Dean Lorne Sossin announced February 23 that he has accepted the recommendations of the Research & Seminars Committee to award Osgoode Hall Research Fellowships next year to Professors Kate Sutherland and Dan Priel. The Fellowship provides each professor with one term’s teaching release to allow for greater focus on their research.
Professor Sutherland’s research project is: “Muriel Rukeyser and the Hawks Nest Tunnel Tragedy: Revealing Legal History Through Literature.”
In her 1938 poem sequence “The Book of the Dead,” Muriel Rukeyser documented the Hawks Nest Tunnel tragedy thereby preserving details of a story of grievous corporate negligence otherwise largely lost to legal history. Through a detailed annotation of “The Book of the Dead” (following the trail of witnesses named, testimony excerpted, and evidence described in the poems), I seek to restore the Hawks Nest Tunnel tragedy to its place in tort history, and also to explore the role of literature in highlighting injustice and inspiring legal reform.
Professor Priel’s research project is: “Tort Law in the Welfare State.”
Tort law is still often characterized as part of the common law – the law largely developed by judges – and as part of private law – the law concerned with the relations between individuals. As such, it is often thought to have little to do with the legal institutions of the welfare state, which are largely statutory and address the relations between individuals and the state. But the reality of contemporary tort law shows that this separation is untenable. The aim of my project is to study the influence and implications, both positive and normative, of the welfare state on tort law.