Showing posts with label ASLH. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ASLH. Show all posts

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Weekend Roundup

  • New from Quid Pro Books is a republication of Marc Galanter’s Why the Haves Come Out Ahead: The Classic Essay and New Observations, on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of Galanter's “canonical, much-cited article.”  The book includes almost 90 pages of new commentary and applications by Galanter, Robert W. Gordon (Stanford), and Shauhin Talesh (UC Irvine).
  • We learned today that Patti Minter, longtime chair of the ASLH's Membership Committee, has fought the good fight long enough and will not be seeking another term as faculty member on the Board of Regents of Western Kentucky University.
Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History bloggers.

Monday, September 15, 2014

ASLH Annual Meeting Program

And, while we're at it, we should note that the preliminary version of the program for the annual meeting if the American Society for Legal History is now up available through the ASLH's website.  The meeting will be in Denver, November 6-9.

ASLH Elections Now Open

[We have the following announcement from the folks at the American Society for Legal History.]

The election slate and ballot for the American Society for Legal History (ASLH) board of directors and members of the nominating committee is now posted here.  Simply scroll down the front page and you will find this news item and the directions to follow for submitting your ballot. The election ends at midnight, October 6. Get your ballot in, and have your voice be counted!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Weekend Roundup

    • Via The Junto: Advice on running social media feeds for historical organizations and history departments. (Takeaway: your department should really be tweeting about your accomplishments!)
    • Have you registered for ASLH 2014 in Denver yet?  (Hotel information will be sent to registrants automatically upon completing the registration process.  If  the hotel's website claims it is fully booked, try calling.)  The opening reception is in the Colorado Supreme Court from 4-6pm on Thursday, November 6.
    Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History bloggers.

    Monday, June 23, 2014

    ASLH Workshop on Medieval Legal History

    [We have the following announcement.]

    The ASLH Workshop on Medieval Legal History will take place on Thursday, 6 November 2014, from 9am - 1pm.  Three selected papers will be discussed:

    1.           “’Varied are the opinions of doctors’: canon law and the expulsion of the Jews in the late middle ages” by Rowan Dorin (Harvard), with commentary by Karl Shoemaker (Wisconsin)

    2.           “The devil’s daughter of hell fire: the role of anger in medieval English felony adjudication” by Elizabeth Papp Kamali (Michigan), with commentary by David Seipp (Boston U)

    3.           “Writing Fiction as Law: The Story in Grágás,” by Thomas J. McSweeney (William & Mary), with commentary by Stefan Jurasinski (Brockport)

    The Workshop is not an open session and attendees of the ASLH annual meeting who would like to participate must register to attend.  During the Workshop, authors will not present or speak about their own papers.  Papers will be sent to all registered attendees in advance.  Each paper will be discussed by the commentator for half an hour and by all attendees for another half hour.  To register, please contact the ASLH Workshop Coordinator, Lena Salaymeh, at aslh.workshop@gmail.com.

    Monday, May 19, 2014

    Call for Applications: ASLH Student Research Colloquium

    We have the following announcement from the ASLH:
    In November of 2014, the American Society for Legal History (ASLH) will host a Student Research Colloquium (SRC) in conjunction with its annual meeting. The colloquium will offer a small group of graduate and law students an opportunity to work intensively on in-progress research projects under the guidance of distinguished ASLH-affiliated scholars. The Colloquium will take place at the ASLH conference site in Denver, Colorado, on Wednesday, November 5, and Thursday, November 6. The SRC seeks applications from post-coursework graduate students, as well as law students interested in legal history. Preference will be given to students in the early stages of dissertation and other research. Each participating student will pre-circulate an in-progress paper of no more than fifteen pages, double-spaced, to the entire group. These papers will provide the foundation for discussion at the colloquium. Participants will receive stipends that will at least partially defray the travel, hotel, and registration costs associated with the annual meeting. A student can be on the annual program and participate in the SRC in the same year. Students working in all chronological and geographical fields are encouraged to apply. Applicants should submit the following materials: 
    - a cover letter 
    - a CV 
    - one letter of recommendation from a faculty mentor/adviser 
    - a two-page, single-spaced “research statement” describing an in-progress research project (e.g., a dissertation or a substantial law review article) 
    The application deadline is July 1, 2014. Organizers will notify all applicants of their decisions by August 15, 2014. Please direct questions and applications to John Wertheimer.

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

    ASLH Call for Applications: 2014 Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars

    The American Society for Legal History has issued the following call for applications:
    Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars 
    Named after the late Kathryn T. Preyer, a distinguished historian of the law of early America known for her generosity to young legal historians, the program of Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars is designed to help legal historians at the beginning of their careers. At the annual meeting of the Society two younger legal historians designated Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars will present what would normally be their first papers to the Society. The generosity of Professor Preyer’s friends and family has enabled the Society to offer a small honorarium to the Preyer Scholars and to reimburse, in some measure or entirely, their costs of attending the meeting. The competition for Preyer Scholars is organized by the Society’s Kathryn T. Preyer Memorial Committee.
    Submissions are welcome on any topic in legal, institutional and/or constitutional history.  Early career scholars, including those pursuing graduate or law degrees, those who have completed their terminal degree within the previous year, and those independent scholars at a comparable stage, are eligible to apply. Papers already submitted to the ASLH Program Committee–whether or not accepted for an existing panel–and papers never previously submitted are equally eligible. Once selected, Preyer Award winners must present their paper as part of the Preyer panel, and they will be removed from any other panel.
    Submissions should be a single MS Word document consisting of a complete curriculum vitae, contact information, and a complete draft of the paper to be presented. Papers must not exceed 40 pages (12 point font, double-spaced) and must contain supporting documentation. In past competitions, the Committee has given preference to draft articles and essays, though the Committee will still consider shorter conference papers. as one of the criteria for selection will be the suitability of the paper for reduction to a twenty-minute oral presentation. The deadline for submission is June 15, 2014.
    Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars will receive a $500 cash award and reimbursement of expenses up to $750 for travel, hotels, and meals. Each will present the paper that s/he submitted to the competition at the Society’s annual meeting in Denver, Colorado, on November 6-9, 2014.  The Society’s journal, Law and History Review, has published several past winners of the Preyer competition, though it is under no obligation to do so.
    Please send submissions as Microsoft Word attachments by June 15, 2014, to the chair of the Preyer Committee, Gautham Rao <email>.  He will forward them to the other committee members.
    The 2014 Preyer Memorial Committee
    Sam Erman, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Southern California
    Serena Mayeri, Professor of Law and History, University of Pennsylvania
    Gautham Rao, Assistant Professor of History, American University
    Michael Schoeppner, Visiting Assistant Professor of History, University of Maine at Farmington
    Karen Tani, Assistant Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

    Medieval Legal History: An ASLH "Preconference"

    [We're moving this post up, as the deadline of April 1 is approaching.]

    [Via H-Law, we have the following call for submissions for a preconference at next year's annual meeting of the American Society for Legal History.]

    The American Society for Legal History (ASLH) invites paper submissions for its second annual pre-conference workshop, which will be held immediately preceding the ASLH annual meeting in Denver on Nov. 6, 2014.  The ASLH Workshop is intended to promote scholarship in areas of legal history that have been traditionally underrepresented at ASLH meetings and in the Law and History Review.  This year's workshop topic is Medieval Legal History, with medieval broadly defined as between late antiquity and early modernity.  We are particularly interested in papers discussing Byzantine, Canon, Chinese, Islamic, or Jewish law, as well as other legal traditions or systems that operated in wide-ranging parts of the medieval world.  The workshop is being sponsored by the ASLH in order to promote innovative approaches to the study of medieval legal history across geographic boundaries and to create a community of legal historians who grapple with medieval legal texts and contexts.

    The ASLH Legal History 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 to four 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, each commentator will be given half an hour to discuss his/her assigned paper, followed by 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 and accommodations 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 medieval 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, 2014.  Papers should include complete contact information, word count, and an abstract (identifying the geographic 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 informed on or before June 15, 2014.  Please direct questions to the ASLH Workshop Coordinator: Lena Salaymeh, Robbins Postdoctoral Fellow (lenas@law.berkeley.edu).

    By participating in the workshop, authors agree to revise their papers thoroughly and to submit them for publication consideration (i.e. blind peer review) with Law & History Review on or before February 1, 2015.  (Submissions to Law & History Review should be not more than 12,000 words, including footnotes.)  Upon peer review approval, Law & History Review will publish the papers either together (in an issue dedicated to medieval legal history) or separately.  Authors participating in the Workshop consent to publishing in Law & History Review, even if publication delays occur.  However, participation in the ASLH Workshop is not a guarantee of publication in the Law & History Review.  (Also, the ASLH Workshop organizers and the Editor of Law & History Review cannot guarantee a specific publication date.)

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

    Weekend Roundup

    Philip Girard
    • Philip Girard (Osgoode Hall Law School), a recently named honorary fellow of the American Society for Legal History, is scheduled to give the plenary address at this year's annual meeting. (Hat tip: Canadian Legal History Blog)  
    • Via H-Law: the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University has announced a call for short articles on the Election of 2004.
    • "A Constitutional History of the Long 1960s,”  Risa Goluboff’s lecture on November 12, 2013, marking her appointment as John Allan Love Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law is downloadable here.
    Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History bloggers.

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

    The Cromwell Articles Prize

    [Via H-Law we have the following announcement.]

    The William Nelson Cromwell Foundation offers an annual prize of $2,500 for the best article in American legal history published by an early career scholar.  Articles published in 2013 in the field of American legal history, broadly conceived, will be considered.  There is a preference for articles in the colonial and early National periods.  Articles published in the Law and History Review are eligible for the ASLH's Erwin C. Surrency Prize and will not be considered for the Cromwell Article Prize.

    The Cromwell Foundation makes the final award, in consultation with a subcommittee from the American Society for Legal History.  This subcommittee invites nominations for the article prize.  Authors are invited to nominate themselves or others may nominate works meeting the criteria that they have read and enjoyed.  Please send a brief letter of nomination, along with an electronic or hard copy of the article, by May 31, 2014, to the subcommittee chair, Alfred Brophy, University of North Carolina School of Law, Campus Box #3380, Chapel Hill, NC  27599-3380 or via email, abrophy@email.unc.edu.  Other members of the articles subcomittee of the Cromwell Prizes Advisory Committee are Daniel W. Hamilton of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Michelle McKinley of the University of Oregon, and Kristin A. Olbertson of Alma College.

    Sunday, February 23, 2014

    ASLH 2014: The Deadline Approaches

    [Because the deadline of March 1 is approaching, we are posting this updated version of the Call for Papers for the 2014 Annual Meeting of the ASLH.]

    American Society for Legal History Annual Meeting 2014: Call for Proposals

    The 2014 meeting of the American Society for Legal History (ASLH) will take place in Denver, Colorado, November 6-8, 2014. The ASLH 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. The Program Committee will give preference to presenters who did not present at last year's meeting.

    Travel grants will be available for presenters in need. These resources will nevertheless be limited, and special 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. Regarding panels, the Program Committee encourages the submission of a variety of 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.

    Submission details can be found here. The deadline for submitting proposals is March 1, 2014. Proposals should be sent as email attachments to proposals@aslh.net.  Substantive questions should be directed to Joanna Grisinger (joanna.grisinger@northwestern.edu) or Mitra Sharafi (sharafi@wisc.edu).

    Student Research Colloquium (to be held Nov. 5-6)

    In 2014, the ASLH will host its inaugural Student Research Colloquium (SRC) in conjunction with its annual meeting.  The SRC will offer a small group of graduate and law students an opportunity to work intensively on their in-progress dissertations and law review articles with distinguished ASLH-affiliated scholars.  For details and for application information, please contact John Wertheimer (jowertheimer@davidson.edu).    

    Preconference on Emerging Fields (to be held Thursday, Nov. 6)

    A preconference on Medieval Legal Worlds will be held before the conference. For more information, contact Michael Grossberg (grossber@indiana.edu).

    Monday, January 13, 2014

    ASLH Seeks Nominations of Honorary Fellows

    [Via H-Law, we have the following call for nominations of Honorary Fellows of the American Society for Legal History.]

    The Honors Committee of the American Society for Legal History invites members of the society to
    submit nominations of scholars whom, in their opinion, it would be appropriate to recognize by election to the Society's roll of Honorary Fellows.  Brief statements in support (no more than 200 words please) may also be submitted.  Member nominations should be submitted confidentially to the Acting Chair of the Honors Committee, Chris Tomlins ctomlins@law.uci.edu

    Nominations must be received no later than February 28th 2014.

    Honorary Fellows of the Society are elected by the ASLH Board of Directors on the recommendation of the Society's Honors Committee.  In making its recommendations, The Honors Committee considers all those scholars who should be honored for their scholarship and contribution to the field of legal history.  A list of the Society's current Honorary Fellows may be found on the back cover of the Law and History Review, and is also available here.

    The Honors Committee will consider all member nominees, along with nominees proffered by members of the Honors Committee itself.  Following the close of deliberations the Committee will proceed to prepare and submit up to three fully documented recommendations for approval by the Board of Directors during the summer months.  Elected fellows will be inducted at the Society's 2014 annual meeting in Denver.

    Further information about the Society's Honorary Fellows can be found on the ASLH web page.

    Tuesday, December 3, 2013

    CFP: ASLH 2014

    [We have the following call from the Chairs of the ASLH Program Committee.]

    The 2014 meeting of the American Society for Legal History (ASLH) will take place in Denver, Colorado, November 6-8, 2014. The ASLH 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, the Program Committee will give preference to those who did not present at last year's meeting.

    Travel grants will be available for presenters in need. These resources will nevertheless be limited, and special 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 Program 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 c.v. for each presenter (including complete contact information)
    • a 300-word abstract of the paper

    Please note that AV equipment/Powerpoint capabilities will be unavailable at the Denver 2014 conference.

    The deadline for submitting proposals is March 1, 2014. Proposals should be sent as email attachments to proposals@aslh.net.  Substantive questions should be directed to Joanna Grisinger (joanna.grisinger@northwestern.edu) or Mitra Sharafi (sharafi@wisc.edu).  Those unable to send proposals as email attachments may mail hard copies to:

    2014 ASLH Program Committee
    c/o Mitra Sharafi
    UW Law School
    975 Bascom Mall
    Madison, WI, 53706-1399, USA

    Student Research Colloquium (to be held Nov. 5-6)

    In 2014, the ASLH will host its inaugural Student Research Colloquium (SRC) in conjunction with its annual meeting.  The SRC will offer a small group of graduate and law students an opportunity to work intensively on their in-progress dissertations and law review articles with distinguished ASLH-affiliated scholars.  The Colloquium will take place at the ASLH conference site in Denver on Wednesday, November 5, and Thursday, November 6.  In keeping with the goals of the SRC, the Colloquium is limited to eight students.  The target audience for the SRC includes early post-coursework graduate students and law students interested in legal history.  Each participating student will pre-circulate a paper of no more than fifteen pages, double-spaced, to the entire group.  These papers will provide the foundation for discussion at the colloquium.  Participants will receive stipends that will partially defray the travel, hotel, and registration costs of attending the annual meeting.  A student can be on the annual program and participate in the SRC in the same year.  Students working in all chronological/geographical fields of history are encouraged to apply.

    To apply to the ASLH's Student Research Colloquium, please submit:
    • a cover letter;
    • a CV;
    • a letter of recommendation from a faculty mentor/advisor; and 
    • a two-page, single-spaced "research statement" describing an in-progress research project (e.g., a dissertation or a substantial law review article)
    The application deadline is July 1, 2014.  Organizers will notify all applicants of their decisions by August 15, 2014.  Please direct questions and applications to John Wertheimer (jowertheimer@davidson.edu).
       
    Workshop on Underrepresented Fields in ASLH (to be held Thursday, Nov. 6)

    The second annual workshop on fields of legal history traditionally underrepresented at ASLH will be held on Thursday, November 6th, before the start of the annual meeting. Information about the topic and the application process will be circulated in January.  For more information, please contact Lena Salaymeh (lenas@law.berkeley.edu).

    Wednesday, November 20, 2013

    Commerce and Obligation in the Islamic World, c. 1850-1919

    [We are grateful to Nurfadzilah Yahaya, Mark Steinberg Weil Early Career Fellow, in Jewish, Islamic & Near Eastern Languages & Cultures at the Washington University in St. Louis, for this excellent report of a session at the recently concluded annual meeting of the American Society for Legal History.]

    "Commerce and Obligation in the Islamic World, c. 1850-1919"

    All three papers in this panel reflect on the remarkable resilience of debt often outlasting individual life spans of creditors and debtors. From the perspective of law reports, merchants' papers and debt-related deeds and contracts, these three papers effectively demonstrate that legal sites were definitely not neutral since some sections of society were more able to gain access to these legal arenas which enabled them to develop effective legal strategies in the long run. The three papers also suggest that levels of trust and reputation of legal actors within their own particular societies affected legal tactics, outcomes in courts and socio-economic mobility to a significant degree.

    In his paper, Fahad Bishara (College of William and Mary) examined the relationship between debt, personhood and political economy in the cosmopolitan world of the Western Indian Ocean where one's socio-legal position was determined by one's genealogy. As a result, paper documents or 'waraqas' ended up incorporating non-Arabs such as Indians and Africans, including non-Muslims, into an Arab-Islamic genealogy. A recognizable genealogy, instead of wealth and property, was what enabled one to incur obligations. Although Muslim jurists concurred that only human beings could enjoy legal personhood and therefore could bear rights and duties associated with contracting, legal practitioners and merchants in the Indian Ocean had to incorporate a wide array of legal actors such as Hindu family firms that had to be transmuted into a legal 'person.' To fit the rules of contracting, the waraqas had to reflect high flexibility in order to create an equal contractual playing field for merchants. In addition, Bishara argues that merchants on the coast of East Africa tended to claim Arab patrilineal genealogies not only for mercantile prowess but also political prestige. Finally, Bishara implies that the waraqa resembled bills of exchange in the Indian Ocean in that they could change hands from one merchant to another except that the obligations of the original debtor remain fixed though these could be transferred to a willing party (including descendants). In effect, the waraqa functioned as the fundamental currency that configured both economic and political relations.

    Will Hanley's (Florida State University) paper "Egypt’s Petty Moneylenders as Makers of International Law" argues that the implementation of international law tended to privilege foreigners at the expense of locals in Egypt towards the end of the nineteenth century. At the same time, he demonstrates how law was a necessary auxiliary tool for Egypt’s petty traders and moneylenders as part of his larger project to globalize the history of international law by describing a specifically Egyptian genealogy for its subaltern practice. In this way, Hanley demonstrates how nature of law is best understood through widespread practice, rather than origins. Focusing on Filippo Calleja, a Maltese moneylender of Alexandria, Hanley traces how these moneylenders used courts to conveniently establish installment repayment schemes. Rather than highlighting the smooth facility of common legal practices however, he highlights how the fluent use of the law led to the rise of a new class of foreigners that ultimately concentrated more wealth into their own hands unlike previous moneylenders in Egypt who were more obviously embedded in local societies.

    Omar Cheta's (Bard College) paper “Legal Reform and Commercial Debt in Nineteenth-Century Egypt” explores debt litigation in nineteenth-century Egypt. Although the court was a way for creditors to claim debts, they might abstain for two reasons. First, their chances of getting back the full debt via litigation were slim. Also, litigation jeopardizes future relationships with the debtors. Hence, for the creditor, going to court was a deliberate escalatory move and not a neutral tactic to simply claim debts. Nonetheless, courts were still an attractive forum for providing standardized procedure for debt dispute resolutions. Worse comes to worse, the court was after all able to oversee the process through which the debtor forfeit control over his possession and liquidate his assets in order to pay part of his debts at least. Courts were however limited by insolvent debtors without assets who of course could not be immediately compelled to pay their creditors although the promise of future payment was still enforced by courts.  Cheta reveals that the status of the insolvent debtor is a unique one since he was separated from other prisoners both in terms of classification and spatially since they were incarcerated in different prisons from other criminals, Cheta's paper highlights the sophisticated efficiency of the court on two counts. First, courts appointed wakils, or representatives from among creditors to run negotiations more systematically. Secondly, courts ensured that they were not financially responsible for supporting imprisoned debtors by devising a scheme with the wakils to provide an allowance for debtors derived from their own sequestered possessions.

    The discussant and chair, Intisar Rabb (New York University) urged the presenters to explore the legal consciousness of agents, moneylenders and merchants. She emphasized that law both enabled and constricted the power and ability of all actors. Barriers to entry into legal arenas include dishonesty and fraud. In response to Bishara, she questions whether genealogy ran with inheritance, especially since according to Islamic law, the estate takes first priority rather than the individual. According to to this logic, descendants do not have to clear their ancestors' debts. Touching upon Hanley's paper, Rabb asks how local moneylenders fared, compared to foreign moneylenders. Were there routinized institutions that catered to them specifically?

    The Politics of Dependency from the Progressive Era to the Civil Rights Revolution

    [We are quite grateful to Shane Landrum, a Ph.D. Candidate in American History at Brandeis University and an Instructor in the Department of History at Florida International University, for this excellent account of a panel at the recently concluded annual meeting of the American Society for Legal History.]

    "Entitling Marriage, Contesting the Family: The Politics of Dependency from the Progressive Era to the Civil Rights Revolution"

    A very well-attended session at the recent annual meeting of the American Society for Legal History was "Entitling Marriage, Contesting the Family: The Politics of Dependency from the Progressive Era to the Civil Rights Revolution," which brought together interesting new work on United States women's activism, family law, and the state.

    Rebecca Rix, Princeton University
    , gave a paper titled "'Every citizen a Sentinel: Every home a sentry box!': Revolutionary Men, Home Protection, and the Popularization of Modern Conservative Thought in the 1920s." She opened with an account of the 1924 Massachusetts referendum on the federal child labor amendment. Despite the well-known progressive tendencies of Massachusetts, voters defeated the child labor amendment by a 3-to-1 margin. This success, Rix argued, marked a sea change in the ability of conservatives to oppose progressive legislation. Elite women who had been active in the fight against woman suffrage used the tools of direct democracy and grassroots organizing. The Sentinels of the Republic, led by a number of prominent industrialists, mobilized Americans against child-labor reform by arguing that increased federal power threatened parents' authority over their own children. Likewise, they reframed their opposition to child welfare programs as a constitutional objection to plenary taxation by Congress, invoking the image of Samuel Adams at the Boston Tea Party.

    The Sentinels also took advantage of recent court cases to bring Catholics around to their anti-taxation, limited-government positions. At a time when the Ku Klux Klan was active against Massachusetts Catholics and Oregon courts were challenging the legality of Catholic parochial schools, working-class Catholics felt significant threats. As a result, Catholics were convinced to vote against a child-labor law which, from a modern perspective, we might expect that they would have supported. The 1924 referendum, Rix concluded, was a moment where Brahmins and Knickerbockers successfully turned the tide of progressive reforms by using a rhetoric of protecting families against state power.

    Kristin Collins, Boston University
    , spoke on "Entitling Marriage: A History of Marriage, Public Money, and the Law." This paper was an excerpt from her current book project, which focuses on how marriage in the United States became a tool for allocating social goods, including citizenship. Asking why marriage has been such a stubborn feature of American entitlements programs and of citizenship, she explored the 1977 Supreme Court case Fiallo v. Bell. In Fiallo, a group of unwed US-citizen fathers sought special immigration status for their out-of-wedlock children under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. The Fiallo plaintiffs claimed that they were the victims of an unfair sex distinction in federal law, but the court used the doctrine of plenary power to defer to Congressional judgment.

    In the summer of 1976, while Fiallo was pending, ERA-supporter Elizabeth Holtzman (House, D-NY) seized on the idea of judicial deference to Congress. She drafted legislation which would have treated children of unwed citizen fathers and unwed citizen mothers equally for immigration purposes, but the legislation died once Holtzman lost a re-election attempt. In 1981, as the Reagan administration took office, they interpreted Fiallo as the Supreme Court's blessing of congressionally-approved sex-specific legislation. Thus, Collins argued, any understanding of the persistence of marriage as a tool for social provision has to include the role of institutional dynamics in limiting change.

    Serena Mayeri, University of Pennsylvania
    , spoke on "What's Wrong with Illegitimacy (Penalties)? Non-Marital Childbearing in Court, 1966-1979." In general, most federal sex equality cases during the 1970s confirmed the legal fungibility of husbands and wives, even as they also confirmed "marital supremacy." Between 1968 and 1972, a series of Supreme Court decisions struck down illegitimacy penalties, building on arguments made by University of Illinois professor Harry Krause. Krause used two major lines of argument. First, in the wake of the Moynihan Report, he claimed that illegitimacy penalties had a disproportionate effect on African-American children and further weakened African-American communities. Secondly, just as children had no control over their skin color, they had no control over their parents' marital status and should not be subject to legal disadvantages as a result.

    Krause's arguments succeeded before the Supreme Court. However, as Mayeri pointed out, feminists had an alternate, and in some ways more compelling, set of arguments against illegitimacy penalties. Feminists Aleta Wallach and Patricia Tenoso argued that these penalties, especially in the workplace, injured unmarried women who were financially responsible for their own children. In 1973, Katie Mae Andrews successfully sued a Mississippi school district for its policy of not hiring unwed mothers. In the wake of King v. Smith (1968), feminists argued against illegitimacy penalties on the basis of a woman's right to privacy. Further, some feminists argued that illegitimacy penalties limited unmarried women's ability to choose childbearing (and financial support for their nonmarital children) rather than abortion. However, these feminist arguments largely did not make it into court. Mayeri offered two reasons for this. The first was timing; by the early 1970s, the Supreme Court had already embraced the child-centered logic presented by Harry Krause, providing a good foundation for incremental litigation strategies. Secondly, as American politics shifted to the right, feminist litigators gave up on dismantling the legal centrality of marriage, worrying that such strategies would play into the hands of influential conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly. Instead, they focused their attention on dismantling male supremacy, leaving the legacy of marital supremacy intact.

    In her comment, Linda Kerber, University of Iowa, highlighted how all three papers pointed to the centrality of coverture in American law and policy. Second-wave feminists, she said, absolutely were overturning the assumptions that men and women made about their lives and their relationships. Memorably, she asserted, "Phyllis Schlafly was not wrong." She highlighted the extent to which mid-20th-century feminism was an intellectual revolution and that these papers were not only social, political and legal histories but also intellectual histories. After offering brief comments on each paper, Kerber observed that historians face challenges in teaching students about the fierce, bitter struggles of feminists in the 1970s, and she encouraged those present to find ways to teach these topics more effectively.

    Christopher Tomlins, University of California-Irvine, chaired the session and guided the room through a thought-provoking sequence of questions and answers.

    Thursday, November 14, 2013

    Cromwell Research Grants Announced

    Via H-Law, we have word of the eight recipients of research grants awarded by the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation in conjunction with a committee of the American Society for Legal History.  They are:

    Michael Caires, PhD Candidate, History, Univ. of Virginia, "The Greenback Union: Creating the American Monetary Union in the Civil War and Reconstruction"

    Sara Damiano, PhD Candidate, History, Johns Hopkins University, "Gender, Law, and the Culture of Credit in New England, 1730-1790"

    Matthew Axtell, JD, Univ. of Virginia; PhD Candidate, History, Princeton University, “American Steamboat Gothic: Commercial Law, Mercantile Property, and Slavery's Liquidation in the Inland River West, 1818-1868"

    Jeremy Kessler, JD, Yale University; PhD candidate, History, Yale, "The Civil Libertarian State: Conscription and Conscientious Objection in American Law, 1917-1973"

    Sarah Seo, JD, Columbia University; PhD Candidate, History, Princeton University, "The Fourth Amendment, Cars, and Freedom in Twentieth-Century America"

    Michael Schoeppner
    , PhD, Univ. of Florida; former ACLS post-doctoral fellow, California Institute of Technology; Visiting Assistant Prof. of History, University of Maine, “Moral Contagions: Black Atlantic Sailors, Citizenship, and Quarantine in the Antebellum South"

    Jameson R. Sweet, PhD Candidate, History, Univ. of Minnesota, "The Mixed-Blood Moment: Land, Indian Law, and Race among Dakota Mixed-Bloods in Nineteenth-Century Minnesota"

    Kellen Funk, Joint candidate for the JD, Yale University, and PhD, Princeton University, "The Lawyers' Code: The Transformation of Legal Practice in Nineteenth-Century America"

    Rights and Rites in Medieval English Law

    [We are very grateful to Ryan Greenwood, the 2013/14 Rare Book Fellow at the Lilllian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School, for this report on a session at the recently concluded ASLH meeting.]

    One of the excellent, though somewhat lower-profile sessions at the recent conference of the American Society for Legal History was “Rights and Rites in Medieval English Law,” which drew together promising new work in medieval English legal history.

    Thomas McSweeney, College of William and Mary, presented "The King's Courts and the King's Soul: Pardoning as Almsgiving in Medieval England," a thirteenth-century case study involving a wealthy widow's amercement, or fine, and subsequent royal pardon.  McSweeney offered a compelling argument that the widow Sibilla was pardoned because of her role in a familiar set piece of the medieval moral economy: the act of giving alms to the poor (pauperes), and the corresponding spiritual benefits which accrued to the giver for doing so.  The material beneficiary, blighted by poverty on earth but preferred spiritually to the rich, would in return for alms pray for the soul of the wealthy donor, if not also the heirs.  Pardons of this kind from monarchs were not uncommon, McSweeney argued; and although Sibilla was rich, as a widow she was classed on a Biblical typology among the powerless, and so was a candidate for King Henry's alms and pardon.  A key legal question was why royal justices would yield to the king's personal interests and grant pardons as alms, during a period in which justices began to recognize a first allegiance to the law, as an impersonal body of rules, rather than to the personal lawgiving capacities or prerogatives of their monarch.  In closing, McSweeney indicated that Sibilla's case may show some of the complexity of royal justice during a long period of transition.

    Joshua Tate, Southern Methodist University, gave his paper, "Episcopal Power and Royal Jurisdiction in Angevin England," which tied in well with another aspect of royal justice in a complex and tumultuous period.  Tate presented entries in a bishop's register as evidence of King John's broad intervention in cases of patrons' rights to present candidates for ecclesiastical benefices.  Bishops, although they had ample backing in canon law and the procedural rules to claim authority in disputes over patrons' rights, largely capitulated to John's efforts to enforce royal prerogative in judging the disputes, and saw the king intervene actively and to some extent personally in them.  In the diocese of Lincoln, Tate noted a drop in cases involving patronage disputes by the end of John's reign, and increased ambiguity over whether the bishop had made an inquisition of the candidate, and to whom the advowson, or right of presentation, belonged.  Tate's evidence was consistent with the thesis that some bishops had ceded powers to John in this regard, and to new mechanisms of royal justice.  Lincoln was also a particularly good case study, since a creature of John, Hugh of Wells, had been installed there as bishop, succeeding a saintly predecessor more disposed to uphold ecclesiastical rights and procedure. 

    Ryan Rowberry, Georgia State University, in "Purging Pluralist Judges in the King's Courts: Dissemination and Enforcement of Pope John XXII's Execrabilis (1317) in England," gave an interesting account of a key shift in medieval English legal history.  Like Tate, Rowberry threw into relief new legislation and practice that led to changes in the administration of English law, here in the fourteenth century.  Rowberry explained why royal justices may have in part transitioned, in the first quarter of the fourteenth century, from clerics to laymen, arguing that the reform-minded Pope John XXII's 1317 decree, Execrabilis, helped motivate the change.  The decree forbade the holding of a plurality of benefices, a common practice which gave the absentee holder the revenue of each of a series of church properties.  Rowberry offered the careers of two wealthy royal justices, who resigned at least some of their benefices after 1317, as evidence: though their religious and secular patrons continued to support them, and were surely interested to see them in influential judicial positions, the surrender of some benefices may well reflect the impact of Execrabilis relatively quickly after its promulgation, and may have contributed to the exit of clerical judges from royal courts. 

    Charles Donohue, Jr., Harvard University, offered comment and critique focusing on the details of the evidence and recommended, in a typical plea among medievalists, that wider examination of the historical sources might be useful before any broad conclusions should be drawn.  He suggested that Sibilla may have been pardoned because an earlier settlement of her case was botched through no fault of her own, and that the differences in the register of Hugh of Wells might be explained by the different scribes as much as the politics surrounding the entry of new candidates for office.  In response to Rowberry's paper, he noted that clerics could still receive pensions as justices, and that the decisive moment in a longer period of transition between clerical and lay justices may have been the 1340s.  But these possibilities were open to further consideration as well, and Donohue played devil's advocate to papers whose merits he happily conceded, particularly for the value of their new approaches, and the headway they made on important issues. 
        
    Sara McDougall, CUNY/John Jay College of Criminal Justice, chaired the panel and generously guided a very good, thought-provoking discussion.

    Wednesday, November 13, 2013

    New ASLH Initiatives To Support Early Career Scholars

    At this past meeting of the American Society for Legal History, the Board approved a series of measures aimed at supporting early career scholars. Guest blogger Sally Gordon (of our occasional advice column Ms. Peppercorn Considers) has put together the following update, which includes information on how to apply for funding for future projects of this nature:
    Notes from the ASLH Meeting, Miami, 7 – 10 November.

    At the annual meeting of the Society, the Board approved several grants to new initiatives as well as ongoing projects. The Committee on Projects and Proposals recommended several proposals to the Executive Committee and the Board, which meets annually on the Thursday evening before the start of the conference.

    The Society is particularly interested in programs that promote the work of junior scholars. Examples of activities funded by the board this year include:


    1. A pre-conference program for graduate students on Thursday before the 2014 conference (to be held in Denver, November 6 – 9), organized by John Wertheimer of Davidson College.

    2. A two-day conference to be held at the University of Minnesota in June, 2014, on the Law of the Child, 1400-2000. The conference website and call for papers can be found here. The conference will be cosponsored by a consortium that includes the University of Minnesota Law School and History Department, University of Michigan Law School, University of Illinois Law School, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, University of Chicago Law School, and University of Pennsylvania Law School.

    3. Financial support for graduate student/foreign scholar/independent scholar travel to the 2014 annual meeting.

    4. Funding for a second “Workshop on ‘Underexplored’ Areas of Legal History before the 2014 Annual Meeting in Denver

    5. Support for travel and other expenses related to a May, 2014 workshop to be held in Chicago where the editors of a new edition of Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England will hold an editorial conference.

    6. The History of the Society Committee received support for filming and transcribing oral histories.

    More information will be posted on the ASLH website shortly.

    Members of the Society may apply for funding for future projects, which will be acted on at the November 2014 meeting. Applications should be submitted by September 1st. The application form will be available on the Society's website soon. If you need an application form immediately you may either contact the ASLH Treasurer, Craig Klafter or Rayman Solomon.

    Reid Book Award to Witt, "Lincoln's Code"

    Via H-Law, we have more awards news: the winner of the 2013 John Phillip Reid Book Award for the best book in Anglo-American legal history by a senior scholar went to John Fabian Witt (Yale Law School) for Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History. Earlier this year the book received the 2013 Bancroft Prize.

    The citation reads as follows:
    John Fabian Witt’s broadly resonant and illuminating Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History demonstrates that Americans’ efforts to balance the competing goals of justice and humanitarianism are historically enmeshed with the struggle over slavery. Integrating comprehensive synthesis with careful archival research, Witt challenges reigning assumptions about the laws of war in American history. Slavery’s defenders used humanitarian laws of war to justify human bondage, Witt reveals, while Lincoln’s pursuit of justice led him to rewrite them to justify total war in the name of military necessity, fully realized in the devastation of the Civil War as well as in slavery’s end. Witt shows how Francis Lieber’s resulting Code, designed to legitimate the war on slavery, shaped the international law of armed conflict for generations to come, including by authorizing while also containing America’s imperial turn. The book is notable for advancing public understanding in addition to historical scholarship. Relevant and readable, it seeks to sweep away the “dangerous fictions” that have informed contemporary debate. In their place, it offers “ugly complexities” that might serve as a “useful source of moral engagement” in future conflicts. Witt’s book captures the complications and tensions inherent in setting boundaries to violence while, at the same time, insisting upon the need to grapple with these vexing moral and legal questions.
    The members of this year's John Phillip Reid Book Award Committee were:
    Sophia Z. Lee, University of Pennsylvania (Chair)
    Catharine MacMillan, Queen Mary School of Law
    Richard Ross, University of Illinois 
    Laura Weinrib, University of Chicago
    Steven Wilf, University of Connecticut
    Congratulations to John Witt!

    Hirota Wins Cromwell Dissertation Prize

    Via H-Law we have word that the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation, acting in conjunction with the American Society for Legal History, has awarded its prize for the best dissertation written in 2012 to Hidetaka Hirota, for “Nativism, Citizenship, and the Deportation of Paupers in Massachusetts, 1837-1883.”  Here is the citation:
    In this strikingly original transnational history, Hidaka Hirota debunks the popular myth that the United States once welcomed with open borders the world’s “huddled masses.” Blending political, legal, social, and cultural history, Hirota’s artful narrative analyzes the evolution of Massachusetts’ pauper deportation laws to demonstrate how state governments actively restricted immigration long before the Chinese Exclusion Act and other federal measures.  In the process, he provides illuminating insights into the origins of anti-Irish prejudice, the contours of nativist Know-Nothing politics, and changing conceptions of citizenship during the Civil War Era.  In recreating the migration experience of paupers from Ireland, their expulsion from the United States, and their post-deportation experiences back home, Hirota places the Massachusetts story within a wider system of pauper restriction and forcible removal operating in the Atlantic World.
    The members of the Cromwell Prize Subcommittee: Dissertation Prize were
    Christian G. Fritz, University of New Mexico (Chair)
    Joanna L. Grisinger, Northwestern University
    Maeva Marcus, Institute for Constitutional History, New York Historical Society, and George Washington University Law School
    Michael Ross, University of Maryland