Law 692: Feminist Legal Studies Workshop I (Fall 2018)

1 credit

Course description:

Course Information

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 2015, it is designated as Law 692; in the winter term of 2016 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 typically 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/all year), will prepare advance reading and two advance questions for each speaker in each 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 10-12 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.


Monday, October 1, 2018
1-2:30pm, Macdonald Hall, room 202

Nancy Coldham, The CG Group

Topic: The Gendered Politics of the C-Suite



The glass ceiling discussion is usurped by the “glass cliff” when it gets to the issues around gender leadership and women achieving the top corporate leadership CEO role. Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders is a significant area of academic research. Organizational development and behavior studies have long pointed to the think management-think male dynamic, but what is of most interest and up for discussion at the FLSQ lecture is the think crisis-think female scenario that appears to be a trend supporting women being selected to assume the CEO role during times of corporate malaise. The August 2018 announcement that PepsiCo Inc. CEO Indra Nooyi, would be stepping down made her the fifth woman CEO being moved out of the C-Suite in 2018. In each case, a male would take over the CEO. Some speculate the replacement is made once the woman leader tackled the corporate “mess” inherited. Is there merit to the glass cliff premise of when and why women leaders are advanced corporately? This presentation will address these questions and use recent gender and leadership reports, research and studies.


Background Reading:

Ashby, J., Ryan, M. K., & Haslam, S. A. In press. Legal work and the glass cliff: Evidence that women are preferentially selected to lead problematic cases. William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law.

Appelbaum, S. H., Audet, L., & Miller, J. C. (2003). Gender and leadership? Leadership and gender? A journey through the landscape of theories, Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 24(1), 43-51.

Blum, L., & Smith, V. 1988. Women’s mobility in the corporation: A critique of the politics of optimism. Signs, 13:528–545.

Eagly, A. H., & Karau, S. J. (2002). Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders. Psychological Review, 109(3), 573-598. 153 ©JBSQ 2012

Ryan, M. K., & Haslam, S. A. (2009). Glass cliffs are not so easily scaled: On the precariousness of female CEOs’ positions. British Journal of Management, 20(1), 13-16. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8551.2008.00598.x

Schein, V. E., Mueller, R., Lituchy, T., & Liu, J. (1996). Think manager–think male: A global phenomenon?Journal of Organizational Behavior, 17, 33-41.

Skelly, J. J., & Johnson, J. B. (2011). Glass ceilings and great expectations: Gender stereotype impact on female professionals. Southern Law Journal, 21(1), 59-70.

(PDF) The Glass Cliff: Exploring the dynamics surrounding the appointment of women to precarious leadership positions.

Monday, October 15, 2018
1-2:30pm, Macdonald Hall, room 202

Erica S. Lawson, University of Western Ontario

Topic: The Pursuit of Justice in Peace Huts: A Feminist View from Liberia


How do women utilize motherwork to end war and re-shape political culture for peace, security and justice? We explore this question by examining women’s motherwork at the site of peace huts established by women at the end of a14-year civil war in Liberia. We further address three principles of African feminist theory - holism, collectivity, and situationality - that underpin the work that women do in peace huts. The collaborative project on which this talk is based seeks to translate research findings into greater capacity building for women who work in peace huts to influence policy and law and to advance gender equality across institutions in a post-conflict context.


Background Reading:

Sharon Abramowitz and Mary H. Moran, International Human Rights, Gender-Based Violence, and Local Discourses of Abuse in Postconflict Liberia: A Problem of “Culture”?
Amina Mama & Margo Okazawa-Rey, Militarism, conflict and women's activism in the global era: challenges and prospects forwomen in three West African contexts
Elizabeth Porter, Women, Political Decision-Making, and Peace-Building

Monday, October 29, 2018
1-2:30pm, Macdonald Hall, room 202

Fay Faraday, Osgoode Hall Law School

Topic: Pay Equity Reform in Canada


Abstract: TBA


Background Reading: TBA

Friday, November 16, 2018
1-2:30pm, Macdonald Hall, room 202

Martha Friendly, Trent University

Topic: Canada Can't Work Without Good Child Care: Current Progress and Challenges




Background Reading

Friendly, M., Prentice, S., and Ballantyne, M. (2018). No equality without universal child care. Policy Options, March 8, 2017. Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy.

Bezanson, K. (2018). Feminism, Federalism and Families: Canada’s Mixed Social Policy Architecture. Journal of Law and Equality

White, L.A., and Prentice, S. (2018). Childcare deserts and distributional disadvantages: the legacies of split childcare policies and programmes in Canada. Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy, Feb 15, 2018.

Anderson, L. Ballantyne, M. and Friendly, M. (2016). Child care for all of us: Universal child care for Canadians by 2020. Technical paper. Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.