Law 692 (Fall 2011)

Feminist Legal Studies Workshop I
(Fall term, 2011-2012), 1 credit

Course description:

The Feminist Legal Studies Workshop is designed to enable students to work closely with faculty in analyzing and discussing with leading feminist theorists and scholars visiting Queen's Faculty the topics of the speakers' papers.

The Feminist Legal Studies Workshop course is offered for one course credit per term. In the fall term of 2011, it is designated as Law 692; in the winter term of 2012, it is designated as Law 693. Students may enroll for one credit in the fall term, or for one credit in the winter term, or for a total of two credits in both terms combined. This course can also be combined with an ISP for students who may wish to carry out in-depth independent supervised work in relation to one or more of the areas discussed in this workshop.

Scheduling details:

The workshop speakers will be scheduled for the regular visitor slots on Mondays and Fridays, which run from 1 to 2:30 pm, and one or two additional meetings per term will be scheduled around everyone's class and other commitments. Speaker dates and locations are listed below.

Nature, mode, and content of evaluation of student participation:
Students will attend all the speakers events (4/term or all 7-8), will prepare advance reading for the first session of each term and two advance questions for the rest of the speakers in that term, plus 1-2 pages of briefing notes after each session (60% of course credit), will participate in the discussion at the speakers visit (10% of course credit), and will prepare a short term paper of approximately 10-15 pages on a topic that relates to any one of the speakers events (30% of course credit). To be taught by Profs. Amani and Lahey.

Fall term speakers (2011-2012):

Monday January 23, 2012

1pm-2:30pm, Macdonald Hall Room 201

Emanuela Heyninck

Queen's Department of Philosophy and Faculty of Law

Feminist Legal Studies Workshop

  • History, Purpose, and Results of Pay Equity Laws in Canada

Emanuela Heyninck is currently serving her second term as Commissioner of the Pay Equity Commission for Ontario, an independent agency of the Ministry of Labour. The Commissionis mandatd to administer and enforce the Pay Equity Act. Since 2010, Emanuela has also served as an adjudicator for the Health Professions and Health Services Appeal and Review Boards. Before her appointment she practiced civil, family and administrative law in London, Ontario. She is currently an active member of the Society of Adjudicators and Regulators and is also serving on several Advisory Councils, including the Toronto Human Resources Professional Association, Conestoga College and the University of Western Ontario Student Law Clinic. Her community involvement has included several terms on the Executives of the London Chamber of Commerce, the London Business and Professional Women's Club, the Middlesex Family Lawyers Association and the Middlesex as well as the Ontario Collaborative Law Group. She holds an Hon. B.A. in Italian and French from McMaster University and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Windsor.

Background reading: Pay Equity Commission (Ont.), Resource List (2011) - read one background and one wage gap item.

Friday January 27, 2012

1pm-2:30pm, Macdonald Hall Room 201

Pamela Palmater


Feminist Legal Studies Workshop

Aboriginal Identities, Constitutional and Charter Law, and Aboriginal Rights

Pamela Palmater is a Mi'kmaq lawyer whose family originates from the Eel River Bar First Nation in northern New Brunswick. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University, Interim Chair in Indigenous Governance in Ryerson's new Centre for Indigenous Governance, and affiliated with the MA program in Public Policy, Yeates School of Graduate Studies, affiliated with the MA program in Public Policy and Administration. Dr. Palmater received her JSD from Dalhousie University Law Faculty, and her thesis was published in 2011. She holds several other degrees, was called to the New Brunswick bar in 1998, and worked on Aboriginal issues both at Justice Canada and as Director at Indian and Northern Affairs, managing treaties, claims, self-government, land and registration portfolios. Her current research interests relate to Aboriginal Governance matters, specifically how land and natural resources, treaties and Aboriginal rights, jurisdiction and law-making powers and citizenship and identity issues can contribute to stronger Aboriginal families, communities, organisations, and Nations. A key part of this research is the ever-changing political structures and relationships within and between Aboriginal communities, their relationships with the state, and on the international stage. She works actively with Aboriginal organisations and communities on these and other issues.

Background reading: Pamela Palmater, Beyond Blood: Rethinking Indigenous Identity. Saskatoon: Purich Publishing Ltd., 2011.

TBA 2012

1pm-pm, Macdonald Hall Room 001

Dana Olwan

Queen's Gender Studies

Feminist Legal Studies Workshop

  • Muslim Women in Canada: Key Issues

TBA 2012

1pm-2:30pm, Macdonald Hall Room 201

Kim Pate

Executive Director, Canadian Association of E. Frye Societies

Feminist Legal Studies Workshop

  • Women in Prisons: Issues and Challenges

Monday September 26, 2011
1pm-2:30pm, Macdonald Hall Room 202
Sammi King
School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen's University, cross-appointed to Gender Studies and Cultural Studies
Feminist Legal Studies Workshop
Women's Health, War, and Diplomacy: The US-Middle East Partnership For Breast Cancer Awareness

Dr. King's research encompasses cultural studies, sociology, feminist theory, and critical race studies, and focuses on how health, sport, and the body can become powerful vehicles for the production of social difference and inequality. Her paper builds on the findings in her book Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy, which was the basis of the National Film Board documentary Pink Ribbons, Inc. premiering in September 2011 at the Toronto International Film Festival. In this paper, Dr. King speaks to the complex dynamics of gender issues in diplomacy, women's activism, globalism, and the NGO sector.

Advance reading: Nahla Abdo, 'Imperialism, the State, and NGOs: Middle Eastern Contexts and Contestations,'Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, vol. 30, no. 2: 238-249, 2010.

Monday October 17, 2011
1pm-2:30pm, Macdonald Hall Room 201
Carys Craig
Osgoode Hall Law School
Feminist Legal Studies Workshop
What's Feminist about Open Access? A Relational Approach to Copyright in the Academy


In a context of great technological and social change, existing intellectual property regimes such as copyright must contend with parallel forms of ownership and distribution. Proponents of open access question and undermine the paradigm of exclusivity central to traditional copyright law, thereby fundamentally challenging its ownership structures and the publishing practices these support. In this essay, we attempt to show what it is about the open access endeavour that resonates with a feminist theory of law and society - in other words, we consider what is "feminist" about open access. First, we provide an overview of a relational feminist critique of traditional copyright law and the assumptions of possessive individualism that pervade it. We then offer a brief description of the open access movement and the way in which it reflects or responds to this criticism. In doing so, we discover vital synergies between this branch of feminist legal theory and the open access movement. Ultimately, we hope to underscore the importance of an open access policy for legal journals such as this one, whose mission is to support, advance and disseminate a feminist perspective that challenges the prevailing hegemony within traditional legal challenges the prevailing hegemony within traditional legal scholarship. We conclude by offering ways in which this journal can help draw out the synergies between feminist criticism and the open access movement.


Professor Craig's research interests are in domestic, comparative and international intellectual property law and policy, with an emphasis upon public interest theory and the public domain. A recipient of the Osgoode Excellence in Teaching Award, she teaches courses in copyright, digital copyright, trademarks, international intellectual property, and intellectual property theory. Professor Craig received her LL.B with First Class Honours from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, specializing in legal theory, international law, and contract law. Professor Craig has an LL.M from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. She completed her doctoral degree at the University of Toronto, where she was a graduate fellow of the Centre for Innovation Law and Policy. Dr. Craig has recently published Copyright, Communication and Culture: Towards a Relational Theory of Copyright Law (Edward Elgar, 2011), in which she employs critical legal and social theory to examine the central assumptions of copyright doctrine. In the 2004-05 academic year, Dr. Craig was awarded the David Watson Memorial Award for the most significant contribution to legal scholarship for an article that appeared in Volume 28 of the Queen's Law Journal.

Advance reading: Carys J. Craig, Joseph F. Turcotte, and Rosemary Coombe, 'What is Feminist About Open Access?: A Relational Approach to Copyright in the Academy,' Feminists@law, vol. 1, no. 1, 2011. Link

Friday November 18, 2011
1pm-2:30pm, Macdonald Hall Room 202
Avvy Yao-Yao Go
Clinic Director, Metro TO Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, and former Bencher, Law Society of Upper Canada
Feminist Legal Studies Workshop
Race and Gender in Canada's Immigration Policy


Canadians love to believe that Canada has always had an open immigration policy. But for racialized immigrants, the opposite has always been true. Federal governments have repeatedly enacted immigration and refugee policies aimed at deterring immigrants who are deemed 'undesirable' (racialized and poor) and limiting the rights of those already in Canada. Racism has always played a role in shaping Canadian immigration policy, but those engaged in issues surrounding immigration have been reluctant to discuss race. This paper presents an examination of the history of Canada's immigration law, then turns to contemporary immigration law to analyze how certain aspects of policy continue to exclude and screen out 'unwanted' immigrants.


Avvy Go is the Clinic Director of Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic. She received her B.A. in economics and management studies from the University of Waterloo, LL.B. from the University of Toronto, and LL.M. from Osgoode Hall Law School. Since her call to the Bar in 1991, she has worked exclusively in the legal clinic system, serving the legal needs of low income individuals and families, the majority of whom are non-English speaking immigrants and refugees. Immigration, human rights, and employment law are some of the main areas of law that she practices in. Avvy received the 2008 City of Toronto's William P. Hubbard Award for Race Relations, the 2002 President's Award of the Women's Law Association of Ontario, and served as a bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada from 2001 and 2003, and 2006 and 2011 as well as a member of the Human Rights Monitoring Group, the Access to Justice Committee, the Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee and the Profession Regulations Committee of the Law Society. Since 2005, she has been a part time adjudicator of the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board., was cross-appointed to the Health Services Appeal and Review Board in April, 2011, and served on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Justice Education Network from 2009 to 2011. In February, 2011, Avvy was appointed to the Advisory Council of the Canadian Human Rights Museum.

Avvy has presented numerous papers on various areas of law, including immigration, human rights, and employment law. She has also published extensively in the legal literature as well as in the mainstream media, dealing with a variety of issues such as redress and reparations, constitutional litigation, and other legal and policy issues affecting immigrants and racialized communities. Apart from her legal practice, Avvy spends much time doing community organizing and advocacy work. She was involved in a number of community organizations such as serving as the Vice-Chair of the Court Challenges Program of Canada, President of the Chinese Canadian National Council (Toronto Chapter), and board member of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations. In 2007, she co-founded the Colour of Poverty Campaign - a campaign to address the increasing racialization of poverty in Ontario.

Background reading:

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