The title "Instead" reveals the book's preoccupation with the subjunctive, with the choices that we make and that are made for us, and with the possibilities that remain to be imagined. The essays are situated within the fields of Feminist legal Theory and Sexuality and Law, exploring gender and sexuality through the frames of law, culture, and society. The themes confronted include mortality and morality, sexuality and democracy, colonialism and matrimony, and poverty and poetry. The individual chapters refract specific subjects through disparate lenses and the book as a whole likewise echoes particular topics in different contexts. The writing style is designed to maximize the reverberations. The form is not a traditional academic one, but it is widely accepted under various labels and the author's work in this form has garnered recognition and praise.
Ruthann Robson is Professor of Law, Distinguished University Professor, City University of New York School of Law. Professor Robson teaches Constitutional Law courses as well as Sexuality and the Law. She has also held Visiting Distinguished Scholar positions at universities in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa. She is the author of numerous publications and her output includes traditional scholarly works and traditional creative works, as well as a nontraditional blending of the two. Most recently, her work has been in an innovative genre combining scholarship and creative narratives. Several pieces have won awards and been reprinted. Based entirely on an anonymous submission of three pieces, she was awarded a fellowship in Nonfiction Literature from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She was also awarded a Djerassi Artists Fellowship (the only nonfiction award out of 24 writing awards out of over 1,000 applicants). Commentary about her legal, creative, and innovative work includes a special volume of the New York City Law Review, which includes an annotated bibliography of publications from 1979-2005, and various law review and other articles and profiles. She is regularly solicited as a contributor to volumes in the areas of creative writing, law and literature, sexuality, feminism, mortality issues and cancer, and constitutional law. A selection of publicity and writings is available on her website: www.ruthannrobson.com.