Et. Seq: The Harvard Law School Library Blog

Faculty Book Talk: Levinson and Balkin, Democracy and Dysfunction, Thursday, October 3rd at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of the recent publication of Democracy and Dysfunction by Sanford Levinson and Jack M. Balkin (Univ. Chicago Press, Apr. 2019).

Thursday, October 3, 2019, at noon
Harvard Law School Milstein East B
(Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA
No RSVP required

The book talk discussion will include:

Sanford Levinson


Sanford Levinson
is Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law, University of Texas Law School.

Jack M. Balkin is the Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment, Yale Law School.

Commentators:

Jennifer L. Hochschild is the H.L. Jayne Professor of Government, Professor of African and African American Studies, and Harvard College Professor, Harvard University.

Steven Levitsky is Professor of Government, Harvard University.

About Democracy and Dysfunction

“It is no longer controversial that the American political system has become deeply dysfunctional. Today, only slightly more than a quarter of Americans believe the country is heading in the right direction, while sixty-three percent believe we are on a downward slope. The top twenty words used to describe the past year include “chaotic,” “turbulent,” and “disastrous.” Donald Trump’s improbable rise to power and his 2016 Electoral College victory placed America’s political dysfunction in an especially troubling light, but given the extreme polarization of contemporary politics, the outlook would have been grim even if Hillary Clinton had won. The greatest upset in American presidential history is only a symptom of deeper problems of political culture and constitutional design.

Democracy and Dysfunction brings together two of the leading constitutional law scholars of our time, Sanford Levinson and Jack M. Balkin, in an urgently needed conversation that seeks to uncover the underlying causes of our current crisis and their meaning for American democracy. In a series of letters exchanged over a period of two years, Levinson and Balkin travel—along with the rest of the country—through the convulsions of the 2016 election and Trump’s first year in office. They disagree about the scope of the crisis and the remedy required. Levinson believes that our Constitution is fundamentally defective and argues for a new constitutional convention, while Balkin, who believes we are suffering from constitutional rot, argues that there are less radical solutions. As it becomes dangerously clear that Americans—and the world—will be living with the consequences of this pivotal period for many years to come, it is imperative that we understand how we got here—and how we might forestall the next demagogue who will seek to beguile the American public.” — University of Chicago Press Books

New Exhibit, now open: Queering the Collection: LGBTQ+ History ca. 1600-1970

Many library collections contain rich stories of individuals across centuries who transgressed sexual and gender norms, as well as documentation of the people and systems against which they transgressed. These historical artifacts can help shape new narratives around queer history and identity, or enrich old ones. Coded language and oblique references may pose challenges to researchers, but there is a wealth of material to find on queer people throughout history.

Each case in the exhibit highlights a different approach to researching queer history: using known figures, embracing uncomfortable terms, being open to the unexpected, and using secondary sources. We explored a number of fascinating stories but our research barely scratched the surface. We encourage researchers to continue the exploration and hope this exhibit will give you some tools to get started.

The exhibit was curated by A.J. Blechner, Anna Martin, and Mary Person and will be on view daily, 9-5, in Harvard Law School Library’s Caspersen Room through February 14, 2020.

Check out a few highlights from the exhibit here: www.bit.ly/hlslqtc

Image credit: Mary Frith in detail from title page of: The Roaring Girle or Moll Cut-Purse, by Thomas Middleton and Thomas Dekker (London, 1611)

Faculty Book Talk: Lawrence Lessig, Fidelity & Constraint: How the Supreme Court Has Read the American Constitution, Wednesday, September 25th at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of the recent publication of Fidelity & Constraint: How the Supreme Court Has Read the American Constitution by Lawrence Lessig (Oxford Univ. Press, May 1, 2019).

Wednesday, September 25, 2019, at noon
Harvard Law School Milstein East B/C
(Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA
No RSVP required

Poster Fidelity & Constraint

About Fidelity & Constraint: How the Supreme Court Has Read the American Constitution

“The fundamental fact about our Constitution is that it is old — the oldest written constitution in the world. The fundamental challenge for interpreters of the Constitution is how to read that old document over time.

In Fidelity & Constraint, legal scholar Lawrence Lessig explains that one of the most basic approaches to interpreting the constitution is the process of translation. Indeed, some of the most significant shifts in constitutional doctrine are products of the evolution of the translation process over time. In every new era, judges understand their translations as instances of “interpretive fidelity,” framed within each new temporal context.

Yet, as Lessig also argues, there is a repeatedly occurring countermove that upends the process of translation. Throughout American history, there has been a second fidelity in addition to interpretive fidelity: what Lessig calls “fidelity to role.” In each of the cycles of translation that he describes, the role of the judge — the ultimate translator — has evolved too. Old ways of interpreting the text now become illegitimate because they do not match up with the judge’s perceived role. And when that conflict occurs, the practice of judges within our tradition has been to follow the guidance of a fidelity to role. Ultimately, Lessig not only shows us how important the concept of translation is to constitutional interpretation, but also exposes the institutional limits on this practice.

The first work of both constitutional and foundational theory by one of America’s leading legal minds, Fidelity & Constraint maps strategies that both help judges understand the fundamental conflict at the heart of interpretation whenever it arises and work around the limits it inevitably creates.” — Oxford University Press

About Lawrence Lessig

Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School.

Prior to rejoining the Harvard faculty, Lessig was a professor at Stanford Law School, where he founded the school’s Center for Internet and Society, and at the University of Chicago.

He clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court. Lessig serves on the Board of the AXA Research Fund, and on the advisory boards of Creative Commons and the Sunlight Foundation.

He is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association, and has received numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation’s Freedom Award, Fastcase 50 Award and being named one of Scientific American’s Top 50 Visionaries.

Lessig holds a BA in economics and a BS in management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in philosophy from Cambridge, and a JD from Yale.

Book Talk: Ambassador Samantha Power, The Education of an Idealist, Monday, September 23, at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of the recent publication of The Education of an Idealist by Ambassador Samantha Power (Dey Street Books, Sept. 2019).

Monday, September 23, 2019, at noon
Harvard Law School Milstein East A/B (Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA
No RSVP required

Ambassador Power will be joined by commentators:

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

Graham Allison, Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard University; and

Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman, Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership and Director, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School.

This talk is co-sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library and by Harvard Law School’s International Legal Studies program.

About The Education of an Idealist

“In her memoir, Power offers an urgent response to the question “What can one person do?”—and a call for a clearer eye, a kinder heart, and a more open and civil hand in our politics and daily lives. The Education of an Idealist traces Power’s distinctly American journey from immigrant to war correspondent to presidential Cabinet official. In 2005, her critiques of US foreign policy caught the eye of newly elected senator Barack Obama, who invited her to work with him on Capitol Hill and then on his presidential campaign. After Obama was elected president, Power went from being an activist outsider to a government insider, navigating the halls of power while trying to put her ideals into practice. She served for four years as Obama’s human rights adviser, and in 2013, he named her US Ambassador to the United Nations, the youngest American to assume the role.

A Pulitzer Prize–winning writer, Power transports us from her childhood in Dublin to the streets of war-torn Bosnia to the White House Situation Room and the world of high-stakes diplomacy. Humorous and deeply honest, The Education of an Idealist lays bare the searing battles and defining moments of her life and shows how she juggled the demands of a 24/7 national security job with the challenge of raising two young children. Along the way, she illuminates the intricacies of politics and geopolitics, reminding us how the United States can lead in the world, and why we each have the opportunity to advance the cause of human dignity. Power’s memoir is an unforgettable account of the power of idealism—and of one person’s fierce determination to make a difference.” – HarperCollins Publishers

About Ambassador Samantha Power

Ambassador Samantha Power is the Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and William D. Zabel ’61 Professor of Practice in Human Rights at Harvard Law School.

From 2013 to 2017 Power served as the 28th U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, as well as a member of President Obama’s cabinet. In this role, Power became the public face of U.S. opposition to Russian aggression in Ukraine and Syria, negotiated the toughest sanctions in a generation against North Korea, lobbied to secure the release of political prisoners, helped build new international law to cripple ISIL’s financial networks, and supported President Obama’s pathbreaking actions to end the Ebola crisis. President Obama has called her “one of our foremost thinkers on foreign policy,” saying that “she showed us that the international community has a moral responsibility and a profound interest in resolving conflicts and defending human dignity.”

From 2009 to 2013, Power served on the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, where she focused on issues including atrocity prevention; UN reform; LGBT and women’s rights; the promotion of religious freedom and the protection of religious minorities; and the prevention of human trafficking.

Called by Forbes “a powerful crusader for U.S foreign policy as well as human rights and democracy,” Ambassador Power has been named one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” and one of Foreign Policy’s“Top 100 Global Thinkers.”

Power has been recognized as a leading voice internationally for principled American engagement in the world. Her book “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2003. Power is also author of the New York Times bestseller Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World (2008) and was the co-editor, with Derek Chollet, of The Unquiet American: Richard Holbrooke in the World (2011).

Power began her career as a journalist, reporting from places such as Bosnia, East Timor, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, and Zimbabwe. Before joining the U.S. government, Power was the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School, a columnist for TIME, and a National Magazine Award-winning contributor to the Atlantic, the New Yorker, and the New York Review of Books

Power earned a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Faculty Book Talk: Transparency in Health and Health Care in the United States: Law and Ethics, Monday, September 16th at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of the recent publication of Transparency in Health and Health Care in the United States: Law and Ethics edited by Holly Fernandez Lynch, I. Glenn Cohen, Carmel Shachar & Barbara J. Evans (Cambridge Univ. Press, Apr. 30, 2019).

Monday, September 16, 2019, at noon
Harvard Law School Milstein West A (Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA
No RSVP required

Poster, Transparency in Health and Health Care

The book talk discussion will include:

Panelists:

I. Glenn Cohen, James A. Attwood and Leslie Williams Professor of Law and Faculty Director, Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law, Biotechnology & Bioethics, Harvard Law School.


Holly Fernandez Lynch, John Russell Dickson, MD Presidential Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Assistant Faculty Director of Online Education, and Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.


Ameet Sarpatwari, Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School; Associate Epidemiologist, Brigham & Women’s Hospital; and Assistant Director, Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law (PORTAL), Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Brigham & Women’s Hospital.


Moderator:

Elena Fagotto, co-investigator, Project on Transparency and Technology for Better Health and former Director of Research, Transparency Policy Project, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.


This talk is co-sponsored by the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.

About Transparency in Health and Health Care in the United States: Law and Ethics

“Transparency is a concept that is becoming increasingly lauded as a solution to a host of problems in the American health care system. Transparency initiatives show great promise, including empowering patients and other stakeholders to make more efficient decisions, improve resource allocation, and better regulate the health care industry. Nevertheless, transparency is not a cure-all for the problems facing the modern health care system. The authors of this volume present a nuanced view of transparency, exploring ways in which transparency has succeeded and ways in which transparency initiatives have room for improvement. Working at the intersection of law, medicine, ethics, and business, the book goes beyond the buzzwords to the heart of transparency’s transformative potential, while interrogating its obstacles and downsides. It should be read by anyone looking for a better understanding of transparency in the health care context.” — Cambridge University Press

Read more…


1Ls – Database codes and Lexis/Westlaw training sessions

Hi 1Ls! You should have received the e-mail I sent out this past Wednesday, Aug. 28 and Thursday, Aug. 29 titled “HLS Library Database Registration Codes and Welcome”* This e-mail contains your registration codes and website links for Lexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg Law. You’ll need to have all three databases for LRW, so don’t wait until the last minute to register.

To help get you oriented to what their platforms have to offer, Lexis and Westlaw will be offering joint training sessions on Thursday, September 5 and Friday, September 6 in Austin Hall. Sign up for them here:

Thursday Sept 5th 12:00– 1:00pm Austin Hall -111 Classroom –West

Thursday Sept 5th 3:00- 4:00pm Austin Hall – 100 Classroom- North

Friday Sept 6th, 12:00-1:00pm  Austin Hall – 100 Classroom- North

*If you haven’t received it, check your spam folder. If you still don’t see it, or if you have any issues with registering for the databases, contact us at research@law.harvard.edu.

New Research Guide: Critical Legal Studies

My new research guide on Critical Legal Studies was published today. It is available at
https://guides.library.harvard.edu/critical-legal-studies.

The guide features selected books and other resources, along with pre-populated HOLLIS library catalog searches using relevant subject and general keywords, for each of the following topics:

  • Critical Race Theory
  • Latina/o/x Critical Theory
  • Asian Critical Theory
  • Critical Indigenous Studies
  • Critical Whiteness Studies
  • Feminist Legal Theory
  • Queer Legal Theory
  • Critical Disability Theory
  • Intersectionality
  • Critical Discourse Analysis

I spent several months creating this guide, and it was an enlightening and worthwhile project. Of course, I learned a lot about critical legal studies itself, never having taken a class that falls under this discipline. However, perhaps more importantly, I also discovered much about my own biases and pre-conceptions. My work on this guide compelled me to think critically and carefully about the language we use to describe these concepts in law, and how that language, while it may be helpful in finding materials in a library catalog, might be offensive or othering to researchers.

I hope that people will find this guide to be a helpful introduction to research in this vitally important field of study. I also hope that it provides a useful gateway to the enormous amount of critical studies resources, including books, journals, articles, and other items, in the Harvard Law Library’s collection and those of the other libraries here at Harvard.

Final Days: HLS and the Bauhaus exhibit

Stop by the Harvard Law School Library to catch Creating Community: Harvard Law School and the Bauhaus before it closes! The exhibit is open weekdays 9 to 5 in Langdell Hall’s Caspersen Room through August 16, 2019.

Stay tuned for our next exhibit, Queering the Collection: LGBTQ+ History ca. 1600-1970, opening soon!

New Title Spotlight: The Palgrave Handbook of Intersectionality in Public Policy

Palgrave Handbook of Intersectionality in Public Policy
Olena Hankivsky and Julia S. Jordan-Zachery, eds.
2019
ISBN 9783319984728
HOLLIS record:
http://id.lib.harvard.edu/alma/99153809319903941/catalog

A handbook on intersectionality in public policy might seem like a strange choice of a book to add to a law library collection. However, I disagree. For anyone considering a career that involves political leadership, lawmaking, regulatory affairs, community advocacy, or diplomacy, this book presents important information about how policy decisions impact people who face systemic societal disadvantages that may be overlooked or misunderstood.

“Intersectionality,” when used in a critical studies context, means the analysis of issues faced by people who identify with more than one (disadvantaged or marginalized) societal group. Because I am currently working on a critical legal studies research guide for the library, I have been thinking a lot about intersectionality lately. I have come to believe that it would be irresponsible to research an issue involving systemic discrimination or oppression without considering the issues faced by targeted groups in an intersectional way.

[Read More]

852 RARE: 17th Century Shorthand

Samuel Botley’s Maximum in minimo or Mr Jeremiah Richs pens dexterity compleated with the whole terms of the law is a charming little guide to 17th century shorthand. Botley, picking up where his predecessor Jeremiah Rich left off, published a complete guide to shorthand, outlining both legal and general terms, circa 1674. Prior to the publication of this book, Botley taught Rich’s shorthand method from his home in London.

An introductory poem by an author identified simply as “I.H.” asserts that “when writing in its infancy did creep/methinks men drew their letters half asleep” and Botley’s “learned hand….bravely guided for the public good.”

Delightful features include previous owner’s practice shorthand scribbles on blank spaces in the book, detailed engravings and comprehensive charts to teach the reader. Whether this method actually sped things up is lost to history!

JEREMIAH RICH (LEFT) AND SAMUEL BOTLEY (RIGHT)

FRONTISPIECE

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT…AN UNIDENTIFIED HAND TRIES IT OUT

A SAMPLE OF THE CONTENTS

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