Professor of Law
Professor Ruskola is interested in exploring the way in which law has been a crucial element in the constitution of the modern Western subject. In his scholarship he has analyzes the legal construction of gender, sexual, and ethnic identities, often within a comparative framework that seeks to bridge the disciplinary divide between law and the humanities. His work in the area includes an examination of the historic continuities and discontinuities in Chinese conceptualizations of law and gender equality ("Law, Sexual Morality, and Gender Equality in Qing and Communist China," in Yale Law Journal); an analysis of the logic that makes U.S. courts generally unable/unwilling to recognize gay and lesbian youth even as a conceptual possibility ("Minor Disregard: The Legal Construction of the Fantasy That Gay and Lesbian Youth Do Not Exist," in Yale Journal of Law and Feminism); a rhetorical reading of the reasoning by which the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 declared sodomy laws unconstitutional ("Gay Rights vs. Queer Theory: What Is Left of Sodomy After Lawrence v. Texas?," in Social Text); and studies of the family and the corporation as overlapping concepts ("Conceptualizing Corporations and Kinship," in Stanford Law Review, and "What Is the Difference Between a Family and a Corporation?," in Rethinking Commodification). Professor Ruskola arrived at Emory in Fall 2007. Of the courses he has taught here thus far, his Contracts course includes a discussion of the theoretical, ethical, and legal issues involving surrogacy agreements, and his Comparative Law course examines the legal construction of gendered and racial identities from a comparative perspective. During AY 2008-09, he will be in residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ.