Frances Lee Ansley

Ansley Frances
  • Professor Emeritus, College of Law Distinguished Professor of Law

  • B.A., 1969, Harvard/Radcliffe College
    J.D., 1979, University of Tennessee
    LL.M., 1988, Harvard Law School


Publications of Frances Lee Ansley

Professor Ansley's expertise reaches beyond the law school and into the community. While teaching at the College of Law, she often found ways to involve her students in collaborative projects aimed at working with communities to tackle problems of injustice, and her scholarly research tended in a similar direction.

Since retiring from teaching in 2007, she has continued both her active scholarship and community engagement.  She still works with faculty and students from the College of Law on projects of mutual interest.  Over the years Professor Ansley’s writings have explored a range of issues.  Most recently she has focused largely on immigrants’ rights and labor rights and the relationship between the two.

Professor Ansley's articles have appeared in a number of law reviews, including California, Colorado, Cornell, Georgetown, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.  She co-edited a 2009 book on Latino immigration to the Southeastern United States, and she has contributed chapters to several interdisciplinary books on issues of race, gender, poverty, and workers’ responses to globalization.

In addition to her legal scholarship, Professor Ansley is co-author of a memoir concerning a 1989 coal miners' strike in southwest Virginia, co-editor/author of an oral history of labor struggles in several East Tennessee coal mining communities, and co-author of the original edition of Our Bodies, Our Selves. She served as principal humanities adviser to a documentary film on impacts of globalization in East Tennessee that was directed and produced by independent filmmaker Anne Lewis.

With regard to professional service, Professor Ansley has a special commitment to lawyering for and with organizations that are working to bring about grassroots, bottom-up social change. She has provided pro bono representation, done legal and empirical research, and worked as a community legal educator with a range of such groups throughout her career.

Professor Ansley received a 2008 Heroes Award from the Latino Task Force of the Community Economic Development Network of East Tennessee, the 2007 Great Teacher Award from the Society of American Law Teachers, the 2007 Danny Mayfield Champion of Change Award from Community Shares of Tennessee, and she received from the College of Law the 2006 Harold C. Warner Outstanding Teacher Award, the 2003 Carden Award for Outstanding Achievement in Scholarship, the 1994 Marilyn V. Yarbrough Faculty Award for Writing Excellence, and the 2002 and 1993 W. Allen Separk Awards for Superior Achievement in Scholarship.


Biography of Frances Lee Ansley

 Books & Chapters

Immigrant Women Caught in Workplace Raids: Weighing New Forms of Release and Restraint, in Women, Incarceration and Human Rights (working title)(Kristen Bumiller and Martha Fineman, eds)(forthcoming 2012).

Labor Rights and Immigrant Workers in East Tennessee:  Talking Union in Two Languages, in The Struggle for Appalachia: Identity, Place and Movement-Building, (Steve Fisher and Barbara Ellen Smith, eds)(University of Illinois Press, 2012)

Global Connections and Local Receptions: Latino Immigration to the Southeastern United States, Fran Ansley and Jon Shefner, eds. (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2009)(co-editor and author of concluding chapter).

Local Contact Points with Global Divides: Labor Rights and Immigrant Rights as Sites for Cosmopolitanism Legality, in Law and Globalization from Below: Towards a Cosmopolitan Legality (Boaventura de Sousa Santos & César A. Rodríguez, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2005).

Constructing Citizenship Without a License: The Struggle of Undocumented Immigrants in the U.S. for Livelihoods and Recognition, in Meanings and Expressions of Rights and Citizenship (Naila Kabeer & John Gaventa, eds., Zed Press, 2005).

Who Counts? The Case for Participatory Research, in Laboring Below the Line: The New Ethnography of Poverty, Low-Wage Work, and Survival in the New Economy (Frank Munger, ed., Russell Sage, 2002).

Recognizing Race in the American Legal Canon, in Legal Canons (J.M. Balkin and Sanford Levinson, eds., New York University Press, New York, 2000).

Putting the Pieces Together: Tennessee Women Find the Global Economy in Their Own Backyards, in Women Working the NAFTA Food Chain: Women, Food & Globalization (Deborah Barndt, ed., Second Story Press, Toronto, 1999).

What’s the Globe Got to Do with It?, in Hard Labor: Poor Women and Work in the Post-Welfare Era (Joel Handler & Lucie White eds., M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, New York, 1999).

Co-author with Susan Williams, Southern Women and Southern Borders on the Move: Tennessee Workers Explore the New International Division of Labor, in Neither Separate nor Equal: Women, Race and Class in the U.S. South (Barbara Smith ed., Temple University Press, 1999).


Going South and Coming North: Migration and Union Organizing in Morristown, Tennessee, part of a series on "Migration, Mobility, Exchange, and the U.S. South" a multi-media essay published in SOUTHERN SPACES, an interdisciplinary on-line journal (May, 2011)
(with Anne Lewis)

Non-Profit Immigration Legal Services for Tennessee’s New Immigrants:  A Snapshot,” (a report produced and published by the Snapshot Project, Knoxville, Tennessee, September 2009)(with Charlie Mulligan).

Second Panel: Labor Markets, Income Inequity and Globalization, 15 Georgetown J. Poverty Law & Policy 475 (2009)(part of transcript of conference on "Wealth Inequity and the Eroding Middle Class," co-sponsored by the University of North Carolina Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity and the American Constitution Society, November 2007; Ansley's remarks at 490-498.

Educating Workers about Labor Rights and Global Wrongs through Documentary Film, 41 Suffolk U. L. Rev. 715 (2008).

Doing Policy from Below: Worker Solidarity and the Prospects for Immigration Reform, 41 Cornell J. Int’l Law 101 (2008).

Thinking Back on Fighting Back in Appalachia: A Tribute to Steve Fisher, 34  Appalachian Journal 422-428 (2007).

Book Review, 11 Journal of Appalachian Studies Nos. 1 & 2 (Spring/Fall 2005)(reviewing A Strike Like No Other Strike: Law and Resistance during
the Pittston Coal Strike of 1989-1990
(2002) by Richard A. Brisbin, Jr.)

Going On-Line with Justice Pedagogy: Four Ways of Looking at a Web Site (Villanova Law Review, 2005)(with Cathy Cochran).

Inclusive Boundaries and Other (Im)possible Paths Toward Community Development in a Global World, 150 U. Penn. L. Rev. 353 (2001); excerpts reprinted in Social Justice: Professionals, Communities and Law (Martha Mahoney, John Calmore, and Stephanie Wildman eds. 2003).

Borders, 78 Denver U.L. Rev. 965 (Part of LatCrit V Symposium) (2001).

Teaching Across Race, Class and Gender: The New Immigration in Tennessee, Center News, Center for Research on Women, University of Memphis, Fall 1999, p. 9.

Rethinking Law in Globalizing Labor Markets, 1 U. Penn. J. Lab. & Empl. Law 369 (1998).

Classifying Race, Racializing Class, 68 Colo. L. Rev. 1001 (1997).

Co-author with John Gaventa, Researching for Democracy and Democratizing Research, Change ( Jan/Feb 1997), pp. 46-53. Reprinted in Doing Community-Based Research: A Reader (Danny Murphy and Madeleine Scammel, eds., Amherst, MA: Loka Institure, 1997).

The Gulf of Mexico, the Academy, and Me, 78 Soundings 69 (1995).

Starting with the Students: Lessons from Popular Education, 4 S. Cal. Rev. L. & Women’s Stud. 7 (1994).

Standing Rusty and Rolling Empty: Law, Poverty, and America’s Eroding Industrial Base, 81 Georgetown L.J. 1757 (1993). Excerpts reprinted in Poverty Law: Theory and Practice (Julie Nice and Louise Trubek, eds., 1997).

A Civil Rights Agenda for the Year 2000, 59 Tenn. L. Rev. 593 (1992). Excerpts reprinted in Critical White Studies (Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, eds., 1997).

North American Free Trade Agreement: The Public Debate, 22 Ga. J. Int’l Comp. L. 329 (1992).

U.S.-Mexico Free Trade from the Bottom: A Postcard from the Border, 1 Tex. J. Women and Law 193 (1992).

Race and the Core Curriculum in Legal Education, 79 Calif. L. Rev. 1511 (1991). Excerpts reprinted in Critical White Studies (Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, eds., 1997).

Stirring the Ashes: Race, Class and the Future of Civil Rights Scholarship, 74 Cornell L. Rev. 993 (1989). Excerpts reprinted in Critical White Studies (Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, eds., 1997).

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