This panel will examine innovative and original research being done into the legal history of the American South. Drawing on their current work and also insights from a forthcoming edited collection, Signposts: New Directions in Southern Legal History (University of Georgia Press), this panel asks new questions and considers new approaches to issues that have long dominated the field, including the role of the law in maintaining and then eradicating slavery, in providing for racial equality, voting rights, property rights and the role of law in the creation and maintenance of a Southern culture. The panelists bring renewed attention to the role of Southern moderates in ongoing legal battles, to alternative conceptions of legal pluralism, and to a greater understanding of Southern history from the “bottom-up” as well as new analysis of the legal reasoning at work in cases like Bakke and San Antonio v. Rodriguez. A broad sweep of history will be considered, and the panelists will discuss work that ranges from the 17th century to the late 20th century.
Moderator: Alfred L. Brophy, University of North Carolina School of Law
Sally Hadden, Western Michigan University
Patricia Minter, Western Kentucky University
Christopher Schmidt, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology
Anders Walker, Saint Louis University School of Law