From Sarah Hampson, POLS graduate student:
Several members of the department attended the 2011 Law and Society Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA from June 1-5. Professor Jeffrey Dudas was the discussant for a panel entitled “Assessing the Choice to Litigate and Understanding the Political Costs of Legal Mobilization,” where Joseph Mello presented his paper, “Rights Talk and the Right: Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage in California.” This panel discussed various contexts, strategies and challenges faced by individuals and groups attempting to mobilize. Professor Dudas also presented a paper entitled “All the Rage: Clarence Thomas, Paternal Authority, and Conservative Desire” on the panel “Rethinking Rights Mobilization as Historical Dialectics” on the final day of the conference.
Additionally, four other graduate students also presented papers. Vanessa Lovelace’s paper “Violent Liberty: Black Masculine Slaves and the Project of Self-Making,” was part of a panel on “Race in American Constitutionalism and American Constitutional Politics.” Vanessa’s panel discussed historical and contemporary topics to do with race in the context of Constitutional law. Sarah Hampson presented her paper, “Framing Mothers in Uniform: Public Discourse and Policy in the Case of Army Specialist Alexis Hutchinson,” on a panel dealing with questions of the consequences of public discourse and of free speech more broadly, entitled, The ‘Precarious Balance’ between ‘Consensus and Cleavage’.
Jamie Huff’s paper “Die with It in You: Frankie Silver, Appalachia, and Critical Legal Theories” was part of a panel entitled Bad Girls Defy the Law: Concepts and Consequences, which addressed women’s reactions and resistances to the law through various means. Finally, Daniel Tagliarina presented “Culture Warrior: Justice Antonin Scalia’s Fight for (Selective) Religious Accommodation” on a panel entitled “Constitutional Controversies Over Religion.” The discussion centered on the use of religion and religious language, symbols and meaning for political purposes.