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20th Annual Edward V. Sparer Symposium Examines Social Movements and Law Reform

Professor Seth Kreimer presents "Technologies of Protest and the First Amendment: 'It Isn't Nice' Version 2001"
Nancy Chang, Center for Constitutional Rights, Comments on Kreimer

Over two days in March, Penn Law School was host to a body of academics and practitioners who examined the history of social movements and legal reform, and added to the growing literature by presenting papers that analyzed the legacy of activism. The 20th Annual Edward V. Sparer Symposium was co-sponsored by the Public Service Program, the Public Law Group, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Law Review. It marked the debut of the Public Governance Group, coordinated by Professor Edward L. Rubin and Public Service Program Director Susan Feathers to bring together an examination of public interest law and scholarship about the field.

The symposium looked at the study of social movements, a leading topic in contemporary political and social theory. These movements span American history, from the labor movement through civil rights, environmentalism, welfare rights, consumerism, and women’s and gay rights. Many major statutes and regulatory programs are the direct results of these movements, or the indirect results of the normative transformations that they have generated.

A selection of the papers will be published in the 150th volume of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. The Sparer Symposium was established in 1981 to memorialize the career of Edward V. Sparer, a professor at Penn Law School and a maverick in the field of public interest law and policy. The 21st Annual Edward V. Sparer Symposium will be held in April 2002 and will examine litigating in the public interest.

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