Current Professorship Holder: Dr. Philip Kaisary
Dr. Philip Kaisary is the author of The Haitian Revolution in the Literary Imagination: Radical Horizons, Conservative Constraints (University of Virginia Press, 2014) and From Havana to Hollywood: Slave Resistance in the Cinematic Imaginary (forthcoming, SUNY Press). His writing has appeared in Atlantic Studies, Law & Humanities, MELUS (Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States), and Slavery & Abolition, among other publications. He has received fellowships and grants from organizations including the Fulbright Program and the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. He is the 2023–25 Ruth and Mark Phillips Professor in Cultural Mediations and an Associate Professor in the Department of Law & Legal Studies, the Department of English Language and Literature, and the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art, and Culture at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. His current research comprises a critique of the ‘Law and Literature’ movement and a proposal for the field’s reconstruction along more globally inclusive and materialist lines.
2023-2025 Theme: Directions and Dead Ends in the ‘Law and Literature’ Movement
“When it emerged in the 1980s and 1990s, the interdisciplinary field of Law and Literature cast itself as a “movement.”
Professor Philip Kaisary’s 2023–25 Ruth and Mark Phillips Professorship project in Cultural Mediations, Directions and Dead Ends in the ‘Law and Literature’ Movement, takes up the stakes of that claim. First, by paying close attention to Law and Literature’s formation, goals, situation, theoretical investments, and ideological thrust, it will demonstrate that the radicalness and political praxis implicit in the rhetoric of a “movement” promised more than the field could deliver. Second, by drawing on recent debates within world literary studies and the critical tradition of cultural materialism, it will offer the field of Law and Literature, and by extension, the broader field of Law, Culture, and the Humanities, a way to live up to not only the claim, but also the responsibility, of being a movement. Undertaking research in the modes of critique and reconstruction, the project’s central objective is to shift fundamentally the grounds of the field, arguing for the reconstruction of Law and Literature along more globally inclusive and materialist lines.”
Special Events 2023/2024:
RMPP 2023/2024 Film Club: Cinema and the World System—Rethinking ‘Law and Film’
RMPP 2023/2024 Book Club: Roberto Bolaño’s 2066
The Ruth and Mark Phillips Professorship in Cultural Mediations
The Ruth and Mark Phillips Professorship in Cultural Mediations is held on a rotating basis by an ICSLAC faculty member entrusted with making a leading contribution to the program. Building on an established record of interdisciplinary research, the Professorship holder creates synergies and engagement around a topic of specific relevance to the Cultural Mediations academic community. The Professorship revolves around the delivery of a special topic seminar enhanced throughout the academic year by a program of events. It is named in honour of Ruth and Mark Phillips, two emeritus ICSLAC faculty members whose lasting contributions helped shape the Cultural Mediations program and the Institute as a whole as a thriving academic environment for interdisciplinary doctoral research.
A renown scholar in the field of critical museology and an art historian who specializes in the Indigenous arts of North America, Professor Ruth Phillips was for many years the Canada Research Chair in Modern Culture at Carleton University (ICSLAC / School for the Study of Art and Culture). She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and served as Director of the Museum of Anthropology at UBC, Vancouver. She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Anthropological Association’s Council for Museum Anthropology.
Professor Mark Salber Phillips is an historian of ideas whose scholarship focuses on questions of historical representation. Cross-appointed at Carleton with the Department of History and ICSLAC, he has been a visiting Professor at several prestigious universities, and has held many distinguished fellowships, including from the Guggenheim and the Yale Center for British Art. His publication On Historical Distance (Yale, 2013) was awarded the Canadian Historical Association’s Ferguson Prize.