Book Talks • Et. Seq: The Harvard Law School Library Blog

Book Talk: Intisar A. Rabb, Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts, Tue., Nov. 28, at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts (November 2017) edited by Intisar A. Rabb & Abigail Krasner Balbale.  This talk is co-sponsored with the International Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School, the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School, the Harvard University Department of History, and the Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University.

Intisar A. Rabb

Intisar A. Rabb is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, the Director of the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School, the Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Harvard University Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and Professor of History in the Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

 

Abigail Krasner Balbale

 

 

Abigail Krasner Balbale is Assistant Professor of the Cultural History of the Islamic World at Bard Graduate Center.

 

Copies of Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts will be available for sale and Professor Rabb and Professor Balbale will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School Lewis 214A (Map & Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

About Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts

Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts“This book presents an in-depth exploration of the administration of justice during Islam’s founding period, 632–1250 CE. Inspired by the scholarship of Roy Parviz Mottahedeh and composed in his honor, this volume brings together ten leading scholars of Islamic law to examine the history of early Islamic courts. This approach draws attention to both how and why the courts and the people associated with them functioned in early Islamic societies: When a dispute occurred, what happened in the courts? How did judges conceive of justice and their role in it? When and how did they give attention to politics and procedure?

Each author draws on diverse sources that illuminate a broader and deeper vision of law and society than traditional legal literature alone can provide, including historical chronicles, biographical dictionaries, legal canons, exegetical works, and mirrors for princes. Altogether, the volume offers both a substantive intervention on early Islamic courts and on methods for studying legal history as social history. It illuminates the varied and dynamic legal landscapes stretching across early Islam, and maps new approaches to interdisciplinary legal history.” — Harvard Series in Islamic Law

Panelists

William A. Graham

 

William A. Graham
Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, Murray A. Albertson Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, and Director, Prince Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University

 

Cemal Kafadar

 

 

Cemal Kafadar
Vehbi Koç Professor of Turkish Studies, Harvard University Department of History

 

 

Ahmed El Shamsy

 

 

Ahmed El Shamsy, Senior Visiting fellow, Harvard Law School Islamic Legal Studies Program – SHARIASource, and Associate Professor of Islamic Thought, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, The University of Chicago

Book Talk: I. Glenn Cohen’s Specimen Science: Ethics and Policy Implications, Thur., Nov. 9, at noon at Countway Library of Medicine

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of Specimen Science: Ethics and Policy Implications (MIT Press, Sept. 2017) edited by Holly Fernandez Lynch, Barbara E. Bierer, I. Glenn Cohen and Suzanne M. Rivera.  This talk is co-sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library, the Countway Library of Medicine, and the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology & Bioethics.

Copies of Specimen Science will be available for sale and Professor Bierer, Professor Cohen, and Professor Rivera will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Thursday, November 9, 2017 at noon, with lunch
Lahey Room, Countway Library at Harvard Medical School (Map & Directions)
10 Shattuck St. Boston, MA 02115

Specimen Science poster

About Specimen Science: Ethics and Policy Implications

“Advances in medicine often depend on the effective collection, storage, research use, and sharing of human biological specimens and associated data. But what about the sources of such specimens? When a blood specimen is drawn from a vein in your arm, is that specimen still you? Is it your property, intellectual or otherwise? Should you be allowed not only to consent to its use in research but also to specify under what circumstances it may be used? These and other questions are at the center of a vigorous debate over the use of human biospecimens in research. In this book, experts offer legal, regulatory, and ethical perspectives on balancing social benefit and human autonomy in biospecimen research.

After discussing the background to current debates as well as several influential cases, including that of Henrietta Lacks, the contributors consider the rights, obligations, risks, and privacy of the specimen source; different types of informed consent under consideration (broad, blanket, and specific); implications for special patient and researcher communities; and the governance of biospecimen repositories and the responsibilities of investigators.” — MIT Press

Moderator

Glenn Cohen

 

I. Glenn Cohen, Harvard Law School Professor of Law, and Faculty Director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology & Bioethics

 

 

Panelists

Barbara Bierer

 

Barbara E. Bierer, Program Director, Regulatory Foundations, Ethics, and Law Program, Harvard Catalyst and Faculty Director, Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard (MRCT Center)

 

Jane Perlmutter

 

 

Jane Perlmutter, Cancer Survivor and Patient Advocate

 

Suzanne Rivera

 

 

Suzanne M. Rivera, Vice President for Research and Assistant Professor of Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

 

 

Book Talk: Cass Sunstein’s Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide, Tue., Nov. 7, at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide (Harvard University Press, October 2017) by Cass Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard University.

Copies of Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide will be available for sale and Professor Sunstein will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School Room WCC 2036 Milstein East B (Map & Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Impeachment - A Citizen's Guide

About Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide

“As Benjamin Franklin famously put it, Americans have a republic, if we can keep it. Preserving the Constitution and the democratic system it supports is the public’s responsibility. One route the Constitution provides for discharging that duty—a route rarely traveled—is impeachment.

Cass R. Sunstein provides a succinct citizen’s guide to an essential tool of self-government. He illuminates the constitutional design behind impeachment and emphasizes the people’s role in holding presidents accountable. Despite intense interest in the subject, impeachment is widely misunderstood. Sunstein identifies and corrects a number of misconceptions. For example, he shows that the Constitution, not the House of Representatives, establishes grounds for impeachment, and that the president can be impeached for abuses of power that do not violate the law. Even neglect of duty counts among the “high crimes and misdemeanors” delineated in the republic’s foundational document. Sunstein describes how impeachment helps make sense of our constitutional order, particularly the framers’ controversial decision to install an empowered executive in a nation deeply fearful of kings.

With an eye toward the past and the future, Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide considers a host of actual and imaginable arguments for a president’s removal, explaining why some cases are easy and others hard, why some arguments for impeachment have been judicious and others not. In direct and approachable terms, it dispels the fog surrounding impeachment so that Americans of all political convictions may use their ultimate civic authority wisely.” — Harvard University Press

More About Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide

“Thoroughly grounded in constitutional history and past practice… Excellent.” — Noah Feldman and Jacob Weisberg, The New York Review of Books

“A compact, concise, and highly relevant civics lesson. There have been a number of books published about impeachment, many of them partisan manifestoes. What makes Sunstein’s book of such great interest is its lack of fanfare and knife‐sharpening. The author is a learned and accessible guide as he maneuvers his way through the history of democracy’s nuclear option… A welcome, timely, ideal primer.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Sunstein is well positioned to provide this balanced and timely overview of the role of impeachment in American democracy… An essential guide to understanding impeachment’s function within the ‘constitutional system as a whole’ and a persuasive argument that the impeachment clause places ‘the fate of the republic’ in the hands of its citizenry.” — Publishers Weekly

“With insight, wisdom, affection, and concern, Sunstein has written the story of impeachment every citizen needs to know. This is a remarkable, essential book.” — Doris Kearns Goodwin

Book Talk: Noah Feldman’s The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President, Fri., Nov. 3, at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President (Penguin Random House, 2017) by Noah Feldman, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law and Director of the Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law at Harvard Law School.

Copies of The Three Lives of James Madison will be available for sale and Professor Feldman will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Friday, November 3, 2017 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School Room Lewis 214A (Map & Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

About The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President

“Over the course of his life, James Madison changed the United States three times: First, he designed the Constitution, led the struggle for its adoption and ratification, then drafted the Bill of Rights. As an older, cannier politician he co-founded the original Republican party, setting the course of American political partisanship. Finally, having pioneered a foreign policy based on economic sanctions, he took the United States into a high-risk conflict, becoming the first wartime president and, despite the odds, winning.

In The Three Lives of James Madison, Noah Feldman offers an intriguing portrait of this elusive genius and the constitutional republic he created—and how both evolved to meet unforeseen challenges. Madison hoped to eradicate partisanship yet found himself giving voice to, and institutionalizing, the political divide. Madison’s lifelong loyalty to Thomas Jefferson led to an irrevocable break with George Washington, hero of the American Revolution. Madison closely collaborated with Alexander Hamilton on the Federalist papers—yet their different visions for the United States left them enemies.

Alliances defined Madison, too. The vivacious Dolley Madison used her social and political talents to win her husband new supporters in Washington—and define the diplomatic customs of the capital’s society. Madison’s relationship with James Monroe, a mixture of friendship and rivalry, shaped his presidency and the outcome of the War of 1812.

We may be more familiar with other Founding Fathers, but the United States today is in many ways Madisonian in nature. Madison predicted that foreign threats would justify the curtailment of civil liberties. He feared economic inequality and the power of financial markets over politics, believing that government by the people demanded resistance to wealth. Madison was the first Founding Father to recognize the importance of public opinion, and the first to understand that the media could function as a safeguard to liberty.

The Three Lives of James Madison is an illuminating biography of the man whose creativity and tenacity gave us America’s distinctive form of government. His collaborations, struggles, and contradictions define the United States to this day.” — Penguin Random House

Panelists

David Armitage

 

 

 

Professor David Armitage, Lloyd C. Blankfein Professor of History, Harvard University

 

Bruce Mann

 

 

 

Professor Bruce Mann, Carl F. Schipper, Jr. Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

 

Eric Nelson

 

 

 

 

Professor Eric Nelson, Robert M. Beren Professor of Government, Harvard University

 

More About The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President

“Noah Feldman brings a scholarly rigor and a gift for narrative to this impressive account of the sprawling—and often perplexing—life of James Madison. Understanding America requires understanding this often-overlooked Founder and his long, eventful life in the arena. We are fortunate indeed that Feldman has given us such a thoughtful examination of Madison’s mind and its still-unfolding role in the story of the nation.” — Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

“James Madison is famously known as the ‘Father’ of the American Constitution. With great insight, conveyed in elegant and commanding prose, Noah Feldman gives us a rich portrait of our fourth president in all his many aspects: constitution maker, politician, partisan, friend, slaveholder, husband, president, and elder statesman. The result is a fresh, bold, and much-needed look at a pivotal figure in American and, therefore, world history.” — Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family

“In order to understand America and its Constitution, it is necessary to understand James Madison. Noah Feldman, combining laudable scholarship with delightful writing, does a brilliant job of showing how Madison’s precise and reasoned mind, along with his personal friendships and rivalries, created our code as a nation. Madison’s aversion to mindless partisanship and his belief in a public spirit provide an invaluable inspiration for our troubled political times.” — Walter Isaacson, New York Times bestselling author of Steve Jobs

“In The Three Lives of James Madison, Noah Feldman skillfully explains the evolving genius of Madison with precision and clarity. The result is a narrative both epic in scope and intimate in detail.” — David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler, authors of Washington’s Circle: The Creation of the President

Book Talk: Safe Spaces, Brave Spaces: Diversity and Free Expression in Education with John Palfrey, Tue. Oct. 24, at 5 pm

The Harvard Law School Library staff in co-sponsorship with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of Safe Spaces, Brave Spaces: Diversity and Free Expression in Education (MIT Press, 2017) by John Palfrey, Head of School at Phillips Academy and previously, the Henry N. Ess III Professor of Law and Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at Harvard Law School.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017
5:00-6:15 pm Book Talk, followed by 6:30-7:30 pm Reception
Harvard Law School Wasserstein 1023
(Map & Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA
RSVP required to attend in person

Safe Spaces, Brave Spaces poster

About Safe Spaces, Brave Spaces

“Safe spaces, trigger warnings, microagressions, the disinvitation of speakers, demands to rename campus landmarks—debate over these issues began in lecture halls and on college quads but ended up on op-ed pages in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, on cable news, and on social media. Some of these critiques had merit, but others took a series of cheap shots at “crybullies” who needed to be coddled and protected from the real world. Few questioned the assumption that colleges must choose between free expression and diversity. In Safe Spaces, Brave Spaces, John Palfrey argues that the essential democratic values of diversity and free expression can, and should, coexist on campus.

Palfrey, currently Head of School at Phillips Academy, Andover, and formerly Professor and Vice Dean at Harvard Law School, writes that free expression and diversity are more compatible than opposed. Free expression can serve everyone—even if it has at times been dominated by white, male, Christian, heterosexual, able-bodied citizens. Diversity is about self-expression, learning from one another, and working together across differences; it can encompass academic freedom without condoning hate speech.

Palfrey proposes an innovative way to support both diversity and free expression on campus: creating safe spaces and brave spaces. In safe spaces, students can explore ideas and express themselves with without feeling marginalized. In brave spaces—classrooms, lecture halls, public forums—the search for knowledge is paramount, even if some discussions may make certain students uncomfortable. The strength of our democracy, says Palfrey, depends on a commitment to upholding both diversity and free expression, especially when it is hardest to do so.” — MIT Press

About John Palfrey

John is the Head of School at Phillips Academy, Andover.  He serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Knight Foundation and LRNG.  He also serves as a Board member of the Data + Society Research InstituteSchool Year Abroad, and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

John’s research and teaching focus on new media and learning.  He has written extensively on Internet law, intellectual property, and the potential of new technologies to strengthen democracies locally and around the world.  He is the author or co-author of several books, including Born Digital: How Children Grow Up in a Digital Age (Basic Books, revised edition, 2016) (with Urs Gasser); BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google (Basic Books, 2015); Interop: The Promise and Perils of Highly Interconnected Systems (Basic Books, 2012) (with Urs Gasser); Intellectual Property Strategy (MIT Press, 2012); (with Urs Gasser); and Access Denied: The Practice and Politics of Global Internet Filtering (MIT Press, 2008) (co-edited).

John served previously as the Henry N. Ess III Professor of Law and Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at Harvard Law School.  At the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, he served as executive director from 2002-2008 and has continued on as a faculty director since then. John came back to the Harvard Law School from the law firm Ropes & Gray, where he worked on intellectual property, Internet law, and private equity transactions. He also served as a Special Assistant at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton administration.  He previously served as the founding President of the Board of Directors of the Digital Public Library of America.  He also served as a venture executive at Highland Capital Partners and on the Board of Directors of the Mass2020 Foundation, the Ames Foundation, and Open Knowledge Commons, among others.  John was a Visiting Professor of Information Law and Policy at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland for the 2007-2008 academic year.

John graduated from Harvard College, the University of Cambridge, and Harvard Law School.  He was a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar to the University of Cambridge and the U.S. EPA Gold Medal (highest national award).

More About Safe Spaces, Brave Spaces

“Safe Spaces, Brave Spaces is a must read for faculty and administrators, but also for students, parents, and the wider public. Grounded in history, attuned to new technologies, honest about the challenges of an increasingly diverse society, Safe Spaces, Brave Spaces charts a path forward that is realistic, but ultimately hopeful. Building inclusive educational institutions that honor freedom of expression and create an environment for learning and growth is the path forward to a healthy and inclusive democracy.”
Jonathan Fanton, President, American Academy of Arts and Sciences; author of The University and Civil Society

“This is a sophisticated exploration of two crucial values—diversity and free expression—and a cogent, persuasive argument that the two are inextricably intertwined. Palfrey’s sketch of a society in which citizens enjoy liberty and equality in equal measure is appealing and even inspiring.”
Jameel Jaffer, Executive Director, Knight First Amendment Institute, Columbia University; former Deputy Legal Director, ACLU

Safe Spaces, Brave Spaces is a useful, balanced summary of some of the most contentious issues on college campuses in the United States today. Recognizing the opportunity and the responsibility that learning communities have to educate about the value of diversity, inclusion, equity, and freedom of expression, the author takes on the challenge of this topic with courage, empathy, and a call to action for all of us to understand what is really at stake for how we educate citizens for democracy. I recommend it to leaders and scholars both in and outside of the academy who genuinely want to honor both sides of the debate and who want to be part of the urgent change needed for a more just society.”
Marilyn Sanders Mobley, Vice President, Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, Case Western Reserve University

This event is being co-sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

Book Talk: Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today, Wed., Oct. 25, at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today (Peachtree Press, 2017) by author Cynthia Levinson and Visiting Professor Sanford Levinson.  Professor Levinson is also the W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law at the University of Texas Law School.

Copies of Fault Lines in the Constitution will be available for sale and Cynthia Levinson and Professor Levinson will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Fault Lines in the Constitution Poster

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School Room WCC 2036 Milstein East C (Map & Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

About Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today

“The United States Constitution has been amended 27 times since its 1788 ratification, but the Levinsons make the reasonable and compelling case that further revision will make it even more efficient and just.

Cynthia Levinson, the author of We’ve Got a Job (2012), teams up with her husband, Sanford Levinson, a constitutional law scholar and professor, to explain how many of the political issues we struggle with today are rooted in flaws in the U.S. Constitution. Among the issues explored, in lively, accessible prose, are bicameralism, the Electoral College, emergency powers, gerrymandering, the presidential veto, and voter-identification requirements. In the chapters examining these issues, real-life examples illustrate each constitutional flaw (the 2000 election illustrates the problems in the Electoral College, for instance). Putting it in historical and contemporary context, the authors explain the problem, make comparisons to constitutions of other nations, and suggest viable solutions. The Levinsons grade the Constitution’s success in meeting its primary goals as outlined in the Preamble, giving it a C-plus overall. The text concludes with the authors debating the pros and cons of a second Constitutional Convention.

A fascinating, thoughtful, and provocative look at what in the Constitution keeps the United States from being “a more perfect union.”” — Kirkus Reviews

Panelists

R. Shep Melnick, Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. Professor of American Politics, Boston College

Daniel Carpenter, Allie S. Freed Professor of Government and Director of Social Sciences at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

Dan Covino, Lawrence S. Pidgeon Director, Education Professions Community, Grinnell College

Amy Shine Jones, History Department Faculty, Haverhill High School

More About Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today

“Opinionated, may be controversial, but should spark a national dialogue about our Constitution and the nation’s future.” — Dan Rather

“When one of the nation’s foremost constitutional scholars teams up with one of the nation’s favorite young adult authors, the result is a highly educational, readable and entertaining look at the United States Constitution, warts and all. Cynthia and Sanford Levinson’s “Fault Lines in the Constitution,” could not be more timely and thought provoking.” —  Ted McConnell, Executive Director, Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, Assistant to Chairman, Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution 1986-1990

“Insightful… Much food for thought on the application and relevance of many of the Constitution’s stipulations. Essential for class discussions, debate teams, and reports.” — School Library Journal

“Lately there’s been dismay that civics, government, and history have taken a backseat in classrooms. This smartly conceived book goes a long way toward reintroducing students to those subjects….the Levinsons link both history and current events as they offer an illustrative group of examples that show where the Constitution got it right–and wrong…. Although the font, charts, and well-written text make this appealing, it’s not always an easy read. It is, however, an important one.” — Booklist

“Interest-piquing anecdotes open each chapter, the effects of the Constitution’s provisions are dramatically summarized in poster-like illustrations, and the ensuing discussions…are both cogent and highly readable…thought-provoking and exceptionally topical” — Publishers Weekly

This talk is co-sponsored with the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

SPECIAL EVENT! Book Talk: Cass Sunstein on Nudging Government, Mon., Oct. 16, at noon

Nudge book coverThe Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk titled Nudging Government by Professor Cass R. Sunsteinthe Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard University.  This talk also celebrates Professor Sunstein’s book Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness (Yale Univ. Press 2008) with special tribute to his co-author Richard H. Thaler, for his award by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the 2017 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

Richard H. Thaler is the Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  Thaler’s award was in part due to his pioneering work on “nudges,” including his co-authorship of Nudge.

Copies of Nudge will be available for sale and Professor Sunstein will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

 

Monday, October 16, 2017 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School Room WCC 2019 Milstein West A (Map & Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

About Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

“Every day, we make decisions on topics ranging from personal investments to schools for our children to the meals we eat to the causes we champion. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. The reason, the authors explain in this important exploration of choice architecture, is that, being human, we all are susceptible to various biases that can lead us to blunder. Our mistakes make us poorer and less healthy; we often make bad decisions involving education, personal finance, health care, mortgages and credit cards, the family, and even the planet itself.

Thaler and Sunstein invite us to enter an alternative world, one that takes our humanness as a given. They show that by knowing how people think, we can design choice environments that make it easier for people to choose what is best for themselves, their families, and their society. Using colorful examples from the most important aspects of life, Thaler and Sunstein demonstrate how thoughtful “choice architecture” can be established to nudge us in beneficial directions without restricting freedom of choice. Nudge offers a unique new take―from neither the left nor the right―on many hot-button issues, for individuals and governments alike. This is one of the most engaging and provocative books to come along in many years.” — Yale University Press

More About Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

“I love this book. It is one of the few books I’ve read recently that fundamentally changes the way I think about the world. Just as surprising, it is fun to read, drawing on examples as far afield as urinals, 401(k) plans, organ donations, and marriage. Academics aren’t supposed to be able to write this well.”— Steven Levitt, Alvin Baum Professor of Economics, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and co-author of Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

“In this utterly brilliant book, Thaler and Sunstein teach us how to steer people toward better health, sounder investments, and cleaner environments without depriving them of their inalienable right to make a mess of things if they want to. The inventor of behavioral economics and one of the nation’s best legal minds have produced the manifesto for a revolution in practice and policy. Nudge won’t nudge you—it will knock you off your feet.”— Daniel Gilbert, professor of psychology, Harvard University, Author of Stumbling on Happiness

“This is an engaging, informative, and thoroughly delightful book. Thaler and Sunstein provide important lessons for structuring social policies so that people still have complete choice over their own actions, but are gently nudged to do what is in their own best interests. Well done.”— Don Norman, Northwestern University, Author of The Design of Everyday Things and The Design of Future Things

“This book is terrific. It will change the way you think, not only about the world around you and some of its bigger problems, but also about yourself.”— Michael Lewis, author of The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game and Liar’s Poker

“[A] new book applying the lessons of social psychology and behavioral economics to everything from health care to climate maintenance. The authors of Nudge . . . agree with economists who’d like to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by imposing carbon taxes or a cap-and-trade system, but they think people need extra guidance.”— John Tierney, New York Times

“Two University of Chicago professors sketch a new approach to public policy that takes into account the odd realities of human behavior, like the deep and unthinking tendency to conform. Even in areas—like energy consumption—where conformity is irrelevant. Thaler has documented the ways people act illogically.”— Barbara Kiviat, Time

“Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein’s Nudge is a wonderful book: more fun than any important book has a right to be—and yet it is truly both.”— Roger Lowenstein, author of When Genius Failed

“A manifesto for using the recent behavioral research to help people, as well as government agencies, companies and charities, make better decisions.”— David Leonhardt, The New York Times Magazine

“How often do you read a book that is both important and amusing, both practical and deep? This gem of a book presents the best idea that has come out of behavioral economics. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to see both our minds and our society working better. It will improve your decisions and it will make the world a better place.”— Daniel Kahneman, Princeton University, Nobel Laureate in Economics

Book Talk: Disability, Human Rights, and Information Technology, Wed., Oct. 18, at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of Disability, Human Rights, and Information Technology (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017) edited by Jonathan Lazar and Michael Ashley Stein.  Copies of Disability, Human Rights, and Information Technology will be available for sale and Professors Lazar and Stein will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School Room WCC 2019 Milstein West A (Map & Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Disability, Human Rights, and Information Technology poster

About Disability, Human Rights, and Information Technology

Disability, Human Rights, and Information Technology addresses the global issue of equal access to information and communications technology (ICT) by persons with disabilities. The right to access the same digital content at the same time and at the same cost as people without disabilities is implicit in several human rights instruments and is featured prominently in Articles 9 and 21 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The right to access ICT, moreover, invokes complementary civil and human rights issues: freedom of expression; freedom to information; political participation; civic engagement; inclusive education; the right to access the highest level of scientific and technological information; and participation in social and cultural opportunities.

Despite the ready availability and minimal cost of technology to enable people with disabilities to access ICT on an equal footing as consumers without disabilities, prevailing practice around the globe continues to result in their exclusion. Questions and complexities may also arise where technologies advance ahead of existing laws and policies, where legal norms are established but not yet implemented, or where legal rights are defined but clear technical implementations are not yet established.

At the intersection of human-computer interaction, disability rights, civil rights, human rights, international development, and public policy, the volume’s contributors examine crucial yet underexplored areas, including technology access for people with cognitive impairments, public financing of information technology, accessibility and e-learning, and human rights and social inclusion.” — University of Pennsylvania Press

Panelists

Jonathan LazarJonathan Lazar is a Professor of Computer and Information Sciences at Towson University, where he has been on the faculty since 1999, and has served as director of the Undergraduate Program in Information Systems since 2003. Dr. Lazar also founded the Universal Usability Laboratory at Towson University and served as director from 2003-2014. Within the area of human-computer interaction, Dr. Lazar is involved in teaching and research on Web accessibility for people with disabilities, user-centered design methods, assistive technology, and public policy. He has authored or edited 10 books, including Ensuring Digital Accessibility Through Process and Policy (2015, co-authored with Dan Goldstein and Anne Taylor, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers), Research Methods in Human-Computer Interaction (2010, co-authored with Heidi Feng and Harry Hochheser, John Wiley and Sons), Universal Usability: Designing Computer Interfaces for Diverse User Populations (2007, John Wiley and Sons), and Web Usability: A User-Centered Design Approach (2006, Addison-Wesley). His newest two books will both be published in mid-2017. The Second Edition of Research Methods in Human-Computer Interaction, co-authored with Heidi Feng and Harry Hochheiser, will be published by Morgan Kaufmann Publishers in May 2017.

Dr. Lazar has been honored with the 2017 University System of Maryland Board of Regents Award for Excellence in Research, the 2016 SIGCHI Social Impact Award, the 2015 AccessComputing Capacity Building Award (sponsored by the University of Washington and NSF), for advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities in computing fields, the 2011 University System of Maryland Regents Award for Public Service, and the 2010 Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award from the National Federation of the Blind. During the 2012-2013 academic year, Dr. Lazar was selected as the Shutzer Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, to investigate the relationship between human-computer interaction for people with disabilities, and US Disability Rights Law. Dr. Lazar remains affilated with the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, and is a member of the Senior Common Room at Leverett House at Harvard University.

Michael Ashley SteinMichael Ashley Stein holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University. Co-founder and Executive Director of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, as well as Extraordinary Professor, University of Pretoria Faculty of Law, Centre for Human Rights, and formerly Professor at William & Mary Law School, he has also taught at NYU and Stanford Law School. An internationally acclaimed expert on disability law and policy, Stein participated in the drafting of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, works with disabled persons organizations around the world, actively consults with international governments on their disability laws and policies, and advises a number of United Nations bodies.

More About Disability, Human Rights, and Information Technology

“This is an exciting and much-needed project. The right to accessibility has received relatively little academic attention and this book performs a field-defining role.” —- Anna Lawson, University of Leeds

“As information technology continues to transform human endeavor, it poses new challenges to law and regulation in many sectors. Disability is such a sector. There is no other book that provides so many insights into the rapidly evolving international scene.” —- Clayton H. Lewis, University of Colorado, Boulder

 

Book Talk: Stand Your Ground: A History of America’s Love Affair with Lethal Self-Defense, Wed., Oct. 4, at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of Stand Your Ground: A History of America’s Love Affair with Lethal Self-Defense  (Beacon Press, 2017) by Caroline Light, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Lecturer on Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Harvard University. Copies of Stand Your Ground will be available for sale and Professor Light will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School Room WCC 2036 Milstein East A (Map & Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Stand Your Ground Poster

About Stand Your Ground: A History of America’s Love Affair with Lethal Self-Defense

“After a young, white gunman killed twenty-six people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012, conservative legislators lamented that the tragedy could have been avoided if the schoolteachers had been armed and the classrooms equipped with guns. Similar claims were repeated in the aftermath of other recent shootings—after nine were killed in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, and in the aftermath of the massacre in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Despite inevitable questions about gun control, there is a sharp increase in firearm sales in the wake of every mass shooting.

Yet, this kind of DIY-security activism predates the contemporary gun rights movement—and even the stand-your-ground self-defense laws adopted in thirty-three states, or the thirteen million civilians currently licensed to carry concealed firearms. As scholar Caroline Light proves, support for “good guys with guns” relies on the entrenched belief that certain “bad guys with guns” threaten us all.

Stand Your Ground explores the development of the American right to self-defense and reveals how the original “duty to retreat” from threat was transformed into a selective right to kill. In her rigorous genealogy, Light traces white America’s attachment to racialized, lethal self-defense by unearthing its complex legal and social histories—from the original “castle laws” of the 1600s, which gave white men the right to protect their homes, to the brutal lynching of “criminal” Black bodies during the Jim Crow era and the radicalization of the NRA as it transitioned from a sporting organization to one of our country’s most powerful lobbying forces.

In this convincing treatise on the United States’ unprecedented ascension as the world’s foremost stand-your-ground nation, Light exposes a history hidden in plain sight, showing how violent self-defense has been legalized for the most privileged and used as a weapon against the most vulnerable.” — Beacon Press

Panelists

Caroline Light

 

 

Caroline Light, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Lecturer on Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Harvard University

 

Patricia J. Williams

 

Patricia J. Williams, Radcliffe Institute Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation Fellow and James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia Law School

 

 

Jeannie Suk Gersen

 

 

Jeannie Suk Gersen, John H. Watson, Jr. Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

 

Ronald Sullivan, Jr.

 

 

Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr., Clinical Professor of Law and Director, Criminal Justice Institute, Harvard Law School

 

More About Stand Your Ground: A History of America’s Love Affair with Lethal Self-Defense

“The author is a keen legal analyst, deftly examining obscure cases that underlie this historical narrative…A weighty consideration of the cultural politics behind disturbing flash points like the death of Trayvon Martin.”
—- Kirkus Reviews

“Light’s readable account deserves strong notice by those seeking understanding of the roots of today’s polarizing debate over gun laws.”
—- Booklist

“Light makes a compelling case that appeals to ‘self-defense’ throughout American history have never been an equal-opportunity recourse…Light does not shy away from historical facts that popular memory and contemporary debates often erase. She unsparingly describes how many white suffragists supported extrajudicial violence to protect white chastity, and likewise calls attention to the under-acknowledged role of armed self-defense by black Americans during the sixties and seventies.”
—- The New Inquiry

“A timely and far-reaching new book…Light deftly analyzes how this lop-sided treatment has survived, in our legal system and also in the distortions that help define the historical memory of white America…It’s far from obvious that repealing Stand Your Ground laws would break that loop. As Light shows, the right to claim the protective mantle of self-defense has never been equally distributed in America. Stand Your Ground laws may be stark symbols of that reality, but they didn’t create it. Stand Your Ground didn’t kill Martin or keep Zimmerman out of jail. And it didn’t protect Peterson. Truly facing the problems of violence in America will mean following Light’s lead and digging deeper.”
—- Peter C. Baker, Pacific Standard

“A powerful new book…studded with striking statistics and sobering facts.”
—- Nina MacLaughlin, The Boston Globe

“While some may believe that the prevalence of ‘stand-your-ground’ narratives is a new phenomenon, Caroline Light’s Stand Your Ground is timely and sharp, and a potent antidote to historical amnesia. Light reminds us that these defenses are as old as the republic; they have always protected those with privilege and jeopardized those at the margins.”
—- Mark Anthony Neal, author of New Black Man

“In this brilliant and timely history of ‘the well-armed citizen,’ Caroline Light reveals the logic—and lunacy—of the perceived reasonableness of lethal force in America and the collective myth of the ideal, gun-toting savior against the threat of the ‘other.’”
—- Patricia Williams, Professor of Law at Columbia Law School

“Caroline Light traces the history of self-defense in America from the early republic to the present and reveals how gun-use policies have consistently compromised the contours of our democracy. Paying careful attention to the roles of race and gender in structuring gun control politics, Light ultimately provides us with a profound reflection on belonging and exclusion in American society. Essential reading.”
—- Elizabeth Hinton, award-winning author of From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America

“Provocative and original.”
—- Mike “The Gun Guy” Weisser, author of the Guns in America series

Book Talk: The Futility of Law and Development: China and the Dangers of Exporting American Law, Tue., Oct. 3, at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of The Futility of Law and Development: China and the Dangers of Exporting American Law (Oxford Univ. Press, 2015) by Jedidiah J. Kroncke, Professor, FGV Sao Paulo School of Law.  Copies of The Futility of Law and Development will be available for sale and Professor Kroncke will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.  This talk is co-sponsored with East Asian Legal Studies program at Harvard Law School and with the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession.

Futility of Law and Development poster

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School Room WCC 2019 Milstein West B (Map & Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

About The Futility of Law and Development: China and the Dangers of Exporting American Law

“For all the attention paid to the Founder Fathers in contemporary American debates, it has almost been wholly forgotten how deeply they embraced an ambitious and intellectually profound valuation of foreign legal experience. Jedidiah Kroncke uses the Founders’ serious engagement with, and often admiration for, Chinese law in the Revolutionary era to begin his history of how America lost this Founding commitment to legal cosmopolitanism and developed a contemporary legal culture both parochial in its resistance to engaging foreign legal experience and universalist in its messianic desire to export American law abroad. Kroncke reveals how the under-appreciated, but central role of Sino-American relations in this decline over two centuries, significantly reshaped in the early 20th century as American lawyer-missionaries helped inspire the first modern projects of American humanitarian internationalism through legal development. Often forgotten today after the rise of the Chinese Communist Party in 1949, the Sino-American relationship in the early 20th century was a key crucible for articulating this vision as Americans first imagined waves of Americanization abroad in the wake of China’s 1911 Republican revolution.

Drawing in historical threads from religious, legal and foreign policy work, the book demonstrates how American comparative law ultimately became a marginalized practice in this process. The marginalization belies its central place in earlier eras of American political and legal reform. In doing so, the book reveals how the cosmopolitan dynamism so prevalent at the Founding is a lost virtue that today comprises a serious challenge to American legal culture and its capacity for legal innovation in the face of an increasingly competitive and multi-polar 21st century. Once again, America’s relationship with China presents a critical opportunity to recapture this lost virtue and stimulate the searching cosmopolitanism that helped forge the original foundations of American democracy.” — Oxford University Press

Panelists

Jedidiah J. Kroncke

 

 

Jedidiah J. Kroncke, Professor, FGV Sao Paulo School of Law (Brazil)

 

David Armitage

 

 

David Armitage, Harvard University Lloyd C. Blankfein Professor of History

 

Intisar A. Rabb

 

Intisar A. Rabb, Professor of Law, Director, Islamic Legal Studies Program, Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor, Harvard University Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Professor of History, Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences

 

Xiaoqian Hu

 

 

Xiaoqian Hu, Harvard Law School

 

William P. Alford

 

 

William P. Alford, Vice Dean for the Graduate Program and International Legal Studies, Henry L. Stimson Professor of Law, Director, East Asian Legal Studies Program, and Chair, Harvard Law School Project on Disability

More About The Futility of Law and Development: China and the Dangers of Exporting American Law

“Kroncke recovers a wide-ranging legal cosmopolitanism as the least appreciated, if not outright ignored, of our Founders’ shared commitments. Using transnational sources wholly unappreciated to date, he artfully reveals through the Sino-American relationship how this virtue was lost through interwoven transformations in American legal, religious, and diplomatic history. A work whose lessons need by heeded by all those concerned with preserving American law’s historical vibrancy in the contemporary era, or with how we conceive of America’s role in the international world.” — William E. Nelson, Edward Weinfeld Professor of Law, New York University School of Law

“Beautifully written, The Futility of Law and Development is bracing, erudite, and genuinely original. Even those familiar with development or Sino-American relations will be astonished at how much they learn. Jedidiah Kroncke is not only one of the most important and insightful China scholars of his generation, but also of comparative law and legal globalization. A tour-de-force of international legal history with urgent implications for modern American legal culture.” — Amy Chua, John M. Duff, Jr. Professor of Law, Yale Law School

“Americans keep hoping that projects to export our law will be the key to spurring economic growth and liberal rights in developing countries. The projects keep failing, yet the hope always revives. Kroncke’s brilliant exploration of two centuries of American lawyers’ engagement with China helps to explain why: the missionary-lawyers are the direct secularized heirs of lawyer-missionaries, just as confident in the universal validity of their models and impervious to the true lessons of their experiences. He recovers a time when a more cosmopolitan America was willing to learn from other societies, even while aspiring to be an exemplar of republican democracy.” — Robert Gordon, Professor of Law, Stanford University and Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and Legal History, Yale University

“What an impressive read! Kroncke’s book is comparative law at the best of its potential. History, thick explanation, critique, and new possibilities. The reader will realize how the missionary precursors of the Wilsonian era reshaped the very nature of American comparative law and, ever since, American law’s problematic relationship with the international world. Understanding our disciplinary shortcomings is the best medicine for overcoming them.” — Ugo Mattei, Alfred and Hanna Fromm Professor of International and Comparative law, UC Hastings

“[Futility] is a sophisticated critical dissection of the drawbacks of American legal export…a much a loss for the U.S. as for the world, because it has foreclosed the willingness of politicians and lawyers to see such complexity as an invitation for U.S. internal domestic experimentation and renewal. The book offers a beautiful reconstruction of the American legal imagination and approach to China…a provocative retelling of the history of American legal export, one that no doubt will generate fruitful debate and will have to be reckoned with by legal historians, legal comparativists, and scholars of U.S. foreign policy.” — Aziz Rana, JOTWELL

“Although The Futility of Law and Development is primarily a historical work, its contemporary significance is clear. It is a crucial time to reflect on the rocky record of America’s engagement with China’s legal system. U.S.-China relations stand at a critical juncture with simultaneous substantial interdependence and palpable tension. Members of the U.S. government, nongovernmental organizations, and academia whose work involves China’s legal system would be wise to take pause and put The Futility of Law and Development on their bedside tables.” —  Mary K. Lewis, Seton Hall University, China Review International

 

 

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