Faculty > Faculty Profiles > Susan Ayres

Susan Ayres

Professor of Law 
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Courses: Criminal Law, Family Law, Domestic Violence, Gender, Sexual Orientation & the Law, and Law & Literature

Professor Susan Ayres has been a member of the faculty since 1999. She has also taught at Roger Williams University School of Law, Providence College, and Texas Christian University. In addition to her teaching experience, Professor Ayres serves as Treasurer of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and Humanities. She has clerked for the Texas Court of Appeals in Austin, Texas, and for the Supreme Court of Rhode Island. She was an associate in the Austin office of McGinnis, Lochridge, and Kilgore, where she practiced commercial litigation, and she served as assistant district attorney in Tarrant County, where she practiced appellate criminal law.

Professor Ayres’ scholarship examines the interplay between cultural theory and the law, including the implications of postmodern feminist theory on current legal doctrines and the intersections between law and literature. Her current research focuses specifically on mothers who kill their children, examining existing cultural constructions in order to critique the inconsistent legal treatment such mothers receive and to offer recommendations for change. Professor Ayres’ work on infanticide has been published in several journals and she has been invited to present her research at many conferences.

Professor Ayres earned her J.D. at Baylor University School of Law. She holds a Ph.D. in American Literature from Texas Christian University and an M.A. in English from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She received her B.A. in English and Philosophy, magna cum laude, from Baylor University. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Selected Publications

"Pregnancy Denied, Pregnancy Rejected in 'Stephanie Daley'" (co-author Prema Manjunath), __ Law, Culture, and Humanities Journal __ (2012) [SSRN]
"Denial and Concealment of Unwanted Pregnancy" (co-author Prema Manjunath), 26 J. C. R.  & Econ. Dev. 197(2012).  [SSRN]
"When Women Kill Newborns:  The Rhetoric of Vulnerability" (book chapter in Feminist Challenges, Feminist Rhetorics: Locations, Scholarship, and Discourse) (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2012).
Kairos and Safe Havens: The Timing and Calamity of Unwanted Birth," 15 William & Mary Journal of Women & Law 227 (2009).  [SSRN]

"Who Is to Shame? Narratives of Neonaticide,” 14 William & Mary Journal of Women & Law 55 (2007). [SSRN]

“Newfound Religion: Mothers, God, and Infanticide,” 33 Fordham Urban Law Journal  335 (2006).  [SSRN]
“Hélène Cixous’s ‘The Perjured City’:Nonprosecution Alternatives to Collective Violence,” 9 N.Y. City Law Review 1 (2005). [SSRN]
“[N]ot a story to pass on”: Constructing Mothers Who Kill,” 15 Hastings Women’s Law Journal 39 (2004). [SSRN]