- Associate Professor of Law
A.B., Magna Cum Laude, Harvard College, 2002
J.D., Harvard Law School, 2006
Ph.D., English, George Washington University, 2015
- Criminal Law
- Criminal Procedure
- Law and Literature
Erin joined the College of Law in 2018. Before coming to the University of Oklahoma College of Law she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law. She has also served as a Visiting Associate Professor at the George Washington University Law School and an Olin-Searle Fellow at Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to academia she practiced for several years in the litigation group of the Washington, D.C. offices of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. While in practice she was commended by the Humane Society of the United States for her pro bono work in the prosecution of dog fighting sponsors. She is proud to have served on the Board of Directors of the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society.
Sheley's research considers how the law should account for subjective narratives in evaluating criminal and tort harm. In one line of articles she argues that the law inconsistently takes into account the extent to which a victim’s subjective narrative of her injury contributes to the injury in a way that can and should be formally remedied. In another, she develops the idea that failing to attend to how crime and the criminal justice system interact with cultural narratives prevents us from understanding and responding to important aspects of criminal harm. Drawing on her doctoral work on narrative and cultural memory, she combines insights from the fields of psychology, narrative studies, and sociology to make the case that the narrative aspects of harm ought to play a more consistent role in shaping civil and criminal liability, procedure, evidentiary rules, and remedies.
A Broken Windows Theory of Sexual Assault Enforcement
108 Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 101
Victim Impact Statements and Expressive Punishment in the Age of Social Media
52 Wake Forest Law Review 157
Reprinted in Women and the Law (Thomson Reuters, 2018 ed.)
Substantive and Procedural Silence
84 Tennessee Law Review 447
Rethinking Injury: the Case of Informed Consent
2016 BYU Law Review 63
Prospective Injunctive Relief and Class Action Settlements
With Theodore Frank
39 Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 769
Perceptual Harm and the Corporate Criminal
81 University of Cincinnati Law Review 225
Reverberations of the ‘Victim’s Voice’: Victim Impact Statements and the Cultural Project of Punishment
87 Indiana Law Journal 1247
The Constable’s Blunder and Other Stories: Narrative Representations of the Police and the Criminal in the Development of the Fourth Amendment Exclusionary Rule
2010 Michigan State Law Review 121
Live Animals: Towards Protection for Pets and Livestock in Contracts for Carriage
3 Journal of Animal Law 59
Comment, Threats in the Line of Duty: Police Officers and the First Amendment in State v. Valdivia and Connecticut v. DeLoreto
28 Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 307
Criminality and the English Common Law Imagination in the 18th and 19th Centuries (under contract, Edinburgh University Press, 2020).
Peer-Reviewed Journals and Book Chapters
“Adultery, Criminality, and the Fiction of the King’s Body,” in Fictional Discourse and the Law (forthcoming, Routledge, 2019).
“Adultery, Criminality, and the Myth of English Sovereignty,” 14 Law, Culture, and the Humanities __ (Oct. 2018).
“Convicta et Combusta: Walter Scott’s Condemned Woman, the Chivalric Tradition, and Historical Legitimacy,” in Impassioned Jurisprudence: Law, Literature, and Emotion (Bucknell University Press 2015).
“The Condemned Woman as Historical Relic,” 24 Law
“Gone with the Wind and the Trauma of Lost Sovereignty,” 45 Southern Literary Journal 1 (Spring 2013).
“Reciprocal Colonization in the Fairy Tales of Lord Dunsany,” 31 Mythlore 105 (Fall/Winter 2012).
“The Law of Nature or Nature’s God? Penal Authority in Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies,” 37 Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 133 (Summer 2012).
“Demolished Worlds: Manfred and Sublime (Un)Burial,” 40 Byron Journal 51 (June 2012).
“Re-Imagining Olympus: The Creative Mythologies of John Keats,” 45 Romanticism on the
“From Eden to Eternity: The Timescales of Genesis in George MacDonald’s ‘The Golden Key’ and Lilith,” 29 Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 329 (Winter 2004).
“Victim Impact Statements at Corporate Sentencing,” presented at the Federalist Society Faculty Conference/ Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, San Diego, California, Jan. 4-5, 2018.
“Corporate Criminal Liability and Victim Impact Statements,” presented at the meeting of the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law, San Francisco, California, July 9-13, 2017.
“Victim Impact Statements and Expressive Punishment in the Age of Social Media,” presented at the meeting of the Law and Society Association, Mexico City, Mexico, June 2017.
“Victim Impact Statements and Expressive Punishment in the Age of Social Media,” presented at the meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities,” Stanford University, April 2017.
“A Broken Windows Theory of Sexual Assault Enforcement,” presented at the meeting of the Association of American Law Schools,” San Francisco, CA January 2017.
Presentations on Anglo-American constitutional criminal law, Constitutional Court of the Republic of Georgia Summer School Program, Batumi, Georgia, July 28-29, 2016.
“Rethinking Injury: the Case of Informed Consent,” presented at the 36th Annual Health Law Professors Conference, Boston University School of Law, June 5, 2016.
“Substantive and Procedural Silence,” presented at the Toronto-Osgoode Junior Scholars Workshop, University of Toronto School of Law, May 5, 2016.
Commentary on the seizure of companion animals under the Fourth Amendment, Of Dogs and Men: a Documentary, Ozymandias Films, 2016.
“Prospective Injunctive Relief and Class Action Settlements,” presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools,” New York, NY, January 2016.
“Criminality and the Fiction of the King's Body,” presented at the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale University, May 20, 2015.
“Adultery, Criminality, and the Myth of English Sovereignty,” presented at the meeting of the Law and Society Association, Seattle, WA, May 2015.
“The Rape Novel and Narrative Subjectivity,” presented at the meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities, Washington DC, March 2015.
- Criminal Procedure: Adjudication 5830
- White Collar Crime 6100
Board Adviser/ Member of the Board, Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society, Calgary, AB, 2016-2018
Member of the Board, 11/9 Coalition, 2016-present
Adoption Event Coordinator, City Dogs Animal Rescue, Washington, DC, 2014-2015
District of Columbia, 2007-present