Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bruce Mann Slated to Be ASLH President-Elect

From the election materials on the American Society of Legal History's website, we learn that Bruce H. Mann, Harvard Law School, is on the ballot as the ASLH's president-elect, whose two-year term as president would, assuming that he prevails in the uncontested election, follow that of Constance Backhouse, which commences later this year. The Nominating Committee reports:
Bruce H. Mann is the Carl F. Schipper, Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He has also taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Washington University in St. Louis, and the universities of Connecticut, Houston, Texas, and Michigan, and in the Department of History at Princeton. He has been a member of the Society and attended all but one or two annual meetings since 1976, when he was a graduate student. He has twice served on the Board of Directors and has chaired the Publications Committee since 2001. He has also been a member of the Nominating Committee, the Surrency Prize Committee, and three Program Committees, including as chair for the 1986 annual meeting in Toronto. He has presented or commented on papers and chaired panels at ten annual meetings. He was editor of Law & History Review from 1987-1993.

His first book, Neighbors and Strangers: Law and Community in Early Connecticut, was published in the Society's Studies in Legal History series. His other publications include The Many Legalities of Early America, which he co-edited with Christopher Tomlins, and articles and essays in various history journals and law reviews. His most recent book, Republic of Debtors: Bankruptcy in the Age of American Independence, received prizes from the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, the American Historical Association, and the Law and Society Association. His primary research interest is the relationship among law, economy, and society in early America, although he occasionally writes on the law of wills and charitable foundations.

He is a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society and an elected Member of the American Antiquarian Society, and is a long-time member of the Advisory Council of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies in Philadelphia.
According to the University of Ottawa's website, Constance Backhouse, whose tenure as president begins this year,
holds the positions of Distinguished University Professor and University Research Chair at the University of Ottawa. She teaches in the areas of criminal law, human rights, legal history, and women and the law.

Professor Backhouse's most recent book is Carnal Crimes: Sexual Assault Law in Canada, 1900-1975 (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2008). She is the co-author, along with her sister, the Hon. Justice Nancy L. Backhouse, of The Heiress versus the Establishment: Mrs. Campbell’s Campaign for Legal Justice (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2004), which was named by the Literary Review of Canada as one of the five “books most likely to become classics of their kind” for the year 2004. It was also selected by The Beaver magazine as a “Book Club Title” for 2005, and short-listed for the Toronto Book Award in 2005. She is the author of Colour-Coded: A Legal History of Racism in Canada,1900-1950 (Toronto: U of T Press, 1999), which was awarded the 2002 Joseph Brant Award as the “best book in multicultural history published within the past three years” by the Ontario Historical Society. Her book, Petticoats and Prejudice: Women and the Law in Nineteenth-Century Canada (Toronto: Women’s Press, 1991), was awarded the 1992 Willard Hurst Prize in American Legal History by the Law and Society Association. Another of her books, Challenging Times: The Women’s Movement in Canada and the United States (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s U. Press), co-edited with David H. Flaherty, was named the 1993 “Outstanding Book on the Subject of Human Rights in the United States” by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in the U.S. She is the co-author with Leah Cohen of two books on sexual harassment: Sexual Harassment on the Job (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1981) and The Secret Oppression: Sexual Harassment of Working Women (Toronto: Macmillan, 1979). The latter was the first book published in Canada on the topic, and the second in North America.
The members of the nominating committee are Barbara Welke (Chair), Christina Duffy Burnett, Christopher Capozzola, Amalia Kessler, and David S. Tanenhaus.

Update: A column summarizing an account of the sexism prevalent during Professor Backhouse's law school days is here.

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