Posts Tagged ‘conference’

IB imageSnapshots of law, gender and sexuality news from the past couple of weeks.

US Supreme Court (Sort of) Decides on Same Sex Marriage

Jesse Bachir, Durham University

Following last year’s decision in Windsor, same-sex couples and LGBT advocacy groups across the United States have been filing suits against State governments challenging the Constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans.

So far, almost every Court (with one exception) in the United States has found marriage bans to be unconstitutional either under Federal Constitutional law or State Constitutional law. Most recently, earlier this month, the Supreme Court denied a petition to review 7 cases from lower Federal Courts on the constitutionality of marriage bans. In denying review of the cases, the decisions of the lower courts stood (all of which found the bans unconstitutional), and the stays of execution issued by the lower courts were removed. That brings the total to 32 States with equal marriage.

The Supreme Court effectively, though indirectly, decided the issue for the rest of the country – in allowing the lower court decisions to stand, clear judicial precedent has been made.  The lower courts in all 7 of the denied review cases found the marriage bans to be unconstitutional for the same reasons. In denying review, the Supreme Court implicitly agreed with the rulings of the lower courts and avoided wading into the politically charged topic.


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Aoife McKennaAoife McKenna is a PhD student researching the sociology of health enhancement at The University of Edinburgh. She is currently based at the State University of Rio de Janeiro. Aoife blogs about her research at Pangur Bán. The Brazilian debate coincides with increased calls for reform of the law relating to prostitution in England and Wales.

The question of voice – of who speaks, and who speaks in the name of whom – is a crucial issue for this debate, and for democracy in general’ – Sonia Corrêa

Everything that exists, but is illegal, creates a mafia’ – Gabriela Leite

Now is undoubtedly a fascinating and crucial time for those interested in the law and human rights in Brazil. The rapid social, political, and economic changes of the past few years have instigated corresponding changes in civil society, as citizens react to, and interact with, the forces that are shaping the future of their lives and nation. Interesting discussions around citizenship and social justice have been raised – for example, recently introduced laws that aim to criminalise prejudice with a view to protecting minority groups.

Part of this wider discussion on citizenship and rights could be seen on 7th November in Rio de Janeiro, when The Brazilian Lawyers Organisation hosted a debate – ’A prostituição na reforma do Código Penal’ – regarding the ongoing reform of the Criminal Code and the proposal (PL 4211/2012) that is currently before Brazil’s Congress. Proposed by Federal Deputy Jean Wyllys in July 2012, this proposal would alter the criminal laws surrounding adult prostitution to allow prostitution businesses and cooperatives, and makes a clear distinction between “prostitution” and “sexual exploitation”.


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Bodies of Law / Law and the Body

An interdisciplinary conference for postgraduate and early-career academics in the area of law, gender and sexuality (see the PECANS network).

Friday 30 March 2012

School of Law, University of Westminster, London, UK



This one-day conference seeks to bring together postgraduate and early-career scholars from across the UK and beyond to explore the general theme of ‘law and the body’. This event will investigate the different dimensions of how the ‘body’ as a governed entity is represented, regulated, and normalised within the legal order, while encouraging debate about law’s relationship to wider social structures and knowledges.

Law mediates various power structures and is interwoven with numerous other knowledges that participate in the construction, normalization and regulation of bodies, such as medicine, social media, religion and the nation-state. Numerous feminist legal scholars have commented on law’s intimate relationship to, for example, medical discourses, arguing that the shape of legal power has changed to more regulatory and disciplinary forms. Inevitably law’s relationship to bodies/states of embodiment alters as it takes on these increasingly pervasive roles. One might conclude that the notion of a space where the law will not intervene is a liberal fantasy, out of step with the reality of law’s operations. How, then, should law be evaluated and/or harnessed?

Within this context, some of the questions we hope to address are:

  • Does law privilege certain bodies/states of embodiment? If so, what are some of the ways that these privileged bodies can be detected in law and resisted?
  • Should legal scholars continue to appeal to (or return to) fixed understandings of bodies, such as the ‘female’ body?
  • How do bio-technologies affect and transform the relationship between body and law, especially within the processes of neoliberal governance and consumerism?
  • In what ways are marginalised groups affected by the interaction of law and body within the discourses of (in)equality and difference?
  • What has the advent of post-human and object-oriented thought meant for feminist conceptions of ‘the body’?
  • Can we conceive of law without ‘the body’?

We invite papers addressing these and other related questions for inclusion in the conference program. Abstracts of no more than 200 words should be sent to Katie Cruz at llxkc4@nottingham.ac.uk by Friday 6 January 2012. Successful participants will be notified no later than mid-February.

We regret that we cannot guarantee participants funding for travel however there may be some small subsidies available. We will advertise any opportunities as they arise. Finally, papers presented at the conference will be considered for publication in a special issue of feminists@law, a peer-reviewed, online, open access journal of feminist legal scholarship. For more information about the journal, please visit http://journals.kent.ac.uk/index.php/feministsatlaw/index

Download the CFP: PECANS WORKSHOP 2012

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8th – 9th April 2011                                               

University of Nottingham

This is a two-day interdisciplinary event for feminist activists, artist, teachers and academics to discuss the relationships between feminism and teaching.

There will be keynote workshops/sessions by: Professor Gina Wisker (Brighton), Professor Sara Mills (Sheffield Hallam) and Dr Louise Mullany (Nottingham), Professor Ruth Holliday (Leeds), Dr Ben Brabon (Edge Hill), Annette Foster (Performance Artist).

We have also received a diverse selection of workshop proposals from feminist academics and activists from across the world; with delegates from locations including Algeria, Australia, Brazil Canada, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Germany, Indonesia, India, Kurdistan, Luxembourg, Norway, the Phillipines, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, Uganda, the US and UK.

Panels so far include: gender on the university campus, feminist activism, thinking gender in ‘gender neutral’ spaces, gender based violence and pedagogy, performative gender, new ways to raise consciousness, gender awareness training, consciousness raising in India, feminism outside the classroom, overcoming problems in the classroom, student-led teaching, new ways to teach gender, feminism and religous education, teaching EFL.

The two day event will contain presentations in a range of formats, including interactive workshops, working with text and film extracts, poster presentations, performances and discussion groups.

The aim of the event is to encourage discussion, share knowledge and experience about teaching practice, and form a supportive environment for academics, activists and those with an interest in the relationship between feminism and teaching.

A registration form is now available for those wishing to attend the event, at www.feminismandteaching.org

Delegate fees to attend both days of the symposium, including all materials, refreshments, lunch and wine reception will be:
Waged £45 / Unwaged £35
To attend only one day the delegate fee will be £25.

For further information please contact us at feminismandteaching@nottingham.ac.uk

Download the flyer here: feminism and teaching poster

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Feminist Judgments: Next Steps

LSE, 9 May 2011

A conference reflecting on the implications of the Feminist Judgments Project, with sessions exploring the uses and potential of the project for critical scholarship, feminist activism, policy-making and teaching.

 The Feminist Judgments Project has involved a group of legal academics and practitioners writing the ‘missing’ feminist judgments in a series of key cases in English law. The participants aim to show how feminist theory can be put into practice in judgment form, and to demonstrate that even at the time they were heard, and subject to all the constraints binding appellate judges, these cases could have been reasoned and decided differently.

Following the publication of Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice (Hart Publishing, 2010), this one-day conference is designed to reflect on the implications of the Feminist Judgments Project. Conference sessions will explore the uses and potential of the project for critical scholarship, feminist activism, policy-making and teaching. The conference will also feature the launch of a set of UKCLE-funded teaching materials developed from the project and designed to facilitate research-led teaching.

Speakers include: Vera Baird QC (barrister and former Solicitor-General), Brenna Bhandar (Kent), Beatrix Campbell (journalist and activist), Helen Carr (Kent), Sonia Harris-Short (Birmingham), Caroline Hunter (York), Troy Lavers (Leicester), Kate Malleson (Queen Mary), Clare McGlynn (Durham), Sue Millns (Sussex), Les Moran (Birkbeck), Pragna Patel (Southall Black Sisters), Anne Phillips (LSE Gender Institute), Sally Wheeler (QUB).

There is no charge for attendance, but space is limited, so please reserve your place early by emailing Susan Hunt at s.hunt@lse.ac.uk.

Organised by Rosemary Hunter (R.C.Hunter@kent.ac.uk), Erika Rackley (Erika.Rackley@durham.ac.uk) and Linda Mulcahy (L.Mulcahy@lse.ac.uk), and sponsored by the LSE Law Department.

Download the flyer here: Advertising flyer.

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PECANS Workshop 2011

Postgraduate and Early Career Academics Network of Scholars

(Supported by the Economic & Social Research Coucil (ESRC), Keele University, University of Kent and University of Westminster)


An interdisciplinary postgraduate & early career scholars conference in the broad area of law, gender and sexuality

April 8th, 2011, Westminster University, London, UK


Legal and legislative change does not occur in a vacuum. This one‐day postgraduate and early careers scholars’ conference seeks to explore contexts under which legal change relating to sexuality and gender occurs. It also seeks to address means by which issues of sexuality, law, bodies, and power interact, react against or mutually reinforce each other in the context of legal and activist discourse and how this process can impact upon wider social structures. (more…)

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