Author Archives: Michael Froomkin

CFP: An Uncomfortable Conversation

Three of my colleagues are organizing what looks like a super conference to be held here in Miami on November 14-15 (just a week after the Jotwell conference about which more soon).

An Uncomfortable Conversation: The Universal and the Particular — Vulnerability and Identities II” is organized as part of series of workshops on ‘Vulnerability and the Human Condition’. The full call for papers is online and responses are due by July 28. Here’s part of the CFP:

In recent years, key legal decisions in voting rights, gay marriage, and affirmative action have destabilized the identity-based anti-discrimination frameworks long used to pursue equality and social justice in the United States. The Supreme Court, for example, has been deregulating race, declaring in Schuette and in Shelby that the state’s involvement in the eradication of racial inequality and the protection of marginalized identities is now less imperative. Moreover, the Court seems reluctant to use the language of identity, instead framing gay and lesbian claims in the language of privacy, liberty and dignity. Yet, popular arguments for redistributive and reparative public policies remain steadily focused on traditional identity categories. For example, The Atlantic magazine has featured a series of essays on racial reparations to Blacks. Similarly, the #YesAllWomen twitter trend has drawn attention to normalized violence against women, even as the hashtag #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen created virtual space for feminists of color to question what they perceive to be the dominance of white feminist voices in mainstream culture and gender politics. Amidst these complex legal, social and political changes comes a shift in academic discourse as well, with some critical theorists suggesting that “traditional” identity categories based on individual characteristics, such as race or sex, are inadequate to capture social problems that transcend such categories. Instead, they argue that focus should rest on paired social identities, such as employer/employee or parent/child – categories or statuses that are forged in social and institutional relationships and convey the allocation of legally sanctioned and shaped power and privilege.

These legal and social developments highlight the importance of building on the first Vulnerability and Identities Uncomfortable Conversation to further consider and assess specific identitarian frameworks (including both traditional and social identity formations) as well as more universal paradigms, such as human rights or vulnerability. This second conversation continues an investigation of the relationships between particularity and universality, with an emphasis on the ability of concepts like vulnerability and identity to deepen existing critiques of legal liberalism and advance our understanding of substantive justice. Central to this investigation is an evaluation of the impact of critical theory on understanding the state and its institutions, particularly their role in promoting human resilience through the provision of education, employment and training, healthcare, family structure, cultural recognition, and social welfare more broadly. In considering both the universal and identitarian approaches, we ask how they differently frame systemic disparities in access, opportunity and resources.

I wish I had time to do a paper for this based on my ongoing research on regulation of identification, but what with the Jotwell conference being a week earlier, realistically it’s not going to happen. I’m definitely going.

Posted in Talks & Conferences, U.Miami | Leave a comment

The Basement Is Safe

The Misguided Freakout About Basement-Dwelling Millennials

More than 15.3 million twentysomethings—and half of young people under 25—live “in their parents’ home,” according to official Census statistics.

There’s just one problem with those official statistics. They’re criminally misleading. When you read the full Census reports, you often come upon this crucial sentence:

It is important to note that the Current Population Survey counts students living in dormitories as living in their parents’ home

Spotted via Calculated RISK.

Of course, living in South Florida, we don’t even have a basement…

Posted in Econ & Money | 1 Comment

I’m Back

I’ve been away for a couple of weeks, but now I’m back–and even over jet lag.

I used to announce when and where I was going before I left, but a commentator here once chastised me for inviting burglars to the house. Despite my doubt that any readers of this blog are potential burglars or that burglars clever enough to do searches on blogs looking for ‘away’ type posts would bother burglarizing me, I’ve been shy about announcing everyone-in-the family departures ever since. Watch what you say in the comments – I’m paying attention.

Caroline and I had planned to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary by going to Paris, but life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans, and just before we would have gone, her father, who had suffered a long illness, died. There was a lovely service in a (partly) 13th-century edifice.

We will figure out some way to celebrate our whatever-you-call-it in due course. (She still got her present.)

Posted in Personal | Leave a comment

Guess the Country

Rations Reduced as Demand Grows for Soup Kitchens.

You only get one guess.

Posted in Econ & Money | 2 Comments

Judge Holds No-Fly List Violates Due Process and APA

Took a long time, but the courts are coming around. Here’s a major decision from Judge Anna Brown in the Latif v. Holder case. (Via Just Security Blog.)

Posted in Law: Right to Travel | Leave a comment

MDPLS Search Plugin Restored

Seems like every time the Miami-Dade Public Library system has a computer upgrade, their nifty search plugin gets lost in the shuffle. The MDPLS website recently had a major face-lift, with equivocal results on the desktop, but a much better look on my cell phone. And yes, again, the link to the search plugin vanished. And again I wrote in to complain. And again they were very very courteous in replying — I got three emails in less than two weeks, each apologizing for the delay in resolving the issue.

And now there is a new Library Tools page, with a link to install the MDPLS Quick Search browser plug‑in.

This is the same library system whose budget the Mayor keeps slashing by the way. The library is one of the rare cultural successes of Miami-Dade county — and if you live here MDPLS deserves your support.

Previously:

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Strong Candidate for Worst Political Video of the Year

As far as I can tell, this nutty video is a genuine product of the Republican Party.

Perhaps they have so much money now after Citizens United that they don’t care how they spend it? And, yes, the “HRC Squirrel” seems to be something they plan to run with.

Posted in 2016 Election | 1 Comment