Uncategorized

Law and Literature Book Club

So this one is for my law and law-adjacent peoples. I’m just going to throw it out there: Bookclub, but with a legal focus.

Hear me out. I know y’all practitioners already do A LOT of reading, but most of y’all, in my experience, are giant fucking nerdburgers who miss having the time to read fantasy and sci fi (I see you, boo). This is where I step in. CV time: I have a PhD in literature and have taught literature at Victorian unis since 2012, I have a law degree, worked as a researcher and paralegal at a firm for seven years (decided not to practice because I saw how the sausage was made), and I’ve taught law to creative industry professionals since 2018. I’ve been running a relatively successful book club for about three years. I am also a firm believer (my students might call me evangelical) in the power of stories to help us understand the world and ourselves better.

Y’all are also professional readers and storytellers. You are also working in an industry that can suck the joy out of everything it touches. Let’s bring some joy back to reading the law.

Enter Lady Chatterley’s Book Club (one of my fave censorship trials, buy I’m open to changing the name). This is a pilot program for the first five months of 2020. Ideally, it would be based in the Melbourne CBD, and would run once a month. We would read a novel and a case (I’ll create a reading list based on responses) and use the literature to frame our understanding of both the set case and of legal practice/the world more generally. I’m limiting the pilot program to 10 seats, so if you are keen let me know asap. Feel free to retweet/share with friends/frenemies/colleagues/ who you think might be interested.

I’m proposing the following genres of literary texts:

Memoir and Life-Writing

SF, Fantasy and Spec Lit

Trashy crime and Thrillers

Queer Literature

YA and Bildungsroman

Classical lit and adaptations

Shakespeare and adaptations

If you are keen, shoot me a response/email/DM and let me know your preferred reading list.

Fiction, Uncategorized

Reflection: Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

I admit straight up that I have an obsession with water. My mother always called me her waterbaby, and I am never happier than when I am immersed in cool clear waves. There is a caveat: the water must be clear, I like to see exactly what I’m swimming with. It was in just such circumstances that I started reading Invisible Cities.  I had water up to my chest, and it was crystal clear. I stood in the bay, my legs dancing with the pull of the current while I read this book in the pink evening sun. It was the most perfect way to begin this book about journeys.

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Uncategorized

Reflection: Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee

Last semester I was teaching law to creative industries grad students (“How not to get sued: the basics”). We, of course, covered defamation and looked at the cases that were running in Australia right now on that front, and it got me thinking about the thesis I started developing over the summer regarding judgement writing as a form of biographical writing (I’ll bore you with it over wine if you really want me to). I think this is a significant project, as it locates judgements as a form of performative utterance that have a material effect, insofar as they determine what did or did not (or can or cannot, or will or will not) happen to the bodies of parties to a case, but it also reveals the instability of that utterance by revealing its position as a hybrid genre (both utterance and biography). There’s a whole bunch of ethical and legal issues that I think arise from this destabilisation, but let’s leave overthrowing the system to the side for the moment. Toward the end of the semester I went to a talk by Bri Lee as she launched her book, Eggshell Skull. You can read about that here. Point is, I finally finished reading the book.

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