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    This Chapter tells the story of the author’s Chair – the Royall Chair at Harvard Law School – and of its donor and his marks. Isaac Royall, Jr., was during his lifetime the largest slaveholder in colonial Massachusetts. The Isaac Royall, Jr., brand has risen, and fallen, and risen again, and fallen again in political struggles spanning from his grandfather’s arrival in Maine as an indentured servant, to Isaac Royall, Jr.’s own precipitous flight from Boston after the commencement of the American revolution, to his former slave Belinda’s struggle for her due at his hands in which she denounced him for exploiting her, to Harvard University’s acceptance of his bequest of the Royall Chair, to the University’s adoption of his heraldic shield as a symbol of the Law School, to the conversion of the hagiographical Royall House museum to the Royall House and Slave Quarters, to a years-long struggle over racial justice at the Law School. It is the story of both the fragility and the durability of a brand that is rich in social meaning and unimportant enough to be transformed into the language of ever-shifting contemporary political struggle. It ends in medias res, the author being uncertain what comes next.

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    We submit our letter to assist OCR in achieving its goal with this hearing, which is two-fold: to ensure that students are (1) allowed to pursue their education free from sexual harassment and assault and (2) treated fairly in the adjudicatory process—whether they are the complainant or the respondent—designed to investigate and resolve allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

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    Governance Feminism: Notes from the Field brings together nineteen chapters from leading feminist scholars and activists to critically describe and assess contemporary feminist engagements with state and state-like power. Gathering examples from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, it complements and expands on the companion volume Governance Feminism: An Introduction. Its chapters argue that governance feminism (GF) is institutionally diverse and globally distributed—emerging from traditional sites of state power as well as from various forms of governance and operating at the grassroots level, in the private sector, in civil society, and in international relations. The book begins by confronting the key role that crime and punishment play in GFeminist projects. Here, contributors explore the ideological and political conditions under which this branch of GF became so robust and rethink the carceral turn. Other chapters speak to another face of GFeminism: feminists finding, in mundane and seemingly unspectacular bureaucratic tools, leverage to bring about change in policy and governance practices. Several contributions highlight the political, strategic, and ethical challenges that feminists and LGBT activists must negotiate to play on the governmental field. The book concludes with a focus on feminist interventions in postcolonial legal and political orders, looking at new policy spaces opened up by conflict, postconflict, and occupation. Providing a clear, cross-cutting, critical lens through which to map developments in feminist governance around the world, Governance Feminism: Notes from the Field makes sense of the costs and benefits of current feminist realities to reimagine feminist futures. Contributors: Libby Adler, Northeastern U; Aziza Ahmed, Northeastern U; Elizabeth Bernstein, Barnard College; Amy J. Cohen, Ohio State U; Karen Engle, U of Texas at Austin; Jacob Gersen, Harvard U; Leigh Goodmark, U of Maryland; Aeyal Gross, Tel Aviv U; Aya Gruber, U of Colorado, Boulder; Janet Halley, Harvard U; Rema Hammami, Birzeit U, Palestine; Vanja Hamzić, U of London; Isabel Cristina Jaramillo-Sierra; Prabha Kotiswaran, King’s College London; Maleiha Malik, King’s College London; Vasuki Nesiah, New York U; Dianne Otto, Melbourne Law School; Helen Reece; Darren Rosenblum, Pace U; Jeannie Suk Gersen, Harvard U; Mariana Valverde, U of Toronto.

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    Jeannie Suk Gersen, Nancy Gertner, and Janet Halley, professors at Harvard Law School, have issued a Comment on the Department of Education’s Proposed Rule on Title IX enforcement. The authors write: “We strongly support vigorous enforcement of Title IX to ensure that students enjoy educational programs and activities unburdened by sexual harassment.” They argue that “sanctions for sexual harassment should apply only under a clear definition of wrongful conduct and after a process that is fair to all parties.” With these dual objectives in mind, the Comment reviews the Department of Education’s Proposed Rule and agrees with some aspects and disagrees with others. The authors agree (with some suggested amendments) with the Rule’s treatment of the burden of proof, the rejection of the single-investigator model, and the requirement of a live hearing process. They argue that the rules they endorse do not undermine the critical goal of enforcing Title IX. They express serious concerns about the provisions on cross examination and the definition of sexual harassment, and propose revisions that will be more protective of complainants. The Comment strongly objects to provisions encouraging schools to file complaints when they have multiple allegations against a single potential respondent but no formal complainant: the inquiry there should be refocused on the threat of harm and take into account the complainants’ as well as the respondents’ interests. The three professors say that they “strongly object to the deliberate indifference standard for schools’ ultimate responsibility to respond to sexual harassment.” Gersen, Gertner and Halley have researched, taught, and written on Title IX, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and feminist legal reform. They were three of the signatories to the statement of twenty-eight Harvard Law School professors, published in the Boston Globe on October 15, 2014, that criticized Harvard University’s newly adopted sexual harassment policy as “overwhelmingly stacked against the accused” and “in no way required by Title IX law or regulation.”

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  • Janet Halley, Prabha Kotiswaran, Rachel Rebouché & Hila Shamir, Governance Feminism: An Introduction (2018).

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    Governance Feminism shows how some feminists and feminist ideas have entered into state and state-like power in recent years. Collecting examples from the U.S., Israel, India, and from transnational human rights law, the authors argue that governance feminism is institutionally diverse and globally distributed—emerging from grassroots activism as well as statutes and treaties, as crime control and as immanent bureaucracy.

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    Four feminist law professors at Harvard Law School have called on the U.S. Department of Education to revise the previous Administration’s policies on sexual harassment and sexual assault on campus. In a memo submitted to the Education Department yesterday, they set out an agenda of fairness for all students, accusers and accused. In recent years the Education Department has pressured colleges and universities to adopt overbroad definitions of wrongdoing that are unfair to both men and women, and to set up procedures for handling complaints that are deeply skewed against the accused and also unfair to accusers. Janet Halley and Jeannie Suk Gersen, Elizabeth Bartholet, and Nancy Gertner are professors at Harvard Law School who have researched, taught, and written on Title IX, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and feminist legal reform. They were four of the signatories to the statement of twenty-eight Harvard Law School professors, published in the Boston Globe on October 15, 2014, that criticized Harvard University’s newly adopted sexual harassment policy as “overwhelmingly stacked against the accused” and “in no way required by Title IX law or regulation.” Janet Halley said “The college process needs legitimacy to fully address campus sexual assault. Now is the time to build in respect for fairness and due process, academic freedom, and sexual autonomy.” The professors submitted to the Education Department a memorandum entitled “Fairness for All Students under Title IX.”

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  • Janet Halley, Paranoia, Feminism, Law: Reflections on the Possibilities for Queer Legal Studies, in New Directions in Law and Literature 123 (Elizabeth S. Anker & Bernadette Meyler eds., 2017).

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    In “The Move to Affirmative Consent,” I argue that, though affirmative consent has great appeal because of its respect for norms about good sex that we all share, as a rule intended to be enforced in actual punitive processes, whether on campus or in the criminal justice system, it will be vastly overinclusive, deeply repressive, and socially conservative in its enforcement of traditional gender roles. I show how affirmative consent reforms represent a partial victory (and thus also a partial defeat) for dominance feminists ultimately seeking to criminalize subjectively unwanted sexual behavior without respect to the intent or knowledge of the accused; the relationship history of the parties; the racial, cultural, or other social distance between the parties; and the character of the complainant’s memory of the events. I further demonstrate how existing affirmative consent rules will allow decision makers to hold people responsible for serious misconduct based on one or more of three states of mind that have been consistently muddled in the debates so far: the accuser’s subjective consent (described as “positive” if it is rests on her positive desire and as “constrained” if she consents to sexual conduct to avoid something she disfavors) and as “performative” if it rests on an indication of consent through physical or verbal signs. Each of these rules includes some conduct that, almost all feminists agree, deserves sanction and should be deterred, but they are all overinclusive in ways that many feminists would reject. One such way, I demonstrate, is an affirmation of female passivity and male activity in sex—a legal affirmation of, and incentive to reawaken, the gender roles of the gilded age. This current contribution asks feminists to consider carefully how affirmative consent will operate in practice, in the real world, before offering it their support.

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    Prominent participants in the development of queer theory explore the field in relation to their own intellectual itineraries, reflecting on its accomplishments, limitations, and critical potential.

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    This Article offers a genealogy of domestic relations law (later renamed family law). It comes in two Parts. Part I is an account of how it emerged as a distinct field in American law in the latter half of the nineteenth century. This Part, Part II, is an account of its successive transformations over the course of the twentieth century. I argue that domestic relations/family law did not always exist; rather, it was invented, and the ideological implications of that act of creation remain embedded in the field today. The central idea which, I argue, recurrently characterizes the field is that the family and its law are the opposites of the market and its law. Born in the middle of the nineteenth century as the notorious status/contract distinction, it has shown amazing powers of resilience, surviving three highly intentional and collectively organized attacks and gathering to itself new ideological and practical implications as the presuppositions about law that permeate legal consciousness have changed and changed again over time.

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  • Janet Halley, Le Genre Critique: Comment (Ne Pas) Genrer Le Droit?, 2011 Jurisprudence: Revue Critique 109 (2011).

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    Is it time to take a break from feminism? In this pathbreaking book, Janet Halley reassesses the place of feminism in the law and politics of sexuality. She argues that sexuality involves deeply contested and clashing realities and interests, and that feminism helps us understand only some of them. To see crucial dimensions of sexuality that feminism does not reveal--the interests of gays and lesbians to be sure, but also those of men, and of constituencies and values beyond the realm of sex and gender--we might need to take a break from feminism. Halley also invites feminism to abandon its uncritical relationship to its own power. Feminists are, in many areas of social and political life, partners in governance. To govern responsibly, even on behalf of women, Halley urges, feminists should try taking a break from their own presuppositions. Halley offers a genealogy of various feminisms and of gay, queer, and trans theories as they split from each other in the United States during the 1980s and 1990s. All these incommensurate theories, she argues, enrich thinking on the left not despite their break from each other but because of it. She concludes by examining legal cases to show how taking a break from feminism can change your very perceptions of what's at stake in a decision and liberate you to decide it anew.

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    German translation of “Rape in Berlin: Reconsidering the Criminalisation of Rape in the International Law of Armed Conflict.

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    What is the place of the family in legal scholarship and teaching, and in deep, implicit ideas about how our legal order is arranged? How did it get to be that way? Published in two separate Parts, this Article tells a story of American family law: how the law of Domestic Relations emerged as a distinct legal topic in late-nineteenth-century legal treatises, and what ideological conditions facilitated its renaming and reconstruction as Family Law in the Family Courts and casebooks of the twentieth century. Almost without exception, throughout this account Domestic Relations/Family Law are what they are by virtue of their categorical distinction from the law of contract and, more broadly, the law of the market. This distinction did not always seem natural: this Article tells how it was invented. The resulting market/family distinction remains a latent but structural element of the legal curriculum and the legal order more generally today. This Article calls that distinction into question and suggests that family law should be restructured to connect it for the first time to domains of law more readily understood to relate directly to the market: economically significant productivity, social security provision, and the fair or unfair distribution of economic resources. My story comes in three time periods, corresponding with Duncan Kennedy's three globalizations of legal thought. The first is the classical era, roughly the last half of the nineteenth century. The second is the era of "the social" - characterized by the sociological jurisprudes' and legal realists' attack on the classical legal order and restructuring of legal taxonomy-spanning roughly the first half of the twentieth century. And the last is the era of conflicting considerations, roughly the last half of the twentieth century.

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    I’ve been pondering this problem as I participated in this sparking conference titled “Beyond the Law”: What, if anything, is “beyond the law”? The better parent’s risk aversion, the propertyless man’s hunger: should we insist that these are non-legal attributes about these characters which interact with legal rules to condition legally important decisions? Are they inside or outside of the law? We can think of it either way. Most of the time, to be sure, I’m engaged in descriptive projects that are basically attempts to extend the reach of law. Not that I want it to be big, I’m trying to understand how big it is. But in the rest of my remarks I’d like to spool out my ambivalence about this. Why does it feel more critical, more decisive, to insist on the coercive character of background rules, no matter how far in the background they lurk? And why does the resulting picture of the world seem so narrowed, so reduced, once we have succeeded in drawing it? What’s at stake in positing that law is everywhere – or that there is something beyond it?

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    The specific criminalisation of sexual violence in war has made immense strides in recent years, as feminists engaged with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the Rome Statute processes have proposed — and often won — a wide range of new legal rules and prosecutorial practices. This essay briefly describes some of these feminist achievements, in particular the reframing of rape and other sexual violations as a freestanding basis for charging serious humanitarian crimes and as the sole predicate act in particular prosecutions; and the demotion of a consent-based defence to charges of rape. The essay then turns to an anonymously published account of one woman’s experiences during the fall of Berlin to the Soviet Army in 1945, published in English as A Woman in Berlin: A Diary. By analysing the Diary’s ideologically saturated reception in Germany and by analysing the text itself, the essay proposes that rape in war is not merely either ignored and condoned or prosecuted and punished, but intrinsically problematically related to our evaluations of the badness of rape and the badness of war. The essay derives from its reading of A Woman in Berlin a war–rape antinomy: the literary achievement of the Diary, the author argues, is that it keeps the badness of war and the badness of rape in mutual suspension; and the pathos of its typical reception is that this antinomy collapses in ways that ratify some of the most problematic ideological investments linking rape to war. The essay concludes by deriving from this literary-critical excursion some hard policy questions for law-makers deciding how to criminalise rape and other sexual violence in International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law: what are the costs of ignoring the ideological discourses that surround rape? What are the downsides of ratifying the idea that rape in war is a fate worse than death? Could the special condemnation of rape weaponise it? How should criminal law handle the problematic of consent under coercive circumstances when those circumstances are armed conflict? And how might the new feminist-inspired rules entrench nationalist differentiation and antagonism? It concludes that the intrinsic dilemma-like structure of our answers to these questions cannot be transcended, and that international policy-makers should temper triumphalist excitement about the new feminist-inspired rules in order to take these problematics on board.

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    This Article is the result of an intense series of text and telephone exchanges among the four of us, taking place from December 2005 to April 2006. Each of us has her own project which forms the basis of her contribution to this conversation. Janet Halley is working on new rules governing wartime sexual violence in international humanitarian law, specifically the place of rape and sexual slavery in the decisions of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Chantal Thomas has published widely on the law of trade;1 one of her papers examines the feminist debate over the 2001 U.N. Trafficking Protocol.2 Hila Shamir and Prabha Kotiswaran have studied emergent national regimes addressing the connection between local prostitution markets and international “sex trafficking” in Holland, Sweden, and Israel (Shamir) and in India (Kotiswaran). Shamir compares legal regimes for governing sex trafficking and the related prostitution industry within national borders; Kotiswaran studies the highly local negotiations between stakeholders in the sex industry in India through ªeld work in Tirupati and Kolkata. Shamir and Koti-swaran take special note of the striking but very different impact of the 2001 Protocol and the United States’ Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (the VTVPA)3 in Israel and India.

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    Is it time to take a break from feminism? In this pathbreaking book, Janet Halley reassesses the place of feminism in the law and politics of sexuality.

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    The Supreme Court has held that same-sex sex harassment may be sex discrimination within the ambit of Title VII. Its opinion in Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services tells us that same-sex harassing conduct that meets other criteria in the doctrinal scheme is conclusively sex discrimination when it is motivated by erotic attraction. Thus the Court indicates that same-sex erotic overtures at work can be sex discrimination, and invites lower courts to test for erotic content by inquiring into the sexual orientation of the individual defendant. Where the defendant in a same-sex sex harassment case is not homosexual, the Court tells...

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    As a result of the challenge posed by Gayle Rubin based on the assumption of how feminism should be perceived as a privileged site in terms of sexuality, members of feminist and leftist groups in the United States debated on whether they should come up with practices and theories that deal with such issues as gender, sexuality, and erotic life, issues that are evidently and not entirely feminist. Gay identity politics, transsexual and transgendered identity, and postmodern versions of these issues are among the several other concepts that are concerned with Rubin's notion of ‘the politics of erotic desire’. At least for now, we realize that the assertion of how the left sexual politics can provide such analyses without feminist undertones is not without validity. This chapter looks into several aspects of left sexual politics, specifically liberal feminism.

  • Dan Danielsen, Brenda Cossman, Janet Halley & Tracy Higgins, Gender, Sexuality and Power - Is Feminist Theory Enough? 12 Colum. J. Gender & L. 601 (2003).

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    In this dialogue, four authors critically examine how to describe feminism and what it can and cannot do, particularly with regard to sexuality. The authors use the Texas Supreme Court case Twyman v. Twyman, involving divorce, sadomasochistic sex, and a claim of emotional distress, as a focal point to explore how feminism deals with gender, sexuality, and power, and whether it does so sufficiently. The roundtable discussion revolves around Janet Halley's radical suggestion that not only is feminism not enough, but that we should "Take a Break" from it in order to see the issues feminism does not address as well as the effects of a feminist perspective.

  • Karen Engle, Elizabeth Schneider, Vicki Schultz, Nathaniel Berman, Adrienne Davis & Janet Halley, Round Table Discussion: Subversive Legal Moments, 12 Tex. J. Women & L. 197 (2003).

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    Symposium: Subversive Legacies: Learning from History/Constucting the Future

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    "In recent decades, left political projects in the United States have taken a strong legalistic turn. From affirmative action to protection against sexual harassment, from indigenous peoples’ rights to gay marriage, the struggle to eliminate subordination or exclusion and to achieve substantive equality has been waged through courts and legislation. At the same time, critiques of legalism have generally come to be regarded by liberal and left reformers as politically irrelevant at best, politically disunifying and disorienting at worst. This conjunction of a turn toward left legalism with a turn away from critique has hardened an intellectually defensive, brittle, and unreflective left sensibility at a moment when precisely the opposite is needed. Certainly, the left can engage strategically with the law, but if it does not also track the effects of this engagement—effects that often exceed or even redound against its explicit aims—it will unwittingly foster political institutions and doctrines strikingly at odds with its own values. Brown and Halley have assembled essays from diverse contributors—law professors, philosophers, political theorists, and literary critics—united chiefly by their willingness to think critically from the left about left legal projects. The essays themselves vary by topic, by theoretical approach, and by conclusion. While some contributors attempt to rework particular left legal projects, others insist upon abandoning or replacing those projects. Still others leave open the question of what is to be done as they devote their critical attention to understanding what we are doing. Above all, Left Legalism/Left Critique is a rare contemporary argument and model for the intellectually exhilarating and politically enriching dimensions of left critique—dimensions that persist even, and perhaps especially, when critique is unsure of the intellectual and political possibilities it may produce."

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    In the essays collected here Brown and Halley have assembled a powerful response to hegemony of a liberalism that lacks conviction.

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