Biography

Martha Albertson Fineman


Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law
Founding Director, Feminism and Legal Theory Project
Director, Vulnerability and The Human Condition Initiative

 

 

Curriculum Vitae
SSRN Author Page

 

Areas of Expertise
Family Law, Feminist Legal Theory, Sexuality and Law, Equality Theory, Women and the Law, Reproductive Issues

Biography

Martha Albertson Fineman is a Robert W. Woodruff Professor. An internationally recognized law and society scholar, Fineman is a leading authority on family law and feminist jurisprudence. Following graduation from University of Chicago Law School in 1975, she clerked for the Hon. Luther M. Swygert of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Fineman began her teaching career at the University of Wisconsin in 1976. In 1990, she moved to Columbia University where she was the Maurice T. Moore Professor. Before coming to Emory, she was on the Cornell Law School faculty where she held the Dorothea Clarke Professorship, the first endowed chair in the nation in feminist jurisprudence.

Fineman is founder and director of the Feminism and Legal Theory (FLT) Project, which was inaugurated in 1984. In 2010, the 25th anniversary edition of Transcending the Boundaries of Law: Generations of Feminism and Legal Theory was published. Two other recent collections from the FLT Project edited by Fineman are: What Is Right For Children? The Competing Paradigms Religion and International Human Rights (with Worthington) and Feminist and Queer Legal Theories: Intimate Encounters, Uncomfortable Conversation (with Jackson and Romero), both published by Ashgate Press in 2009. Fineman also serves as director of Emory’s Vulnerability and The Human Condition Initiative.

Her scholarly interests are the legal regulation of family and intimacy and the legal implications of universal dependency and vulnerability. Fineman's solely authored publications include books—The Autonomy Myth: A Theory of Dependency, The New Press (2004); The Neutered Mother, and The Sexual Family and other Twentieth Century Tragedies, Routledge Press (1995); and The Illusion of Equality: The Rhetoric and Reality of Divorce Reform (1991)—in addition to dozens of journal articles and essays. Her essay in the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, “The Vulnerable Subject: Anchoring Equality in the Human Condition,” will form the basis of a book to be published by Princeton University Press in 2013.

Fineman has received awards for her writing and teaching, including the prestigious Harry Kalvin Prize for her work in the law and society tradition. She has served on several government study commissions. She teaches courses and seminars on family law, feminist jurisprudence, law and sexuality, and reproductive issues. For more information, visit www.law.emory.edu/flt.

Education: BA, Temple University, 1971; JD, University of Chicago, 1975.

Publications
 
FEMINIST PERSPECTIVES ON TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE: FROM INTERNATIONAL AND CRIMINAL TO ALTERNATIVE FORMS OF JUSTICE,
Martha Albertson Fineman and Estelle Zinsstag Eds., Series on Transitional Justice, Intersentia Publishing, Cambridge, Antwerp, Portland, 2013

 
Taking Children’s Interests Seriously
WHAT IS RIGHT FOR CHILDREN: THE COMPETING PARADIGMS OF RELIGION AND HUMAN RIGHTS, M.A. Fineman and K. Worthington, eds., Ashgate, 2009

 
Introduction: Feminist and Queer Legal Theory
FEMINIST AND QUEER LEGAL THEORY: INTIMATE ENCOUNTERS, UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATIONS, M.A. Fineman, J. E. Jackson, and A. P. Romero, eds., Ashgate, 2009

 
The Sexual Family
FEMINIST AND QUEER LEGAL THEORY: INTIMATE ENCOUNTERS, UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATIONS, M.A. Fineman, J. E. Jackson, and A. P. Romero, eds., Ashgate, 2009

 
Evolving Images of Gender and Equality: A Feminist Journey
New England Law Review, Vol. 437 (2009)

 
The Vulnerable Subject: Anchoring Equality in the Human Condition
Yale Journal of Law & Feminism, Vol. 20, No. 1, 2008

 
Feminist Legal Theory
13 Am. U. J. Gender Soc. Pol'y & L. 13 (2005) 2005

 
Equality Across Legal Cultures: The Role for International Human Rights
27 T. Jefferson L. Rev. 1 (2004-2005) 2005

 
Social Foundations of Law, The
54 Emory L.J. 201 (2005) 2005

 
Progress and Progression in Family Law
2004 U. Chi. Legal F. 1 (2004) 2004

 
Domestic Violence, Custody, and Visitation
36 Fam. L.Q. 211 (2002-2003) 2003

 
Contract and Care
76 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 1403 (2000-2001) 2001

 
Fatherhood, Feminism and Family LawF
32 McGeorge L. Rev. 1031 (2000-2001) 2001

 
Cracking the Foundational Myths: Independence, Autonomy, and Self-Sufficiency
8 Am. U. J. Gender Soc. Pol'y & L. 13 (2000) 2000

 
Family in Civil Society, The
75 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 531 (1999-2000) 2000

 
What Place for Family Privacy
67 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 1207 (1998-1999) 1999

 
New Tokenism, The
23 Vt. L. Rev. 289 (1998-1999) 1999

 
Inevitability of Dependency and the Politics of Subsidy, The
9 Stan. L. & Pol'y Rev. 89 (1998) 1998

 
Nature of Dependencies and Welfare Reform, The
36 Santa Clara L. Rev. 287 (1995-1996) 1996

 
Feminist Theory and Law
18 Harv. J. L. & Pub. Pol'y 349 (1994-1995) 1995

 
Masking Dependency: The Political Role of Family Rhetoric
81 Va. L. Rev. 2181 (1995) 1995

 
Comments
82 Geo. L.J. 2521 (1993-1994) 1994

 
Legal (And Otherwise) Realist Response to Sex as Contract, A
4 Colum. J. Gender & L. 128 (1994) 1994

 
Introduction
3 Colum. J. Gender & L. 1 (1992-1993) 1993

 
Hermeneutics of Reason: A Commentary on Sex and Reason, The
25 Conn. L. Rev. 503 (1992-1993) 1993

 
Gender and Sexual License: The Plot Might Change but the Message Remains the Same (A Response to William Nelson)
5 Yale J.L. & Human. 343 (1993) 1993

 
Our Sacred Institution: The Ideal of the Family in American Law and Society
1993 Utah L. Rev. 387 (1993) 1993

 
Neutered Mother, The
46 U. Miami L. Rev. 653 (1991-1992) 1992

 
Feminist Theory in Law: The Difference It Makes
2 Colum. J. Gender & L. 1 (1992) 1992

 
Legal Stories, Change, and Incentives--Reinforcing the Law of the Father
37 N. Y. L. Sch. L. Rev. 227 (1992) 1992

 
Images of Mothers in Poverty Discourses
40 Duke L. J. 274 (1991) 1991

 
Images of Mothers in Poverty Discourses
40 Duke L. J. 274 (1991) 1991

 
Intimacy Outside of the Natural Family: The Limits of Privacy
23 Conn. L. Rev. 955 (1990-1991) 1991

 
Societal Factors Affecting the Creation of Legal Rules for Distribution of Property at Divorce
23 Fam. L.Q. 279 (1989-1990) 1990

 
Custody Determination at Divorce: The Limits of Social Science Research and the Fallacy of the Liberal Ideology of Equality
3 Can. J. Women & L. 88 (1989-1990) 1990

 
Challenging Law, Establishing Differences: The Future of Feminist Legal Scholarship
42 Fla. L. Rev. 25 (1990) 1990

 
Politics of Custody and the Transformation of American Custody Decision Making, The
22 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 829 (1988-1989) 1989

 
Dominant Discourse, Professional Language, and Legal Change in Child Custody Decisionmaking
101 Harv. L. Rev. 727 (1987-1988) 1988

 
Reply to David Chambers, A
1987 Wis. L. Rev. 165 (1987) 1987

 
Uses of Social Science Data in Legal Policymaking: Custody Determinations at Divorce, The
1987 Wis. L. Rev. 107 (1987) 1987

 
Introduction to the Papers: The Origins and Purpose of the Feminism and Legal Theory Conference
3 Wis. Women's L.J. 1 (1987) 1987

 
Illusive Equality: On Weitzman's Divorce Revolution
1986 Am. B. Found. Res. J. 781 (1986) 1986

 
Implementing Equality: Ideology, Contradiction and Social Change - A Study of Rhetoric and Results in the Regulation of the Consequences of Divorce
1983 Wis. L. Rev. 789 (1983) 1983

 
Law and Changing Patterns of Behavior: Sanctions on Non-Marital Cohabitation
1981 Wis. L. Rev. 275 (1981) 1981

 
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