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Upcoming Conferences and Calls for Papers

ClassCrits XIII – Call for Papers: Unlocking Equality: Revisiting the Intersection of Race and Class;
Co-Sponsored by ClassCrits, Inc & Thurgood Marshall School of Law
November 6-7, 2020 at Thurgood Marshall School of Law
Keynote Speaker: Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi 

The Civil Rights Era of the mid 20th century brought about reforms designed to establish formal legal equality for African Americans and other people of color.  Thanks to what some have called the Second Reconstruction, it is no longer lawful to forcibly segregate children by race in public schools or to discriminate privately on the basis of race in public accommodations, housing, or employment.  However, these reforms have not produced substantive equality for people of color, and in particular for African American, Latinx and Native American communities.  The wealth and income of these communities are far below that of whites, their poverty and unemployment rates are far above the national average, and they are far underrepresented among college graduates and in professions requiring higher education.  There is still widespread de facto racial and ethnic segregation in schools and residential living patterns.  And people of color are often harassed and brutalized by police and private citizens when engaged in normal human activities.  Even as tentative bipartisan consensus to roll back mass incarceration emerges, the current president has political support for a militarized and racialized anti-immigrant campaign that puts children in cages and bars immigrants and refugees from entering the United States if they hail from so-called “shithole countries.” 

For several decades, scholarship in Critical Race Theory and LatCrit Theory has examined the role of ongoing racial discrimination in perpetuating these injustices.  Part of the explanation is the persistence of outright bigotry on the part of many whites.  Despite laws prohibiting it, much private discrimination still occurs, as shown by the thousands of successful complaints of housing and employment bias annually filed with enforcement agencies.  And public officials continue to promote and engage in bigotry for political advantage, as with the Trump Administration’s support of white supremacists and its demonization and mistreatment of immigrants.  Implicit bias is a second factor underlying ongoing racial discrimination.  As research in cognitive psychology has demonstrated, awareness of racial stereotypes negatively affects the perceptions of and behavior toward people of color even among those who claim and may believe themselves to be colorblind.  Finally, structural and institutional racism perpetuate the ongoing discrimination.  Inequalities within and interactions among housing markets, the educational system, labor markets, and the carceral state magnify the effects of conscious and unconscious bias, producing “locked-in inequality.”

A slightly different account is found in the literature on “racial capitalism.”  Inspired by scholars in the Black radical tradition such as W.E.B. DuBois, Cedric Robinson, and Sylvia Wynter, historians and theorists of capitalism have begun to trace the relationship between global capitalism and white supremacy.  From the dispossession of indigenous people in the “New World” to the establishment of Atlantic slavery, through the construction of empires of cotton, sugar, bananas, and other commodities that pulled colonized and racialized peoples around the globe into new supply chains designed to serve the European metropoles, the cheap land and labor produced by white supremacy has been central to the emergence of capitalism.  Indeed, new historical research suggests that capitalist tools and mechanisms—from accounting and management practices to mortgages, the corporate form, and private property itself—are the products of a mindset that has distributed the privileges of “humanity” unequally.  This account refuses the conventional question of “Is it race or class?” and suggests that the two are intimately intertwined.

This backdrop poses several questions.  Is it possible to overcome white supremacy with the existing tools of American law?  Can white supremacy and capitalism be disentangled?  Is it possible, given what DuBois called the “wages of whiteness,” to build a more egalitarian society with minimal wealth and income disparities, high quality education and guaranteed employment for all, and comparable opportunities to seek fulfillment in life?  Despite the enormous power of the moneyed elite, is it possible and what would it take to transform our society from one based on competition, profit, and individual satisfaction to one whose core values are working cooperatively, meeting people’s needs, and fairly sharing what society collectively produces among all its members?               

Proposal Submission Procedure and Deadline: Please submit your proposal by email to by June 1, 2020 with the following details:

Constitutions of Value – Call for Papers:12-13 December 2019 at the University of Würzburg, convened by Isabel Feichtner (University of Würzburg) and Geoff Gordon (Asser Institute)
Value talk abounds. Economists express concern that the economy is characterized increasingly by value extraction not value production (Mazzucato 2018); politicians worry that “illiberal democracies” erode the value base of our political communities; international institutions aiming at responsible production and consumption (SDG 12) put forward proposals on “redefining value” to make headway towards the circular economy (IRP 2018). Law figures in such debates and projects as an expression of societal values (Marks 2016), for example in the form of human rights; as a tool for the enforcement of such values; and as regulation, for example of the financial sector in order to steer investments into the “real”/“value producing” economy. In these capacities, law aims to affirm or implement, while deferring to values always already produced and identified elsewhere. The negotiations of an implementation agreement on biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction – as a value to be preserved for current and future generation – provide a recent illustration. Yet, often the notion of value remains vague and the debates on the protection of societal values and economic value production remain disconnected, despite value being their shared reference. While the International Resource Panel promotes the redefinition of value to reduce resource extraction, the International Seabed Authority is drafting regulations for the mining of seabed minerals – with heated debates on valuation and value (e.g. of manganese nodules, ecosystem services and immaterial environmental damage). These law-making projects are not only illustrative of the disconnect between value debates as well as of approaches to value as pre-existent and objective, produced e.g. by scarcity, but also indicate the potential of research into the social construction and co-production of value.
We are issuing here a Call for Papers and invite lawyers from practice and academia as well as scholars from other disciplines to send an abstract of 500 words. Abstracts should concisely formulate the questions addressed and indicate method and materials employed in the proposed research. The deadline for the abstracts is 12 July 2019. Draft papers – Think Pieces of 5000-7000 words — will be expected by 10 November 2010. Please send abstracts, accompanied by a recent CV in pdf format, to

Third Annual Equality Law Scholars’ Forum Call for Proposals: March 13-14, 2020 at University of San Francisco School of Law.
Building on the success of the Inaugural Equality Law Scholars’ Forum held at UC Berkeley Law in 2017 and at UC Davis Law in 2018, and in the spirit of academic engagement and mentoring in the area of Equality Law, we (Tristin Green, University of San Francisco; Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Boston University; and Leticia Saucedo, UC Davis) announce the Third Annual Equality Law Scholars’ Forum to be held in Spring 2020.  This Scholars’ Forum seeks to provide junior scholars with commentary and critique and to provide scholars at all career stages the opportunity to engage with new scholarly currents and ideas.  We hope to bring together scholars with varied perspectives (e.g., critical race theory, class critical theory, feminist legal theory, law and economics, law and society) across fields (e.g., criminal system, education, employment, family, health, immigration, property, tax) and with work relevant to many diverse
identities (e.g., age, class, disability, national origin, race, sex, sexuality) to build bridges and to generate new ideas in the area of Equality Law.  
We will select five relatively junior scholars (untenured, newly tenured, or prospective
professors) in the U.S. to present papers from proposals submitted in response to this Call for Proposals. In so doing, we will select papers that cover a broad range of topics within the area of Equality Law.  Leading senior scholars will provide commentary on each of the featured papers in an intimate and collegial setting.  The Forum will take place all day Friday through lunch on Saturday. Participants are expected to attend the full Forum. The Equality Law Scholars’ Forum will pay transportation and accommodation expenses for participants and will host a dinner on Friday evening.See here for more information.ClassCrits Call for Papers & Participation: Facing Our Challenges: Rescuing Democracy, Ensuring Wellbeing & Exorcizing the Politics of Fear (Or: How To Be Free)
Co-Sponsored by Western New England University School of Law and ClassCrits, Inc.

November 15 & 16, 2019This year, ClassCrits seeks the mantle of the FREE. To be free requires that we actively face the challenges that all humanity now jointly confronts. These include the accelerating environmental degradation of the Earth’s natural systems, the dramatic rise in economic inequality, the failure of our institutions, the breakdown of our communities, and the alienation from our selves (body, mind and spirit) and one another. However, these challenges cannot be met unless we rescue or even reinvent our democracy, ensure the wellbeing of all as the appropriate measure of justice, and exorcize the politics of fear. From this perspective, democracy, economic wellbeing, and fearlessness present challenges, each of which requires an appropriate response. In addition, however, these core concepts serve as commitments, methods, and practices that advance justice and engender the solidarity necessary to tackle the existential threats we now face.Over the last few years, hope in this darkening time has been kept alive by the activism both here and abroad of young people, people of color, women, and white progressives. In the United States, the recent election of an energized, fearless, and diverse group of congress people committed to justice, equality, and the future of our planet also captures this hope. A spirit of hope and enthusiasm insists that we can rebuild our polity and contribute to reordering the world despite increasing practices of hate, fear-mongering and fear-based policy-making. We can refuse to be bounded by an anti-democratic rhetoric of liberty that is anything but freeing and animated by abuse of power, sought homogeneity, and the making and exploitation of insecurity. In this vein, ClassCrits seeks ideas, work, activities and practices that: (1) analyze and propose concrete solutions to the existential threats to humanity and planet Earth; (2) demand expansive democracy and justice; (3) embrace and seek to ensure the economic wellbeing of all across our differences; and (4) inspire courage and solidarity.We invite panel proposals and paper presentations that speak to this year’s theme of “Facing Our Challenges: Rescuing Democracy, Ensuring Wellbeing & Exorcizing the Politics of Fear,” as well as to general ClassCrits themes. See here for more details: ClassCritsCFPIn addition, we extend a special invitation to junior scholars (i.e., graduate students or any non-tenured faculty member) to submit proposals for works in progress. A senior scholar as well as other scholars will comment upon each work in progress in a small, supportive working session.www.classcrits.orgCall for Abstracts, YSI Asia Finance, Law, and Economics Working Group – May 6-9, 2019.
Deadline: March 17th, 2019. Funding available for scholars resident in Asia.The primary goal of the workshop is to approach the vast field of political economy of private law by trying to understand the economy as a system interconnected with law and government. In contrast to policies and theories that assume self-regulating markets we propose a more cautious approach that adopts a more adequate consideration of the institutes of private law. In this way we aim to shed light on how different actors with competing interests interact through institutions of private law to advance socially integrative or extractive ends.We will welcome proposals that approach these questions from sociological, anthropological, historical, economic, or any other related perspectives. As the purpose of the workshop is to strengthen the network of young scholars that work in the field of finance law and economics, please apply if your research pursues a heterodox project in the field even if it does not strictly fit into the above delineated topic.

5th Annual Association for the Promotion of the Political Economy and the Law (APPEAL) Workshop
Policy Options for the 21st Century June 2-4, 2019
University of Maryland, Francis King Carey School of Law in BaltimoreAs we face crises in the economy, democracy, and the planet, many have responded with new energy and ideas for transformative change. How should we re-evaluate the fundamental assumptions, strategies, and frameworks governing public policy?   When does reasonable reform require going beyond piecemeal fixes, fine-tuning, or gradualism?  What are the possibilities and obstacles to pursuing economic policies aimed at ambitious transformation?  What common principles and methods might guide policy choices across diverse institutions and issue areas? To discuss these questions and more, we invite proposals for presentations or panels at the 2019 annual workshop of the Association for the Promotion of Political Economy and the Law (APPEAL).  More details are available here:  2019 APPEAL conference.     

Rebellious Lawyering
RebLaw is the largest student-run public interest conference in the United States. The 2019conference will be held on Friday, Feb. 15, and Saturday, Feb. 16 at Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut.
Our 2019 keynote speakers will be:
   Ana Maria Archila, Co-Executive Director of the Center for Popular Democracy
   Anita Earls, Associate Justice, NC Supreme Court
   & Chokwe Lumumba, Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi
Register now at Registration will remain open through Feb. 16th. General attendance is $35.

Accumulating Capital
Thursday 6 June 2019 – Friday 7 June 2019, University of Paris Dauphine (Central Paris)
“The extreme magnitude of the pressures exerted by contemporary capitalism on the environment and populations could suggest that this mode of production has reached its limits. The depletion of natural resources, global warming and the increase in inequality within Western countries seem to threaten the minimum degree of social and political stability required for the extraction of profit. However, the accumulation of capital is not slowing: traditional sources of profit transform themselves and new ones emerge, taking advantage of these environmental and social disruptions in order to supply new centres of accumulation with capital. This international colloquium aims to highlight the economic and political mechanisms that explain the contemporary reconfiguration of the capital dispossession and accumulation centres. Following the works of David Harvey, David Graeber and Thomas Piketty, the question of the social fabric of capitalist accumulation has become a central issue in the contemporary debates in social sciences. This colloquium will highlight the new generation of works that cut across disciplinary boundaries to reflect on the political dimensions of contemporary profit strategies and the institutions that support the neoliberal policies of dispossession. In doing so, it will report on the institutional substructure of the new forms of capital extraction and accumulation.” For more information, see here.

Money as a Democratic Medium
December 14-15, 2018, Harvard Law School
“Those who create and issue money and credit direct the policies of government and hold in the hollow of their hands the destiny of the people.”  The words, attributed to a 20th century British banker, capture an emerging consensus.  Money, governance, and public welfare are intimately connected in the modern world.  More particularly, the way political communities make money and allocate credit is an essential element of governance.  It critically shapes economic processes – channeling liquidity, fueling productivity, and influencing distribution.  At the same time, those decisions about money and credit define key political structures, locating in particular hands the authority to mobilize resources, determining access to funds, and delegating power and privileges to private actors and organizations. For more information about the topic and conference, see here.