MAGNIFICENT OBSESSIONS /
Researching, Teaching and Learning Together /
Faire de la recherche, enseigner et apprendre ensemble
Wednesday May 29 - Friday May 31, 2024 /
Mercredi 29 mai — vendredi 31 mai 2024
Faculty of Law, University of New Brunswick
Faculté de droit, Université du Nouveau-Brunswick
Fredericton, New Brunswick / Nouveau-Brunswick
Deadline for proposals: Tuesday December 19, 2023
Date limite pour soumettre une proposition : le mardi 19 décembre 2023
ACPD-CALT is delighted to invite members of the community of Law Teachers to our annual conference, May 29-31, 2024 in Fredericton, New Brunswick, hosted by the Faculty of Law, University of New Brunswick. UNB sits on a river known as Wolastoq along which live Wolastoqiyik – the people of the beautiful and bountiful river. Wolastoq is also called the St. John River. The Faculty and UNB stand on the unsurrendered and unceded traditional Wolastoqey land. The lands of Wabanaki people are recognized in a series of Peace and Friendship Treaties to establish an ongoing relationship of peace, friendship and mutual respect between equal nations.
At this Conference, we aim to develop and deepen our understanding of the relationships between our roles as researchers, teachers (including clinical legal educators), and practitioners. We want to ask critical questions - who is our community? What are the politics which shape the spaces we work in and the ideas we work with? We want to ask about relationships between law schools and law teachers and others.
At the same time, our theme, “Magnificent Obsessions” is intended to be playful. We hope to make space at this conference for joy: the joy of being together; the joy of developing ideas through research; and the joy of sharing these ideas with our students, with each other, and with the broader community.
In keeping with our theme, ACPD-CALT is making space at this event for discussions about learning, teaching, research, and the connections amongst them. We invite participants to submit proposals on any of the above areas across a range of themes, ideas, or subject areas. In particular, we wish to encourage participants to submit proposals for sessions that draw connections amongst learning, research, and teaching. Below you will find three slightly different elaborations on our theme. You will also see that we are inviting proposals for papers, panels, workshops and roundtable discussions. These different formats are explained below.
As usual, our conference will include plenary sessions, awards, keynote speakers, parallel sessions, a conference dinner, a social event or two exploring Fredericton, and ACPD-CALT’s annual general meeting.
Information about registration, fees, accommodation options and more specific timings will be available in early 2024. We encourage attendees to book flights and accommodation early.
The ACPD-CALT Conference Committee is grateful to our local organizers Professor Nicole O’Byrne (University of New Brunswick) and Professor Adrien Habermacher (Université de Moncton), who have welcomed us to the East Coast. Thanks are also due to Dean Michael Marin of the University of New Brunswick Faculty of Law, who has enthusiastically supported this conference, and the event staff at the Faculty who are being very helpful with planning and logistics.
Languages and Translation
We expect to have simultaneous translation for a small number of sessions.
All sessions can be held in either English or in French. Mixed language sessions are also welcome.
We hope that many of you will be able to join us in-person. However, we understand that conferences are not accessible to all. We are planning for a small number of remote (only) sessions to make the conference more accessible. We are also hoping to stream one or more plenary sessions. Remote access to in-person sessions will not generally be available at this Conference.
Have an idea, but worried it isn’t quite ready? Talk to us!
Reach out! The ACPD-CALT Executive would be happy to talk to you about panel, roundtable, and workshop ideas that aren’t quite finished. We will work with you to develop the idea and identify possible participants. Or, we can publish open invitations to join roundtables in our newsletter. We’d be delighted to work through your thoughts with you. Email us at [email protected].
ACPD-CALT will host a graduate student roundtable at which graduate students will be invited to present their work and to share ideas and engage in discussion about teaching. More information will follow. Graduate students can be members of CALT and are invited to join proposals and develop their own.
While ACPT-CALT will not provide childcare during the conference, children (including infants) are welcome to accompany presenters and participants, and to share in the conference food and drink at no cost. As well, we will ensure that at least some of the suggested and planned activities will be suitable for families and children. We will also ensure that our list of recommended accommodation options includes accommodation that is suitable for participants traveling with children. Limited funding will be available to assist with costs related to child care, including to assist with the cost of caregivers accompanying participants with children. Further details will be available in early 2024.
Proposals: Themes & Formats
We are interested in proposals for complete (all participants are already confirmed) or partial (with space for more participants) sessions of 1.5hrs. We have set out three formats and three subthemes below. We encourage you to reach out to colleagues at different institutions and career stages to generate possibilities and build a community of practice which can come together at Magnificent Obsessions.
THREE SUBSTANTIVE SUBTHEMES
THEME I: The Political Economy of Research Teaching and Learning
We invite sessions which reflect on the role of the academic, contextualized in the political economy of the legal academy. This is intended as an invitation to deliberately and specifically look at the politics of our work and to perhaps connect it to the politics of our times. This stream holds work which situates the Canadian legal academy within larger frames of public policy. It includes explorations of the moralities, ethics, orientations and goals which either do, or should, guide researcher-teachers in their work within the legal academy.
We hope through this theme to engage in discussions that address the many ways in which the contemporary Canadian legal academy is quite different than it was even just a few years ago. How can we conceptualize the deep changes which mark our work as researchers and teachers but seem to have happened seamlessly without a moment of rupture? Explorations could consider this topic in terms of changes since the 1983 Arthurs Report (“Law and Learning”), the end of regulated tuition in particular provinces, the development of teaching clinics and the roles that they play in different institutions and communities, the shifting demographics of our students and our faculty colleagues, changing professional norms and forms, the development of the Federation of Canadian Law Societies National Requirement, or the impact of the global pandemic since 2020, among many other potential areas of exploration and interest.
THEME II: Research as Learning: Formalizing our Curiosity
We invite sessions which focus on the presenter’s research work in any “legal” field, including how research work produces and disseminates knowledge. Within this subtheme we also welcome proposals that engage with research conducted in community in connection with clinics, research on social change connected to clinics, and research in or about clinics.
In addition to thinking about the results of research, we are interested in conceptualizing research as a form of learning. What are our methods for learning about our “magnificent obsessions”? How does this structure or affect our relationship with others connected to research? How does it confine or expand our understanding of what it is we are doing when we research? How do various kinds of research change our vision of the world? What motivates us to engage in research, including within legal clinics? What is the value of research?
We hope through this theme to attract groups who may be interested in focusing on a particular subject area across a panel, a roundtable or a workshop - or perhaps all three. In the more distant past ACPD-CALT was a major space for presenting all manner of legal research conducted by Canadian legal academics. The organization included many "sections" based on areas of research and each would have a series of panels at the yearly conference. As the academy and the academic space changed, we now have access to a wider range of spaces, whether very general or extremely specialized, in which to present our research. We are able to travel further (sometimes just by turning on a screen) to present to and listen to people working on similar questions. These are important and positive shifts. But we still believe that coming together across career stages and schools, but within a particular area of study, is a valuable activity that ignites further research and insight, and that ACPD-CALT has a role to play in fostering spaces in which these discussions can occur.
THEME III: Teaching as Learning/Learning to Teach
We invite sessions that engage with teaching, and that provide participants with opportunities to engage with research related to teaching. This stream encompasses all research into legal learning at any level and in all settings, including professional, graduate, public, undergraduate, and clinical legal education.
We hope through this theme to attract groups interested in a range of different teaching-related sessions. Topics might include the efficacy of certain teaching modalities and modes, including clinical teaching and teaching via land-based education. Other topics could consider experiments in teaching, empirical research into challenges or opportunities in teaching, evaluation, digital technologies and teaching/learning, the challenges and opportunities in learning from doing, and the significance and discourse about different modalities and modes of teaching.
FORMATS: Workshops, Roundtables, Panels
Workshops: 1-4 people present a session intended to allow participants to engage in interactive ways. The proposal should provide a clear indication of what the participants will do during and learn from the session.
Roundtables: Normally no more than 10 people provide brief reflections on a set topic which may include a set text or series of texts to ground the reflections. These may be research or teaching focused. They might be “Author-Meets-Reader” sessions. In arranging these sessions we encourage our colleagues to ensure that some space is available for newer (pre-tenure) entrants to law teaching. Roundtables can be in person, or online, in English, or in French.
Panels: 3 or 4 related papers are presented sequentially. We encourage the submission of complete panel proposals from researchers working on similar themes or topics. We will, however, accept single paper proposals and attempt to find the right space for them in our program. Panels can be in person or online, in English, or in French.
Participants who are not proposing fully constituted panels but submitting a single proposal which would fit on a panel will be asked on the Proposal Form to indicate four different descriptors of their work:
- The methodology used in the research (multiple answers allowed)
- The subject area of the research (multiple answers allowed)
- The type of law school class or clinic in which this research could contribute to teaching (you may indicate more than one substantive area or course).
- Whether the work best fits with theme I, II or III.
SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS
All Proposals, on all themes and in all formats, must be submitted at this link by December 19, 2023: https://forms.gle/XFTm3aPUhjfoY4VU6
All presenters must be members of ACPD-CALT by May 1 2024. You can become a member here. The requirement of membership does not include people who are neither law teachers nor graduate students, for instance, community members who may be participating in your proposal. Please contact us directly in that case at [email protected] or indicate that people in this position are a part of your proposal.
ACPD-CALT 2024 Conference Committee
Graham Reynolds, Chair
Nicole O’Byrne (University of New Brunswick)
Adrien Habermacher (Université de Moncton)