New Ethnography, Law and Society Collaborative Network at LSA.

At the recent LSA meetings in Minnesota, a group of ethnographically-oriented researchers (including graduate students, post-docs, and faculty) came together for the first meeting of the newly created Ethnography and Law Collaborative Research Network (CRN), under the Law and Society Association. The CRN has been spearheaded by Robin Conley and Justin Richland and is open to all disciplinary and professional backgrounds. It hopes to bring ethnographers at LSA together and foster more ethnographically oriented work across the disciplines studying law and law-related phenomena. Below is a description of the purpose of the group and a list of the CRN officers and Committees. If you are interested in joining the CRN’s list serve or helping with any of the committees please don’t hesitate to contact Robin Conley (

Ethnography and Law Collaborative Research Network

at Law and Society Association (LSA)

This CRN focuses on the ethnographic study of law and society. Ethnographic inquiries of law have maintained a historic and steady position within the field of anthropology, and are thus healthily represented in legal anthropology journals and organizations. They are also well-represented in the foundational years of law and society scholarship. More recently, renewed interest has arisen for revisiting the character and shape of ethnographic methods in sociolegal scholarship in light of the fact that ethnography is often understood as straddling the empirical-interpretive divide increasingly evident in the emergence of fields of like Empirical Legal Studies and Law, Culture and Humanities. In this CRN, members reflect on the meaning of “ethnographic research” and “ethnography,” while exploring the benefits and boundaries of ethnographic research practice in the production of sociolegal knowledge; identify opportunities to conduct collaborative and/or comparative law and society research with other ethnographers and with law and society scholars who use non-ethnographic research designs; consider effective, multi-platform ways to share insights drawn from ethnographic law and society research within cross-disciplinary conversations as well as with varied public audiences; and collect research and teaching resources, respond to member queries and circulate relevant professional events and calls for participation and/or papers. The CRN also offers a platform for collaboration amongst scholars in various regions of the world in order to strengthen international scholarly networks and create new opportunities for faculty and graduate students interested in expanding the scope of their research beyond the United States and Canada.

CRN Officers:

CRN conveners – Robin Conley, Justin Richland and Danny Gascon

Mentoring Committee – Sue Hirsch & Sally Merry

LSA Panel Committee – Robert Werth, Andrea Ballestero and Alyse Bertenthal

LSA workshop planning – Christine Hegel Cantarella

Webmasters – Sean Mallin & Kate Henne

Graduate student resource manager – Sean Mallin

APLA liaison – Anna Offit

Graduate Student Paper Prize!

APLA Graduate Student Paper Prize Competition
Deadline: August 1, 2014

The Association for Political and Legal Anthropology (APLA) Board invites individuals who are students in a graduate degree-granting program (including M.A., Ph.D. and J.D.) to send stand-alone papers centering on the analysis of political and legal institutions and processes. Topics may include citizenship; colonialism and post-colonial public spheres; cosmopolitanism; cultural politics; disability; environment; globalization; governance; humanitarianism; medicine, science, and technology; multiculturalism; nationalism; NGOs and civil society; new media; immigration and refugees; resistance; religious institutions; sovereignty; war and conflict.  We encourage submissions that expand the purview of political and legal anthropology and challenge us to think anthropologically in new ways about power, politics and law.

APLA awards a cash prize of $350.00, plus travel expenses of up to $650.00 if the prize winner attends the 2014 annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association (Washington, DC) to receive the prize in person. The prize winner will be announced in Anthropology News, and the winning paper will be published in the peer-reviewed journal of the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology, The Political and Legal Anthropology Review (PoLAR).

This year, learning from other sections, the process will be a little different. The committee will select five finalists. Each finalist will be assigned a mentor who has shared substantive interests, and who will offer feedback. APLA will sponsor a session at the AAA meetings in Washington with the finalists and their mentors.

Authors must be enrolled in a graduate program through at least May 1, 2015. Papers should not exceed 8,000 words (including notes and references) and should follow the style guidelines of Political and Legal Anthropology Review, which are detailed in the American Anthropological Association Style Guide.

Please submit papers as PDF attachments.

Submissions and questions should be sent to Mark Schuller –