Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Last Call (for Papers): Policy History 2016

[Note that the deadline for submissions in this CFP is Friday, December 4.]

The Institute for Political History, the Journal of Policy History, the Department of Government, University of Texas at Austin, and the Peabody College of Vanderbilt University are hosting the ninth biennial Conference on Policy History at the Loews® Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee from Wednesday, June 1 to Saturday, June 4, 2016.

We are currently accepting panel and paper proposals on all topics regarding American political and policy history, political development, and comparative historical analysis. Complete sessions, including two or three presenters with chair/commentator(s), and individual paper proposals are welcome. Participants may only appear once as a presenter in the program.

The deadline for submission is December 4, 2015. Proposals for panels and papers must be submitted online at the links  below, and must include the following:

1. Name(s)
2. Institutional Affiliation(s)
3. Status (i.e. ABD, Doctoral Student, Assistant/Associate/Full Professor)
4. Email address(es).
5. Mailing Address(es).
6. Panel and paper title(s).
7. One (1) 150 word abstract of panel and papers in Microsoft Word or PDF format.
8. 75 word description of each presenter or panel participant including educational background, major publications, awards or fellowships, also in Microsoft Word or PDF format.

Submit paper proposals here.  Submit panel proposals here

The 2016 Policy History Conference will also feature two outstanding plenary sessions.  Organized by conference co-chairs Christopher Loss of Vanderbilt University and Bartholomew Sparrow of the University of Texas at Austin, these panels are not only timely in their nature but will examine the changing role of authority and ideology in American political culture.

Liberalism in America

Andrew Rehfeld, Washington University in St. Louis
William Rorabaugh, University of Washington
Rogers Smith, University of Pennsylvania
Jeffrey Tulis, The University of Texas at Austin

Technology and the State

Angus Burgin, The Johns Hopkins University
Sarah Igo, Vanderbilt University
Margaret O'Mara, University of Washington
John Skrentny, University of California - San Diego

Mirow on Latin American Constitutions, Part 1

Thank you for the warm welcome, Dan and Legal History Blog.  I am delighted to spend this month as a guest and, as requested, to tell you about my book Latin American Constitutions.

This is a photo of the Constitution Monument in St. Augustine, Florida, I took a couple of years ago.  The monument is in some ways responsible for the book.  It seemed so odd to me that in this small town in northern Florida there would be a relatively large obelisk dedicated to the Spanish Constitution of 1812, often called the Constitution of Cádiz, or, by its nickname, La Pepa. (It was promulgated on March 19, 1812, the Feast of San José.  Pepe is the nickname for José, and Pepa is the feminine form. Constitutions are feminine in Spanish.)  I could go on about the monument, but I won’t here because I have a piece coming out next year on it and its place in constitutional iconography.  Interested folks should take a look at the essays in Hensel, Bock, Dircksen and Thamer’s Constitutional Cultures: On the Concept and Representation of Constitutions in the Atlantic World (2012), Goodrich’s Legal Emblems and the Art of Law (2014), and Narváez’s Cultura Jurídica: Ideas e Imágenes (2010).   
The monument and the bicentennial of the Constitution led me to think first about the constitution itself and then what it was doing in Florida.  Alain Wijffels was instrumental in pointing me in this direction, and I explored these ideas during my 2009 sabbatical in Chile after my colleague Stanley Fish helped me define the topic and the direction it should take.  Because I had written a history of private law in Latin America, I wanted to see what I could do to explain the development of constitutional law in the region.  In 2010, when Austin Sarat asked me to contribute to a symposium on history and law, I made my first stab at understanding the Constitution in Visions of Cádiz.  This was followed by an article in 2012 on the promulgation of the Constitution in colonial Spanish Florida in 1812 and again in 1820, The Constitution of Cádiz in Florida.

While working on the Visions contribution in 2010, I sent a letter to Cambridge University Press to see if there was any interest in the project.  I haven’t looked at the letter in over five years, but this opportunity prompted me to see what I said.  I wrote then, “This book does two things.  First, it provides a general historical introduction to the major themes and issues in Latin American constitutionalism from just before independence to the present day.  Second, it uses the Constitution of Cádiz (1812) as the lens through which important issues and changes in Latin American constitutionalism are viewed.”  I am glad to see that this is about right, at least in my understanding of what I have written.  I look forward to sharing more about the book over the next few weeks.

A Symposium on Woeste's "Henry Ford's War on the Jews"

Just out online in the (gated) 40:4 (Fall 2015) issue of Law and Social Inquiry is a symposium on Henry Ford's War on Jews and the Legal Battle Against Hate Speech (2012), by Victoria Saker Woeste, Research Professor, American Bar Foundation (and a former LHB Guest Blogger).

Donna C. Schuele, Reflections on Henry Ford's War on Jews
This essay provides an introduction to and overview of four essays that emerged from an “Author Meets Readers” session at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association, considering Victoria Saker Woeste's book, Henry Ford's War on Jews and the Legal Battle Against Hate Speech. Three essays are authored by panelists (Aviam Soifer, Carroll Seron, and Clyde Spillenger) and a final essay is provided by Woeste. The essays explore larger themes suggested by the book, including what the involvement of Louis Marshall reveals about the rise and role of spokespeople purporting to represent Jewish interests; whether the arc of Aaron Sapiro's education and career challenges our understandings of the development of the legal profession in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; and how the law of group libel intersected with government attempts to regulate hate speech during the twentieth century. Woeste ends the symposium with a reconsideration of Henry Ford's War and how it fits into the new civil rights history.
Aviam Soifer, The Spokesman Conundrum: “Is It Good for the Jews?”
Battles concerning who legitimately speaks for minority groups pervade US history. The historically decentralized organization of American Jewry affords a prime example of this key leadership dilemma. Competing approaches to how to deal with Henry Ford's virulent anti-Semitism and extensive hate speech in the 1920s underscore the familiar, yet seldom carefully analyzed, tension between confrontation and negotiation that is often faced by outside groups and their spokesmen who seek change, wish to defend themselves, and/or hope for increased inclusion.
Carroll Seron,  Prestige, Networks, and Social Mobility Among Lawyers: A View from California of Woeste's book, Henry Ford's War on Jews and the Legal Battle Against Hate Speech
In Henry Ford's War on Jews and the Legal Battle Against Hate Speech (2012), Victoria Saker Woeste raises provocative questions for students of the legal profession. Aaron Sapiro, an Eastern European, Jewish immigrant to California, rose to international prominence through his corporate specialization in agricultural cooperatives. Our understanding of the social structure of the legal profession, based on studies of the East and Midwest, shows that for most of the twentieth century, the structure of the bar was highly stratified around markers of ethno-religious status. The trajectory of Sapiro's career does not fit this story. A focus on the West generally or California in particular complicates our understanding of how factors such as ethno-religious background, social networks, career mobility, and prestige interact.
Clyde Spillenger, Hate Speech, Group Libel, and “Ford's Megaphone”
This essay on Victoria Saker Woeste's Henry Ford's War on Jews and the Legal Battle Against Hate Speech (2012) emphasizes that what made Ford's broadsides against Jews in the 1920s so dangerous was technology—his command of an unparalleled network of distribution, through his nationwide Ford dealerships. In addition, at the time of Ford's libels, US legal culture had not yet absorbed the idea that ideological and psychological subordination of minority groups was the principal harm worked by what would later be called “hate speech.”
Victoria Saker Woeste, Framing Henry Ford's War: Representation, Speech, and the New Civil Rights History
In this essay, I respond to three readers of my book, Henry Ford's War and the Legal Battle Against Hate Speech, by embracing the opportunity to reconsider the book's theoretical and historiographical frames. I synthesize the contributions that Clyde Spillenger, Carroll Seron, and Aviam Soifer make in their deep readings of the book and respond to their criticisms. I then place the book into a new interpretive frame that is emerging in the field of the “new civil rights history,” as it is now being conceptualized in the work of Risa Goluboff, Kenneth Mack, Tomiko Brown-Nagin, and others writing on civil rights advocacy in the twentieth-century United States.

Welcome, Matthew Mirow!

We welcome as this month's guest blogger Matthew Mirow, professor of law at the Florida International University College of Law  The holder of doctorates in law from Leiden and Cambridge universities, as well as a JD from Cornell, Professor Mirow is the author of Latin American Law: A History of Private Law and Institutions in Spanish America (University of Texas Press, 2004); Florida’s First Constitution: The Constitution of Cádiz (Carolina Academic Press, 2012); and, just this year, Latin American Constitutions: The Constitution of Cádiz and its Legacy in Spanish America (Cambridge University Press, 2015).  “Although drafted in Spain,” Professor Mirow explains, the Constitution of Cádiz “was applied in many regions of Latin America, and deputies from America formed a significant part of the drafting body. The politicization of constitutionalism reflected in Latin America's first moments proved to be a lasting legacy evident in the legal and constitutional world of the region today: many of Latin America's present challenges to establishing effective constitutionalism can be traced to the debates, ideas, structures, and assumptions of this text.”


Monday, November 30, 2015

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Penn Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism Program (Dec. 15 deadline)

With apologies for the belated posting, we have word of the following postdoctoral fellowship opportunity. Note the December 15 deadline:
JMC Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Penn DCC Program
2016-2017 Academic Year
Application Deadline: December 15, 2015.
The Penn Program on Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism (DCC) invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellowship, created in partnership with the Jack Miller Center.  The position is for one year, renewable for a second year upon satisfactory performance. The Program welcomes both empirical and normative scholarship from scholars in any discipline who intend to pursue an academic career primarily aimed at advancing learning on the governmental and economic institutions of the United States, especially their historical roots in the principles and politics of the Constitution’s founding era, and the ideas, debates, and contests that have shaped their subsequent development.
The JMC Postdoctoral Fellow in the DCC Program is expected to participate in the faculty seminar series, teach an Undergraduate Seminar on a related topic, and join monthly meetings to discuss the progress of undergraduates receiving research grants. The Fellow also has the opportunity to pursue the Fellow’s research and participate generally in the intellectual life of the Penn community. Stipend is $50,000 plus benefits, including health insurance.
The Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism program is an interdisciplinary initiative, now in its eight year, that includes a faculty seminar series and annual conference on themes chosen by the Program’s Faculty Executive Committee; a graduate workshop series; and undergraduate research grants.
Applicants should have received the PhD no earlier than May 2011 but must have completed all requirements for the PhD by September 30, 2016.
Applications should be made through Interfolio at http://apply.interfolio.com/32433
Hat tip: H-Law

Grossman on Medical Licensing in Gilded-Age America

Lewis A. Grossman, American University, Washington College of Law, visiting at Cornell Law School, has posted Orthodoxy and "The Other Man's Doxy": Medical Licensing and Medical Freedom in the Gilded Age.
This is a draft of Chapter Two of my book-in-progress under contract with Oxford University Press titled You Can Choose Your Medicine: Freedom of Therapeutic Choice in American History and Law. This chapter shows how freedom of therapeutic choice remained an influential theme in American policy and thought in the Gilded Age. Despite the almost universal restoration of medical licensing after the Civil War, the new licensing regimes were drafted and enforced in ways that protected the rights of practitioners and patients of nonorthodox schools of medicine.

This chapter starts by briefly describing the main alternative medical sects during the Gilded Age, including Homeopathy, Eclectic medicine, Christian Science, and Mind Cure. It then examines the resurgence of medical licensing and shows how the continuing popular preference for freedom of therapeutic choice was reflected in the medical licensing statutes as written and implemented. The chapter considers the meaning and impact of Dent v. West Virginia, the 1889 Supreme Court case upholding medical licensing, and it explains how courts, largely as a result of this decision, played little role in guaranteeing freedom of therapeutic choice during this period.

Chapter Two then explores the content of the arguments directed against discriminatory medical licensing in the Gilded Age. It discusses how these arguments were “constitutional,” even though they occurred almost entirely outside of court. The chapter considers the persistence of four strains of medical freedom rhetoric from the antebellum years (bodily freedom, economic freedom, freedom of belief, and freedom of inquiry), and it also identifies some important differences between the anti-licensing literature of the two eras. Chapter Two concludes by examining the overall political philosophy of medical freedom activists during this period, in particular the extent of their libertarianism.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday Book Roundup

After the heavy and filling meals of Thanksgiving, here is a light version of the Sunday Book Roundup:

Akhil Reed Amar reviews Justice Stephen Breyer's The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities (Knopf) for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

H-Net has a review of Max M. Edling's A Hercules in the Cradle: War, Money, and the American State, 1783-1867 (University of Chicago Press).

There's also a review of Edward O'Donnell's Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality: Progress and Poverty in the Gilded Age (Columbia University Press).

The New Books series adds two new interviews: one with Robert Stoker, who discusses his book Urban Neighborhoods in a New Era: Revitalization Politics in the Postindustrial City (University of Chicago Press); and a second interview with Hina Azam, who discusses her new book, Sexual Violation in Islamic Law: Substance, Evidence, and Procedure (Cambridge University Press).

And, as I noted last week, best book lists have started to emerge. Here's a few more.

"Notable Nonfiction of 2015" from The Washington Post includes many legal and legal history books such as Melvin Urofsky's Dissent and the Supreme Court: Its Role in the Court's History and the Nation's Constitutional Dialogue (Pantheon), Linda Horseman's Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World (Harper), and Will Haygood's Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America (Knopf).

The New York Times offers "100 Notable Books of 2015," which includes Ari Berman's Give Us The Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux).