The Mid-Atlantic People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference for 2016 will be at American University Washington College of Law on Jan. 28-30, 2016. The theme of the MAPOC conference this year is “On the Rights of Children.” The full information on the conference is below. Since I am involved in organizing this conference, I am happy to answer any questions.
MAPOC 2016 Conference and Call for Papers
Our constitutional jurisprudence recognizes children as legal persons, but the rights children possess are ill defined. For example, children have no independent standing to assert rights against those who hurt, endanger, or undermine their emotional, physical, psychological, or spiritual well-being. A child’s may assert a right and seek a remedy against harm only if the state’s agents determine that an adult charged with the child’s protection has violated the statutory framework (itself a recent creation) requiring that adult to protect the child’s best interest and advance the child’s welfare. As such, the history of the law, which has protected children, has been has been a balancing act between constraining parental authority to protect children and recognizing parents’ authority to raise their children as they see fit. Yet, the law still has no clear concept of good-enough parenting. Rather, the law relies on extreme cases in which children have suffered harm, neglect, and death as a basis for determining what is ineffective or bad parenting. The balancing approach, while vital, fails to provide clear answers to a number of significant questions: whether children have a right to associate with both parents; whether children have a right to have their basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, health care, and education; whether children have a right to be free of all direct and indirect harms; whether children have a right to equal protection as a civil or human right; whether children have a right to be free from all forms of discrimination; or whether children precipitate cruelty, risks, and aggression, including wars and terrorism, on the next generation due to maltreatments and cruelties suffered in their childhood, etc.? This latter question has grave implications for law enforcement policies and practices, civil liberties, national security issues, and international foreign policies and acts of aggression by nations.
We encourage paper and panel proposals on a wide range of topics including, but not exclusively encompassing, the following:
- What is a child?
- Child dependency, adoption, and reunification
- Children’s race, gender, class, sexuality and state or national policies
- Universal education, discipline, and the school to prison pipeline
- Juvenile delinquency, due process, and the criminal justice system
- Sex, work, economics, and the exploitation of children
- Children and the impact of geopolitics, terrorism, national security, and war
- Parenting and constructive child-rearing behavior
- Convention on the rights of the child
Each proposal must include a cover page with paper title, presenter(s), affiliation, and current email contact, along with a C.V. of each presenter and an abstract of no more than 250 words. Please submit materials via email to MAPOC2016@gmail.com with the subject line: MAPOC 2016 Conference Proposal.
The submission deadline for papers and panels related to the conference theme is Oct 30, 2015. We encourage early submissions, as selections will be made on a rolling basis.
Additionally, MAPOC welcomes works-in-progress submissions. MAPOC’s long-standing works-in-progress (WIP) workshop provides a comfortable and constructive environment where authors can workshop scholarship in any stage of development to a dedicated discussant and supportive audience. Please e-mail your WIP abstract (and any questions) to MAPOC2016@gmail.com no later than November 30, 2015, to be included in the WIP program.
Student Writing Competition. MAPOC is sponsoring a writing competition open to all currently enrolled law students of any level, J.D., LL.M., and S.J.D., at a U.S. law school. Papers should be between 15,000-25,000 words in length and there is a preference for papers related to the conference theme but we will accept papers on other topics as well. Please email submissions (and any questions) to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than October 30, 2015. The winning submission will receive $300 and travel expenses to attend the Conference. The two runner-ups will receive $100 each.