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Dressing Constitutionally: Hierarchy, Sexuality and Democracy

Honorary Visiting Professor Ruthann Robson delivers her inaugural lecture
by Sophie

nullDistinguished Professor, Ruthann Robson, has visited City University London to mark the beginning of her three year tenure as an Honorary Visiting Professor at The City Law School.

Ruthann is a renowned expert in the law of sexuality and currently holds the position of Professor of Law at the City University of New York (CUNY). She has been named as one of the 26 "best law teachers" in the United States following a study entitled 'What the Best Law Teachers Do', published by Harvard University Press.

nullDuring her week-long visit to London, Ruthann delivered her inaugural lecture, based on her new book 'Dressing Constitutionally: Hierarchy, Sexuality and Democracy…From Our Hairstyles to Our Shoes' (Cambridge University Press, 2013). Dean of The City Law School, Professor Carl Stychin (pictured with Professor Robson and Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Dinos Arcoumanis) praised the originality, significance and impact of her scholarship, as well as the breadth of her work:

"She goes where others working on sexuality often fear to tread - poverty and social class, lesbians on death row, her trenchant critique of the institution of marriage, which is more relevant than ever, to name but three. And her scholarship has always been matched by her role as an activist and social commentator - in today's terms, she has impact".

Professor Robson's lecture covered different aspects of dress and attire, particularly from the perspective of people's rights to dress, or not dress in a certain way. During an expansive talk, she explained the law's influence on clothing from the time of the Magna Carta to the issues faced by School Boards today, in determining and enforcing rules around school uniforms. Ruthann also discussed how different kinds of structures of government and constitutionalism have been influenced by how people dress.

nullAn interview with Professor Ruthann Robson about her book Dressing Constitutionally: Hierarchy, Sexuality, and Democracy (2013) can be found on Lawbore.

Ruthann is also the author of the books: Sappho Goes to Law School (1998); Gay Men, Lesbians, and the Law (1996); and Lesbian (Out)Law: Survival Under the Rule of Law (1992). She is the editor of the three volume set, International Library of Essays in Sexuality & Law (2011), co-editor of the Constitutional Law Professors Blog and a frequent commentator on constitutional and sexuality issues.

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