2011 Conference Program (PDF) - Syracuse University College of Law


2011 Conference Program (PDF) - Syracuse University College of Law

Giorgio Repetto

The Transformed Life

“Those awaiting the visit of the parents’ guests, find their hearts beating with greater

expectation than before Christmas. It is not due to the presents, but to a transformed life.”

In exploring this passage from Adorno, I attempt to ponder the idea of law and

community most suitable for reflecting homosexuals’ desire for a “transformed life.”

While reactionary rhetoric concentrates on the classical arguments of perversity and

jeopardy, many progressive currents focus on a rationalist, utilitarian, and measurable

idea of freedom, which is made to coincide with the gradual erosion of repressive

practises. To the contrary, a vision of law and community centred upon the constitutive

and irreducible value of emotions must be able to grasp the potential for fairness that

emerges in the dialectical and controversial dimension of recognition, because it is from

the categorization of desires that the greatest risks of cultural normalization arise.

Gianluca Bascherini

The Space of Emotions

4.1 Boundaries and Enemies Panel

Drawing inspiration from a story firmly lodged in the collective memory (Mary Poppins),

this presentation reflects on the generative opportunities, for the community, brought by

the relationships – and conflicts – that revolve around domestic labour, now often a

labour provided for pay by migrants, frequently women, and prevalently interpreted

solely as a scenario of global exploitation. Aristotle’s philía – which is not fraternity,

paternalism, pity, or complicity – offers a guide for decoding different possibilities of the

master/servant relationship, and for avoiding the aporia (unwittingly suggested by the

theses of “global care chains”) by which, if I am my domestic’s enemy, then my domestic

is my enemy. The proposal is to think that the growing spread of paid domestic labour

signals a new arrangement in the relationship between the domestic and public spheres, in

which the oikós may be seen as generating relationships that qualify community ties.

José Gabilondo

Barbarians at the Gate: How Academic Capitalism and the‘Accountability’ Discourse

Threaten Academic Freedom

The old view that higher education was a public good has ruptured, exposing academe to

challenges from both the New Right and liberals. Two challenges, in particular, matter:

academic capitalism and populist notions of accountability. Together, these factors

portend risk to the university.

The public good theory of education somewhat insulated universities – especially public

ones – from market modes of organization, decision-making, and culture. As public

monies for higher education decline, though, market primacy and educational

consumerism take root in universities, including public ones. At the same time, a national

accountability movement (and industry) have developed, charging that universities need

more oversight from the state and from self-appointed watchdogs like the American

Council of Trustees and Alumni. The accountability discourse tries to shift the locus of

academic control over the classroom away from faculty and towards administrative or

external constituencies.

My paper analyzes these trends and their implications.

Penelope Pether

Strange Fruit: What Happened to the U.S. Doctrine of Precedent

This paper gives an account of the final part of more or less a decade’s work, the first

installment of which was published in 2004 in the Stanford Law Review, disinterring and

writing a critical history of the material adjudicatory practices that saw the emergence of

a distinctive U.S. doctrine of precedent, beginning in the first half of the twentieth



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