Incorporating Literary Methods and Texts in the Teaching of Tort Law

17 Feb 2012 02:36pm Zahr K. Said 

Guilt, Greed, and Furniture: Using Mel Brooks’s The Twelve Chairs to Teach Dying Declarations

17 Feb 2012 02:35pm Lenora Ledwon 

Sexual Epistemology and Bisexual Exclusion: A Response to Russell Robinson’s “Masculinity as Prison: Race, Sexual Identity, and Incarceration”

15 Jan 2012 11:12am Michael Boucai 

In an effort to curb sexual assault behind bars, the Los Angeles County Jail currently houses inmates deemed homosexual and transgender in a special unit called "K6G." Professor Russell Robinson's Article, Masculinity as Prison: Race, Sexual Identity, and Incarceration, challenges this policy on a number of grounds. I focus in this Response on just two of Robinson's objections. First I affirm Robinson's proposal that carceral segregation programs, if they are to persist, will more effectively protect queer inmates from sexual assault if they do not fixate exclusively on queer identity. Homosexuality's complicated social epistemology, notoriously an "epistemology of the closet," compels this conclusion. I then reflect on some possible reasons (not necessarily justifications) for K6G's categorical exclusion of people who claim a bisexual identity. This exclusion is one of several aspects of the Jail's segregation policy that Robinson criticizes for disadvantaging individuals who diverge from a race- and class-specific stereotype of "the homosexual."



Inside Out

23 Dec 2011 09:13am Elizabeth F. Emens 

Russell Robinson has done it again. With Masculinity as Prison: Sexual Identity, Race, and Incarceration, he has given us another provocative Article, which illuminates a phenomenon in the world and, indirectly, in ourselves.

The Article represents much of what generally makes Robinson's work so compelling. First, he writes about tremendously complex subjects and attends to their many complexities in remarkably lucid prose. Second, despite his critical perspective, he does not hesitate to make prescriptive arguments. In this Article, he even ventures into the hallowed ground of constitutional argument, something he has not done since his first article on race-based casting. Third, Robinson is not afraid to offend people by taking controversial positions, yet for the most part he does not seem to court controversy. Finally, he manages to bridge multiple modes of scholarly writing, employing diverse methodologies to analyze problems rigorously and to transform readers' perspectives along the way. For example, Robinson often brings together empirical scholarship- whether extant social science data or his own empirical investigations-with narrative legal scholarship. Although this Article omits the personal narratives that sometimes characterize his writing, it is replete with evocative material from the characters he interviewed.


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