Sara Ross

Suits is Toronto


On a recent walk through Downsview Park, connected to the final stop on the subway line between Toronto proper an York University, I came across a series of studios filming various projects. The new show Designated Survivor featuring Canadian Kiefer Sutherland was being filmed, with US plated cars out front, which was exciting enough. But on the door of the studio, the sign indicating usage also read that Season 5 of Suits was in the process of filming in the same space.

Recently the National Post wrote an article about just how much of Suits is “recognizably Toronto”, despite the show “taking place” in New York City. An excerpt of the piece reads as follows:

Harvey is always talking about representing Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley – it’s only a matter of time before, I don’t know, Dougie Gilmour wanders into his office. Sarah Rafferty, the actress who plays Donna, is already a model for Holt Renfrew, for Peterborough’s sake. Was it with a knowing wink, then, that when Jessica ambushed Edward Darby on a business trip, he wryly asked, “Jessica, what brings you to Toronto?” We’re all like, “The elevator.”

For a fun read, check out the full article here:

Sara Ross

LAC Event: “Dirty Hands and Resilient Legal Gestures – Regulating the Handshake in Pandemic Culture”

ATT1-Dirty Hands - Web

The Law.Arts.Culture lecture series is holding its first event of the year this October 19th! Canada Research Professor Sheryl N. Hamilton of Carleton University will be addressing the York and Osgoode community, providing her presentation “Dirty Hands and Resilient Legal Gestures: Regulating the Handshake in Pandemic Culture” between 12:30 and 2:00pm in Room 2027 of the Ignat Kaneff Building. Lunch will be provided although you are asked to RSVP at the event portal here: The event description includes the following:

In an historical moment where we are repeatedly told by both purveyors of health information and popular culture alike that our hands are dirty and in need of constant cleansing (lest we infect ourselves and others), what happens to common forms of hand-to-hand touch that have long held legal consequence? In this talk, Sheryl Hamilton locates the end-of-game handshake in team sports and the greeting/parting handshake in business etiquette within a broader social context of the troubling of touch within pandemic culture. The handshake is productively theorized she posit, as simultaneously: an embodied ritual, a form of intimate touch, and a legal gesture. She frames the handshake, not only as a complex, quotidian legal ritual, but also as an increasingly volatile mode of handwork in contemporary life. Not surprisingly, in both business and sports the handshake has recently garnered formal and informal regulatory attention. Embodied alternatives are often posed, including fist bumps and touch through the second skin of clothing, among others. Yet, the representation, circulation, and contestation of these other ways of touching highlight an ongoing clash of values between a normative, haptic-legal order and the current cultural imperative to hygiene.

I hope to see everyone there!

Sara Ross

Call for Papers: Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities – 20th Annual Conference

Law Culture and Humanities logo

The call for papers has come out for the 20th annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities. This upcoming edition will be held from March 31st to April 1st, 2017 at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Applications are due by October 28th, 2016, with details of submission to follow in the coming months. The Association has provided the following about their upcoming event:

History, Memory and Law; Law and Literature; Human Rights and Cultural Pluralism; Speech, Silence, and the Language of Law; Judgment, Justice, and Law; Beyond Identity; The Idea of Practice in Legal Thought; Metaphor and Meaning; Representing Legality in Film and Mass Media; Anarchy, Liberty and Law; What is Excellence in Interpretation?; Ethics, Religion, and Law; Moral Obligation and Legal Life; The Post-Colonial in Literary and Legal Study; Processes and Possibilities in Interdisciplinary Law Teaching.

We urge those interested in attending to consider submitting complete panels, and we hope to encourage a variety of formats-roundtables, sessions at which everyone reads the papers in advance, sessions in which commentators respond to a single paper. We invite proposals for session in which the focus is on pedagogy or methodology, for author-meets-readers sessions organized around important books in the field, or for sessions in which participants focus on performance (theatrical, filmic, musical, poetic).

You can read more about the conference (and check out the ASLCH’s new website) here.

Sara Ross

Call for papers: Art in Law in Art Conference


A call for papers has gone out for the upcoming Art in Law in Art Conference, to be held in the Perth Cultural Precinct at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. The conference will be held between July 4-6, 2017, with two main streams: “Art in Law” and “Law in Art”. The submission deadline is December 4, 2016, and is open to individuals from both the Arts and the Law, including scholars and practitioners. The event has issued the following description:

Art in Law in Art is an interdisciplinary Conference investigating the broad themes of how law sees visual art, and how visual art sees law. The Conference will be an exciting mix of different perspectives from international experts on the art-law nexus, as scholars, practitioners and artists come together and exchange ideas.

You can view the full call for papers here.

Thanks to Vanisha Sukdeo for sending this our way!

Sara Ross

Call for Papers: 2017 Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association

LSA logo

It’s that time of year again! Conference applications are upon us, and the LSA has released its call for papers for the upcoming 2017 edition of its annual conference – held this year in Mexico City. This meeting will be held in conjunction with the Canadian Law and Society Association, merging their meetings this upcoming June, so remember to keep in mind which association you would like to apply through. The Socio-Legal Studies Association and the Japanese Association of the Sociology of Law will also be co-hosting the meeting as well, which will be held between June 20th and 23rd, at the Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel & Towers. The deadline for submissions is October 18th, 2016, on this year’s conference theme of Walls, Borders, and Bridges: Law and Society in an Inter-Connected World. Remember to check out the various CRNs as well before choosing how to submit.

To learn more about the conference, you can view their website here.

Sara Ross

Book News: The Modes of Human Rights Literature: Towards a Culture without Borders

Galchinsky book

Georgia State University English Professor Michael Galchinsky has published his newest work The Modes of Human Rights Literature: Towards a Culture without Borders, released earlier this month. According to publisher Palgrave Macmillan, the author,

[A]rgues that human rights literature both helps the persecuted to cope with their trauma and serves as the foundation for a cosmopolitan ethos of universal civility—a culture without borders. Michael Galchinsky maintains that, no matter how many treaties there are, a rights-respecting world will not truly exist until people everywhere can imagine it.

 You can read more about the book at the publisher’s website here.

Sara Ross

Peter Doig’s Canadian Art Work – Can He Prove it Isn’t His?

Peter Doig

Photo of Peter Doig by Brian McNeil

Recently there has been a bizarre turn of events for artist Peter Doig and the work he created while growing up in central Canada. Doig is being sued by the proprietor of a painting who claims that Doig sold it to him during the 1970s in Thunder Bay, Ontario, when he was Doig’s parole officer. Doig, however, states that the painting is not his. According to Art Forum:

Fletcher said that he bought the painting from a man named Pete Doig for $100. He claims to have served as the man’s parole officer at Thunder Bay Correctional Center in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The painting, which is signed “Pete Doig 76,” was displayed in his home until five years ago when a friend recognized it and informed him that the artist who painted it is now famous.

In order to win the suit, Doig must prove that he did not paint the work while in Thunder Bay. Doig has stated that he believes he is being scammed.

Sara Ross

B.C. Premier Christy Clark Letter to President Barack Obama

CBC logo

The CBC recently reported that British Columbia Premier Christy Clark has written a letter to US President Barack Obama requesting support in their efforts to regain First Nations artifacts originating in BC, but being housed by American organizations in the US. An initiative has begun where the Royal B.C. Museum and Provincial government have partnered with the Aboriginal peoples of the province in order to develop a plan to have the artifacts returned to Canada. According to the article:

The United States has a law in place that cultural items from graves of American Indians be returned if the owners request the item. Clark said the law should apply to all North American First Nations. Grand Chief Ed John has gone one step further asking the Canadian federal government to put in place a similar law here. “These are not simply objects,” said John, standing beside a collection of First Nations belongings at the Royal B.C. Museum.

You can read more about the event at the CBC website here.

Sara Ross

Largest collection of Peruvian Artifacts Outside of Peru Returned

Machu Picchu

Photograph of Machu Picchu by Martin St-Amant

This past June, the largest collection of Peruvian artifacts located outside of Peru ever returned was delivered to the Nation of Peru. The Ministry of Culture received the more than 4000 artifacts from a range of countries, including Canada. According to Peru This Week:

The recovery comes as result of several years of work, based on agreements signed by Peru with different countries to protect and return historical artifacts. The agreements aided to build 22 separate legal cases to reclaim that the pieces that were found had being stolen and smuggled out of the country to be sold in antiquities market. One of the most famous processes was the Janeir Aude case in Argentina, 14 years and disputed 4,136 artifacts, including a perfectly preserved ancient mummies.

 Efforts to return even more artifacts to the country continue.

Sara Ross

New Festival Permits in Toronto


Recently, the City of Toronto has created a new form of permit called the “Arts and Music in Parks” permit, intended to regulate and encourage an increase in the use of Toronto park space as the home for music and arts festivals. Permits are free and available during the summer months to qualifying individuals and organizations that apply. The permit is the result of the Arts in the Parks initiative, which intends to bring free art events to the Toronto public through its public parks. According to the city’s press release:

The City’s new Arts and Music in Parks permit is designed to provide a simple, streamlined process for artists and musicians to get a permit to perform in City parks. This free permit is available for small-scale art and music events that take place on one day, and are presented by grassroots organizations, artists and musician … Events will include performances, dance, music, theatre, film, community-engaged work and temporary installations by arts groups. 

You can learn more about the permit and apply for one yourself by visiting the City of Toronto website here.