Conference / Symposium

The Future of Law & Literature

Sponsored by Geballe Workshop Series through the Stanford Humanities Center, the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, the Stanford Arts Institute, and Theater and Performance Studies.


Thursday, November 5, 2020
4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
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This event is open to:
Faculty/Staff, Students

Event Details:

As we approach the 50th year of Law and Literature as an established field and arrive at the 20th anniversary of Robert Weisberg + Guyora Binder’s seminal text, Literary Criticisms of Law, a discussion of this field and its importance is perhaps more prescient than ever. 

Guyora Binder was formerly law clerk to federal Judge Jack B. Weinstein, Dana Fellow of Comparative Jurisprudence at UCLA, a visiting professor at the University of Michigan, Georgetown University, and Vanderbilt University Law Schools and the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor of Human Rights at Stanford Law School. He has been Vice Dean for Research and Faculty Development since 2012 and is a past Chair of the President’s Review Board. Binder has written in the areas of legal theory, criminal law, constitutional history, and international law. He is the author of Treaty Conflict and Political Contradiction (Praeger, 1988), Felony Murder (Stanford, 2012), Criminal Law: The Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law (Oxford, 2016) and co-author of Literary Criticisms of Law (Princeton, 2000).

Bernadette Meyler is a scholar of British and American constitutional law and of law and the humanities. She returned in 2013 to Stanford Law School, where she had previously served as Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights. Her research and teaching bring together the sometimes surprisingly divided fields of legal history and law and literature. They also examine the long history of constitutionalism, reaching back into the English common law ancestry of the U.S. Constitution. Professor Meyler’s books stem from these respective areas of her scholarship, including Theaters of Pardoning (Cornell UP, 2019). Professor Meyler previously taught at Cornell University, where she served, most recently, as Professor of Law and English and Faculty Director of Research at the Cornell Law School. She also visited Princeton University as the inaugural Mellon/LAPA Fellow in Law and the Humanities, and is a current fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center.

Austin D. Sarat is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science, and Associate Provost and Associate Dean of the Faculty, at Amherst College. Throughout his career, he has authored or edited more than 100 books, including the 2019 publication The Death Penalty on the Ballot: American Democracy and the Fate of Capital Punishment. Sarat is interested broadly in the cultural and social life of American law, with particular attention to state killing and lawful lawlessness. He has received numerous awards, including the Ronald Pipkin Service Award, the Hugo Adam Bedau Award, the Stan Wheeler Prize, and multiple book prizes, and served as the president of: the Consortium of Undergraduate Law and Justice Programs; Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities; and Law and Society Association.

Robert Weisberg works primarily in the field of criminal justice, writing and teaching in the areas of criminal law, criminal procedure, white collar crime, and sentencing policy. He also founded and now serves as faculty co-director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center (SCJC). After joining the Stanford law faculty, he served as a consulting attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the California Appellate Project on death penalty cases, and he continues to consult on criminal appeals in the state and federal courts. Professor Weisberg is a threetime winner of the law school’s John Bingham Hurlbut Award for Excellence in Teaching and co-author of Literary Criticisms of Law (Princeton, 2000). Before entering the field of law, Professor Weisberg received a PhD in English at Harvard and was a tenured English professor at Skidmore College.