Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

Graduate Student Workshop Series

EACH YEAR, THE GRADUATE FELLOWS OF THE ANDREA MITCHELL CENTER invite graduate students from universities throughout the region to present their work-in-progress to a critical but supportive audience.  The topics are not linked to an annual theme, but each session includes two papers that are thematically linked.  Sessions in the past have been devoted to issues of democracy, constitutionalism, and citizenship, including surveillance, technocracy, migration, race, social rights, empire building, party politics, education, the carceral state, and many more.  Faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and members of the public are encouraged to read the papers and attend the workshops to participate in lively academic discussions.  Graduate workshops convene once a month, usually on a Wednesday at lunchtime.  Food is provided.

GRAD WOKSHOP - Gender and Law

Wed. April 10, 2:00pm to 1:30pm

Room 350, Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics (133 S. 36th Street)
Food provided / Free and open to the public

Talia Shalev (CUNY Graduate Center)
Imagining Equality without Protection in the Era of the ERA (PDF)

Dylan Yaeger (Fordham Law School)
The Difference Dilemma in Masculinity Studies: The Creation of Gender Categories in Antidiscrimination Law (PDF)

TALIA SHALEV  brings together Constitutional and poetic visions of equality in order to explore how the meaning of equality was negotiated during the 1970s, a decade marked by shifting discourse around equal rights. Shalev compares the text of the equal protection clause to that of the 1972 ERA, finding that each invites different metaphors through which to understand the relationship between equality and law, emphasizing protection and sanctuary, respectively. As a means of exploring the implications of these metaphors, she looks to poems by June Jordan and Adrienne Rich, two writers who were deeply engaged in the social movements of their time.

DYLAN YAEGER argues that antidiscrimination law, more than any other area of law, is explicitly defining the parameters of masculinity. He looks at three areas of anti-discrimination law—pregnancy, “lack of interest”, and gender stereotyping cases—to illustrate how this occurs. He argues that looking at these areas of antidiscrimination law through a masculinity studies lens reveals things about them that have been largely under scrutinized. Yaeger shows how the courts, when addressing questions of sex equality and antidiscrimination, are actively engaged not only in addressing issues of sexual equality, but of policing and actually creating masculinity.

GRAD WORKSHOP - Citizens and Non-citizens in Democratic Regimes

Wed. April 17 - 12:00 - 1:30 pm
Location TBA
Food provided / Free and open to the public

Arturo Castellanos (Cornell Law School)
Shosics: Their Right to Vote and to Hold Office in the United States (PDF)

Alexander Kustov (Princeton University, Department of Politics)
The Borders of Compassion: Immigration and the Politics of Parochial Altruism (PDF)

In the vast majority of countries, citizenship remains a virtually unchallenged condition for the right to vote. Today, millions of people are denied the right to vote by democratic governments all over the world because they are not citizens of the country where they reside. This makes Resident Non-Citizens (RNCs) one of the largest groups of adults excluded from participation in democratic processes. ARTURO CASTELLANOS argues that the fundamental reason for worrying about democratic exclusion of RNCs is that public authorities often neglect people without a political voice. People who are denied political avenues for voicing their concerns are not as successful in attracting the attention of mayors, governors, presidents, legislators, and judges. This situation―which leads to exclusion and discrimination―is particularly worrying in countries like the United States, which is home to 43.3 million immigrants out of which 22.6 million are RNCs (MPI, 2017). In other words, 7% of the population of the United States does not have the right to vote in their country of residence, because the American legal framework has made a distinction between Citizens and RNCs. Eventually, this concern will have to be addressed by courts and it will become a hard case to solve for the judges. In his research, Castellanos intends to provide answers to the future hard questions that they will address.

Widespread opposition to immigration among educated and racially egalitarian voters is hard to explain using existing frameworks that attribute these sentiments to self-interest or prejudice. ALEXANDER KUSTOV address this puzzle by developing a theory of parochial altruism, which argues that many voters are willing to help others at even a personal cost, but they want to help their fellow citizens first. Voters thus tend to favor harsh restrictions on immigration--when they perceive them as necessary to secure the well-being of compatriots. Using a novel measure of elicited preferences, Kustov ran a population-based UK study to find that, compared to altruistic voters who donate to global charities, altruists who chose to donate to domestic charities were as anti-immigration as those who do not donate. All altruists were nevertheless more likely to support immigration when it explicitly benefits their country. Kustov then conducted a pre-registered, population-based conjoint experiment to estimate the effect of policy consequences on immigration policy choice. The results demonstrated that, despite their ethnic biases, most voters can in principle support increasing immigration from non-European countries if they believe it benefits themselves and their compatriots. As indicated by similar results from the US and other countries, Kustov argues that the political dynamic of parochial altruism is a general phenomenon.