Dissenting Voices

Dissenting Voices Speakers

Professor Susanna Lee, Georgetown University

Professor Lee teaches nineteenth and twentieth-century narrative and literary theory. She has written on the 19th century novel and on American crime fiction, music, literature, and psychoanalysis. Professor Lee’s works include A World Abandoned by God Narrative and Secularism (Bucknell University Press, 2006) and “These are Our Stories: Trauma, Form and the Screen Phenomenon of Law and Order,” in Discourse (2004). She is currently at work on a book entitled My Ethics are my Own: Hardboiled Crime Fiction and the Decline of Moral Authority.

Professor Kenneth Mack, Harvard Law School

Professor Mack has taught at Harvard since the 2000-01 academic year. He teaches courses on Property Law, American Legal History, Civil Rights History and the Legal Construction of Racial Identity. His research currently deals with civil rights and the social construction of race and professional identity in American law. He is the author of a number of scholarly articles, and is completing a book entitled Representing the Race: Creating the Civil Rights Lawyer, 1920-1955, to be published by Harvard University Press. Prior to pursuing his Ph.D. studies in history, he was a law clerk for Federal District Judge Robert L. Carter of the Southern District of New York, as well as a trial and appellate litigator at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. During the first national elections in post-apartheid South Africa, he served as co-area director of election monitoring for the United States and Canada. Before turning to law, he pursued a career as an Electrical and Computer Engineer where he designed computer integrated circuits at AT&T Bell Laboratories.

Professor Richard Pildes, New York University

Professor Pildes is one of the nation’s leading scholars of public law and a specialist in legal issues affecting democracy. He is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has received recognition as a Guggenheim Fellow and a Carnegie Scholar. In the area of democracy, Professor Pildes, along with the co-authors of his acclaimed casebook, The Law of Democracy: Legal Structure of the Political Process (now in its third edition), has helped to create a revolutionary field of study in the law schools. While issues of democracy have been in the background of many public-law courses, The Law of Democracy systematically explores issues of democratic theory in the concrete institutional, policy, and doctrinal settings in which they have arisen historically: issues such as the right to vote, the role of direct democracy, the appropriate role of political parties, the financing of democratic elections, and the representation of minority interests in democratic institutions. Professor Pildes is widely considered one of the nation’s leading scholars on such topics as the Voting Rights Act, alternative voting systems (such as cumulative voting), the history of disfranchisement in the United States, and the general relationship between constitutional law and democratic politics in the design of democratic institutions themselves. Respect for his expertise in these areas is reflected in frequent citations of his work in U.S. Supreme Court opinions, the publication of his work in several languages, and his frequent public lectures and appearances, including his nomination with the NBC News Team for an Emmy Award for coverage of the 2000 Presidential election litigation.

Apart from his academic work, Professor Pildes has also served as counsel to a group of former chairmen of the Securities and Exchange Commission in litigation challenging the constitutionality of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; as counsel in election litigation to the Puerto Rico Electoral Commission; as counsel to the government of Puerto Rico; as a federal court-appointed independent expert on voting rights litigation; and as counsel in successful Supreme Court litigation that challenged the way the United States Tax Court operated.

Professor Pildes received his A.B. in physical chemistry, summa cum laude, from Princeton, and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard. He was Supreme Court Note Editor on the Harvard Law Review. He clerked for Judge Abner J. Mikva of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court, after which he practiced law in Boston. He began his academic career at the University of Michigan Law School, where he was assistant and then full professor of law from 1988 until joining the NYU School of Law faculty in 2000. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago Law School, Harvard Law School, the University of Texas School of Law, and was a fellow in Harvard’s prestigious Program in Ethics and the Professions from 1998-1999.

Professor Ravit Reichman, Brown University

Professor Reichman does research in the 20th-century British novel; law and literature; modernism; literary theory; psychoanalysis; literature and the emotions; narrative and memory; and literary responses to war. She recently published a book entitled The Affective Life of Law. This book situates modernism both in relation to war and law; it also examines how a modernist legal and literary imaginary is reshaped between the world wars, tracing the process through which trials became the primary mode of doing justice in the aftermath of historical catastrophe. The notion of “doing justice” on a large scale after World War I is rarely associated with courts of law, figuring more often as social or military justice. Following World War II, however, historic trials — among them, the Nuremberg and Eichmann trials — came to dominate a broader, international sense of postwar justice. This work asks what lies behind this shift, and seeks to explain it in cultural and literary terms. The book argues that literature’s response to the First World War does more than simply reshape language along ironic or subjective lines; rather, it actively fashions normative claims about what it means to feel responsible, and to take responsibility, in the aftermath of incommensurable catastrophe. These new modes of justice in turn lay the foundation for what would become the unprecedented trials after the Holocaust. One of the book’s primary assertions is that issues of affect are central to law, and that this dimension of the law can best be understood through the study of literature. It asserts, moreover, that this affective element of the law comes into sharpest focus by examining literary texts that record moments of historical crisis. Through readings of literary works, legal opinions, juridical treatises, and historical documents, this study charts the emotional terrain that underwrites the law, turning to literature as a means to express and to map those submerged, often unspoken sentiments that underpin strict legal doctrine.

Professor Reichman has also published articles on Holocaust testimony, legal character, Virginia Woolf and tort law, and Rebecca West and the Nuremberg trial.

Professor Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law School

Professor Tushnet, who graduated from Harvard College and Yale Law School and served as a law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall, specializes in constitutional law and theory, including comparative constitutional law. His research includes studies examining (skeptically) the practice of judicial review in the United States and around the world. He also writes in the area of legal and particularly constitutional history, with works on the development of civil rights law in the United States and (currently) a long-term project on the history of the Supreme Court in the 1930s. This fall he is organizing a conference on American constitutional development and another that features a conversation among several current and former judges on the world’s constitutional courts. Representative Publications: The New Constitutional Order (Princeton University Press, 2003); The Oxford Handbook of Legal Studies, ed. P. Cane & M. Tushnet (Oxford University Press, 2003); “Alarmism versus Moderation in Responding to the Rehnquist Court,” 78 Indiana Law Journal 47 (2003); “Defending Korematsu?: Reflections on Civil Liberties in Wartime,” 2003 Wisconsin Law Review 273 (2003); “New Forms of Judicial Review and the Persistence of Rights- and Democracy-Based Worries,” 38 Wake Forest Law Review 813 (2003); Defining the Field of Compartative Constitutional Law, , ed. V. Jackson & M. Tushnet (Praeger, 2002).

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