Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Legal History at the Berkshire Conference on the History of Women

Thank you, Mary, for the opportunity to visit the Legal History Blog this month, and to everyone for your patience with this first-time blogger.

Image credit
Next week, I will attend the Berkshire Conference on the History of Women for the first time. This year’s conference, “Exploring Race, Sexuality and Labor Across Time and Space,” will be held at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, June 9-12, 2011. On the program are several explicitly legal history-themed panels, and many more of interest to legal historians. The full program is here; a sampling appears after the jump.
The keynote lecture, Slave or Free? Tracing Generations through the Diaspora of Saint-Domingue/Haiti, will be delivered by Rebecca Scott and Martha S. Jones of the University of Michigan on Thursday evening, June 9.

Two panels consider feminist legal history across generations: The first is on Thursday, June 9, 3:30-5:15pm, when a roundtable on NEW GENERATIONS OF FEMINIST LEGAL HISTORY features Tracy A. Thomas, University of Akron; Richard Chused, New York Law School; Felice Batlan, Chicago-Kent College of Law; Mae Quinn, Washington University in St. Louis Law School; and Leigh Ann Wheeler, Binghamton University. On Saturday, 10:30-12:25, a roundtable titled FOR LOVE OF JUSTICE: REDEFINING FEMINIST LEGAL HISTORY, chaired by Jane DeHart and Leandra Zarnow of UC Santa Barbara, will include remarks by Reva Siegel, Yale Law School; Elizabeth Katz, Independent Scholar; Constance Backhouse, University of Ottawa Law School; Serena Mayeri, University of Pennsylvania Law School; and Joan Sangster, Trent University.
Many other panels teem with interesting legal history topics, including GENDER IN CORPORATE SPACES, on Friday, June 10, 8:30-10:15am (Katherine Lee Turk, University of Chicago, on From the Experience to the Legally Actionable: Women’s Workplace Caucuses and Class Action Lawsuits, 1968-1976 and Betty Luther Hillman, Yale University, on This Opinion Will Certainly Become Known as the Opinion Which Required “Unisex”: Workplace Grooming Codes and the Legal Regulation of Gendered Dress in the 1970s).
Also on Friday, June 10, 8:30-10:15am: WHO MADE WOMEN MAD? GENDER, RACE, SEX AND INSANITY (1700-2000) features, among others, Cornelia Hughes Dayton, University of Connecticut, When “Not Mad” Was the More Punitive Category for Women. And, at the same time, a roundtable on Generations: What Are Current Transnational Perspectives on Citizenship, Maternalism, and Women’s Separatist Activism? This roundtable, chaired by Kathryn Kish Sklar, is one of several events sponsored by the Women and Social Movements (WASM) online archives.

Those interested in the law of marriage can learn from several panels, including MARRIAGE, LIVES, and the LAW IN ENGLAND AND NORTH AMERICA, chaired by Holly Brewer, North Carolina State University, on Friday at 3:30pm; and at the same time, THE GENDERED IMPLICATIONS OF INTERRACIAL SEX AND MARRIAGE IN THE POSTWAR CONTEXTS OF THE UNITED STATES, chaired by Adrienne Davis, Washington University-St. Louis Law School. An intriguing panel on Saturday at 8:30am takes up THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF THE 20TH CENTURY: GENERATIONS OF LABOR AND DEPENDENCE IN WORKING-CLASS FAMILIES IN THE U.S., including Alison Lefkowitz of Miami University on Housewives for ERA: The Illinois Equal Rights Amendment and the Problem of Dependency, 1972-1978.
A number of panels will interest scholars of law and reproduction, among them FAMILY VALUES: THE POLITICS OF SOCIAL WELFARE, REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS AND MARRIAGE, on Friday at 1:15, which includes Deborah Dinner of Yale University presenting The Crisis in Legal Feminism: Equality and Social Protection in the Reagan Era; a Saturday morning roundtable on GLOBALIZATION AND WOMEN”S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: THE CASE OF ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGIES; and THE STATE OF REPRODUCTION: THE POLITICS AND POLICY OF REPRODUCTIVE CONTROL IN THE U.S. AND THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, to name just a few.

This year’s Berks also features many panels on international and transnational topics, including a panel on WOMEN’S RIGHTS, THE NATION-STATE AND FOREIGN RELATIONS IN THE 20th CENTURY, chaired by Karen Tani, University of Pennsylvania.
And I haven’t even begun to do justice to many other panels that will address important topics from the labor activism of women of color; to the feminist anti-pornography movement; to incarcerated women as mothers, workers, and citizens; to intersections in the histories of sexuality and slavery.

1 comment:

Mary L. Dudziak said...

Serena, thanks for this post and welcome to the blog! I highly recommend the Berks. I won't be there this year, but have gone in the past. This year's panels look great.