Tuesday, January 27, 2015

More on Women Trailblazers in the Law

We’ve previously posted on Women Trailblazers in the Law, an oral history project now sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Senior Lawyers Division.  I am now pleased to report that two essays relating to that project are now available for free download.  They are Memorializing the Work and Lives of Women Trailblazers in the Law, by Brooksley Born and Linda Ferren, and The Rules of Engagement: How Women Attorneys Broke Law’s Glass Ceiling, by Jill Norgren.  Both appeared in the ABA’s Senior Lawyers Division’s publication, Voice of Experience.

Monday, January 26, 2015

AJLH 55:1 (January 2015)

Here is the TOC for the American Journal of Legal History 55:1 (January 2015).  This is a special issue, “Essays in Honor of Lawrence J. Reilly on the Occasion of His Retirement as Editor of the American Journal of Legal History.”  (Hat tip: Robert Jarvis.)

John F. Necci, “My Friend Larry”

Thomas A. Green and Merrill Catharine Hodnefield, “Reflections on Freedom and Criminal Responsibility in Late Twentieth Century American Legal Thought”

Timothy S. Huebner, “Emory Speer and Federal Enforcement of the Rights of African Americans, 1880-1910"

Robert M. Jarvis, “Aboitiz & Co. v. Price:  Some Lingering Questions”

M.C. Mirow, “Law in East Florida 1783-1821"

Eric W. Rise, “Crime, Comity and Civil Rights: The NAACP and the Extradition of Southern Black Fugitives”

A New Exhibit on English Prison Reformers at HLS

Via H-Law, we have news of a new exhibit at the Harvard Law School Library, “Where Mis’ry Moans”: Four Prison Reformers in 18th & 19th Century England.  From its website, we learn that it focuses on
Elizabeth Fry (HLS Library)
four English prison reformers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: John Howard, George Onesiphorus Paul, Elizabeth Fry, and John T. Burt. They built on the work of members of the House of Commons’ Committee Appointed [in 1728] to Enquire into the State of the Goals of This Kingdom, also known as the Gaol Committee. They influenced and were influenced by writers such as Cesare marchese di Beccaria (1738-1794), Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), and Samuel Romilly (1757-1818), among others. The exhibit title comes from the epic poem “Winter” by James Thomson (1700-1748), in which he refers to the work in of the Gaol Committee in England’s prisons: “Unpitied, and unheard, where mis’ry moans; Where sickness pines, where thirst and hunger burn.” 

This exhibit was curated by Margaret Peachy and Mary Person, Historical & Special Collections, Harvard Law School Library. It will be on view through April 24, 2015 in the Harvard Law School Library's Caspersen Room.

Essays on Fascism and Criminal Law

New from Hart Publishing is the collection of essays, Fascism and Criminal Law: History, Theory, Continuity, edited by Stephen Skinner, University of Exeter.
Fascism was one of the twentieth century’s principal political forces, and one of the most violent and problematic. Brutal, repressive and in some cases totalitarian, the fascist and authoritarian regimes of the early twentieth century, in Europe and beyond, sought to create revolutionary new orders that crushed their opponents. A central component of such regimes' exertion of control was criminal law, a focal point and key instrument of State punitive and repressive power. This collection brings together a range of original essays by international experts in the field to explore questions of criminal law under Italian Fascism and other similar regimes, including Franco's Spain, Vargas's Brazil and interwar Romania and Japan. Addressing issues of substantive criminal law, criminology and ideology, the form and function of criminal justice institutions, and the role and perception of criminal law in processes of transition, the collection casts new light on fascism's criminal legal history and related questions of theoretical interpretation and historiography. At the heart of the collection is the problematic issue of continuity and similarity among fascist systems and preceding, contemporaneous and subsequent legal orders, an issue that goes to the heart of fascist regimes' historical identity and the complex relationship between them and the legal orders constructed in their aftermath. The collection thus makes an innovative contribution both to the comparative understanding of fascism, and to critical engagement with the foundations and modalities of criminal law across systems.
A pdf of the TOC is here.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Book Roundup

Dissent has a review by Samuel Moyn titled, "Fantasies of Federalism," which reviews both Frederick Cooper's Citizenship between Empire and Nations: Remaking France and French Africa, 1945-1960 (Princeton University Press) and Gary Wilder's Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization, and the Future of the World (Duke University Press).

On Books & Ideas, Olivier Burtin reviews Let Us Fight as Free Men: Black Soldiers and Civil Rights by Christine Knauer (University of Pennsylvania Press).
"The greatest scholarly contribution of Let Us Fight as Free Men, its emphasis on discourse and textual analysis, is also the source of its greatest limitation. By focusing so much on what her actors said, Knauer often either forgets to provide the necessary contextual information—for instance when she mentions the first victory in Korea by an all-black unit in July 1950 (p. 175) without telling us exactly how this victory came about—or, inversely, dwells on topics that seem only loosely connected with the main theme of her story—as is the case with her lengthy discussion of how the black press fell victim to Orientalist clichés in its coverage of South Korean soldiers and women (pp. 153-159). The result is a book whose narrative thread may be difficult to follow for readers not already familiar with the details of this time period."
The Federal Lawyer has new reviews this week, including one of a volume edited by John Oberdiek, Philosophical Foundations of the Law of Torts (Oxford University Press) and another review of Sotirios Barber's The Fallacies of States' Rights (Harvard University Press). Both reviews are available here.

The Los Angeles Review of Books has a review of Robert P. Burns's Kafka's Law: The Trial and American Criminal Justice (University of Chicago Press).
"JUSTICE ANTHONY KENNEDY once famously suggested that the procedural nightmare depicted in Franz Kafka’s The Trial “is actually closer to reality than fantasy as far as the client’s perception” of our criminal justice system. In his short but dense work, Kafka’s Law: The Trial and American Criminal Justice, Robert P. Burns takes the comparison further, beyond the client’s perception to the realities of our system itself. This is a deeply pessimistic study about the way justice is meted out in this country. "
The New Books series has an interview with Keith Wailoo about his new book, Pain: A Political History (Johns Hopkins University Press) and another interview with Jan Lemnitzer about his book, Power, Law and the End of Privateering (Palgrave).

There are two reviews of Jill Leovy's Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America (Random House), one in the Los Angeles Times and a second in The New York Times. The former says of the book,
""Ghettoside" is her penetrating look at the Los Angeles Police Department — the title is taken from the nickname a Watts gang member gave to his neighborhood. A staff writer at the L.A. Times and the creator of a popular blog, Homicide Report, Leovy is not a newcomer to crime reporting. In "Ghettoside," she adopts an anthropologist's gaze to unravel the workings of this tribe. She tracks the daily movements of homicide detectives working cases that rarely attract the media spotlight. Think "Boyz N the Hood," not "Chinatown" and "L.A. Confidential." This is gritty reporting that matches the police work behind it."

On H-Net, Karen J. Alter's The New Terrain of International Law: Courts, Politics, Rights (Princeton University Press) is reviewed.

"Karen J. Alter’s The New Terrain of International Law explores the immense contribution that international courts and tribunals provide in the development and strengthening of international law and international politics. In doing so, Alter, a professor of political science and law at Northwestern University, builds from an impressive amount of historical, political, and legal data. Alter starts from the observation that the proliferation of international courts and tribunals is a real paradigm changer for international law, and, importantly, she seeks to conceptualize how these new-style international courts affect domestic and international politics across different states, courts, cases, and issues."

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Weekend Roundup

  • Via the Canadian Legal History Blog: The Canadian Law and Society Association invites submissions for its annual Graduate Student Essay Prize.
  • From In Custodia Legis: Coverage of Ruth Mazo Carras's lecture on "Law in the Lives of Medieval Women" (part of the Magna Carta Lecture Series).
  • From the Chronicle of Higher Education: Observations about bad behavior at academic conferences and tips for making sure you're not "that guy/gal" at your next one.
Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History bloggers.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Center for the Study of Law and Society Spring 2015 Speaker Series

The Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California, Berkeley, has announced the Spring 2015 lineup for its speaker series. Below are items of potential interest to LHB readers:
The Center for the Study of Law and Society (credit)
Monday, February 9 - Kaaryn Gustafson
Professor of Law, UC Irvine Law School
"The Legal Manufacturing of Hardworking Bastards:  Marriage, Bastardy, Apprenticeship, and the Policing of Race and Labor in North Carolina, 1741-1870"

Monday, March 9 - Steven Wilf
Professor of Law, University of Connecticut School of Law
"(Re)-Contextualizing Intellectual Property: 
Social Conflict and Social Practice in Late 19th Century America"

Monday, April 13 - Gregory Alexander
A. Robert Noll Professor of Law, Cornell University Law School
"The Sporting Life: Democratic Culture and the Historical Origins of the Scottish Right to Roam"
Monday, April 20 - Ariela Gross
John B. and Alice R. Sharp Professor of Law and History, USC Gould School of Law
"From the Streets to the Courts:  The Grassroots History of Colorblind Conservatism"

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Mehrotra, "Reviving Fiscal Citizenship" (Reviewing Zelenak, "Learning to Love Form 1040")

Former LHB guest blogger Ajah Mehrotra (Indiana University Maurer School of Law) has posted a new essay: "Reviving Fiscal Citizenship," Michigan Law Review (forthcoming). It is a historically informed review of Learning to Love Form 1040: Two Cheers for the Return-Based Mass Income Tax (University of Chicago Press, 2013), by Lawrence Zelenak (Duke University School of Law). Here's the abstract:
In recent years, numerous lawmakers, policy analysts, and scholars have been decrying the many defects of the present U.S. income tax system. Few have attempted to defend our return-based mass income tax. This essay reviews Learning to Love Form 1040, Lawrence Zelenak’s stirring and persuasive defense of a simplified version of our present federal income tax system. In contrast to the conventional economic critiques, Zelenak explores the underappreciated social, cultural, and political benefits of a return-based, mass income tax. Chief among these, he argues, is the existing regime’s potential to raise the tax consciousness of the average citizen and to enhance modern notions of fiscal citizenship.

In addition to reviewing the central claims and findings of Learning to Love Form 1040, this essay argues that, like most provocative texts, this book is not the final word on U.S. tax reform. In the process of starting an important conversation, Zelenak leaves open several significant issues. After assessing the book’s evidentiary base, particularly its historical claims about the World War II origins of the U.S. mass income tax and changing American attitudes towards taxation, this essay turns to Zelenak’s specific reform proposals and highlights some of the missed opportunities. Finally, the review concludes by contending that Zelenak’s original and inspiring defense of the income tax is a uniquely early twenty-first-century project – one that at times wistfully reflects on an earlier age to show how we can revive a robust and pragmatic sense of fiscal citizenship.
The full review essay is available here.

Hat tip: Legal Theory Blog

The Legal History Workshop at Tel Aviv Law

[We have the following announcement.]

Tel Aviv Law is pleased to announce the Spring 2015 schedule for the Yigal Arnon & Co. Legal History Workshop

30 March: Orna Alyagon Darr (Carmel), "Sexual Offences and Ethnic Identity in Mandate Palestine"

15 April: Mayo Moran (Toronto), "The Problem of the Past: How Historic Wrongs Became Legal Problems"

29 April: Ido Israelowich (Tel Aviv University), "Roman provincial jurists during the High Empire: Towards a vocational history"

13 May: Roy Kreitner (Tel Aviv University), "Reconstituting the Dollar: Civil War Reconfiguration of the Monetary System"

20 May: Richard Ross (University of Illinois), "Binding in Conscience: Early Modern English Protestants and Spanish Thomists on Law and the Fate of the Soul"

27 May: Guillaume Calafat (Paris I), "'What law is it there?' Legal pluralism and procedures in the Early Modern Western Mediterranean"

3 June: Mark Lewis (CUNY), "The History of the International Association of Penal Law, 1924-1950: Conservative, Progressive, or Neither?"

10 June: Arthur McEvoy (Southwestern), "Every Little Bit Helps: Environmental Law in the United States After 1980"

Legal historians who would like to attend any of these sessions should contact one of the TAU Legal History Workshop organizers (Leora Bilsky, David Schorr, or Lena Salaymeh).

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ablavsky, "Beyond the Indian Commerce Clause"

Back in August, we noted a paper of interest: "Beyond the Indian Commerce Clause," by Gregory Ablavsky (University of Pennsylvania). The full article, unavailable for download earlier, has now been posted. It appears in Volume 124 of the Yale Law Journal (2015). Here's the abstract:
The Supreme Court has described the Indian Commerce Clause as the primary constitutional basis for federal exclusive and plenary power over Indian affairs. Recently, Justice Clarence Thomas, citing current scholarship, has argued that the Clause’s original understanding does not support this authority, with radical implications for current doctrine.

This Article uses unexamined historical sources to question this debate’s fundamental premise. It argues that the Indian Commerce Clause, open-ended when written, was a minor component of eighteenth-century constitutional thought. This Article instead posits alternate sources for federal authority over Indian affairs, drawing particularly on the Washington Administration. Asserting federal power against the states, the Administration embraced a holistic constitutional reading akin to present-day field preemption. With respect to authority over Indians, the Administration, through law-of-nations interpretations, asserted ultimate U.S. sovereignty over tribes, while acknowledging Native autonomy beyond these limitations. Yet these supposedly narrow legal principles ultimately formed the basis for the later elaboration of plenary power over tribes.

On the one hand, this history provides a more solid foundation for doctrinal principles derided as incoherent. On the other hand, it suggests more cabined federal authority over Indians. Ultimately, the Article demonstrates the value of more historically grounded reconstructions of constitutional understandings.

New Release: Kay, The Glorious Revolution and the Continuity of Law

New from the Catholic University of America Press: The Glorious Revolution and the Continuity of Law (Dec. 2014) by Richard S. Kay (University of Connecticut School of Law). A description from the Press:
The Glorious Revolution and the Continuity of Law explores the relationship between law and revolution. Revolt - armed or not - is often viewed as the overthrow of legitimate rulers. Historical experience, however, shows that revolutions are frequently accompanied by the invocation rather than the repudiation of law. No example is clearer than that of the Glorious Revolution of 1688-89. At that time the unpopular but lawful Catholic king, James II, lost his throne and was replaced by his Protestant son-in-law and daughter, William of Orange and Mary, with James's attempt to recapture the throne thwarted at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland. The revolutionaries had to negotiate two contradictory but intensely held convictions. The first was that the essential role of law in defining and regulating the activity of the state must be maintained. The second was that constitutional arrangements to limit the unilateral authority of the monarch and preserve an indispensable role for the houses of parliament in public decision-making had to be established. In the circumstances of 1688-89, the revolutionaries could not be faithful to the second without betraying the first. Their attempts to reconcile these conflicting objectives involved the frequent employment of legal rhetoric to justify their actions. In so doing, they necessarily used the word "law" in different ways. It could denote the specific rules of positive law; it could simply express devotion to the large political and social values that underlay the legal system; or it could do something in between. In 1688-89 it meant all those things to different participants at different times. This study adds a new dimension to the literature of the Glorious Revolution by describing, analyzing and elaborating this central paradox: the revolutionaries tried to break the rules of the constitution and, at the same time, be true to them.
A few blurbs:
"A first-rate history based on thorough and extensive research, including many important original sources . . . the best account so far of the relevant constitutional, legal, and political issues debated and resolved during and after the Glorious Revolution." --Donald E. Wilkes, Jr., Professor of Law, University of Georgia School of Law

"Digs deeper and more rewardingly into important aspects of the Glorious Revolution than anything yet produced and it will be recognized as a good argument for returning to telling legal matters that are often overlooked in prevailing approaches." --Thomas Green, Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan Law School
More information is available here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New Release: Wagner, Jews and Islamic Law in Early 20th-Century Yemen

New from Indiana University Press: Jews and Islamic Law in Early 20th-Century Yemen (2014) by Mark S. Wagner (Louisiana State University). A description from the Press:
In early 20th-century Yemen, a sizable Jewish population was subject to sumptuary laws and social restrictions. Jews regularly came into contact with Islamic courts and Muslim jurists, by choice and by necessity, became embroiled in the most intimate details of their Jewish neighbors’ lives. Mark S. Wagner draws on autobiographical writings to study the careers of three Jewish intermediaries who used their knowledge of Islamic law to manipulate the shari‘a for their own benefit and for the good of their community. The result is a fresh perspective on the place of religious minorities in Muslim societies.
A few blurbs:
"[A]rticulate[s] brilliantly the complexity of Jewish-Muslim interaction through a series of fascinating and hitherto unexplored court cases and scholars. Wagner convincingly illustrates that these two religious communities were far from being mutually exclusive, but rather were enmeshed in each other’s lives in the most remarkable and unexpected ways, and in a real sense mutually constitutive." —Bernard Haykel, Princeton University

"In beautiful prose, Mark Wagner explores the complex contours of Yemen's shari’a-based juridical system, considering how individual Yemeni Jewish women and men navigated this legal order and the larger social orbit of Yemeni society. Moving ably between Arabic and Hebrew sources, and between rich case studies and weighty conceptual questions, Jews and Islamic Law in Early 20th-Century Yemen will be prized by scholars of Jewish Studies and Middle East Studies alike for its erudition, clarity, and originality." —Sarah Abrevaya Stein, UCLA
More information is available here.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Essays on Mass Violence and the State in India, 1983-2002

We have news of the publication of On Their Watch: Mass Violence and State Apathy in India, edited by Surabhi Chopra & Prita Jha:
In 2005, India passed a law giving individuals the right to information on the State’s acts and decisions. Using this law, the authors in this edited volume applied for official records about four of the worst episodes of mass violence in independent India. These traumatic events had not previously been scrutinised using the recently-minted law on this scale. The authors filed over 800 applications for information; the results of their unusual endeavour led to this book. Sifting through hundreds of government documents on criminal justice, administrative discipline, commissions of inquiry, emergency relief and monetary compensation, the authors examine the State’s response to sectarian violence in Nellie in 1983, Delhi in 1984, Bhagalpur in 1989 and Gujarat in 2002. Hundreds of people, most of them religious minorities, were killed, injured, displaced from their homes, and stripped of their livelihoods in these episodes of mass violence. In each instance, violence was encouraged by the politically powerful and tolerated by the police. This book examines official records and shows how State apathy in the wake of violence thwarted attempts to rehabilitate survivors and punish perpetrators. These failures are not simply an unfortunate coincidence. The State’s own records reveal that national and state governments have been negligent in recurring, systematic ways. By detailing how State processes have failed, this disquieting book demonstrates that the State could have pursued justice and reparation for victims of mass violence in the past, and could, in substantial measure, still do so.

Inside and Out: Probing the Boundaries of Law

[We have a call for “Inside and Out: Probing the Boundaries of Law,” McGill's Annual Graduate Conference in Law, May 29-30, 2015, Montreal, Canada.]

The graduate students of McGill's Faculty of Law are pleased to announce their annual graduate law conference. We invite fellow graduate students to submit abstracts for presentation at the conference and to join us in the exchange and development of new ideas, concepts and approaches to law.

Designed specifically for graduate students, this conference creates a safe and dynamic forum for new and emerging scholars to stretch intellectual boundaries and build academic networks. Conference participants will have the opportunity to share in McGill University's rich intellectual community and longstanding tradition of fostering creative and original thinking - all the while within the vibrant and captivating environment of Canada's culture capital.

The theme of this year's conference, "Inside and Out: Probing the Boundaries of Law", encourages participants to think beyond the traditional frontiers of state-made-law and law as a distinctive discipline. Submissions may focus on a substantial 'legal' issue or serve as an inquiry into the margins of legal scholarship itself. Examples of topics related to this theme may include, but are not restricted to, legal pluralism, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and law and the social sciences.

Central to pushing the traditional limits of law is the acceptance of greater diversity in legal actors and legal sources. To what extent is the law equipped to accommodate for such diversity? Is such diversity a strength or a weakness? Views and perspectives of the law and what lies within and outside the boundaries of law are deeply personal. They are molded by our own individual histories and experiences. Scholars are invited to reflect on how the diversity of our backgrounds and experiences affect our legal scholarship. How does this diversity affect solidarity within the legal community?

The theme of this conference will not be limited to any particular question or area of law. The substantive agenda for this conference will be set by those questions and topics most important to graduate students wishing to participate. We encourage scholars to think creatively about the conference theme and how their own research interests fit into it.

Please send a 300 word abstract to grad-conference.law@mcgill.ca.  Submissions written in both English and French will be accepted.  The closing date for submissions to be considered by the conference committee is 23 February 2015. Successful applicants will be informed by 13 March 2015 and will be required to submit a minimum 2000 word paper in advance of the conference.

For those of who do not wish to submit a paper, you are warmly invited to join us in discussion at our Annual Graduate Conference in Law.  Detailed information will be posted regularly on the Conference website

Holdren on Employment Risks under Workmen’s Compensation in the Early 20th-C. U.S.

The March 2014 issue of Enterprise and Society includes a new article by Nate Holdren (Indiana University Bloomington): "Incentivizing Safety and Discrimination: Employment Risks under Workmen’s Compensation in the Early Twentieth Century United States." Here's the abstract:
This article takes criticisms of employment discrimination in the aftermath of the creation of workmen’s compensation legislation as a point of entry for arguing that compensation laws created new incentives for employment discrimination. Compensation laws turned the costs of employees’ workplace accidents into a risk that many employers sought to manage by screening job applicants in a manner analogous to how insurance companies screened policy applicants. While numerous critics blamed insurers for discrimination, I argue that the problem was lack of insurance. The less that companies pooled their compensation risks via insurance, the greater the incentives for employers to stop employing people they would have previously been willing to hire.
Subscribers to Project Muse may access full content here.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Book Roundup

This weekend there are two reviews of Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary by Anita Anand (Bloomsbury)--one in The Guardian, here, and a second in the New Statesman, here.
"She was one of the early tax resisters, refusing to pay for licences for her dogs and carriage. She ignored all letters demanding payment until she was issued with a fine. Instead, she equipped her lawyer with a disquisition on female suffrage and the injustice of taxation without representation and sent him to court to read it to the judge. Eventually bailiffs turned up at her house and seized a seven-stone diamond ring, worth far more than she owed. But the suffragettes won the war: when the ring came up at auction, they flooded the auction house and refused to bid for it until the auctioneer was forced to lower the starting bid to £10 – at which price it was bought by a suffragette and returned to Sophia, amid rapturous applause."
Eric Foner has a new book out next week, Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad (Norton), and it is discussed in the NYT, here.

Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security by Sarah Chayes (Norton) is reviewed in The Washington Post.

Then there's Reclaiming American Virtue: The Human Rights Revolution of the 1970s by Barbara Keys (Harvard University Press), reviewed on H-Net.

Rick Perstein's The Invisible Bridge (Simon & Scuster) is reviewed on HNN.

Julian Zelizer's book, The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society (Penguin), is also popular among reviewers. The Washington Post reviews it here, Politics & Prose discusses the book with Zelizer here, and The New Yorker covers it here:
"The information comes at us steadily—there are useful facts on almost every page—but the narrative is spartanly furnished. There’s little portraiture, not much drama, and only enough mood-setting context to let us know what America was up to while L.B.J. and Congress were contriving new ways to strengthen the social safety net and exhaust the national treasury. The emphasis falls instead on the high, and sometimes low, workings of legislative government, as bills inched through committees and subcommittees, nicked and scarred in “mark-up” sessions; the feint-and-parry of parliamentary maneuver; and, above all, the votes. / This patient no-frills approach offers illuminations that a more cinematic treatment might not. "
And, All Eyes Are Upon Us: Race and Politics from Boston to Brooklyn by Jason Sokol (Basic) is also reviewed on HNN.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Weekend Roundup

    • From New York Magazine: 53 Historians Weigh In on Barack Obama's Legacy. It's a pretty stunning list of contributors, including Annette Gordon-Reed (Harvard Law School), Daniel Rodgers (Princeton University), and LHB founder Mary Dudziak (Emory Law). 
    • Did your new year's resolutions include making more time for writing? The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed have advice for you (here and here, respectively).   
    • If you're interested in submitting a proposal for the 2016 meeting of the Organization of American Historians, the deadline (Jan. 23) is approaching. The CFP is available here.
    • Via the Chronicle of Higher Education: "[A] growing number of universities . . . have a full-time administrator solely dedicated to career preparation for graduate students." Read on here.
    • From the Faculty Lounge: coverage of an AALS panel on the legacy of Griswold v. Connecticut, including interesting historical re-framings by Cary Franklin (University of Texas School of Law) and Melissa Murray (UC Berkeley Law).    
    • Kenneth W. Mack, Harvard Law School, will deliver the eleventh annual Philip Pro Lecture in Legal History at the University of Nevada Law School on February 2, 2015. Past lecturers include Jack Rakove, Geoffrey Stone, Sarah Barringer Gordon, John Witte Jr., Larry Kramer, Joyce Appleby, Frank Zimring, Tomiko Brown-Nagin, and Alison LaCroix.
    Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History bloggers. 

    Friday, January 16, 2015

    Interdisciplinary Conference on American Immigration at Columbia University

    We are pleased to announce the following conference:
    Managing Borders

    An Interdisciplinary Conference on American Immigration Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965
    DATE: April 3-4, 2015

    LOCATION: Heyman Center for the Humanities, Columbia University

    (The event is open and free to the public, but seating is limited. Seating is first come, first served.)


    In October 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Act. Also known as the Hart-Celler Act, this legislation decisively shaped the patterns of immigration to the United States and global migration that still continue today. This conference aims to use the 50th anniversary of this pivotal legislation in 2015 as an opportunity to explore the latest scholarship on American immigration, assess the state of the field, and identify new tasks and challenges for immigration scholars.

    Coming from a wide range of academic disciplines, including history, literature, cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, political science, and law, participants in this interdisciplinary conference collectively seek to achieve a better understanding of issues and problems associated to American immigration today under the theme of “Managing Borders.” Broadly defined, “Managing Borders” encourages participants to examine the diverse roles of real and imaginative “borders” in the history of American immigration up to the present. How has the government developed and implemented policies for border control? How have immigrants crossed various kinds of borders and how were their border-crossing experiences like? How have social, cultural, economic, racial, and psychological factors shaped the relationship, a form of border, between citizens and noncitizens, between ethnic groups, or within a single ethnic group? How has immigration to the United States, or border-crossing to America, fitted into broader trends of global migration? How have scholars conceptualized various types of borders in the study of American immigration and global migration? Finally, what kinds of disciplinary borders now exist in migration scholarship, and how can we transcend them? As a whole, the conference hopes to provoke conversations that would lead the study of American immigration in an age that is simultaneously borderless and border-raising.
    Check out the confirmed participants after the jump.

    Shouting Fire

    No, it's not the title of the latest "Hunger Games" movie but the subject of "Shouting Fire in a Theater": The Life and Times of Constitutional Law’s Most Enduring Analogy, by Carlton F. W. Larson, University of California, Davis School of Law.   Here is the abstract:
    In 1919, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes introduced the specter of a man falsely shouting fire in a theater into First Amendment law. Nearly one hundred years later, this analogy remains the most enduring analogy in constitutional law. It has been relied on in hundreds of constitutional cases and it has permeated popular discourse on the scope of individual rights.

    This Essay examines the both the origins and the later life of Holmes’s theater analogy. Part One is a detective story, seeking to solve the mystery of how Holmes came up with this particular example. This story takes us to the forgotten world of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when false shouts of fire in theaters were a pervasive problem that killed hundreds of people both in the United States and Great Britain. The person who shouted “fire” in a crowded theater was a recognizable stock villain of popular culture, condemned in newspapers, magazines and books from coast to coast. The analogy, lifted by Holmes from a federal prosecutor in Cleveland, was rooted in this larger world of popular culture. Understanding this world also answers another question: Why do lawyers and non-lawyers alike refer to “shouting fire in a crowded theater” rather than “falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic,” which is what Holmes actually wrote? Along the way, we will encounter a real detective and even a mustachioed villain.

    Part Two is based on an empirical study of the 278 subsequent judicial opinions that employ the theater analogy. In lower courts, opinions that invoke the analogy, not surprisingly, typically reject free speech claims, but opinions that paraphrase Holmes are, counter-intuitively, more receptive to free speech claims than opinions that quote Holmes precisely.

    The Essay concludes by noting that the theater analogy has largely lost its capacity to frighten in the visceral way that Holmes’s audience would have understood it. Although it persists in constitutional law, it has become rarified and largely abstract, perhaps contributing in some small way to the general libertarian trend of modern First Amendment law.

    Thursday, January 15, 2015

    CFP: ANZLHS 2015

    Wilfrid Prest and Matthew Stubbs, co-convenors, on behalf of the Conference Committee of the Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society, announce that the 34th ANZLHS Conference will meet at the University of Adelaide from 10-12 December 2015.  The keynote speakers are Amalia Kessler (Law, Stanford), David Lieberman (Law, UC Berkeley), Michael Lobban (Law, LSE), Kirsten McKenzie (History, Sydney), Philip Schofield (Bentham Project, UCL).  The co-convenors elaborate:
    The conference theme is “Legal Reform and Innovation.”  Although a majority of ANZLHS conference papers focus on Australian and New Zealand legal history, we welcome contributions without regard to period or place covered.

    The 2015 conference will also incorporate a third (and positively final) Adelaide Blackstone symposium. Following “William Blackstone: Life, Thought, Influence”(2007) and “Re-interpreting Blackstone’s Commentaries” (2012), the 2015 symposium will discuss “Blackstone and his Critics.” On Wednesday 9 December, it is anticipated that there will be a Workshop for Early Career Researchers and Higher Degree by Research students.

    Proposals of papers and panels are now invited. All proposals, whether for individual papers or panels (typically consisting of three speakers, a chair and/or commentator) should include contact details, a brief biographical note, the title(s) of paper(s) and an outline of each paper (250 words maximum). Proposals should indicate whether they are to be considered for the conference/symposium or the ECR/HDR workshop.   [Paper or panel proposals are due to anzlhs2015@adelaide.edu.au no later than March 31, 2015.]

    Hat tip: Michael Widener

    The Early Washington, D.C. Law and Family Project

    [We have the following communication from William G. Thomas III, History, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Faculty Fellow, Center for Digital Research in the Humanities.  Hat tip: Maeva Marcus.]

     As you know I'm working on a new legal history NEH Collaborative Research Project. We have been digitizing the case files, and we presented some of our research recently at the AHA panel on "Digital Histories of Slavery."

    The Early Washington, D.C. Law and Family Project explores multi-generational black and white family networks in early Washington, D.C., by collecting, digitizing, making accessible, and analyzing over 4,000 civil and criminal case files from the D.C. Court, particularly in the early years of the court from 1800 to 1820.  We will soon be releasing for scholars, students, and the public at earlywashingtondc.org all of the case files and minute book entries for all petitions for freedom filed in the D.C. Court between 1800 and 1862.

    I want you to know that we are holding a virtual conference on legal history, and the prospects for digital legal history work. 

    For the virtual conference we are interested in either faculty or graduate students who are doing work on any aspect of law and procedure (habeas corpus, petitions for freedom, hearsay, . . .), legal actors (judges, attorneys, jurors, . . . ), the business of the court, a leading case, or other topics in legal history. This is a great opportunity to have work in progress reviewed and read.

    I hope you might participate in either session or encourage your students to submit a paper for circulation. It will be facilitated through Google Hangouts and will consist of two sessions.

    Paper Session: The first session will be held on Thursday March 19 @ 1 PM-3:00 PM CST.  This will be a "workshop" session designed to provide peer feedback for in-progress scholarly papers dealing with any aspect of legal or digital history.  We are seeking multiple short papers (10-12 pages) to be pre-circulated and workshopped.  Each paper/presenter will receive 15-20 minutes to engage with others about their research.

    Open Forum: The second session will be an open forum discussing the possibilities of the digital medium for legal scholarship.  It will be held on Friday, March 20 @ 1 PM CST and will be led by designers of the "O Say Can You See Project."

    If you would like to submit a paper proposal for workshop consideration, please submit your paper proposal (title and 150-words) [here] or to jeremiah.bauer@huskers.unl.edu. 

    Proposals are due February 8, and completed papers will be circulated on March 1.

    I hope that you might circulate this email or invitation to others who might be interested and encourage them to participate in either session. I'm happy to answer questions.

    Johnson on Boss Hague, Arthur Vanderbilt and New Jersey's Courts

    Nelson Johnson has published Battleground New Jersey: Vanderbilt, Hague, and Their Fight for Justice, with the Rutgers University Press:
    New Jersey’s legal system was plagued with injustices from the time the system was established through the mid-twentieth century. In Battleground New Jersey, historian and author of Boardwalk Empire, Nelson Johnson chronicles reforms to the system through the dramatic stories of Arthur T. Vanderbilt—the first chief justice of the state’s modern-era Supreme Court—and Frank Hague—legendary mayor of Jersey City. Two of the most powerful politicians in twentieth-century America, Vanderbilt and Hague clashed on matters of public policy and over the need to reform New Jersey’s antiquated and corrupt court system. Their battles made headlines and eventually led to legal reform, transforming New Jersey’s court system into one of the most highly regarded in America.

    Vanderbilt’s power came through mastering the law, serving as dean of New York University Law School, preaching court reform as president of the American Bar Association, and organizing suburban voters before other politicians recognized their importance. Hague, a remarkably successful sixth-grade dropout, amassed his power by exploiting people’s foibles, crushing his rivals, accumulating a fortune through extortion, subverting the law, and taking care of business in his own backyard. They were different ethnically, culturally, and temperamentally, but they shared the goals of power.

    Relying upon previously unexamined personal files of Vanderbilt, Johnson’s engaging chronicle reveals the hatred the lawyer had for the mayor and the lengths Vanderbilt went to in an effort to destroy Hague. Battleground New Jersey illustrates the difficulty in adapting government to a changing world, and the vital role of independent courts in American society.

    Wednesday, January 14, 2015

    Jerome Hall Postdoctoral Fellowship at Indiana University-Bloomington

    Indiana University-Bloomington is accepting applications for the Jerome Hall Postdoctoral Fellowship. The application deadline (recently extended) is Friday, February 6, 2015.
    The Indiana University Center for Law, Society, and Culture will appoint two post-doctoral fellows for the 2015-16 academic year. We invite applications from scholars of law, the humanities, or social sciences working in the field of sociolegal studies. Pre-tenure scholars, recently awarded PhDs, and those with equivalent professional degrees are encouraged to apply. Advanced graduate students may also apply, but evidence of completion of the doctoral degree or its equivalent is required before beginning the fellowship.
    Fellows will devote a full academic year to research and writing in furtherance of a major scholarly project, and will receive a stipend plus a research allowance, health insurance, other benefits, and workspace at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. They will conduct research at Indiana University and participate in the activities of the Center, which include an annual symposium, a colloquia series, and regular workshops and lectures. (The term of the appointment will be 10 to 12 months, beginning August 1, 2015. The amount of the stipend will be the same regardless of the duration of the appointment.)
    For more information about how to apply, please visit: http://www.law.indiana.edu/centers/lawsociety/postdoctoral-fellowship.shtml
    You can find a list of former postdoctoral fellows here.

    African Legal History at ASLH 2015

    [We have the following announcement.]

    The American Society for Legal History (ASLH) invites paper submissions for its third pre-conference workshop, which will be held immediately preceding the ASLH annual meeting in Washington, DC on Thursday, October 29, 2015.  The ASLH Workshop is intended to promote scholarship in areas of legal history that have been underrepresented at ASLH meetings and in the Law and History Review.  The 2015 workshop topic is African Legal History, defined as including North Africa and without any temporal restriction.  The workshop is being sponsored by the ASLH in order to promote innovative approaches to the study of African legal history and to create a community of legal historians who research African legal issues.

    The Workshop will bring together authors and noted scholars in the field in order to work collaboratively toward refining scholarly writing.  In order to keep the workshop size small, only three papers will be selected from among responses to this general call.  Each selected paper will be assigned one commentator who will prepare substantive feedback about the structure, organization, methodology, and theoretical approaches of the paper.  All papers will be pre-circulated to participants and to commentators in advance of the workshop and must be read prior to the workshop meeting.  Authors will not present their papers at the workshop.  Instead, each commentator will be given half an hour to discuss his/her assigned paper, followed by half an hour of general discussion in the larger group.  In this way, each individual author will receive feedback from all the participants of the workshop.  ASLH will provide limited funding for travel expenses for authors of selected papers.  (Participation in the ASLH Legal History Workshop does not preclude individuals from presenting at the ASLH annual meeting.)

    We invite submissions that engage any aspect of African legal history from scholars at any point in their academic careers.  Interested authors should submit their work-in-progress papers to aslh.workshop@gmail.com on or before April 1, 2015.  Papers should include complete contact information, word count, and an abstract (identifying the specific geographical and temporal scope of the article); papers should not exceed 15,000 words (including footnotes).  Submissions must not have already appeared in print or have been accepted for publication.  Authors of selected papers will be notified on or before June 15, 2015.  Please direct questions to the ASLH Workshop Coordinator: Lena Salaymeh, at aslh.workshop@gmail.com.

    By participating in the workshop, authors agree to revise their papers thoroughly and to submit them for publication consideration with Law & History Review on or before February 1, 2016.  (Submissions to Law & History Review should be not more than 12,000 words, including footnotes.)  Authors participating in the Workshop consent to publishing in Law & History Review, if their article is accepted.

    Rudolph on Commonwealth v. Pullis (1806)

    Duane Rudolph has posted How Violence Killed an American Labor Union. It will appear in the Rutgers Law Review 67 (2015).  Here is the abstract:
    Alarmed by recent headlines regarding the demise of organized labor in the United States, I turn to the founding of the republic to show that hostility to labor unions has a long history. I rely on a foundational case from Pennsylvania, Commonwealth v. Pullis (1806), in which a shoemakers’ labor union was tried for conspiracy and crushed. Robert Cover’s seminal treatment of legal violence as an outcome at trials is central to my argument. I apply Cover’s definition of violence to the Pennsylvania case, and expand Cover's definition so that violence is not only visible in the result of the case, but also in the process driving the outcome, which includes the legislature, judge, lawyers, and the jury, and the context surrounding the trial. I argue that legal violence includes coercion; as such, violence is adaptive and insidious. It is powerful in its use of language and context. Overcoming such violence requires a redemptive act in which those disfavored by the law, like organized labor, recall their legal experience and, attracting new supporters, transform the legal landscape so that it accepts them.

    Tomlins Reviews Vinel's "Employee"

    Christopher Tomlins, University of California, Berkeley, Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program, has posted 'Those Who are Used': A Commentary on the Employee: A Political History, by Jean-Christian Vinel, which is forthcoming in Labor History.  Here is the abstract:
    This paper is a critical commentary on Jean-Christian Vinel’s 2013 book, The Employee: A Political History. In substance, Vinel’s book addresses the history and consequences of the failure of American unions to organize supervisory employees. However, as befits a book published in a series created “to reverse the fragmentation of modern U.S. history and to encourage synthetic perspectives on social movements and the state,” it ranges rather more broadly. Thus, the book is a legal and political history of a word (“employee”). It also attempts an intellectual history of American industrial relations theory, and of the course of labor relations law from the New Deal into the twenty-first century. It is also a brave effort to synthesize the distinct “critical” and “industrial realist” strains of labor relations history that spent the better part of the 1980s and 1990s, amid the unfolding, never-ending, crisis of American trade unionism, arguing over how to interpret the legacy of the New Deal’s collective bargaining policy. And it is an effort at a critique of both those positions (although Vinel’s sympathies are ultimately with the realists.) Finally, while indubitably an American history, The Employee is intermittently comparative. This commentary assesses sympathetically Vinel’s efforts, but parts company from his conclusions.

    Tuesday, January 13, 2015

    Annual Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition

    [We have the following announcement.]

    The Legal History and Rare Books (LH&RB) Section of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), in cooperation with Cengage Learning, announces the Seventh Annual Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition. The competition is named in honor of Morris L. Cohen, late Professor Emeritus of Law at Yale Law School.

    The competition is designed to encourage scholarship and to acquaint students with the AALL and law librarianship, and is open to students currently enrolled in accredited graduate programs in library science, law, history, and related fields. Essays may be on any topic related to legal history, rare law books, or legal archives. The winner will receive a $500.00 prize from Cengage Learning and up to $1,000 for expenses to attend the AALL Annual Meeting.

    The winner will receive a $500.00 prize from Cengage Learning and up to $1,000 for expenses associated with attendance at the AALL Annual Meeting. The runner-up will have the opportunity to publish the second-place essay in LH&RB's online scholarly journal Unbound: An Annual Review of Legal History and Rare Books.

    The entry form and instructions are available at the LH&RB website.   Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m., March 16, 2015 (EST).

    CFP: Law and Justice in Colonies and Post-Colonies

    [We have the following CFP for the Socio-Legal Studies Association 2015, conference, "Law and Justice in Colonies and Post-Colonies."  The deadline is January 19, 2015.]

    The focus of this theme will be on how the instrumentality of law was employed in the colonies to initiate and strengthen the control of the colonial regimes. Law in the context(s) of colonialism was inherently tied with the creation of a particular kind of knowledge – one based on classification, enumeration and creation of hierarchies of culture, power, customs and normative orders. This ‘violent’ and ‘totalising form of control’ (Dirks 1992) led not only to the fossilisation of local normative orderings, but also dramatically altered the nature of law and justice (as well as the state) in the colonies. This introduction of a particular colonial logic in relation to law and the state, arguably, did not end with the ‘de-colonial’ moment. Rather, some of the (quite strikingly similar) problems that we see today in post/former colonies have their roots in the legal and normative experiments that were carried out in these geographical locations during the colonial period.

    In this regard, the theme requests scholars and researchers working in this field to approach the issue from a variety of standpoints. Possible topics might include: the colonial legal experiments; the encounters between local and colonial legal and normative orders; legal histories; gender, law and colonial; nature of the state in (pre/post)colonial environment; the creation and governance of the colonial subject; transplantation of law and justice from Metropole to the colony, and so on.

    To submit an abstract, please [click here].

    James on the History of Cruelty in Australian Divorce

    Colin G. James, Newcastle Law School; has posted A History of Cruelty in Australian Divorce, which appeared in the 2006 ANZLH E-Journal.  Here is the abstract:    
    This paper examines the concept of matrimonial cruelty in Australia during the twentieth century. Cruelty was a matrimonial offence in Australian statutes and grounds for judicial separation or divorce until 1975. Most allegations of cruelty were by wives against their husbands. Judges often espoused on men's role as husbands, their use of power and the nature of hierarchy within marriage. I examine the background of matrimonial cruelty as it developed within English common law in the Australian colonies until Federation. While claiming to be doing justice, the courts used the grounds of cruelty in a strategy to preserve hierarchy in the marriage-based family by silencing women and empowering men. The theory was that men were 'naturally' superior to women in ways that were good for the family and ultimately for social stability. Until the 1970s, the Australian man had a legal duty to control his wife as much as a wife had a duty to obey her husband. The legal endorsement of patriarchy over decades reinforced misogynist attitudes in men as much as it provoked ultimately successful feminist demands for reform. Cruelty was abolished with all matrimonial offences by the Family Law Act 1975 however the controlling attitudes remained, to materialise in a new regime of domestic violence.

    Özsu's "Formalizing Displacement"

    Umut Özsu, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Manitoba, has recently published Formalizing Displacement: International Law and Population Transfers, with Oxford University Press.:
    Large-scale population transfers are immensely disruptive. Interestingly, though, their legal status has shifted considerably over time. In this book, Umut Özsu situates population transfer within the broader history of international law by examining its emergence as a legally formalized mechanism of nation-building in the early twentieth century. The book's principal focus is the 1922-34 compulsory exchange of minorities between Greece and Turkey, a crucially important endeavour whose legal dimensions remain under-scrutinized. Drawing upon historical sociology and economic history in addition to positive international law, the book interrogates received assumptions about international law's history by exploring the 'semi-peripheral' context within which legally formalized population transfers came to arise.

    Supported by the League of Nations, the 1922-34 population exchange reconfigured the demographic composition of Greece and Turkey with the aim of stabilizing a region that was regarded neither as European nor as non-European. The scope and ambition of the undertaking was staggering: over one million were expelled from Turkey, and over a quarter of a million were expelled from Greece. The book begins by assessing minority protection's development into an instrument of intra-European governance during the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It then shows how population transfer emerged in the 1910s and 1920s as a radical alternative to minority protection in Anatolia and the Balkans, focusing in particular on the 1922-3 Conference of Lausanne, at which a peace settlement formalizing the compulsory Greek-Turkish exchange was concluded. Finally, it analyses the Permanent Court of International Justice's 1925 advisory opinion in Exchange of Greek and Turkish Populations, contextualizing it in the wide-ranging debates concerning humanitarianism and internationalism that pervaded much of the exchange process.
    Here's the TOC:

    1: The Ottoman Empire and the International Law of Minority Protection, 1815-1923
    2: Early Experiments in Population Transfer, 1913-9
    3: 'A Subject Which Excites the Deepest Interest Throughout the Civilised World': Legal Diplomacy at the Conference of Lausanne
    4: Humanitarianism, the World Court, and the Relation between Domestic and International Law

    Monday, January 12, 2015

    ASLH 2015: CFP

    [We have the following call for proposals.]

    The 2015 annual meeting of the American Society for Legal History (ASLH) will take place in Washington, DC, October 29 – Nov 1, 2015. The Program Committee invites proposals on any facet or period of legal history, anywhere in the world. We also encourage thematic proposals that range across traditional chronological or geographical fields. In selecting presenters, preference will be given to those who did not present at the 2014 annual meeting.

    Travel grants (covering airfare and ground transportation) will be available for presenters in need, who must first seek support from their home institution. These resources are limited, and priority will be given to presenters traveling from abroad, graduate students, post-docs, and independent scholars.

    The Program Committee welcomes proposals for both full panels and individual papers, though please note that individual papers are less likely to be accepted. The Committee encourages the submission of a variety of different types of panel proposals, including: traditional 3-paper panels (with a separate chair-commentator); incomplete panels lacking either one paper or a chair-commentator (whether 2-paper panels with a chair-commentator, or 3-paper panels without a chair-commentator), which the Committee will try to complete; author-meets-reader panels; and roundtable discussions.

    All panel proposals should include the following:

    A single page listing the panel title, the titles of each paper, complete contact information for each presenter (including chair-commentator), and any special scheduling requests. (Note that we may not be able to accommodate all scheduling requests.)

        a 300-word description of the panel
        a c.v. for each presenter
        for paper-based panels only: a 300-word abstract of each paper

    Individual paper proposals should include:

        a short (3 page) c.v. for each presenter (including complete contact information)
        a 300-word abstract of the paper

    Please note that AV equipment/PowerPoint capabilities will not be available.

    The deadline for submitting proposals is March 15, 2015. Proposals should be sent as email attachments to proposals@aslh.net.  Substantive questions should also be directed to the Program Committee co-chairs, Martha Jones and Charlotte Walker-Said, at proposals@aslh.net.  Those unable to send proposals as email attachments may mail hard copies to: 2015 ASLH Program Committee, c/o Charlotte Walker-Said, John Jay College-CUNY, 524 W. 59th St. New York, NY, 10019.

    Tomlins's Foreword to "Law As ... III"

    Christopher Tomlins, University of California, Berkeley Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program, has posted Foreword. 'Law as …' III – Glossolalia: Toward a Minor (Historical) Jurisprudence, which is forthcoming in U.C. Irvine Law Review 5  (2015).  Here is the abstract:
    This paper serves as foreword and introduction to the third collection of essays produced under the auspices of the biennial “Law As …” conference, held at the University of California Irvine School of Law. The third conference took place in March 2014; the essays presented there are be published in a symposium issue of the U.C. Irvine Law Review in 2015. Following on from the first (April 2010) and second (March 2012) conferences, the third further develops the distinctive trajectory of “Law As …” as a mode of legal study situated at the intersection of law, the humanities, and the social sciences. Each of the three conferences, and resulting collections of articles [see 1 U.C. Irvine L. Rev. 519 (2011), and 4 U.C. Irvine L. Rev. 1 (2014), has had its own distinctive character, but on each occasion the intent has been to engage in a double move: to deploy history as an interpretive practice – a theory, a methodology, a philosophy – with which to engage law; and simultaneously to offer history as a substantive arena in which other interpretive practices from across the broad spectrum of the humanities and social sciences can undertake their own engagement with law. The result is a multi-year work in progress that has arced in the direction of locating “Law As …” in the realm of jurisprudence. As this introduction explains, that tendency is rendered explicit in the latest collection, which embraces the distinctive template of "minor jurisprudence

    Law & Social Inquiry's Graduate Student Paper Competition

    [We have the following announcement.]

    The editors of Law & Social Inquiry are pleased to announce our annual competition for the best journal-length paper in the field of sociolegal studies written by a graduate or law student. Law & Social Inquiry publishes empirical and theoretical studies of sociolegal processes from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Entries will be accepted starting January 1, 2015 and must be received by March 1, 2015.

    LSI invites direct submissions from graduate and law students and nominations of student work from faculty. The author must be a graduate student or law student at the time the paper was written and when submitted. Faculty nominations should include a short description along with the paper and contact details for the student. The winning paper will be published in Law & Social Inquiry and the author(s) will receive a total cash prize of $500 (US). Submissions will be judged by the editors. The winning submission will be sent to selected scholars for advisory reviews to aid with revisions prior to publication.

    Please send your best work in Microsoft Word or as a PDF to: lsi-abf@abfn.org. Please indicate (1) your intention is to be considered for the prize competition; (2) confirm your graduate student status; and (3) that the paper is a sole submission to Law & Social Inquiry, meaning that you have not submitted it to other journals for potential publication. Submission is limited to one paper per student; articles may not be altered or resubmitted with corrections once it has been received by our office.

    Submissions must include a title page with a complete mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number(s). The second page should include a 100-150 (maximum) word abstract. Beginning on the third page, all pages should be paginated. Text, footnotes, endnotes, and references should be double-spaced, in Times New Roman 12 font, with 1.5” margins on all sides with no headers or footers. Properly formatted submissions must be no more than 60 manuscript pages.

    [Additional information is here and here or at the LSI’s office:  (312) 988-6517.

    Boucai, "Glorious Precedents: When Gay Marriage was Radical"

    Michael Boucai (State University of New York, Buffalo, Law School) has posted "Glorious Precedents: When Gay Marriage was Radical." The article is forthcoming in the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities. Here's the abstract:
    In the years immediately following the Stonewall riots of June 1969, a period when “gay liberation” rather than “gay rights” described the ambitions of a movement, three marriage cases made their way to and beyond trial: Baker v. Nelson in Minnesota, Jones v. Hallahan in Kentucky, and Singer v. Hara in Washington State. This article offers a detailed account of that early trilogy. It shows that, contrary to received wisdom, Stonewall-era marriage litigation was faithful to gay liberation’s radical aspirations. The Baker, Jones, and Singer lawsuits deployed marriage’s symbolic cachet to proclaim homosexuality’s equality, legal and moral, in a society that almost ubiquitously criminalized its practice. They protested the traditional gender roles that gay liberationists located at the heart of their oppression and that marriage, at the time, not only fostered but legally prescribed. They provided a platform from which to critique other aspects of marriage, such as the rule of monogamy and the state’s coercive, intrusive preference for a particular form of intimate association. Perhaps most importantly, these cases were sensational advertisements of gay people, gay relationships, and the nascent gay liberation movement. The first gay marriage plaintiffs were closely affiliated with that movement and, despite widespread antipathy toward marriage, fellow liberationists generally applauded the lawsuits as effective vehicles for declaring the movement’s existence and communicating several of its most important messages. This history, important in its own right, allows us to grasp some of the underlying stakes and radical possibilities of the signal gay rights issue of our time.
    The full article is available for download here, at SSRN.

    Hat tip: Legal Theory Blog

    Sunday, January 11, 2015

    Sunday Book Roundup

    After a two week vacation, we have several book reviews to highlight for Legal History Blog readers.

    The Nation has a review of Naomi Murakawa's book, The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison in America (Oxford University Press).
    "This is the fundamental thesis of Murakawa’s book: legal civil rights and the American carceral state are built on the same conceptions of race, the state and their relationship. As liberals believe that racism is first and foremost a question of individual bias, they imagine racism can be overcome by removing the discretion of (potentially racist) individuals within government through a set of well-crafted laws and rules. If obviously discriminatory laws can be struck down, and judges, statesmen or administrators aren’t allowed to give reign to their racism, then the system should achieve racially just outcomes. But even putting aside the fact that a removal of individual discretion is impossible, such a conception of “fairness” applies just as easily to producing sentencing minimums as school desegregation."
    The Civil Rights Movement was especially prominent in book reviews over the last few weeks. Both the The Washington Post (here) and The New York Times reviewed Jason Sokol's All Eyes Are Upon Us: Race and Politics From Boston to Brooklyn (Basic Books).
    "If, as many believe, America’s experiment in postracialism is over, then “All Eyes Are Upon Us” is a prescient book that offers a great deal to explain a national self-deception of stunning brevity. According to Jason Sokol, whose anecdotally rich first book, “There Goes My Everything,” tracked white Southerners variously coping in the civil rights era, historians have paid insufficient attention to the Janus-faced responses of white Northerners to the struggles of black Americans."
    Also in Civil Rights Movement history is Darryl Pinckney's Blackballed: The Black Vote and US Democracy (NY Review of Books), reviewed in The Washington Post. Pinckney also has a piece, "In Ferguson," in the latest issue of The New York Review of Books.

    Salon has published an excerpt from The Professor and the President: Daniel Patrick Moynihan in the Nixon White House by Stephen Hess (Brookings Institute Press).

    An excerpt from Mark Dostert's Up in Here: Jailing Kids on Chicago's Other Side (University of Iowa Press) titled, "My juvenile confinement horror: What it's like inside Chicago's infamous jail for kids," is published in Salon.

    The Los Angeles Review of Books has a review of William Maxwell's F.B. Eyes: How J. Edgar Hoover's Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature (Princeton University Press).
    "With an approach that is both empirical — Maxwell has pored over thousands of pages of government files — and Foucauldian in its inquiry into historical concepts, F.B. Eyes reveals the canon of modern black literature to have been powerfully and dialogically shaped by Hoover’s ghostreaders."
    Julian Zelizer's new book, The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society (Penguin) is discussed by Zelizer and Scott Porch.

    Continuing with a focus on race, there were several reviews of books on slavery. For example, New Books in History has a new interview with Randy Sparks discussing his book, Negroes Are Masters: An African Port in the Era of the Slave Trade (Harvard University Press). H-Net has a review of Rebecca Shumway's The Fante and the Transatlantic Slave Trade (University of Rochester Press). And, The Daily Beast has an excerpt about "The Black Man Who Replaced Jefferson Davis in the Senate," from Phillip Dray's book, Capitol Men: The Epic Story of Reconstruction Through the Lives of the First Black Congressmen (Mariner Books, 2010).

    There's more Civil War history in a H-Net review of Kathryn Shively Meier's Nature's Civil War: Common Soldiers and the Environment in 1862 Virginia (University of North Carolina Press).

    Defining Democracy: Electoral Reform and the Struggle for Power in New York City is discussed with the book's author, Daniel Prosterman on New Books in History.

    In international law, H-Net adds a few reviews of note: the first is a review of the volume edited by Jeffrey Runoff and Mark Pollack, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on International Law and International Relations: The State of the Art (Cambridge University Press). Also on H-Net is a review of Accessible Citizenships: Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico by Julie Avril Minich (Temple University Press), as is Ryan Irwin's Gordian Knot: Apartheid and the Unmaking of the Liberal World Order (Oxford University Press) (here).

    Salon has yet another excerpt, this time from The Cause of All Nations: An International History of the American Civil War (Basic Books) by Don Doyle.

    And finally, Sven Beckert's Empire of Cotton: A Global History (Knopf) is reviewed in The Washington Post.

    And, if you're interested in that kind of thing, there continue to be several end-of-year booklists that include legal history, including this one from The Washington Post.