Feminist and Queer Legal Theory

Intimate Encounters, Uncomfortable Conversations

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  • Edited by Martha Albertson Fineman, Emory University, USA, Jack E. Jackson, University of California Berkeley, USA and Adam P. Romero, Yale Law School, USA
  • Feminist and Queer Legal Theory: Intimate Encounters, Uncomfortable Conversations is a groundbreaking collection that brings together leading scholars in contemporary legal theory. The volume explores, at times contentiously, convergences and departures among a variety of feminist and queer political projects. These explorations – foregrounded by legal issues such as marriage equality, sexual harassment, workers' rights, and privacy – re-draw and re-imagine the alliances and antagonisms constituting feminist and queer theory. The essays cross a spectrum of disciplinary matrixes, including jurisprudence, political philosophy, literary theory, critical race theory, women's studies, and gay and lesbian studies. The authors occupy a variety of political positions vis-à-vis questions of identity, rights, the state, cultural normalization, and economic liberalism. The richness and vitality of feminist and queer theory, as well as their relevance to matters central to the law and politics of our time, are on full display in this volume.

  • Contents: Introduction: feminist and queer legal theory, Martha Albertson Fineman; Part 1 Queer With or Without Feminist Legal Theory?: Queer theory by men, Janet Halley writing sub nomine Ian Halley; Theorizing yes: an essay on feminism, law, and desire, Katharine M. Franke; The sexual family, Martha Albertson Fineman; The sanitized workplace revisited, Vicki Schulz; Queering sexual orientation: a call for theory as praxis, Francisco Valdes. Part 2 Feminist With or Without Queer Legal Theory?: How queer theory makes neoliberalism sexy, Martha T. McCluskey; Proper objects, different subjects, and juridical horizons in radical legal critique, Tucker Culbertson and Jack Jackson; A few words in favor of cultivating an incest taboo in the workplace, Mary Ann Case; Care and feminists, Mary Becker; Methodological descriptions: 'feminist' and 'queer' legal theories, Adam P. Romero. Part 3 Pluralizing Difference: The epistemic contract of bisexual erasure, Kenji Yoshino; Black rights, gay rights, civil rights, Devon W. Carbado; The transgender rights imaginary, Paisley Currah; Compulsory monogamy and polyamorous existence, Elizabeth F. Emens. Part 4 The Politics and Law of Kinship, Intimacy and Care: This is not your father's autonomy: lesbian and gay rights from a feminist and relational perspective, Carlos A. Ball; Compulsory matrimony, Ruthann Robson; From paternafare to marriage promotion: sexual regulation and welfare reform, Anna Marie Smith; Transgressive caretaking, Laura T. Kessler. Part 5 Law and Strategy at the Crossroads of Feminist and Queer Legal Theories: The troubled relationship of feminist and queer legal theory to strategic essentialism: theory/praxis, queer porn, and Canadian anti-discrimination law, Lara Karaian; Poststructuralism on trial, Ann Scales; Queer victory, feminist defeat? Sodomy and rape in Lawrence v. Texas, Lynne Huffer; Postscript: curious encounters, unpredictable conversations, Kathryn Abrams; Bibliography; Index.

  • About the Editor: Martha Albertson Fineman is an internationally recognized law and society scholar and a leading authority on family law and feminist jurisprudence. Fineman is founder and director of the Feminism and Legal Theory Project, which was inaugurated in 1984 at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She is a Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law at Emory University. Professor Fineman has authored three books: The Autonomy Myth: A Theory of Dependency (New Press, 2004); The Neutered Mother, The Sexual Family and Other Twentieth Century Tragedies (Routledge, 1995); and The Illusion of Equality: The Rhetoric and Reality of Divorce Reform (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1991). She has also edited six books, including Ashgate's forthcoming Children's Rights, and has written many book chapters and scholarly papers.

    Jack E. Jackson is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Theory at UC Berkeley. He received his J.D. from Cornell Law School where he was recipient of the Freeman Award for Civil-Human Rights and a member of the Order of the Coif. Jackson served as an Ella Baker Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights and has taught at the University of Miami Schoolof Law. He recently published "Erasures and Imaginings" in Critical Sense: A Journal of Political and Cultural Theory (2005).

    Adam P. Romero holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he won the Kelley Prize and was a Coker Fellow and a director of the Complex Federal Litigation Clinic. He received his A.B. from Cornell University, graduating summa cum laude and winning the Sherman-Bennett Prize. Previously a law clerk to Hon. M. Margaret McKeown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and a fellow at the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, Adam's current research considers the privileging of family in law and society, especially as relevant to significantly disabled adults who live disconnected from family.

  • Reviews: 'This exploration of tensions among feminist and queer theorists is possibly the most useful theory anthology of the decade. Tensions are put in play by placing superlative essays in each other's path and letting the provocations rip. Sure to produce a watershed moment for the trajectories of both theory genres, the anthology is so smartly organized and interspersed with incisive editorial material that it will teach itself.'
    Wendy Brown, University of California, Berkeley, USA

    'Feminist and Queer Legal Theory is an eclectic and interesting collection of essays rethinking legal categories and policies through feminist and gay perspectives. In this volume, one will encounter the sexual family, the sanitized workplace, compulsory matrimony, transgressive caretaking, and other iconoclastic concepts.'
    William Eskridge, Yale University, USA

  • Extracts from this title are available to view:

    Full contents list

    Introduction

    Index