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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A couple reading suggestions and the schedule for the NYU Crim Theory Colloquium

N.B. This post is basically for crimprofs and those interested in crim theory.

Apropos Rick's recent mention that he assigned an old favorite of mine, the Speluncean Explorers, for his first crim law class, I thought I'd share some (self-serving) recommendations, since this week marks the onset for many law schools across the country, and that means  the first criminal law class is here or around the corner for some 1L's.  (After the jump, I also share the schedule for the crim law theory colloquium at NYU this coming year.)

As many crim law profs lament,  first-year criminal law casebooks generally have pretty crummy offerings with respect to the state of the field in punishment theory. (The new 9th edition of Kadish Schulhofer Steiker Barkow, however, is better than most in this respect.) Most casebooks give a little smattering of Kant and Bentham, maybe a gesture to Stephen and for a contemporary flourish, a nod to Jeff Murphy or Michael Moore or Herb Morris. Murphy, Morris, and Moore deserve huge kudos for revivifying the field in the 1970's and since.  Fortunately, the field of punishment theory is very fertile today, and not just with respect to retributive justice.  

For those of you looking to give your students something more meaty and nourishing than Kantian references to fiat iustitia, et pereat mundus, you might want to check out either Michael Cahill's Punishment Pluralism piece or a reasonably short piece of mine, What Might Retributive Justice Be?, a 20-pager or so that tries to give a concise statement of the animating principles and limits of communicative retributivism.  Both pieces, which come from the same book, are the sort that law students and non-specialists should be able to digest without too much complication.  Also, if you're teaching the significance of the presumption of innocence to your 1L's, you might find this oped I did with Eric Miller to be helpful as a fun supplement; it concerns the quiet scandal of punitive release conditions.

Speaking of Cahill (the object of my enduring bromance), Mike and I are continuing to run a crim law theory colloquium for faculty based in NYC at NYU. The goal for this coming year is to workshop papers on and by:

September 10: Re'em Segev (Hebrew U, visiting fellow at NYU); James Stewart (UBC, visiting fellow at NYU)

October 29: Amanda Pustilnik (U Maryland); Joshua Kleinfeld (Northwestern)

November 26: Dan Markel (FSU); Rick Bierschbach and Stephanos Bibas (Cardozo/Penn)

January 28: Rachel Barkow (NYU) and Eric Johnson (Illinois)

February 25: Miriam Baer (BLS) and Michael Cahill (BLS)

March 18: Josh Bowers (UVA) and Michelle Dempsey (Villanova)

April 29: Daryl Brown (UVA) and Larry Alexander (USanDiego)

As you can see, the schedule tries to imperfectly bring together crim theorists of different generations and perspectives. This is going to be the fourth and fifth semesters of these colloquia. Let me know if you'd like to be on our email list for the papers.

Posted by Dan Markel on August 21, 2012 at 03:07 PM in Article Spotlight, Criminal Law, Legal Theory | Permalink

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I would like to be on the email list. Thanks. Jd1933@nyu.edu

Posted by: Jesse | Aug 21, 2012 5:47:34 PM

I'd like to be on the email list as well- thank you. valena.beety@mail.wvu.edu.

Posted by: Valena | Oct 7, 2012 6:37:42 PM

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