This afternoon’s panel, titled Writing as Resistance: The Role of Literature in Law and Society, was delightful and mind opening. Chaired by LSA President Penelope Andrews (New York Law School) and moderated by Kendall Thomas (Columbia), it featured Qudsia Mirza (University of London), Valerie Napoleon (University of Victoria), Ruthann Robson (CUNY) and Patricia Williams (Northeastern.) ¬†

I appreciated the different takes on literature and on literacy: the role literature played in pedagogy, mobilizing to seek literacy–all fascinating. But what most spoke to me was Patricia Williams’ observation about the craziness and granularity of interacting with each other via Zoom. “Positivists are held captive in a metaphor,” she said, “and here we are in a world dreamed by a group of positivists.” She also managed to capture the absurdity we all feel but seldom express so well, that speaking to each other on Zoom while viewing our own faces is the ultimate manifestation of W.E.B. DuBois’ concept of double consciousness: “watching myself as I watch others watching me.”

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