Monday, October 31, 2011

Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network: Invitation and Call for Papers

Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network: Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, June 5-8, 2011: Invitation and Call for Papers:

Dear friends and colleagues,

 As many of you know, the Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network (CRN) is a newly-constituted group that seeks to bring together scholars across a range of fields who are interested in feminist legal theory. At our inaugural get-together at the Law and Society Association (LSA) meeting this past June, we decided to organize two events for the coming year.  The first will be in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the AALS annual meeting in January 2012. We are writing to give you details about the second, which will take place in Honolulu, Hawaii, in conjunction with the LSA annual meeting, June 5-8, 2012.


We hope to organize a number of panels for this year’s LSA meeting; we would like to invite you to submit paper proposals for these panels. There is no single topic or theme to which paper submissions must conform: they should simply relate to feminist legal theory in some shape or form. We particularly welcome proposals which would permit us to collaborate with other CRNs, which have organized around topics such as Critical Research on Race and the Law, or Gender, Sexuality and the Law. Also, because the LSA meeting attracts scholars from other disciplines, we welcome multidisciplinary proposals.  Our goal in organizing these panels is to stimulate focused discussion on papers on which scholars are currently working. Thus, while proposals may reference work which is well on the way to publication, we are particularly eager to solicit proposals for works-in-progress which are at an earlier stage, and which will benefit from the discussion that the panels will provide. 

Our panels will utilize the LSA format, which requires four papers; but we will continue the approach that worked so well last June, when each paper had an assigned commentator who had read the paper closely and began the discussion. A committee of the CRN will assign individual papers to panels based on subject and then will ask CRN members to volunteer to serve as chairs of each panel.  The chair will develop a 100-250 word description for the session and submit the session proposal to LSA before the upcoming December 6 deadline, so that each panelist can submit his or her proposal, using the panel number assigned.  Chairs will also be responsible for recruiting commentators but may wait to do so until panels have been scheduled later this winter, so as to minimize conflict with paper presentations that commentators themselves may be doing at the meeting.

If you would like to submit a paper for one of the CRN panels, please do so by using the Feminist Legal Theory CRN TWEN page. TWEN is an online resource administered by Westlaw. If you haven’t yet registered for the TWEN page, signing up is easy. Just sign onto Westlaw, hit the tab on the top for “TWEN,” then click “Add Course,” and choose the “Feminist Legal Theory” CRN from the drop-down list of National TWEN Courses. Or, if you have a Westlaw OnePass as a faculty member, you can enter the Easy Course Access link below:

Easy Course Access Link:

If you enter through the Easy Course Access Link above, you will immediately see a link to the Feminist Legal Theory CRN TWEN page, and you should click on it.

If you aren’t enrolled on the TWEN page and you don't have a Westlaw password, please email Kathy Abrams ([email protected]) or Susan Appleton ([email protected]) and we'll enroll you directly. 

Once you arrive at the Feminist Legal Theory CRN TWEN page, by either of the above routes, look to the left hand margin for a tab to “June 2012 Law and Society – Sign-Ups and Paper Proposals.” When you click on it, you will see two threads under “topics.” One thread will permit you to post a paper proposal; the other will permit you to sign up as a commentator or panel chair. Just click on the thread you want to post to; you will then get a new screen that locates you within that thread: hit “reply” to post a reply to it. If you post a paper proposal, you should include your name, a title, and an abstract of 400-500 words.

Please submit all proposals for paper presentations by November 14, 2011. This will permit us to organize panels and submit them prior to the LSA’s deadline of December 6, 2011. We are aiming roughly for 6 to 8 sessions. If we receive too many proposals and cannot accept all for the CRN, we will notify you by November 28, 2011, so that you can submit an independent proposal to LSA. In addition, if you would like to serve as a chair or a commentator for one of our panels, or if you are already planning a LSA session with four panelists (and papers) that you would like to see included in the Feminist Legal Theory CRN, please let Kathy or Susan know.

In addition to these panels, we may try to utilize a more flexible format that the LSA also provides: the roundtable discussion. Roundtables are discussions that are not organized around papers, but rather invite several speakers to have an exchange focused on a specific topic of interest to the group (in this case, of interest to the CRN). If you have an idea relating to feminist legal theory that you think would work well in this format, please let Kathy or Susan know, as well.

Those of us who were present at last year’s meeting were delighted by the papers presented and the opportunity to connect with others in doing work on feminism and gender. We look forward to another terrific meeting in Hawaii.

Kathy Abrams

Susan Appleton

Beth Burkstrand-Reid

Donna Coker

Leigh Goodmark

Jennifer Koshan

Nancy Polikoff

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