Clearing the Table: Remember to like us on Facebook Reply

A few links of interest this week:

Live Tweeting from ASLCH Tomorrow #ASLCH Reply


Tomorrow and Saturday, myself (@warrenemerson) and Mai-Linh of Legal Lacuna (@legallacuna) will be live tweeting from the Association for the Study of Law Culture and Humanities.  Hashtag #ASLCH.  Follow us or come find us.  My offer still stands for a free drink to the winner.  


Brushing up the Table 1

As I periodically do, I thought I would point to a few items.

  • Allen Mendenhall has two new posts up at The Literary Lawyer titled A Tale of the Rise of Law Part I and Part II.  From the posts: “Geoffrey of Monmouth’s The History of the Kings of Britain is a tale of the rise of law that suggests that there can be no Britain without law – indeed, that Britain, like all nation-state constructs, was law or at least a complex network of interrelated processes and procedures that we might call law. During an age with multiple sources of legal authority in Britain, The History treats law as sovereign unto itself in order to create a narrative of order and stability.”  Check them out.
  • JK Rowling news seems to be pouring out of the watershed this week.   Her publisher announced that her first post-Potter work would be released later this year.  Additionally, the anticipated Pottermore website is slated to go live in early April.
  • Dr. Seuss’s the Lorax has a message.… apparently…. the sponsors have not yet gotten though… Ironic
  • I recently found a new blog, This Ruthless World.  Check it out.
  • This week, a couple of us from the table, Mai-Linh and myself will be at the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities conference in Fort Worth, Tx.  Please come say hello.  I mean, we won’t have a booth or anything, which means you’d have to look around.   So on second thought, Mai Linh and I will be playing hide and seek somewhere in Fort Worth, Texas beginning Thursday.  A free drink to the first one to find us.  Go.
  • Lastly, its March Madness time.  Which means that as every other year I will be poorer by about $10. I thought about constructing a bracket of writers or lawyers tied to Universities in the bracket.  Put suggestions in the comments.

Pablo Gilabert on “Cohen on Socialism, Equality, and Community” (April 28 at Columbia) Reply

Just passing this along from an email I received this morning–Gilabert seems to have an interestingly nuanced perspective on these issues…

The Columbia University Seminar on Political Economy and Contemporary Social Issues invites you to a talk and discussion with

PABLO GILABERT on “Cohen on Socialism, Equality, and Community.”

The talk will take place on Thursday, April 28th, in the Columbia International Affairs Building, room 1510 at 7:30 p.m.

You are also invited to join us for (optional) dinner at the Faculty House at 6:15 before the talk. Please email your dinner reservation to

About the talk:

Is socialism a desirable ideal? What principles ground it? In his last book, Why Not Socialism? G. A. Cohen argues that the socialist ideal is indeed desirable, that we have reason to favor the general implementation of the principles of radical equality of opportunity and community on which it relies. Cohen also considers the issue of the feasibility of socialism.  His agnostic conclusion on this issue is that we do not now know whether socialism is feasible or infeasible, although we can realistically envisage multiple partial approximations and instantiations of its demands. In this talk, Gilabert will focus on Cohen’s discussion on desirability. Although sympathetic to Cohen’s contribution, Gilabert identifies what he takes to be some problems in it and suggests ways to overcome them. He challenges Cohen’s claim that although the principle of radical equality of opportunity is a principle of justice, the principle of community is only a wider moral requirement. He argues that to fully account for the role and weight of considerations of community within the socialist ideal, and to justify the limitations on liberty that they would impose in practice, we have reason to see some of them as more stringent demands of justice. More specifically, he proposes a construal of some of the demands of community as focused on sufficientarian concerns with basic needs and on requirements to protect equal political status and self-respect, and explains how, so construed, the demands of community relate to demands of equality of economic opportunity and to the protection of personal and political liberty.

About the speaker: 

A native of Argentina, Pablo Gilabert is an associate professor of Philosophy at Concordia University, Montreal. He has been an HLA Hart Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford, a DAAD Fellow at the University of Frankfurt, and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University. In 2011-12 he will be Laurence S. Rockefeller Visiting Faculty Fellow at the Center for Human Values at Princeton University. His papers appeared in journals such as The Journal of Political Philosophy, Political Theory, The Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Philosophical Studies, Kant-Studien, The Monist, Social Theory and Practice, and Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, among others. His book From Global Poverty to Global Equality: A Philosophical Exploration, is under contract with Oxford University Press.
Please feel free to forward this email to interested friends and colleagues.

The Columbia Seminar on Political Economy and Contemporary Social Issues was founded in 1971 by Sidney Morgenbesser and Seymour Melman as the Seminar on the Political Economy of War and Peace. It focuses on issues of contemporary concern from interdisciplinary perspectives, integrating philosophy, political theory, and economics. The co-chairs of the Seminar are Carol Gould, Phil Green, and Gary Mongiovi.

Columbia University encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. University Seminar participants with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations or who have questions about physical access may contact the Office of Disability Services at212-854-2388 or  Disability accommodations, including sign-language interpreters, are available on request.

Requests for accommodations must be made two weeks in advance.  On campus, Seminar participants with disabilities should alert a Public Safety Officer that they need assistance accessing campus.

Announcements: New Additions to the Zotero Project/ Call for Contributors 1

The Zotero Project. Thanks in large part to Andrew Adler’s sending a wonderfully put together bibliography, we have added some substantial resources to the Billy Budd collection at the Zotero project (and there is still more to add)!

William Faulkner. I have added a link to some recordings of William Faulkner from his days at the University of Virginia.  The Faulkner recordings are available either through iTunes or through the University of Virginia Library (which is linked through the Zotero site). They are quite intriguing.  I plan to run a series of Faulkner coming up shortly, so stay tuned.

Call For Contributors:  I have been lucky to have such wonderful and thoughtful contributors as Patrick, Allen, and Andrew at the Table.  But we would like to hear from you as well.  Drop me a line at warren[dot]emerson[at]gmail[dot]com and let me know if your interested in contributing.

Announcing: The Literary Table Zotero Project/ Twitter Access/ Contributors 1

One of the functions that I hoped the Literary Table might help to fill is the ease of collecting in a central place resources for those who teach in law, literature, law and literature, and related areas.

I am pleased to announce that the Literary Table has opened The Literary Table Zotero Project. Zotero is a research gathering tool that runs through Firefox. Recently, the Zotero project introduced a collaborative aspect. Users can create communities of users to view materials that are stored in libraries and even to contribute materials. This is exactly the type of collaborative mindset that the Literary Table is interested in. The tool is very easy to use. Once installed, while browsing through the internet, if you find something that would be of interest to the Literary Table Community, tag it with Zotero and drop it into the Literary Table Library. Presto! You have shared a resource that someone here would find valuable.

The community is open to anyone to view. However, you must be a member to contribute to the library. I would like to open up the library to any and everyone that has materials to contribute to the law and literature discipline. Simply join Zotero here and then add the Literary Table as a group.  I have added collections for:

  • Puritan Resources
  • Herman Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener
  • Herman Melville’s Billy Budd

Follow us on Twitter/ Subscribe

You can now follow the happenings at the Table on Twitter here.   Also, don’t forget about the subscription option to receive The Literary Table directly to your email at the top of the page.

Still Looking for More Contributors

We have been fortunate to have Patrick and Allen join us at the Table.  The conversation has been insightful and provocative.  But we want more.  Please consider blogging at the table this summer and there after.  If you would like more details, email me at warren[dot]emerson[at]gmail[dot]com.