Previous Workshops, Conferences and Conversations 

The Feminism and Legal Theory Project holds an archive located in the Hugh F. MacMillan Law Library at Emory University School of Law. 

The FLT archive contains a range of materials relating to over 80 workshops and conferences run under the auspices of the FLT for over 25 years, held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1984 – 1990), Columbia University (1990 – 1999), Cornell University (1999 – 2003) and Emory University (2004 – ). The FLT is, of course Martha Fineman’s project, both in its inception and continuity, and the changes in venues across the years reflect Martha’s own career trajectory. Despite Professor Fineman’s centrality to the project, she has deliberately taken on the role of facilitator, rather than presenter, seeking to bring together other feminists to validate established expertise and also encourage newly emerging scholars from around the world.

The archive contains published FLT anthologies, materials from all FLT workshops and conferences, as well as CD/DVD recordings of one-off presentations by leading scholars. The workshop and conference materials include initial papers written pre-presentation (in workbooks), actual (sometimes revised) presented papers at conferences (on CD/DVD), and, uniquely, Q & A sessions following the presentations (again, on CD/DVD). These are unedited, providing a unique insight into each event.

The materials reflect trends in feminist socio-legal theory across the past 25+ years. Several conferences have had the sub-heading of ‘Uncomfortable Conversations’ tackling head-on tensions between competing theoretical positions. Enduring themes include: (competing) feminist theories; concepts of the family, parenthood and childhood; gendered inequality and its intersection with other disadvantaged minority identities (race, class, sexual identity, disability and age); the material well-being of women and children; economic theory; vulnerability, dependency and resilience; women’s subordination in law; and critical perspectives in law.

Some discourse has shifted quite dramatically, e.g. from focus on the public/private divide, to viewing feminism through the lens of post-colonialism and global frameworks. Themes about parents and children have, in particular, taken on different perspectives across the quarter century. In the early 1990’s interest was focussed on representations of motherhood; in the mid-1990’s this had shifted towards the parent-child dyad beyond gendered normativity (alongside Martha’s own work, e.g. The Neutered Mother); and by the later 1990’s one of the ‘Uncomfortable Conversations’ was on the tensions which can arise between the legal rights of mothers and their children. Between 2000 and 2010, the focus had widened to include: masculinities; father’s rights; and the socio-legal implications of genetic manipulation, reproductive technologies and the ‘pregnant man’.

The FLT archive is a unique historical record and a wonderful resource for feminist research with so much to offer on the development of feminist socio-legal theory across the last quarter of a century.
For a detailed history of the Project, please click here 



Accessing items in the archive:

Please see the Emory Law Library Reference Desk personnel or Vanessa King for assistance in accessing items in the archive.  The two archive bookcases are located on the Third Floor of the Law Library, outside of Room M329 (the Feminism and Legal Theory Visitor's Workspace).  Archive DVDs can be viewed in either of the Law Library's two video rooms.  

Non-Emory scholars and researchers interested in using the archive may send requests to Yvana Mols.

All materials in the archive are for in-library use only.

We regret that the archive materials do not circulate through Interlibrary Loan.

Further information about the Feminism and Legal Theory Project and the events it sponsors can be obtained either from Professor Martha Fineman (404) 712-2421 or from Yvana Mols.

*Available In Archive

All materials in the archive are organized chronologically according to date of event.