, who would it be?  Well the participants at the colloquium were my list of ideal dinner guests.  These scholars to me represented the best of the work on Stanton in law and history, characterized by original thinking, impeccable and thorough research, and ideas found nowhere elsewhere in the literature. It was a privilege to engage in conversation with these women and deepen our understanding of the legacy of women's rights still so unknown and unappreciated.

The papers from the Gender Equality Colloquium will be published in the spring in ConLawNOW.

Tracy Thomas, Introduction: The Origins of Gender Equality in the Life and Work of Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Lisa Tetrault (history, Carneige Mellon):  On the Meaning of the Vote

Felice Batlan (law, Chicago-Kent): Manhood Suffrage at the New York Constitutional Convention of 1867

Lisa Hogan (women's studies, Penn State):  Unveiling Gendered Notions of Marriage and Women's Sexuality

Kathi Kern (history, Kentucky): Religious Liberty Claims: From Kim Davis to Elizabeth Cady Stanton


November 17, 2015 in Conferences, Constitutional, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Affirmative Consent of "Yes Means Yes" as Nothing New

I had the pleasure of hearing Jonathan Witmer-Rich (Cleveland State) speak last Friday at the NE Ohio Faculty Colloquium, a twice-annual lunch with the faculties of Akron, Case, and Cleveland State. 

He previewed his thesis that the new legislative movement of "Yes Means Yes" doesn't actually change the existing legal standard of consent, for good or for bad.  He wove in the recent discussion draft of recommended changes to the Model Penal Code. 

You can hear more on this from Jonathan at AALS on January 9, 2016 on Panel 1 of the Symposium on Violence Against Women.


November 3, 2015 in Conferences, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

More on the Feminist Judgments Project

More on the forthcoming book from the U.S. Feminist Judgments Project

FYI - the Conference on the project Rewriting the Law. Writing the Future. is next year, October 20 & 21, 2016 at the Center for Constitutional Law following the release of the book.

Mother Jones, See How Your Life Would Change if We Cloned Ruth Bader Ginsburg

"Feminist Judgments" puts a new spin on famous Supreme Court cases.


In 2012, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made headlines by saying she hoped to see an all-female Supreme Court one day. "When I'm sometimes asked when there will be enough [women justices] and I say, 'When there are nine,' people are shocked," she explained during a legal conference in Colorado. Nobody "ever raised a question" when nine men dominated the court, added the now-82-year-old, one of three women on the bench today.


If Ginsburg got her wish, what might that mean for America? And what if women had taken a majority of seats on the highest court a long time ago? That's a question raised by dozens of feminist law scholars and lawyers across the United States who are putting together a new book, Feminist Judgments, in which they re-examine 24 of the most significant Supreme Court cases related to gender—dating from the 1800s to the present day—and rewrite the court's final decisions as if they had been the judges.


More than 100 people applied to help write the book, which will be published sometime next spring, according to Kathryn Stanchi, a law professor at Temple University and one of three editors overseeing the project. All selected applicants agreed to follow an important rule: They could only base their revision on the legal precedent that bound the Supreme Court back when the case was first decided.

 For earlier coverage on this blog see here and here.

October 22, 2015 in Books, Conferences, Constitutional, Courts, Judges | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Colloquium: The Origins of Feminist Equality

Presenting work from my forthcoming book at the upcoming conference at the Center for Constitutional Law at Akron.  Please join us - details below.



October 17, 2015 in Conferences, Constitutional, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

CFP Feminist Law Professors

From Professor Marina Angel (Temple):

 The 23rd Annual CLE Conference for Feminist Law Professors will take place at Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law in Philadelphia on Saturday, November 21, 2015. If you are interested in presenting, please contact Professor Angel at



September 15, 2015 in Call for Papers, Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

CFP: Feminist Legal Theory CRN at Law & Society

Call for Papers

Friday September 18th Deadline

Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network
at the Law and Society Association Annual Meeting

New Orleans, June 2-5, 2016

Dear friends and colleagues,

We write to invite you to participate in panels sponsored by the Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network at the Law and Society Annual Meeting in 2016.

Information about the Law and Society meeting (including registration and hotel information) is at: Law and Society Annual Meeting

Within Law & Society, the Feminist Legal Theory CRN seeks to bring together scholars across a range of fields who are interested in feminist legal theory. There is no pre-set theme to which papers must conform. We would be especially happy to see proposals that fit in with the LSA conference theme, which is belonging, place, and visions of law and social change. We welcome proposals that would permit us to collaborate with other CRNs, such as the Critical Research on Race and the Law CRN or the Gender, Sexuality and the Law CRN. Also, because the LSA meeting attracts scholars from other disciplines, we welcome multidisciplinary proposals. Our goal is to stimulate focused discussion of papers on which scholars are currently working. Thus, while proposals may reference work that is well on the way to publication, we are particularly eager to solicit proposals for works-in-progress that are at an earlier stage and will benefit from the discussion that the panels will provide.

A committee of the CRN will assign individual papers to panels based on subject. Our panels will use the LSA format, which requires four papers, but we will continue our custom of assigning a chair for the panel and a commentator for each individual paper. As a condition of participating as a panelist, you must also agree to serve as a chair or commentator for another panel or participant. We will of course take into account your scheduling and topic preferences to the degree possible. The duties of a chair are to organize the panel logistically, including registering it online with the LSA, and moderating the panel. The chair will develop a 100-250 word description for the session and submit the session proposal to LSA before their upcoming deadline on October 15, so that each panelist can submit his or her proposal, using the panel number assigned. Chairs will also be responsible for assigning commentators but may wait to do so until panels have been scheduled later this winter. The duties of a commentator are to read one paper and provide verbal comments as well as brief written (email is fine) comments.

If you would like to present a paper as part of a CRN panel, please email an abstract or summary, along with your name and a title, to Jessica Clarke at There is no need to upload the document to the TWEN site this year. Note that LSA is imposing a new requirement that your summary be at least 1,000 words long. Although a shorter summary will suffice for our purposes, you will be required to upload a 1,000 word summary in advance of LSA’s deadline on October 15. If you are already planning a LSA session with at least four panelists (and papers) that you would like to see included in the Feminist Legal Theory CRN, please let Jessica know. In addition to these panels, we may try to use some of the other formats that the LSA provides: the “author meets readers” format, salon, or the roundtable discussion. If you have an idea that you think would work well in one of these formats, please let us know. Please note that for roundtables, organizers are now required to provide a 500 word summary of the topic and the contributions they expect the proposed participants to make. Please also note that LSA rules limit you to participating only once as a paper panelist or roundtable participant.

Please submit all proposals by Friday, September 18. This will permit us to organize panels and submit them prior to the LSA’s deadline on October 15. In the past, we have attempted to accommodate as many panelists as possible, but have been unable to accept all proposals. If we are unable to accept your proposal for the CRN, we will notify you by early Octoberso that you can submit an independent proposal to LSA.

We hope you’ll join us in New Orleans to discuss the scholarship in which we are all engaged and connect with others doing work on feminism and gender.

LSA Planning Committee
Jessica Clarke
Jill Hasday
Jessica Knouse
Elizabeth Kukura
Seema Mohapatra
Marc Spindelman

August 18, 2015 in Call for Papers, Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Reimagining the Movement to End Gender Violence

Donna Coker (Miami), Leigh Goodmark (Maryland), Marcia Olivo, CONVERGE! Reimagining the Movement to End Gender Violence, 5 U. Miami Race & Social Justice Law Review 249 (2015)


This introduction to the CONVERGE! Symposium by conference co-chairs Donna Coker, Leigh Goodmark, & Marcia Olivo, describes the aspirations of conference organizers, reflects on the accomplishments of the conference, and looks ahead to ongoing work. 

CONVERGE! Reimagining the Movement to End Gender Violence brought together more than 200 academics, activists, survivors, students, and service providers convened in Miami. People came in response to a call to reimagine the work to end gender violence: "We seek to refocus United States priorities in funding, activism, legal responses, and social services in ways that better address the intersecting inequalities that create and maintain gender violence." 

The conference highlighted the connections between what is often described as “gender violence” or “violence against women” — interpersonal violence, particularly intimate partner violence and sexual assault — and the structural inequalities of colonization, sexism, heterosexism, racism, anti-immigrant bias, and economic injustice. Building on the groundbreaking work of INCITE!, conference speakers expanded the traditional interpersonal violence frame to encompass state violence directed at women — violence that is embodied in racist, homophobic, classist, and anti-immigrant policies and practices, whether in prisons, on the streets, at the borders, in the workplace, or in homes. 

CONVERGE! was bilingual, with a strong voice of monolingual Spanish speakers, undocumented women survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, and domestic workers.

August 13, 2015 in Conferences, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

How to Tweet From Conferences

The Chronicle, Ten Tips for Tweeting at Conferences

It’s no surprise that we here at ProfHacker like Twitter. We’ve covered how to start tweeting (and why you might want to) and practical advice for teaching with Twitter. I’ve found Twitter to be a tremendous boon to developing my professional networks and helping me stay on top of what’s happening in my fields of scholarship. But there’s one place where where Twitter perhaps ends up being more valuable for me than other place: at conferences.


Tweeting at conferences is a great way to share what you’re learning in a session with your followers and the wider world. It’s also a great way to be in two places at once, as you can read tweets from other sessions that you weren’t able to attend. You can read those tweets as they come in or—if you’d rather not fracture your attention—read them after the fact using a Twitter search. I personally find tweeting during conference sessions to be a great way for me to take notes; it helps me pay closer attention to what someone is saying than if I were simply working with pen and paper. It can even turn into something of a competition.

June 16, 2015 in Conferences, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Bad Feminist

The Feminist Legal Theory CRN group at the upcoming Law & Society is reading Roxane Gay's, Bad Feminist (

I just finished reading the book myself. I had read excerpts and reviews, but not the book until now. Really great. She's a professor, a writer, and a "bad" feminist - defined as a real, human, imperfect person who nevertheless believes in core principles of gender equality and the identification of such as "feminist." Refreshing, irreverent.  Just keeping it real.

May 16, 2015 in Books, Conferences, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Law & Society Feminist Legal Theory CRN Program Lineup



Wed, 5/27

7:00 PM

Book Discussion and Informal Gathering

(Belltown Pub, 2322 1st Avenue)

Thu, 5/28

8:15 AM –

10:00 AM


Separate Spheres? Church, State, Market, and Family

Chair: Jessica Clarke, Associate Professor, Minnesota

1.         Elizabeth Sepper, Associate Professor, Washington University Law, The Family Corporation

2.        Julia L. Ernst, Assistant Professor, University of North Dakota School of Law, Religious Law and Women’s Human Rights: Reflections upon the African Human Rights System

3.         Kara Loewentheil, Research Fellow, Columbia Law School & Director, Public Rights / Private Conscience Project, Columbia Law School, Satanists, Scott Walker, & Contraception: Hobby Lobby’s Implications For State Law

4.         Wendy A. Bach, Associate Professor, University of Tennessee College of Law, The Hyperregulatory State and the Submerged State: Exploring Structural Inequalities in U.S. Social Policy

Thu, 5/28

10:15 PM –

12:00 PM

 Author Meets Readers: Banking on the Body: The Market in Blood, Milk and Sperm in Modern America     

Thu, 5/28

12:45 PM –

2:30 PM


 Children’s Rights and Best Interests

Chair: Maya Manian, Professor, USF

1.         Leslie J. Harris, Professor, Oregon, Teens’ Health Care Decisions: Competence Meets Policy

2.         Kim Hai Pearson, Assistant Professor, Gonzaga, and Addie C. Rolnick, Associate Professor, UNLV Law, Gender, Race, and Ideal Parenthood in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl

3.         Bela August Walker, Associate Professor, Roger Williams, Parental Status from Property Rights to Fundamental Rights

4.         Seema Mohapatra, Associate Professor of Law, Barry, Treating Cross Border Surrogacy Like Intercountry Adoption: A Best Interests

Thu, 5/28

2:45 PM –

2:30 PM

 Governance Feminism

Chair: Cynthia Godsoe, Assistant Professor, Brooklyn Law School

1.         Janet Halley, Harvard Law School

2.         Prabha Kotiswaran, King’s College London

3.         Rachel Rebouche, Temple University School of Law

4.         Hila Shamir, Tel-Aviv University Faculty of Law

Thu, 5/28

2:45 PM –

4:30 PM


 Paying the Price for Untraditional Parenthood

Chair: Dara Purvis, Assistant Professor, Penn State

1.         Michael Boucai, Associate Professor, SUNY Buffalo Law, Is Assisted Procreation an LGBT Right?

2.         Melanie B. Jacobs, Professor of Law, Michigan State University, Procreative Liberty Can Be Yours – If the Price is Right: Comparing the Effects of Wealth Inequality in American and Chinese Family Formation

3.         Radhika Rao, Professor, UC Hastings,Selective Reduction: “A Soft Cover for Hard Choices”

4.         Jody Lyneé Madeira, Professor, Indiana Maurer Law, Reconceiving Informed Consent

5.         Qian Liu, PhD student, University of Victoria, Institutionalized Discrimination against Unwed Mothers’ Reproductive Rights in China

Thu, 5/28

6.00 PM


CRN dinner and business meeting (Osteria La Spiga, 1429 12th Ave)

Fri, 5/29

7:30 AM –

9:15 AM


New Forms of Intimate Ordering

Chair: Julie Shapiro, Professor, Seattle

1.         Jessica Feinberg, Assistant Professor, Mercer Law, Gradual Marriage

2.        Ayelet Blecher-Prigat, Faculty of Law, Bar-Ilan, From Partners To Joint Parents: The Case Of Unplanned Joint Parenthood

3.       Merle H. Weiner, Professor, Oregon, Would Women Benefit from a Parent-Partner Status?

4.        Allison Anna Tait, Assistant Professor, Richmond, Between Marital Privilege and Economic Partnership

Fri, 5/29

9:30 AM –

11:15 AM


 AMR Salon: Vicarious Kinks: SM in the Socio-Legal


Fri, 5/29

9:30 AM –

11:15 AM


 Lies, Coercion, and Violence Among Intimates

Chair: Courtney Joslin, Professor, UC Davis School of Law

1.         Jill Elaine Hasday, Professor, Minnesota, Intimate Lies: How Does and How Should the Law Regulate Deception Between Spouses, Lovers, Dates, Parents, Children, Siblings, and More

2.         Susan Ayres, Professor Texas A&M Law, Paternity Fraud: Regulation of Women’s Sexuality and Family Relationships

3.         Tugce Ellialti, Ph.D Candidate, Sociology, U. Penn, “Truth-Seeking” Through Forensic Reports:  Female Survivors and the Medico-Legal Discourse on Sexual Violence in Turkey

Fri, 5/29

11:30 AM –

1:15 PM

 Regulating Sex; Designating Victims and Offenders

Chair: Aziza Ahmed, Associate Professor, Northeastern University School of Law

1.         Ummni Khan, Associate Professor, Carleton University, Ambivalent Intersections: The Queer Heterosexuality of A Sex Trade Client

2.         Jessica Clarke, Associate Professor, Minnesota, Sexual Exceptionalism

3.         Cynthia Godsoe, Assistant Professor, Brooklyn, Victims and Offenders

4.         Zeynep Kıvılcım, Out-Of-Camp Syrian Women And LGBTI Refugees: Exploring The Gendered Nature Of Turkey’s New Immigration Law

Fri, 5/29

1:30 PM –

3:15 PM

 Bodies, The Sensorium And Visuality

Chair: Ummni Khan, Associate Professor, Carleton University

1.         Dawn Moore, Professor of Law, Carleton University, and Rashmee Singh, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Legal Studies, University of Waterloo, Seeing Crime: Injuries, Images and Victims of Domestic Violence

2.         Sameena Mulla, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, and Heather Hlavka, Narrating Victimized and Victimizing Bodies: The Emergence of Rape in Criminal Court Testimony

3.         Samantha D. Gottlieb, Regulating HPV vaccine and acceptable bodies 

Fri, 5/29

3:30 PM –

5:15 PM

 Legal Responses to Domestic Violence

Chair: Leslie J. Harris, Professor, Oregon School of Law

1.         Joan Meier, Professor of Clinical Law, George Washington University Law School, Child Custody Outcomes In Cases Involving Parental Alienation And Abuse Allegations

2.         Caroline Forell, Professor, Oregon Law School, Gender Equality And Homicides At Home

3.         Jane K. Stoever, Assistant Clinical Professor, UC Irvine School of Law, Mirandizing Family Justice Centers

4.         Carolyn B. Ramsey, Professor of Law, Colorado Law School, The Stereotyped Offender: Domestic Violence and the Failure of Intervention

Fri, 5/29

5:30 PM –

7:15 PM

 Evolving Ideas of Kinship

Chair: Rachel Rebouché, Associate Professor, Temple University Beasley School of Law

1.         Theresa Glennon, Professor, Temple University Beasley School of Law, Becoming Family: Evaluating the Process of Defining Family Relationships at Birth

2.         Courtney Joslin, Professor, UC Davis School of Law, Marriage Equality and Nonmarital Families

3.         Kimberly Mutcherson, Professor, Rutgers School of Law-Camden, Kinship, Law, and Assisted Reproduction

4.         Dara Purvis, Assistant Professor, Penn State Dickinson School of Law, A World of No Genetic Parentage

Fri, 5/29

5:30 PM –

7:30 PM


 Institutional Responses to Gendered Violence: Employers, Universities, and the Military

Chair: Carolyn Ramsey, Professor of Law, Colorado Law School

Discussant: Ann C. McGinley, Professor, UNLV,Through a Different Lens: Using Masculinities Research to Interpret Title VII

1.         Jamie Abrams, Assistant Professor, University of Louisville, Combating The Persistence Of Gendered Violence In The Military

2.         Nancy Chi Cantalupo, Research Fellow, Georgetown Law School, “Inquisitorialism” and Campus Gender-Based Violence

3.         Sarah Swan, JSD Candidate, Columbia Law School, Bystander Interventions

Sat, 5/30

8:15 AM –

10:00 AM

 Institutional Accountability for Gender Violence   

Chair: Julie Goldscheid, Professor of Law, CUNY

1.         Aziza Ahmed

2.         Carrie Bettinger-Lopez

3.         Donna Coker

4.         Adele Morrison

5.         Deborah Weissman 

May 14, 2015 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

AALS Workshop on Next Generation Issues of Sex, Gender, and the Law

Association of American Law Schools


Workshop on Next Generation Issues of Sex, 

Gender, and the Law

June 24-26, 2015

Orlando, Florida 

Click here to view the eBrochure.

This workshop is about continuing the conversation that began at the 2011 Workshop on Women Rethinking Equality


* Exploring new and forward-looking ideas for scholarship, law reform and advocacy that can bring about gender equality.


* Presenting a wide range of innovative and thought provoking papers and ideas about gender equality by new and experienced scholars.


* Providing a rich and supportive atmosphere to foster mentoring and networking among teachers and scholars.


Specific topics include:


Economic Equality Employment/Civil Rights Act
Family Law Feminist Legal Theory
Gender Norms Disrupted Ideas for the Future
International Human Rights Legal Education
Marriage Equality & Inequality Pregnancy Discrimination & Law
Reproductive Rights Social Safety Net
The Workplace Violence Against Women


We hope to see you in Orlando - 


Angela I. Onwuachi-Willig, University of Iowa College of Law, Chair 


on behalf of the 

Planning Committee for Workshop on Next Generation Issues: Sex, Gender and the Law

William Eskridge, Yale Law School

Aya Gruber, University of Colorado Law School

Kimberly Yuracko, Northwestern University School of Law

Rebecca E. Zietlow, University of Toledo College of Law

May 9, 2015 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Gender Diversity in Authors of Legal Scholarship

Naomi Cahn, Author Diversity in Legal Scholarship

One impetus for the conference was Minna Kotkin’s article, Of Authorship and Audacity: An Empirical Study of Gender Disparity and Privilege in the “Top Ten” Law Reviews, 31 Women’s Rts. L. Rep. 385 (2010).   Kotkin published the results of a study examining the percentage of female authors in elite journals, finding  that just over 20% of articles in those law reviews were written by women even though women make up 31% of the tenured/tenure-track faculty nationally. When she first began discussing the results of the study, she faced lots of criticism and support in the blogosphere.  Nancy Leong  has usefully pointed out that these disparities certainly exist outside of the law review context as well.   On the other hand, a later study mentioned at the conference concerning gender disparity in citation rates found that  “women publishing in the field of legal studies do not experience significant gender bias in citation rates to their articles. If anything, the opposite appears to be true.”   (p. 20). While the authors are not certain as to why this is, they offer numerous speculations as to why this is so, such as  “legal scholars [may be]  less likely than other scholars to bias citation by gender of author”.  One possibility they don’t mention is that women’s articles are simply better than men’s; as the famed quote (from Charlotte Whitton) goes:  “Whatever women do, they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.”  If this is true, then the gender disparity in law review authors is even more shocking.


Moving forward, we discussed  a variety of potential changes.  For example, when it comes to law review selection, we discussed the pipeline process:  who is mentored to write on and join the law review, the topic selection for the write on process; the guidance given to law review staff on how to become senior editorial board members.  While some participants advocated author-blind review of submissions by law reviews, others suggested affirmative action might be more appropriate (an issue discussed in this prior thread.


On the faculty side, we discussed the importance of both formal and informal mentoring, of finding colleagues from both within and outside of one’s own faculty who can engage in an informal peer review process.  We discussed how schools can support diversity in faculty scholarship, including a shout-out to Martha Minow’s field guide to legal scholarship.    One school actually has developed postings of sample (and successful) cover letters for articles.

April 14, 2015 in Conferences, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Conference: Reframing the Welfare Queen

At USC School of Law, Reframing the Welfare Queen: Feminist and CRT Alternatives to Existing Poverty Discourse

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Moynihan Report, a Senate report issued in 1965 that pathologized the creation of black, female single-parent households with long- term dependence on state assistance programs, and in this way laid the political foundation for the political construct known as the "welfare queen." The "welfare queen construct" has played a key role in political debates and facilitated the transformation of public assistance programs. For the past fifty years it has played a prominent role in presidential politics, shaping discussions of poverty during the Reagan, Clinton and even Obama presidencies. Moreover, the construct led to a spate of concrete policy changes in 1996, ones that transformed older open-ended welfare programs into TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). Many TANF features are direct responses to the threat of the welfare queen, including: family caps limiting benefit levels for families above a certain size; workfare programs requiring welfare recipients to work; and strict time limits that sunset welfare benefits after a set number of years.


Numerous scholars, activists and commentators have explored how the welfare queen construct is used to demonize poor women of color in need of state assistance programs. And while the critiques launched by these early conversations about the welfare queen have been important in opening a much-needed dialogue about the needs of the poor, this conference attempts to move us beyond discussions that isolate poor minority female welfare recipients as a special class. Instead the conference explores how the construct of the welfare queen imposes costs on us all, by revealing the hidden institutional norms naturalized by the construct and the cultural anxieties it creates that prevent people from seeking state assistance. Our project is to "reframe" the welfare queen - to challenge the ways in which claims of need are represented as pathological by the state; feminized and racialized in ways that marginalize and render invisible certain needy communities; and foreclose recognition of certain kinds of "need" and certain relationships of support between the individual and the State. By "reframing" the welfare queen have an opportunity to image new forms of governmental assistance that might better match up with the working poor's needs and lived experiences and with feminist values and anti-poverty advocates' goals and understandings.

April 7, 2015 in Conferences, Poverty, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Law & Society Programs on Gender & Law

For more information about each panel, go to Law and Society Association Annual Meeting and search the online program.  (Seattle, May 28)  The titles though provide a good overview of what issues academics are grappling with these days.

Separate Spheres? Church, State, Market, and Family

A Critical Look at How American Universities Handle Sexual Assault

Making Meaning, Making Change?: Visual Cultures of Trafficking and the Sex Trade

Gender and Judging

Gender, Law, and Empowerment

Islam and Legal History: New Research on Reform, Women, and Property

Law & Society Perspectives on Sex Work

Women/Gender in the Legal Profession

Gender, Race, Emotion, and the Processes of Criminalization in US History

Governance Feminism

Sex, Sexual Violence, and Consent

Women of Color in Legal Education

Birth, Abortion, and Law

New Forms of Intimate Ordering

Reproduction in the 21st Century: ART, Contraception, & Abortion

Reproduction in the 21st Century: ART, Contraception, and Abortion II

Sexual and Reproductive Rights Lawfare in International Courts and Tribunals

Public Secrets of Law – Gender, Courts & Sexual Violence

AMR Salon: Ummni Khan - "Vicarious Kinks: SM in the Socio-Legal Imaginary"

Regulating Sex; Designating Victims and Offenders

Choice and Constraint: Changing Conceptions of Parenthood

Feminist Judgments: United States Supreme Court Cases Rewritten

Legal Responses to Domestic Violence

Reproduction in the 21st Century: Race, Religion, and Rights

Sexuality in the 21st Century: Law and Gender Equality Norms

International, Socio-legal Feminisms: Perspectives on Taxation Law

International Socio-legal Feminisms - Theorising Violence, Vulnerability and Autonomy

International Socio-legal Feminisms - Narratives in the Public and Private Spheres: Property, Personhood, Autonomy and Time

Policy, Police Work and Prosecution: The Promise and Peril of Investigating and Prosecuting Sexual Violence

Gender-Based Violence

Masculinity, Sexuality & Law

Comparative Perspectives on the Regulation of Gender: States, Families, and Legal Change

April 4, 2015 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Conference: Leadership Academy for Women

Leadership Academy for Women at Hastings.

April 2, 2015 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Rebecca Walker to Speak at University of Akron Gender Conference

The University of Akron presents the 7th Annual CROW (Committee for Research on Women & Gender) Conference, a symposium of graduate and undergraduate papers on gender.  Click on the link to register.

The keynote presentation by Rebecca Walker, is free and open to the public.  Rebecca Walker is a bestselling author, Founder of Third Wave Foundation for Women, Former Contributing Editor to Ms. Magazine and named one of the most influential leaders of her generation by Time Magazine.




February 21, 2015 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Conference: Worn Out! Motherwork in the Age of Austerity

Worn Out!: Motherwork in the Age of Austerity

Sarah Lawrence College
Bronxville, NY (20 minutes north of Manhattan)
Friday - Saturday March 6-7, 2015
Free and Open to the Public

Roksana Badruddoja, member of the Academic Advisory Board for the Museum of Motherhood (MOM), Board Member of the Council on Contemporary Families (CCF), and professor of sociology and women's gender studies at Manhattan College.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 60% of mothers of preschool children are in the paid workforce, and for mothers of school-age children, that figure nears 80%. If paychecks were all it took to liberate women, we would be well on our way.  Instead, we're exhausted, and while this problem is hardly unique to the United States, the American system of long hours on the job and scant provision for public welfare makes the challenges of motherwork all the more acute. It's not hard to figure out what brought us to this pass: wage stagnation, increasingly lengthy workweeks, proliferating numbers of single-parent households and two-income couples, gaping holes in the social safety net, erosion of labor unions, mounting violence against our children  by both civilians and the state, and diminished public spending on youth recreation, daycare, afterschool programs and other services crucial to working families. The question is: what can we do to turn things around? This conference will explore answers to that question.

Sponsored by the Women's History Graduate Program at Sarah Lawrence College
Co-sponsered with the Diversity and Activism Programming Subcommittee of Student Life (DAPS) and Sister to Sister International Inc.
Panels Include:

Motherwork, Race, and the Criminal Justice System

Historical Perspectives on Motherwork

Failing to Mother: Unnatural Mothers, Delinquent Mothers, and Wicked Stepmothers in U.S. History

"Fueron Hijos Nuestros...": State Appropriation of Motherhood in Three Contemporary Latin American Contexts

Tick-Tock-Tick-Tock, Mommy's on the Tenure Clock: Women Junior Faculty on Mentorship, Marking, and Maternity Policies

Mediated Motherhood: Rules for Parenting in a Post-Feminist Era

Writing Motherhood

And More!!

Registration is required (free):
Conference Schedule:

For more information contact:
Tara James -

February 19, 2015 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Conference: Re-imagining IP and Gender

Reimagining IP/Gender: The Next Ten Years of Engagement with Intellectual Property Law

Feb. 27, 2015 – 9:30am, Room 601
American University Washington College of Law
Registration | Logistics and Directions

At the 11th Annual IP/Gender, presenters will address the production of knowledge, commodification, definition, and valuation of women’s work, and other areas of feminist and queer inquiry. We hope to spur intellectual property scholars to explore how the tools of deliberately intersectional feminist and queer theory can shed new light on the challenge of creating intellectual property law that fosters social justice.  For more information about previous events in the IP/Gender series, see here.

The program:

Opening Keynote

Ann ShalleckAmerican University Washington College of Law – Introduction 

Rebecca TushnetGeorgetown University Law Center- IP, Gender, and Creative Communities


10:00 – Panel I
Community Structure and Women’s Leadership in Traditional Cultural Production – Moderator – Margaret ChonSeattle University School of Law

  • Helen Chuma OkoroNigerian institute of Advanced Legal Studies – Traditional Knowledge, Intellectual Property Protection, and Matriarchal Dominance: The Case of Traditional Textiles in South Western Nigeria
  • Lorraine AragonUniversity of North Carolina – Cut From the Same Cloth? Reimagining Copyright’s Relationship with TCEs and Gender in Indonesia

11:00 Panel II Documenting Communities of Practice – Moderator – Meredith Jacob, American University Washington College of Law

  • Jhessica ReiaCenter for Technology and Society at Fundacao Getulio Vargas (CTS-FGV) – DIY or Die! Gender and Creation in Marginal Music Production
  • Betsy RosenblattWhittier Law School (and Rebecca Tushnet) – Transformative Works: Young Women’s Voices on Fandom and Fair Use

1:00 – Lunch Keynote: Kara SwansonNortheastern University School of Law – IP and Gender: Reflections on Methodology and Accomplishments


1:30 Panel III
Gendered Understandings of the Role and Scope of Intellectual Property Law – Moderator – Irene Calboli,Marquette Law School and National University of Singapore

  • Carys CraigOsgoode Hall Law School, York University - Deconstructing Copyright’s Choreographer: the Power of Performance (and the Performance of Power)
  • Charles Colman, New York University School of Law – Patents and Perverts

2:45 Panel IV
Gender and Intellectual Property in the U.S. Federal Courts – Moderator – Christine FarleyAmerican University Washington College of Law

  • Jessica Silbey, Suffolk University Law School – Intellectual Property Reform Through the Lens of Constitutional Equality
  • Sandra ParkACLU Women’s Rights Project – A Feminist Challenge to Gene Patents: Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics

3:45 – Looking Forward: the Next Ten Years – Peter JasziAmerican University Washington College of Law,Daniela KraiemAmerican University Washington College of Law, and community





February 17, 2015 in Conferences, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Conference: Women and the Criminal Justice System

Women and the Law Conference 2015

Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s 2015 Women and the Law Conference will explore Women and the Criminal Justice System. Noted criminal defense attorney and author Leslie Abramson, who handled the Menendez Brothers trial and the Phil Spector case, will deliver the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecture (which Justice Ginsburg generously established for TJSL in 2003). A dynamic speaker, Abramson promises to give a spirited presentation. Other notables speaking at the conference include retired U.S. District Court Judge Irma Gonzalez, San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis ‘76, and Santa Clara law professor Gerald Uelmen. Panels will focus on timely and controversial subjects, including: Are Women Treated Like Men in the Criminal Justice System?, Pathways to Power: Trailblazing Women in Criminal Law, and Women in Prison. The conference will be followed by a reception.

The full schedule is here.

February 17, 2015 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)