Learn more about Peltz-Steele v. UMass Faculty Federation at Court Listener (complaint) and the Liberty Justice Center. The case is now on appeal in the First Circuit as no. 22-1466 (PACER paywall). Please direct media inquiries to Kristen Williamson.
Showing posts with label law and society. Show all posts
Showing posts with label law and society. Show all posts

Friday, July 29, 2022

Scholars seek to stimulate socio-legal studies in Africa

At the global meeting of the Law and Society Association (LSA) in Lisbon earlier this month, scholars in the collaborative research network dedicated to Africa ("CRN 13") agreed to move forward with an independent Africa Law & Society Network.

Working alongside but apart from CRN 13, the "Africa Law & Society Network" has a web page and for the time being claims a mailing address at the Centre for Law and Society at the University of Cape Town (UCT). The aim, in time, is to build a vibrant organization that is representative of scholars throughout the continent. 

The network thus hopes to stimulate the coordination of socio-legal studies by African scholars in two respects in which previous efforts have floundered: to have African scholars charting their own direction for research, rather than being coordinated by Western-dominated organizations; and to decentralize and diversify leadership, overcoming the tendency to lean exclusively on South African institutions.

CRN 13 leaders at the meeting sported the slogan "#CiteAfricanScholars" on T-shirts. Citation to African scholars often is limited by structural constraints that Western researchers might not even be conscious of, such as the simple availability of the work. With limited institutional resources, African academics cannot always enter their works into the subscription databases on which researchers often over-rely. And academic writers not backed by well known institutions are disproportionately unable to negotiate copyright and access terms with publishers that favor long-term pay walls over open source.

Professor Dee Smythe (LSA, UCT, LinkedIn) addresses the CRN 13 meeting in Lisbon.
(RJ Peltz-Steele CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

 

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Lisbon graffiti writer seeks internet access

I passed this graffiti in the Entrecampos area of Lisbon while attending the annual meeting of the Law and Society Association earlier this month (photo by RJ Peltz-Steele CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

The text struck me as a curious coupling of "free expression" to excess and an unrealized "right to receive," or right of access to information and the internet.

It looks like someone tried to obliterate the middle section of the text, but as best as I can read it, it says, in whole: "I am a local artist in need of internet connection without any restriction. If you have a network that works and you [are] up for sharing, please text me the [user?] name, password and your approximate address to 969 158 614. In exchange, you(r) might get a poem."

I might have been better persuaded if the writer had asked in rhyme.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Colorful CUNY comics teach environmental law, policy, and social justice for all ages

Comic books are not new to legal education, but the Center for Urban Environmental Reform (CUER) at the City University of New York Law School is trailblazing.  Among the fabulous contributions to the recently published The Media Method (CAP), a book about popular culture in legal education, is a chapter by CUNY Law Professor Rebecca Bratspies and her artist-collaborators, including Charlie La Greca.  They are using comic books to reach kids, and, well, me, to talk about environmental conservation and climate change.  They made a video, too, about the project:


When I saw Professor Bratspies at the SEALS conference in July, she gave me a copy of her most recent creation, Book 2 in the Environmental Justice Chronicles!: Bina's Planet.  Suffice to say, it's another hit.  No spoilers, but I was hooked from page one, when heroine-everywoman and high-school-soccer-star-alumna Bina returned to her school-stadium pitch, where, implicitly, young women's soccer reigns supreme.  She goes on to save the day with her colorful cohort, demonstrating en route best practices in youthful social activism à la Greta Thunberg or Xiuhtezcatl Martinez.  I love that Bratspies elevated the tale to the planetary level, making it simultaneously descriptive of the supranational threat and artfully suggestive of trending science fiction by black women writers (see also Terra Nullius).

Bina's Planet is not yet online, but is available in paper from CUER for public education projects.  While you wait for mass dissemination, catch up with Book 1, Mayah's Lot, available to download, or watch and listen online:



Incidentally, for a related CUNY workshop on the Freedom of Information Act in 2018, Bratspies, La Greca, et al., produced a pamphlet-sized special appearance of Mayah on the FOIA.  I have a copy, but cannot find an image in circulation.  I hope they'll put it online in the future.