Crystal Apples

The recipients of the fifth annual Crystal Apple Awards for Teaching Excellence were James M. Cox Jr. Professor of Journalism Catherine Manegold, Associate Professor of Political Science Robert Bartlett, senior lecturer in religion Bobbi Patterson, Winship Distinguished Research Professor of Educational Studies Frank Pajares, Associate Professor of Theater Studies Alice Benston, and Professor of Medicine Emeritus J. Willis Hurst. Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Religion Mark Jordan and Professor of French and Italian Geoffrey Bennington also received awards.




































































Fineman “challenges us to rethink
the most basic issues of family law”

Martha Albertson Fineman, one of the nation’s leading feminist legal scholars, has been named Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law at Emory, beginning in spring 2004.

“Martha Fineman is widely reputed to be the leading feminist legal scholar of our generation,’’ says John Witte Jr., Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law and Ethics, who headed the Woodruff selection committee. ”She brings to Emory an extraordinary record of courageous interdisciplinary scholarship and a bracing enthusiasm for conversation and scholarship on law and public policy that will edify everyone.’’

An internationally recognized law and society scholar and expert on family law and feminist legal theory, Fineman comes to Emory from the Cornell law school, where she is the Dorothea S. Clarke Professor of Feminist Jurisprudence. She also is the founder and director of the Feminism and Legal Theory Project–an interdisciplinary examination of law and policy topics of particular interest to women–which she will bring to Emory.

One of Emory’s major draws, says Fineman, is the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Religion (CISR), where she will serve as a senior fellow. Her work in the field of divorce and family law has had a profound effect on the debates surrounding the legal regulation of family and intimate relationships.

Fineman’s first book, The Illusion of Equality: The Rhetoric and Reality of Divorce Reform, claims that the country’s no-fault divorce reforms of the 1970s and 1980s have actually harmed the women and children they were meant to protect.

Her 1995 book, The Neutered Mother, the Sexual Family and Other Twentieth Century Tragedies, broke new ground in the exploration of single motherhood, welfare reform, and ending marriage as a legal category.

Fineman’s most recent book, The Autonomy Myth: A Theory of Dependency, articulates a radical reconception of family: Rather than focusing on the bond between husband and wife, she proposed, society’s first priority should be the tie between parent and child.

“No legal scholar today has done more to make us view old questions in a new light,’’ said Thomas C. Arthur, dean of the law school. ”She has already transformed the way we view no-fault divorce, and her ongoing work on caregivers and dependents challenges us to rethink some of the most basic issues of family law.’’

Fineman, who was on the Emory campus in March for the conference “Sex, Marriage, and Family, and the Religions of the Book,” the culmination of a two-year research effort by the CISR, says a vast diversity of love and reproductive relationships exists between adults.

“Family is not synonymous with marriage,” Fineman said during the panel discussion “I Do, I Don’t: The Cases For and Against Marriage.”

“Why should marriage be the price of entry into state-supported subsidies of families?”

The symbolic dimension of marriage–the coming together of two individuals with vows of love and commitment–would likely continue, Fineman said. “It is the conduct of the parties, not the mandates of the state, that actually constitutes the marriage.”

With her appointment, Fineman becomes the law school’s third Woodruff Professor, the highest honor Emory can bestow on a faculty member. She joins newly recruited Michael Perry and Harold J. Berman, who came to Emory in 1985 from Harvard law school.–M.J.L.



© 2003 Emory University