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Spoo named co-editor of Law and Literature book series

Chapman Distinguished Chair at The University of Tulsa College of Law, Bob Spoo

Robert Spoo, Chapman Distinguished Professor in Law, has been named coeditor of a new book series, Law and Literature, for Oxford University Press.

The series aims to publish the best new work in a developing and expanding field, interdisciplinary books that engage with both legal and literary forms, concepts, methods, dispositions and media. Spoo’s coeditor is Simon Stern, associate professor of law and English, University of Toronto.

Professor Spoo earned his JD from the Yale Law School, where he was executive editor of the Yale Law Journal and received the Michael Egger Prize for best student publication on current social problems in volume 108 of the Yale Law Journal. After graduating, he served as law clerk for the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor, of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and practiced for several years with law firms in New York, Oklahoma and San Francisco, providing litigation services and advice in the areas of copyrights, trademarks and other intellectual property. As an attorney, Spoo has represented authors, scholars, documentary filmmakers, record companies and other creators and users of intellectual property. His litigation work has included serving as cocounsel, with the Stanford Center for Internet & Society and other attorneys, for Professor Carol Shloss of Stanford against the Estate of James Joyce. In 2005, he was asked to travel to Vietnam to advise the Ministry of Education and Training on issues of intellectual property and higher education.

Prior to his legal career, Spoo received his MA and PhD degrees in English from Princeton University and taught for more than 10 years as a tenured faculty member in the English Department at The University of Tulsa, where he was also editor of the James Joyce Quarterly. He has published numerous books and articles on James Joyce, Ezra Pound and other modern literary figures. His teaching interests include copyrights and intellectual property, media and entertainment law, law and literature, and the copyright-related needs of scholars. His publications have appeared in the Yale Law Journal, the UCLA Law Review and other law and humanities journals, as well as in collections published by Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press.

Spoo is a member of the Modernist Studies Association Task Force on Fair Use, serves as copyright advisor to numerous academic journals and projects and acts as general counsel for the International James Joyce Foundation. He also serves on the advisory board of the National Library of Ireland and has assisted with proposed copyright legislation for the Republic of Ireland and other copyright issues affecting Irish cultural institutions.

In June 2008, he received the Lucia R. Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award for “outstanding contributions and achievements in a career field,” from his undergraduate institution, Lawrence University. He has also received Outstanding Professor Awards from the TU College of Law, and received The University of Tulsa’s Outstanding University Teacher Award in 2010-11. In 2016, Spoo was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.