Joseph F. Lawless


Joseph F. Lawless is a J.D. candidate at Columbia Law School with research interests in critical legal theory, the digitalization of sexual and racial subjectivity, and the juridicalization of affect. He is the author of “The Deceptive Fermata of HIV-Criminalization Law: Rereading the Case of ‘Tiger Mandingo’ through the Juridico-Affective,” forthcoming in the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, and “Sex, Drugs, and Commercial Speech: The Contested Discourse of Truvada,” forthcoming in The Common Law of the Columbia Journal for Law and Social Problems, as well as articles on Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Deleuze. He is also the co-author of an essay in the recently published anthology The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Healthcare Law.

Joseph graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012 and the School of Education of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in 2014. He is an alumnus of the Teach For America program, during which he taught in the Las Vegas Valley. With an expected graduation from Columbia Law School in May 2017, Joseph will begin his Ph.D. in the fall of 2017 at the College of William & Mary in the Department of American Studies.

Joseph is currently working on a genealogy of the Graphics Interchange Format image, known also as the GIF; this project seeks to unearth and follow potential connections between the “viralization” of the infinitely looping GIF, the automatic playback of videos of police brutality on social media platforms, and the effects of their convergence on affective resonances such videos engender.