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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Call for papers on prisons, prisoners and prison records in historical perspective

(via Don Fyson)

A WORKSHOP TO EXAMINE PRISONS, PRISONERS AND PRISON RECORDS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
April 2324 2019 University of Guelph, Canada
The rise of the prison as an institution of mass incarceration for offenders has for long fascinated researchers. In part, this is due to the unusually detailed nature of most prison records. The wide availability of somewhat similar sources across diverse European and Europeanderived societies provides criminologists, social and economic historians, demographers and other social scientists with rich collections of personal information that have been analysed intensively since the 1970s. The increasing power of software and hardware and the accumulation of very large quantities of prison data, some of it linked to other sources, offers challenges and opportunities for researchers today. The workshop responds to the challenge of harnessing criminal justice records by bringing together scholars in different disciplines and countries to share information about their sources, methodologies of classification and analysis, and to reconceptualize research paradigms.
This workshop welcomes researchers with an interest in one or more of several broad discussions.
1. What research is now ongoing in Canada and elsewhere to examine prison and prisonlike institutions and their populations, and how does it fit into the rich history of research since the 1970s? Literature reviews and case studies that draw from ongoing research programmes are welcome. 2. What difficulties are encountered as we try to understand the life experience of the incarcerated using records generated by an institution without permission from the incarcerated and often without their knowledge? 3. What conceptual and methodological challenges are encountered in constructing and using databases that result from a digitization process and that describe an entire population of prisoners? How do we ensure that digitized resources created today will survive and be useful for future generations? 4. Can we organize information about institutions in a way that will facilitate comparative analysis of
prosecution, conviction and incarceration practices and experiences across jurisdictions? 5. What does social science analysis of historical criminal justice records, criminology in the past, offer
to scholars and policymakers responding to current and future challenges?
Researchers who might like to offer a paper or simply join the discussion are encouraged to express their interest. Graduate students are especially welcome. The organizing committee consists of Catrien Bijleveld (Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement), François Fenchel (Université Laval), Donald Fyson (Université Laval), Barry Godfrey (University of Liverpool), Kris Inwood (University of Guelph) and Hamish MaxwellStewart (U of Tasmania).
Please direct a 250 word abstract and a brief cv by September 30 to Kris Inwood kinwood@uoguelph.ca.
ATELIER DE RECHERCHE: PERSPECTIVES HISTORIQUES SUR LES PRISONS, LES PERSONNES INCARCÉRÉES ET LES ARCHIVES DES PRISONS
2324 avril, 2019 Université de Guelph, Canada
La constitution de la prison comme institution d'incarcération de masse a longtemps attiré l'intérêt des chercheurs. La nature exceptionnellement détaillée de la plupart des archives carcérales explique en partie cet attrait. Des sources similaires sont aisément disponibles dans les sociétés européennes et leurs colonies, ce qui permet de rassembler une grande quantité d'informations personnelles sur les individus incarcérés. L'analyse détaillée de ces données, débute dès les années 1970; elle est le fait autant des criminologues que des spécialistes de l'histoire sociale et économique, des démographes et d'autres chercheurs en sciences sociales. La puissance croissante des logiciels et du matériel informatique ainsi que l’accumulation de très grandes quantités de données sur les prisons, dont une partie est jumelée à d’autres sources, offrent aux chercheurs de larges perspectives, mais constituent aussi un défi. Cet atelier sera l'occasion d'approfondir ces questions portant sur l'exploitation des archives de la justice pénale. Il permettra de réunir des chercheurs de différentes disciplines et différents pays pour confronter leurs sources et leurs méthodes (classement, analyse, etc.) et pour réévaluer les paradigmes de la recherche.
L'atelier est ouvert aux chercheurs qui sont intéressés par une ou plusieurs des questions suivantes:
1. Quels projets de recherche sont en cours, au Canada et ailleurs, sur l'histoire des établissements carcéraux et de la population carcérale? Comment ces projets se situentils dans à la recherche sur l'histoire des prisons menée depuis les années 1970 ? Les synthèses historiographiques et les études de cas tirées de projets de recherche en cours sont les bienvenues. 2. Quelles sont les difficultés rencontrées dans l'analyse des expériences de vie des personnes incarcérées, laquelle est fondée sur des documents institutionnels, et est réalisée sans la permission des détenues et souvent à leur insu ? 3. Quels défis conceptuels et méthodologiques posent la construction et l'utilisation de bases de données à partir d'archives numérisées, qui décrivent une population entière de prisonniersères ? Comment s'assurer de la pérennité des ressources numériques créées aujourd'hui et garantir leur accès aux générations futures? 4. Comment organiser l'information sur les institutions de manière à faciliter l'analyse comparée des pratiques et des expériences en matière de poursuite, de condamnation et d'incarcération, dans différents types de juridictions ? 5. Qu'apporte l'analyse par les méthodes des sciences sociales des archives de la justice pénale ‐‐ c'est à dire, la criminologie historique ‐‐ aux chercheurs et aux décideurs politiques, par rapport aux défis actuels et futurs ?
Les chercheurs qui souhaitent proposer un communication, ou qui désirent simplement participer aux discussions, sont invités à manifester leur intérêt. Les étudiantes graduées sont particulièrement les bienvenues. Le comité scientifique et organisateur est composé de : Catrien Bijleveld (Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement), François Fenchel (Université Laval), Donald Fyson (Université Laval), Barry Godfrey (University of Liverpool), Kris Inwood (Université de Guelph) et Hamish Maxwell Stewart (University of Tasmania).
Veuillez envoyer un résumé de 250 mots et un court CV, avant le 30 septembre, à: Kris Inwood kinwood@uoguelph.ca.


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Koester dissertation "The Public Good: Eugenics and Law in Ontario, 1910 to 1938"



Elizabeth Koester successfully defended her doctoral dissertation “The Public Good: Eugenics and Law in Ontario, 1910 to 1938” on September 7, 2018. In it, she used three aspects of law – private members’ bills, royal commissions and a sensational criminal trial – to investigate the little-known history of eugenics in Ontario. Her dissertation committee included supervisor Nikolai Krementsov from the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, Marga Vicedo, also of the IHSPT and Jim Phillips from the Faculty of Law.

Congratulations, Liz!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Fernandez, Pierson v. Post, The Hunt for the Fox: Law and Professionalization in American Legal Culture

(Reposted from Dan Ernst at the Legal History Blog. Angela advises that Chapters 2 and 7 will be of interest to Canadian legal historians. And that Cambridge UP has told her the publication date will be September 27.)


Fernandez's Pierson v. Post: The Hunt for the Fox
Cambridge University Press still lists it as coming soon and not published until next month, but I've already spotted it on Google books, and I’m teaching the case for the 45th time (more or less) this afternoon, so I’m posting now anyway.  That’s right, Pierson v. Post, The Hunt for the Fox: Law and Professionalization in American Legal Culture, by Angela Fernandez, University of Toronto Law, is or is almost out in the series Cambridge Historical Studies in American Law and Society.



The 1805 New York foxhunting case Pierson v. Post has long been used in American property law classrooms to introduce law students to the concept of first possession by asking how one establishes possession of a wild animal. In this book, Professor Angela Fernandez retells the history of the famous fox case, from its origins as a squabble between two wealthy young men on the South Fork of Long Island through its appeal to the New York Supreme Court and entry into legal treatises, law school casebooks, and law journal articles, where it still occupies a central place. Professor Fernandez argues that the dissent is best understood as an example of legal solemn foolery. Yet it has been treated by legal professionals, the lawyers of its day, and subsequent legal academics in such a serious way, demonstrating how the solemn and the silly can occupy two sides of the same coin in American legal history.
Some endorsements:

"A new generation of legal historians now has its leading essayist. Fernandez explodes the 'cases in context' genre with essays ranging across literary, social and intellectual history. Sprightly, but with painstaking research and impressive learning, she discovers in a judge's witticisms fresh insights into how lawyers and law professors distance themselves from the strife from which they profit."

Daniel Ernst - Georgetown University, Washington, DC

"Fernandez' masterful book comprehensively reinterprets one of the great old chestnuts of American legal history. Her glittering prose and impressive research make this a must read for historians, lawyers and anyone seeking to understand how the law worked and what it has come to mean."

Gautham Rao - American University, Washington, DC

"In this splendid work of legal archaeology, Fernandez painstakingly reconstructs the strange career of Pierson v. Post, shining considerable light on the professional culture within which it has attained the status of a leading case. Deeply researched and beautifully crafted, this book is a major contribution to the field of legal history, prompting critical reflection on the ways and means by which conventional wisdom is constructed and reconstructed over time."

Susanna Blumenthal - University of Minnesota



Friday, August 31, 2018

Osgoode Society Legal History Workshop, schedule for fall term, 2018

Here is the schedule for the fall term. Everyone welcome to all or any of the sessions (you will want to email Jim at j.phillips@utoronto.ca to get on the distribution list to receive papers).

OSGOODE SOCIETY LEGAL HISTORY WORKSHOP, 2018-2019
FALL TERM SCHEDULE

All sessions held in Room J230, Jackman Hall, University of Toronto Law School. All sessions begin at 6.30.
------------------------------------------
Wednesday September 19: Carolyn Strange, Australian National University: ‘Capital Punishment and Sex Crimes in Canada, 1867-1950’

Wednesday October 10: Virginia Torrie, University of Manitoba: ‘Federalism and Farm Debt during the Great Depression’

Wednesday October 24: Jim Phillips and Tom Collins, University of Toronto: ‘The Origin of the Division of Powers in the BNA Act’

Wednesday November 7: Ian Radforth, University of Toronto: ‘The Sad Story of the Minister's Daughter: A Botched Abortion in Victorian Toronto’

Wednesday November 21: Shelley Gavigan, Osgoode Hall Law School: "Settling In: Civil Justice on the Indigenous Plains, 1876-1886"

Wednesday December 5: Heidi Bohaker, University of Toronto: TBA

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Blaine Baker obit in Globe and Mail


Obit from the Globe, 18 August 2018

PROFESSOR EMERITUS GEORGE BLAINE BAKER


June 9, 1952 - July 11, 2018
Blaine passed away at 66 years. Predeceased by his father, George Grant Baker QC, his mother, Muriel Isabel Baker, and his brother, Eric William Baker. He is survived by his sister, Jill Elizabeth Baker. A private family service is being held.
Blaine was a professor of law at McGill University for 28 years. During his time there, he served as Associate Dean (academic) from 1999 to 2001, and Associate Dean (graduate studies) from 1997 to 1999.
A beloved teacher, Blaine received several teaching awards. His scholarship as an accomplished legal historian earned him encomiums from various learned academic institutions.
Blaine wrote many leading and influential articles and book chapters on Canadian legal history. Professor Baker also taught at the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall law schools. He was also an accomplished adjudicator with the Ontario License Appeal Tribunal.
A commemorative ceremony is planned for Professor Baker on Friday, September 7, 2018 at 2 p.m., Birks Heritage Chapel, McGill University, 3520 University St., Montreal. Contributions to the Professor Blaine Baker Scholarship Fund may be made through McGill University.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Morin, "Indigenous Peoples, Political Economists and the Tragedy of the Commons"


Michel Morin of the Faculté de droit Université de Montréal has published "Indigenous Peoples, Political Economists and the Tragedy of the Commons" in Theoretical Inquiries in Law, vol 19. no. 2 (2018).

Here's the abstract:

In “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Garrett Hardin implicitly moved from bounded commons — a pasture or a tribe’s territory — to the case of boundless commons — the ocean, the atmosphere and planet Earth. He insisted on the need for imposing limits on the use of these resources, blurring the difference between communal property and open access regimes. The success of his paper is due in great measure to his neglect of economic, scientific, legal  and anthropological literature. His main lifelong focus was on limiting population growth. He could have avoided the conceptual confusion he created by turning to well-known political economists such as John Locke and Adam Smith or, for that matter, jurists, such as Blackstone. Instead, he simply envisioned indigenous lands as an unbounded wilderness placed at the disposal of frontiersmen. Though he eventually acknowledged the existence of managed commons, he had little interest in community rules pertaining to resource exploitation. For him, these were simply moral norms which inevitably became ineffective after a community reached a certain level of population. He also took economists to task for failing to include in their analysis the true environmental and social costs of public decisions. Still, the famous example of the indigenous people of Northeastern Quebec illustrates a shortcoming of his analysis: community members did not act in total isolation from each other. On the contrary, communal norms could prevent an overexploitation of resources or allow for the adoption of corrective measures.


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Adams, Constitutional Stories: Japanese Canadians and the Constitution of Canada

Forthcoming in Australasian Canadian Studies, Eric Adams, "Constitutional Stories: Japanese Canadians and the Constitution of Canada" on SSRN  h/t Legal History Blog

Constitutions, and the law and culture they generate, constitute in the broad, diverse, and conflicting stories we tell about places, peoples, and nation states. Significant constitutional anniversaries have always marked an occasion for creating and challenging constitutional stories. The 150th anniversary of Confederation offers an opportunity to reflect on the stories that Canadian constitutional history has to contribute to the country’s broader constitutional narrative and self-understanding. In particular, I explore how significant moments in the constitutional history of Japanese Canadians reveal the relationship between constitutional failure and meaningful moments of constitutional resistance and change. In doing so, we see the capacity of constitutional history, often abandoned by scholars for the more immediate imperatives of contemporary constitutional concerns, as integral to a full understanding of Canadian constitutional law, culture, and politics.