Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Research Canons: Civil Procedure

Our first subject matter for the research canons project is Civil Procedure.  (See here for a discussion of the research canons project.)  Please comment on the books and articles that are essential to a new academic in the field.  There will be a separate category for Federal Courts/Civil Rights.

One note: research canons may call to mind older, classic works that provide the foundation for today's research.  However, new canons are also extremely useful -- these are the current works that are driving the debate in the field.  In fact, new canons may be more useful to new academics, since they are less likely to have seen these in law school.  It may make sense to differentiate between these in your comments.

Posted by Matt Bodie on September 6, 2006 at 10:37 AM in Research Canons | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Research Canons: A General Law Canon?

As discussed in this post, the Research Canons project is designed to provide lists of essential works for the many legal subject areas in the academy.  However, is there also a general canon for all academics -- works that everyone, no matter the field, is expected to have some familiarity with?  If so, what would those works be?

Posted by Matt Bodie on September 5, 2006 at 03:30 PM in Research Canons | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Announcing: The "Research Canons" Project

Prawfsblawg is pleased to announce the "Research Canons" project.  The purpose of this project is to get input from you, our readers, about the most important works of scholarship in the various areas of legal inquiry.

Unlike other disciplines, most law academics do not have an advanced degree in "law."  For students pursuing a Ph.D in areas such as economics, history, or social psychology, they must pass comprehensive exams showing that they have a broad knowledge of the most important works in the field.  It is only after comps that students go on to complete their specialized dissertation research.

Legal academia assumes that entry-level candidates and new scholars have done the background research necessary for their area of expertise.  But it is left to the individual to get this knowledge.  Certainly, the J.D. provides a baseline, and mentors are helpful in providing further direction.  But there is nothing akin to comps that sets forth a comprehensive listing for new folks to follow.  Many of us have heard the question, in the AALS interview, in the job talk, or as a new scholar presenting a paper: "Well, of course, you have read the work of Prof. X in this area, right?"  Failure to respond appropriately to this question may raise eyebrows and cast doubt on the scholar's research.

The Research Canons project is intended to fill this gap.  Over the following weeks, we will be asking for input on the canons for the following subjects:

Let us know if we're missing an area of interest.

We hope this project goes some way in presenting a bibliography for new scholars.  We look forward to hearing your input in the upcoming weeks.  We'll start with Civil Procedure tomorrow.  As for now, perhaps we can start with this question: Is this project worthwhile?  Or are the lists too long, too topic-specific, and/or too ideological to be useful?

Posted by Matt Bodie on September 5, 2006 at 12:55 PM in Research Canons | Permalink | Comments (39) | TrackBack