College of Law

Cannon Lecture Series: Past Speakers

The Cannon Lecture Series was established in 1980 to honor former Toledo attorney Joseph A. Cannon. The series hosts nationally known individuals who explore both the humanistic dimensions and limitations of our legal system. Below is an outline of previous lectures, including links to event recordings.


2024

Baldemar VelasquezBaldemar Velasquez
Founder of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC)
"Organizing the Unorganizable: Labor, Migration, and Human Rights"
Feb. 20, 2024

There is a widespread consensus across party lines in the United States that there is an urgent need for immigration reform. Yet, discussions on the topic often occur in a vacuum, lacking an acknowledgment of how U.S. foreign policy perpetuates migration and the larger impact policy has on communities in the United States. Baldemar Velasquez spoke on the intersections of labor, migration, and human rights, examining the current immigration system in the country and how it exacerbates vulnerabilities in immigrant populations, looking specifically at migrant workers and undocumented workers in informal labor spaces and their families.

Velasquez is the founder of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), AFL-CIO, a union of migrant farmworkers in the eastern United States. FLOC has become a grass-roots leader in the immigrant rights movement, organizing the immigrant community to defend their rights, building a broad network in the larger society to support immigrants in realizing their rights, and advocating policies to ensure the human, civil, and working rights of immigrants. FLOC started a change in the agricultural industry's structure through three-way negotiations among the major parties involved in agricultural production.


2023

Brandon HasbrouckBrandon Hasbrouck
Professor at Washington and Lee School of Law
"Prisons as Laboratories of Antidemocracy"
Feb. 23, 2023

Professor Brandon Hasbrouck argued how prisons have served as laboratories of antidemocracy to suppress labor and community organizing, free speech, access to information, protest, and bodily autonomy. He claimed that prisons are woefully ineffective as tools to prevent individuals from harming society, yet America's prison population exploded in the 20th Century. On the outside, this devastated Black communities, Black opportunities, Black economic power, and Black voting power. In addition, a similarly insidious development came from inside prison walls - prison administrators honed antidemocratic techniques for constraining and oppressing prisoners that would later be deployed against the ostensibly free population.

Brandon Hasbrouck is a professor at Washington and Lee School of Law. He is an award-winning and acclaimed scholar and teacher that writes in the areas of criminal law and procedure, constitutional law and theory, movement law, and abolition. Professor Hasbrouck's research explores the legal and constitutional principles available to Congress and the courts to redress the ways law fails Black and other marginalized people and the structural possibilities for radical change in American society. He has been published in numerous law reviews and media outlets such as The Washington Post, has authored or coauthored amicus briefs in federal court, and has been cited or quoted in many other federal court opinions and other popular publications. He is a columnist for the Boston Globe’s "The Emancipator," and is frequently consulted on litigation strategies involving civil rights and racial justice. He received his J.D. magna cum laude from Washington and Lee School of Law.


2022

Felicia KornbluhDr. Felicia Kornbluh
Professor at the University of Vermont
"Both Sides: Reproductive Rights and Justice Beyond Roe v. Wade"
April 13, 2022

Dr. Felicia Kornbluh discussed how Roe v. Wade has had an outsized place in the understanding of reproductive rights. She drew upon the findings in her new book, "A Woman’s Life is a Human Life: My Mother, Our Neighbor, and Reproductive Rights and Justice—New York and the Nation" (Grove Atlantic Press, forthcoming). The book is a history of reproductive politics that starts with a pair of neighbors on the eighth floor of a New York City apartment building. Kornbluh's research has followed her mother and her neighbor, Dr. Helen Rodríguez-Trías, into the feminist law-reform campaigns in which they made their most renowned contributions, efforts to decriminalize abortion in New York State that succeeded three years before Roe, and a campaign to regulate surgical sterilization in New York City that resulted in national regulations from the federal Department of Health, Education and Welfare (today, Health and Human Services). She argued that an over-emphasis on Roe has prevented us all from understanding the history of reproductive rights and the pertinacity of political fights over those rights.

Dr. Felicia Kornbluh is a professor of History and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at the University of Vermont. She is the author of three books, including the forthcoming "A Woman’s Life is a Human Life." She writes regularly for the scholarly and popular press, most recently publishing on abortion rights and the federal courts for The American Prospect, the Washington Post, and The Forward. Kornbluh teaches on the history of feminism, the history of U.S. law, the U.S. since 1945, and American Jewish history. Kornbluh serves as chair of the board of directors of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America-Vermont Action Fund, which is on the verge of adding a Reproductive Liberty Amendment to the state constitution.  She received her B.A. from Harvard-Radcliffe and Ph.D. from Princeton.


2019

Asifa Quraishi-LandesKimberly Norwood
Henry H. Oberschelp Professor of Law, Washington University
"Ferguson Five Years Later: A Look at the Legal & Social Reverberations in Ferguson and Around the Nation"
Sept. 26, 2019

In August 2014, events in small-town Ferguson, Mo., sparked an international debate on the struggle for equal justice and equal treatment. In 2016, Professor Kimberly Norwood published "Ferguson's Fault Lines: The Race Quake that Rocked a Nation." In the book, she used Ferguson as the foundation for a study on how various laws, social conditions, and economic and political policies may negatively impact the lives of Black and Brown people in America — contributing to racial and socioeconomic conflict. Norwood will examined the institutional, systemic, and cultural structures that resulted in racially disparate treatment in Ferguson.

 Norwood is the Henry H. Oberschelp Professor of Law at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Mo. Her research focuses on colorism, implicit bias, and the intersection of race, class, and public education in America. She is currently a commissioner on the American Bar Association's Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, a commissioner on the Missouri Supreme Court Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness, and a member of the Monitoring Team for the U.S. v. Ferguson Consent Decree. Norwood is the first black woman in Washington University's history to receive tenure. She was recently named the 2019 Woman of the Year by the Missouri Lawyers Media. Norwood is a graduate of Fordham University (B.A.) and the University of Missouri-Columbia (J.D.).


2018

Asifa Quraishi-LandesAsifa Quraishi-Landes
Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"Islamic Family Law in the United States: Islamophobia, American Secularism, and American Muslims" (lecture video)
Sept. 27, 2018

As state court judges wrestle with how and whether to accommodate religious-based claims in divorce litigation, "anti-Sharia" law bills have proliferated in states across the country. Professor Asifa Quraishi-Landes summarized the legal landscape of Islamic family law cases in the U.S. over the years and discussed what the future might mean for American secularism and for American Muslims living here.

Quraishi-Landes is a nationally known expert on Islamic and U.S. constitutional law, with a focus on modern Islamic constitutional theory. She teaches in the areas of constitutional law and Islamic law. She is also president of the National Association of Muslim Lawyers and serves on the governing board of the Association of America Law Schools Section on Islamic Law. Previously, she served as a public delegate on the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, president and board member of KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights, a fellow with the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, and as an advisor to the Pew Task Force on Religion and Public Life.

Photo Credit: Shirin Tinati


2017

Asifa Quraishi-LandesShoba Sivaprasad Wadhia
Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar and Clinical Professor of Law, Pennsylvania State University School of Law
"Beyond Deportation: The Role of Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Cases in the Wake of the Trump Administration
Sept. 11, 2017

A nationally known expert on immigration law, Professor Wadhia published her New York University Press book, "Beyond Deportation: The Role of Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Cases," in 2015. Her book traces the role of prosecutorial discretion from the case of Beatles front man John Lennon, to the challenges of enforcing immigration policy in the post 9/11 era and during the Obama administration.

Prior to entering teaching, Professor Wadhia served as Deputy Director of the National Immigration Forum, an advocacy organization which provided advice to government officials and the public on topics including immigration reform and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. At Pennsylvania State University School of Law, Professor Wadhia teaches asylum and refugee law as well as immigration law. She also serves as the founder and director of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, working with law students in the clinical immigration law setting. She received her B.A. from Indiana University and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. 


2016

Asifa Quraishi-LandesNancy Leong
Professor of Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law
"The New Public Accommodations
Sept. 27, 2016

As state court judges wrestle with how and whether to accommodate religious-based claims in divorce litigation, "anti-Sharia" law bills have proliferated in states across the country. Professor Asifa Quraishi-Landes summarized the legal landscape of Islamic family law cases in the U.S. over the years and discussed what the future might mean for American secularism and for American Muslims living here.

Quraishi-Landes is a nationally known expert on Islamic and U.S. constitutional law, with a focus on modern Islamic constitutional theory. She teaches in the areas of constitutional law and Islamic law. She is also president of the National Association of Muslim Lawyers and serves on the governing board of the Association of America Law Schools Section on Islamic Law. Previously, she served as a public delegate on the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, president and board member of KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights, a fellow with the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, and as an advisor to the Pew Task Force on Religion and Public Life.


2015

Asifa Quraishi-LandesMasha Gessen
Journalist and author
"The Tsarnaev Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy" (lecture video)
Oct. 14, 2015

On April 15, 2013, two homemade bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston marathon, killing three people and wounding more than 264 others. In the ensuing manhunt, Tamerlan Tsarnaev died, and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, was captured and ultimately charged on thirty federal counts. Yet long after the bombings and the terror they sowed, after all the testimony and debate, what we still haven’t learned is why. Why did the American Dream go so wrong for two immigrants? How did such a nightmare come to pass?

In her talk, Gessen followed the family history and their futile attempts to make a life for themselves in one war-torn locale after another and then, as new émigrés, in the looking-glass, utterly disorienting world of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Most crucially, she reconstructed the struggle between assimilation and alienation that ensued for each of the brothers, incubating a deadly sense of mission. And she traced how such a split in identity can fuel the metamorphosis into a new breed of homegrown terrorist, with feet on American soil but sense of self elsewhere.

Masha Gessen is a Russian-American journalist and the author, most recently, of "The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy," which was named a Best Book of the Year by Time magazine. She is also the author of the national bestseller "The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin and Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot." Her award-winning work has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, Vanity Fair, and elsewhere. 

Last Updated: 6/3/24