A Critical Legal Thinking Blog Carnival
For many researchers, methodology and joy don’t belong in the same sentence. Legal researchers in particular often seem to place methods-talk somewhere between irritating impediment and unbridgeable chasm. Some of these anxieties are well founded: law school legal methods courses are wildly divergent across institutions, a disparity that becomes sharper when contrasted with similar training in other humanities and social science departments. But much of the fear is perhaps less well-founded: driven by a belief that law scholars don’t need, or do, methods. That somehow, the tools in our wheelhouse are self-explanatory, or unobtrusive or understood. The upshot either way can be a reluctance to name what it is that we are doing. Which is unfortunate because it doesn’t show the rich variety that exists, and is possible, in different methodological approaches to legal scholarship. The capacity to be ‘methodologically thoughtful’, as Halliday & Schmidt put it, is about ‘possessing the capacity to move from the naïve understanding of one’s project to the more sophisticated, and to discover the questions, theoretical potential, and epistemological problems latent in one’s engagement with the world as one sees it’
We suggest that there is a great deal of creativity and fun to be found in being ‘methodologically thoughtful’. Instead of thinking about methodology as being limiting, dry or po-faced, we suggest it might be approached as generative, irreverent – perhaps even fun. If the methods we choose are also a choice about how we might live with our research, exploring ways of seeing and doing can, and should, be actively joyful. In the spirit of joyful meandering, we invite entries for this blog carnival on the topic ‘The Joy Of Methodology’. We welcome short pieces (ideally between 500 – 1000 words), dialogues, videos and other formats on creative, fun, exploratory, interdisciplinary, approaches to methods in legal scholarship.
Submissions can be mailed by September 15, 2022 to: