ICSLAC is delighted to announce that Dr. Philip Kaisary (Laws and Legal Studies/English/ICSLAC) will hold the forthcoming 2023-2025 tenure of the Ruth and Mark Phillips Professorship in Cultural Mediations.

A legal, literary, and cultural comparativist, Dr. Kaisary brings questions of resistance and struggle to bear on legal and cultural forms. Some of his previous research encompasses the literary representation of Haitian Revolution from the 1930s onward (2014, The Haitian Revolution in the Literary Imagination: Radical Horizons, Conservative Constraints (University of Virginia Press) and, more recently, filmic representations of slavery and the formative role slavery has played in the creation of the modern self and modern world (From Havana to Hollywood: Slave Resistance in the Cinematic Imaginary, SUNY Press, forthcoming).

As holder of the Ruth and Mark Phillips Professorship, Dr. Kaisary will pursue a program of research focused on the intersections of ‘Law, Culture, and the Humanities’ and the ‘Law and Literature’ movement. His Cultural Mediations research seminar (Directions and Dead Ends in the ‘Law & Literature’ Movement) complemented by a year-long program of guest speakers, public lectures and panel discussions will strive to open up new avenues in law and humanities scholarship, with an aim “…to rebuke the bleakness of our contemporary political imaginary, which, since the disappointments of the 1960s, has gripped so much work undertaken in the academy in the humanities and social sciences.”

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. 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. The current tenure of the professorship is held by Dr. Birgit Hopfener.