Critical Legal Conference 2009

September 13, 2009 at 5:53 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I went to the Critical Legal Conference this weekend to present a paper on finance capitalism and pure economic loss from a CLS perspective (you can read my abstract here: it is the 3rd from the top) The conference was in Leicester UK (I literally flew out Thursday night, arrived in Leicester Friday morning, returned to London Saturday night, and am flying back to DC this morning)…which is a surprisingly nice city; the town center is remarkably cute.
leicester U

It was amazing to get to talk to so many people doing left legal theory and see such a wide variety of talks.  I was impressed at just how many people attended how thoroughly international it was.  I particularly appreciated a presentation by Morag Goodwin on how technological development allows the ‘coding’ of self-enforcing patents.  For instance, she described how seeds are genetically engineered to die after a season so they can’t be replanted, and even more scarily how cocktails of drugs are being designed so the cocktail will fail if generic drugs used in place of brand name drugs.  I also particularly appreciated a talk by Virginia Mantouvalou of the University of Leicester argued for the political utility of rights discourse for use in progressive labor law and the labor movement.  A lot of the presenters worked with Foucault or Marx, or were in fairly technical legal topics, or alternatively only tangentially ‘legal’ in nature…I was somewhat disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to hear from anyone doing work continuing the American CLS tradition, but it gave me a sense of the range of variety in and around critical legal theory.



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