About Me

CarissimaMathenCARISSIMA MATHEN

If you’re looking for My Serious Face, click here.  Otherwise, read on.

Growing up in Montreal, I longed to dance on Broadway alongside a goddess. Badly advised, I decided to realize this dream by studying political theory at McGill University. At first, I was surprised and irritated by the absence of musical interludes but I came to enjoy wrestling with deep philosophical problems.  I now longed to make it my career. (Philosophy, not wrestling.) Again badly advised, I wound up in law school.

I no longer listen to my advisors.

As it turned out, I rather liked law school. Its combination of sophistication and utter ruthlessness was vaguely balletic appealing. When I was done, I took a job at the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), beginning a seven-year tour of duty as a public interest ninja advocate. These were heady days for feminist litigation, a time when progressive legislation and case law encountered vigorous opposition from criminal defence lawyers neoliberals Morton and Knopf white men reactionary forces and radicals who wanted to blow things up while quoting Andrea Dworkin.

After seven years, I was spent. Years of struggle with consensus decision making left me drained. I needed serious shopping a change. So I went to Columbia University and got my LL.M.   My thesis was in comparative constitutional law.  Have you read it?  Right.

It was at this point that I began my egghead academic career. After many happy years in Narnia Mordor Sunnydale Fredericton, I moved to the University of Ottawa. Every day, I feel lucky to do what I do – berating teaching students, mocking learning from my colleagues, and getting down on twitter reporting on cases argued before the Supreme Court. And omigod I love being on tv.

Not as much as I love to dance, though.

Stupid bloody advisors.