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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sundry: SEALS, scholarship updates, and the writer's studio

The annual SEALS conference is coming up next week, which I'll be excitedly attending. Our crew will be staying next door to the Marriott at the Palmetto Dunes--so please message me if you're there and want to celebrate Benben's 2d bday on the 29th.  Notwithstanding the happy hour the night before, the (sincere!) motivation for the trip is a panel I'll be doing with Larry Solum, Usha Rodriguez, and Dave Fagundes on the question(s) of: (How) Can Blogging Build Community in the Legal Academy? I think blogs like ours (particularly Bodie's wonderful book club series) have done some great things toward cultivating community (at least defined in some ways), but Usha is right to ask her readers what else can be done. So...as a new school year awaits in the shadows, I thought I'd ask for readers of this blog to share thoughts they might have (either via email or in the comments) about what more Prawfs can do to build a warm and engaged community in the legal academy. After all, I'll need something to talk about on the 29th at 10:15am!

While I'm typing on the intertubes, let me take this moment to conclude my recent short series of posts with updates on what I've been working on. Mercifully, this will be the last of the batch for a while. 

First, the other day I put up on SSRN the final version of a chapter entitled What Might Retributive Justice Be?, which appears in the recently published volume, Retributivism: Essays on Theory and Practice (edited by Mark D. White).  As the piece is, for me, relatively short, it's worth mentioning that this chapter might be somewhat helpful as an introduction/overview of contemporary retributive justice theory for those (1) less familiar with punishment theory and (2) tasked with teaching (or studying) criminal law or sentencing law in the coming year. By the way, there will be a conference at St. John's Law in NYC on Friday Nov. 4th devoted to discussing the chapters and themes in the volume. If you're interested in attending, let me  or Marc DeGirolami know. 

Second, thanks to a teaching leave made possible by the good folks at the Searle foundation and FSU, I've spent much of the last five months working on a piece trying to connect the literature on political obligation (ie., is there a moral duty to obey the law) to criminalization and punishment theory. The resulting marriage is a paper entitled Retributive Justice and the Demands of Democratic Citizenship. Not sure why, but I'm still holding this one back from SSRN right now. Nonetheless, it's now in a sufficiently complete draft(!) form that I'd be happy to share it with any folks who want a sneak preview and a chance to help me avoid various errors.  

Third, I've also just put up a short essay (entitled A Judge for Justice) on related themes of disagreement, deference, and democracy in the context of crime and punishment (and in particular shaming punishments). By looking at the somewhat famous Gementera case carefully, the piece is intended as an homage to my former boss, Judge Michael Hawkins on the Ninth Circuit, who transitioned to senior status recently. To mark that transition, the editors at the ASU LJ convened a celebration/symposium earlier this year with some of his former clerks who are now prawfs; accordingly, the issue in Volume 43 with my essay also includes thoughtful reflections on Judge Hawkins' jurisprudence from Profs. Lenni Benson,  Thomas Healy, and Carlton Larson.

I was going to include something about our new "writer's studio" at FSU in this post, but I'll save that for a separate post, as this one has probably gone on long enough. More later. Happy Thursday.

Posted by Administrators on July 21, 2011 at 09:55 AM in Article Spotlight, Criminal Law, Dan Markel, Legal Theory, Life of Law Schools | Permalink


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I will unfortunately miss the panel (and SEALS), but it's been five years since our last "Research Canons" project, and I was thinking we could do an update this fall. Here's the link to the original edition's initial post, which includes links to the subsequent series:


Posted by: Matt Bodie | Jul 21, 2011 10:38:48 PM

I hereby second, with unadulaterated self-interest, Dan's pimping of our SEALS panel on blogging. We've been doing a lot of work to make sure this panel raises interesting issues about the role of blogging and other social media in the contemporary law professor profession. Current topics slated for discussion include, but are by no means limited to, whether and how blogs can create or corrode community (and what that "community" is, and how this function interacts with the substantive-discussion aspect of law blogs); the distinctive problems (and advantages) raised by anonymity in law blog discussions (tentatively titled, "On the internet, nobody knows you're not Cass Sunstein"); whether law blogs can solve or reify preexisting race or gender inequalities; whether this whole "Twitter" fiasco has any professional utility; and why Dan keeps posting pictures of himself flexing and shirtless on Prawfs.

That said, all ideas and suggestions for other discussion topics are most welcome. Also, please feel free to identify any particularly in/famous examples of law blog posts from the recent or distant past, and/or any blog posts that seem to emblematize the good, bad, or ugly of law bloggery. And by all means, join the discussion next Friday, July 29, in Hilton Head (at the humane time of 10.15am), which promises to be a good old time.

Posted by: Dave | Jul 21, 2011 7:27:19 PM

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