McGeorge School of Law

Global Symposium Explores Injury as Cultural Practice

March 13, 2014

Global Symposium

From left: Lochlann Jain, Marc Galanter, Greg Johnson, David Engel, Maurice Stevens, Anne Bloom, Mary Anne Franks, Michael Musheno, Khiara Bridges, Samantha Barbas, Claire Rasmussen, Sagit Mor, Michael McCann and Yoshitaka Wada

McGeorge's Annual Global Symposium, held March 7-8, 2014 in Northwest Hall, featured interdisciplinary panels of social scientists, social theorists and lawyers discussing the topic "Injury as Cultural Practice." Professor Anne Bloom, Associate Dean of Faculty Scholarship at McGeorge School of Law, and David Engel, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor at SUNY Buffalo Law School, organized and directed the symposium.

"The purpose of the symposium was to begin a dialogue around how the meaning of legal injury is constructed through social and cultural practices," said Bloom. "Our hope is that the work we began here will continue and eventually culminate in a book."

McGeorge Dean Francis J. Mootz III and Franklin Gevurtz, Distinguished Professor of Law and co-director of the McGeorge Global Center for Business & Development, welcomed symposium attendees.

The first panel discussed "What Counts as an Injury?" Mary Anne Franks, Associate Professor of Law at University of Miami presented "Injury Inequality," and Sagit Mor, Assistant Professor of Law at Haifa University Faculty of Law in Haifa, Israel, presented "The Meaning of Injury: A Disability Perspective" during the first half of that panel. Samantha Barbas, Associate Professor of Law at SUNY Buffalo Law School presented "The Laws of Image," Anne Bloom presented "Good Injuries"; with Marc Galanter, Professor of Law Emeritus at University of Wisconsin Law School and David Engel presented "Chairs, Stairs, and Automobiles: What Injury? What Lumping?" Gowri Ramachandran, Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School, was the panel discussant.

The next panel examined "Injury Narratives." Greg Johnson, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at University of Colorado, Boulder, presented "Motion Through Friction: Perpetual Kinship, Policing the State, and the Animation of Cultural Injury Claims in Contemporary Hawai'i"; Claire Rasmussen, Associate Professor of Political Science and Interim Director of Graduate Studies at University of Delaware, presented "Single Trait": Animal Injuries, Legal Trusts and NonHuman Personhood"; Lochlann Jain, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University presented 'Cancer Injuries'; and Yoshitaka Wada, Professor of Law at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, presented "Expert and Patient Injury Narratives in Japan." Michael Musheno, Faculty Director of Legal Studies Program at UC Berkeley School of Law, was the panel discussant.

Michael McCann, Professor of Political Science and Gordon Hirabayashi Professor for the Advancement of Citizenship at University of Washington, served as Rapporteur after the panel discussions on both days of the Global Symposium.

On the second day of the conference, the third panel investigated "Remedies for the Trauma & Brutality of Injuries." Maurice Stevens, Associate Professor of Comparative Studies at Ohio State University presented "The Trauma Resiliency Model as Biopolitical Apparatus"; Yukiko Koga, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Hunter College, presented "Between the Law: The Unmaking of Empire and the Persistence of Redress in Post-Imperial East Asia"; Pratiksha Baxi, Associate Professor of Law at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India, presented "Sexual Injuries and the Law"; and Khiara Bridges, Associate Professor of Law and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Boston University Law School, presented "Pregnancy as Injury." Raquel Aldana, Professor of Law at McGeorge School of Law, was the panel discussant.

"It was nothing short of phenomenal," said Aldana. "I was so delighted to experience this space of intellectual engagement across disciplines."

The proceedings of the Global Symposium will be published in a future volume of the McGeorge Global Business & Development Law Journal.