The Critical Approaches to Law workshop is designed to survey the rich tradition of critical approaches to legal analysis, and to consider what possibilities they open up and what challenges they face at this time.  This year, the workshop will be offered in conjunction with the Max Planck Institute, and it will have a special focus on issues of diversity, citizenship and transnational law. 

The workshop will normally be held on Thursdays, from 4:10-6:00 .  The fall workshops will be held remotely, through a zoom link.  Some of the winter workshops may be held in person, if conditions permit.  

Past speakers, and perspectives, have included:

  • Nicholas Blomley (Geography, Simon Fraser University)
  • Marianne Constable (Rhetoric, UC Berkeley)
  • Joseph  Fischel (Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, Yale)
  • Paul Halliday (History, University of Virginia)
  • Bernard Harcourt (Law & Political Science, Columbia University)
  • Daniel Heller-Roazen (Comparative Literature, Princeton)
  • Timothy Hyde (Architecture, Harvard University)
  • Martti Koskenniemi (Law, University of Helsinki)
  • Samuel Moyn (Law & History, Harvard University)
  • Jennifer Christine Nash (American Studies, George Washington University)
  • Annelise Riles (Law & Anthropology, Cornell University)
  • Mariana Valverde (Criminology, University of Toronto)
  • Kayanesenh Paul Williams (author of Kayanerenkó:wa: The Great Law of Peace)

See past workshops

If you would like more information about these workshops or if you'd like to receive the Zoom registration link, please send an email to

2020 - 2021




September 16**
4:30 PM - 6 PM
Online Event

1969 Criminal Law Reforms

Dean Robert Leckey, McGill University
Professor Kyle Kirkup, University of Ottawa
Professor Ummni Khan, Carleton University
Professor Brenda Cossman, University of Toronto

October 1
4:10 PM - 6 PM
Online Event

Professor David Kennedy, Harvard Law School 
A World of Struggle: How power, law and expertise shape political economy - Afterward

October 15
4:10 PM - 6 PM
Online Event

Professor Karen Engle, Minerva House Drysdale Regent Chair in Law, University of Texas
The Grip of Sexual Violence in Conflict:  Feminist Interventions in International Law

October 29
4:10 PM - 6 PM
Online Event

Professor Maneesha Deckha, Lansdowne Chair in Law, University of Virginia
Animals as Legal Beings: Contesting Anthropocentric Legal Orders

November 19
4:10 PM - 6 PM 
Online Event

Professor Mira Siegelberg, Cambridge University 
Statelessness: A Modern History

January 28
4:10 PM - 6 PM
Online Event

Professor Julie Cohen, Mark Claster Mamolen Professor of Law and Technology, Georgetown Law Center 
Between Truth and Power: The Legal Constructions of Informational Capitalism

February 4
4 PM - 6 PM
Online Event

Professor E. Tendayi Achiume, UCLA School of Law; UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance 
Racial Borders

This event is co-sponsored by the WGSI Research Seminar and Harney Program 

February 25
4:10 PM - 6 PM
Online Event

Professor Mikhail Xifaras, Sciences Po Law School, Paris
The Theory of Legal Characters

March 12
12pm - 2pm
Online Event

Professor Guenter Frankenberg, Goethe University, Frankfurt
Helena Alviar Garcia, Science Po Law School, Paris
Bojan Bugaric, University of Sheffield

The rise of authoritarianism and populism: Challenges to critical analyses of law

** Please note that this workshop is being held on Wednesday from 4:30-6 p.m., rather than in the regular workshop time slot. Because it may conflict with other classes, participation in this workshop is optional.