Professor of Law
Professor Pether earned her undergraduate degree and LL.B. from the University of Sydney in Australia, where she won the Total Australia Prize and and Walter Reid Memorial Grants in successive years. She later earned her Ph.D. in English Literature, also from the University of Sydney. Following law school, Professor Pether served as an Investigation Officer and Executive Assistant (Police) in the Office of the Ombudsman, New South Wales, and was a solicitor in the Sydney office of the national law firm of Freehill, Hollingdale & Page. In 2005, she joined the Villanova faculty from American University Washington College of Law, where she was Professor of Law and Director of Legal Rhetoric. Before joining the faculty at American University, she was a Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at Wollongong University, a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the University of Sydney, and an Assistant Professor of Law at Southern Illinois University. She has also taught as visiting faculty member at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University and the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California-Irvine.
Professor Pether is Editor of SSRN/LSN's online abstracting journal, Law and Literature Abstracts; is a general editor of Law and Literature (University of California Press) and serves on the editorial advisory boards of Law and Critique (Springer) and Social Semiotics (Routledge). A member of the Executive Committee of the Criminal Justice Section of the AALS, she has recently accepted a three-year appointment to the AALS standing Committee on Bar Admission and Lawyer Performance. In 2010, she also began a three year term on the Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities Organizing Committee. She is the Chair of the Program Committee of ASLCH's 2011 Annual Meeting and is a member of the ASLCH James Boyd White Prize Committee for 2011.
Professor Pether’s recent scholarship focuses on legal theory; comparative constitutional law; the theory and practice of judging, particularly in the U.S. Federal Courts and in “post 9/11” common law constitutional contexts; race, biopolitics, and rape law reform; law, culture and food; and legal discourse and subject formation. Her scholarly articles have been published or are forthcoming in journals including Stanford Law Review, William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, Washington & Lee Law Review, Cardozo Law Review, Sydney Law Review, Adelaide Law review, Griffith Law Review, Law and Critique, Law and Literature, Social Semiotics, and The Australian Feminist Law Journal. She has contributed chapters to recent collections of jurisprudence scholarship published by Cambridge University Press, Law and the Humanities: An Introduction (Austin Sarat, Matthew Anderson, and Cathrine Frank eds., 2010), and On Philosophy in American Law (Francis J. Mootz III ed., 2009), and the second edition of her co-authored Criminal Law casebook was recently published by Lexis. Her essay “On ‘cruelty’: law, literature and difference,” is forthcoming in the Edinburgh University Press volume Deleuze and Law Laurent Desutter and Kyle McGee eds.). Her work in progress includes “Strange Fruit: What Happened to the U.S. Doctrine of Precedent,“ the fifth in a series of groundbreaking articles on adjudicatory practices in U.S. federal courts, a comparative historical study of the law of indefinite detemtion, and A Seat at the National Table: The Culinary Jurisprudence of Edna Lewis.
Courses and Seminars
- Law and Literature
- Comparative Constitutional Law
- Constitutional Law II
- Criminal Law
- Criminal Procedure
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