Skip to main content

LSR Writing Workshop in South Africa


Writing Workshop in Africa

Law & Society Review is co-sponsoring the inaugural Sociolegal Studies Early Career Workshop, held at the University of Cape Town (South Africa), 17-19 August 2017. Financial support is provided by the University of Cape Town and a 2017 Law and Society Association Small Grant award. 

Why hold a writing workshop in sociolegal studies in Africa? 
Responding to a call among members of the Law and Society Association for more research in law and society by scholars living and working in the global South, this workshop is designed for advanced doctoral students and early career faculty in Africa. The workshop is purposefully small, to promote focused discussion, mentoring, and peer networking. The goal is to give a promising group of manuscripts the close attention they deserve from senior scholars and mentors, to help ready those papers for submission and publication.

Six participants and their papers have now been selected for inclusion into the inaugural workshop programme. Each paper will have its own mentor assigned to it. The hope is that participants will maintain connections with one another and with their mentors beyond the three-day workshop.


Workshop sessions focus on providing peer feedback and improving 1) theorization in sociolegal scholarship, 2) innovations in methods, 3) writing and presentation skills, and 4) mentorship toward publishing in international journals in sociolegal studies. The workshop will also feature a writing retreat where participants and mentors will strive to make progress on their own writing projects. Long term, our hope is that an annual workshop series would enhance the delivery, diversity, and quality of law and society scholarship. 


Susan Sterett, co-editor of Law & Society Review, will participate in the inaugural workshop as a mentor, in addition to holding a series of pre-workshop events at the University of Cape Town through the support of the U.S. State Department’s Fulbright Specialist Program.  

Why now?
This early career workshop builds on the success of the first-ever LSA co-sponsored meeting in Africa, LSA in Africa (December 2016), where more than 100 scholars from across the continent presented work to one another, received feedback, and built transnational and interdisciplinary cooperative networks. The LSA in Africa conference also identified an opportunity for intensive work among and mentorship with early career scholars whose research has the potential to produce new innovations in law and society scholarship and methods on race, gender, human rights, courts, trade, social justice, crime, the legal profession, and other topics. 

We look forward to welcoming all workshop participants and mentors to Cape Town. 

Mark Fathi Massoud, University of California, Santa Cruz (USA)
Editorial Board, Law & Society Review
Co-convener (with Kelley Moult and Dee Smythe, Univ. of Cape Town), Sociolegal Studies Early Career Writing Workshop

Popular posts from this blog

On writing

By Susan Sterett
Law & Society Review Co-Editor

One thing I know for sure after having co-edited Law and Society Review for almost three years is that just about every college and university would like more publications from faculty members. Many colleges and universities around the world want people to write for peer-reviewed journals, so like other journals, Law and Society Review has been getting an increasing number of submissions. Some journals have big backlogs. Some journals have stopped accepting submissions. Everyone is overwhelmed with content. How can you prepare your paper for LSR? This post will point to a few resources that could help, based in my experience from editing, conversations with other editors, and my conversations at the wonderful 2017 sociolegal studies early career workshop at the University of Cape Town. All have made me rethink how I submit to journals.

A few thoughts, most of which are readily found on the internet. Even so, many people may no…

Law & Society Review is pleased to announce two opportunities for scholars who are from or who write about the Global South. Both opportunities have early January deadlines.

The first opportunity is the Sociolegal Studies Early Career Writing Workshop, March 21-23, 2019, at the University of Cape Town. This intensive workshop, co-sponsored by Law & Society Review, is for a small group of early career scholars from any university in Africa to receive feedback on papers in progress and mentoring on writing/publishing processes. The goal is to help one another toward writing goals and publication. The Workshop will cover travel expenses and accommodation. Applications (including draft paper and letter of reference) are due January 14, 2019. For details, please visit the Early Career Workshop website here. For additional questions, contact pbl-cls@uct.ac.za.

Another opportunity is the Law and Society in Africa conference, April 1-3, 2019, organized by American University Cairo's Law & Society Research Unit. The first Law and Society in Africa Conference, held in South Africa in 2016, was a great success, with more than 100 attendees…

How do text messages complicate contemporary sexual assault adjudication?

By Heather Hlavka and Sameena Mulla 
Department of Social and Cultural Sciences, Marquette University


“There’s no video, no injury. It’s purely one hundred percent ‘he said, she said.’ They had a terrible relationship. They were nasty to each other and they don’t get along well, probably never will. But there is no evidence to support the state’s case, other than their words.” Our article, “’That’s How She Talks’: Animating Text Message Evidence in the Sexual Assault Trial,” begins with these familiar words offered by a defense attorney during a sexual assault trial in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The oft-invoked trope of “he said, she said” in cases of sexual violence suggests that without third-party eye witness testimony or material evidence, sexual assault allegations rest on conflicting reports provided by victims, the accused, and other witnesses. But how do trial attorneys reinvent this trope when the words of the witnesses are preserved as text messages?

Text messages are recorded co…