Sunday, September 16, 2007


If you are a member of the American Society for Legal History, it's time to do your civic duty. It's election time, and ballots must be postmarked September 26, 2007.

For the ASLH and most scholarly organizations, voter turnout is, well, pathetic. An amazingly small number of ballots are returned. This is a problem all scholarly organizations try to overcome. But what it means for you is that your vote really counts. But only if you mail it in.

Your ballot and election information is in the ASLH Summer 2007 Newsletter. If you're like me, it's hiding somewhere under too much mail on your desk. You can also find it online here. Because election information and candidate bios are not easy to find on-line, I will post them all here. Apologies for the long post if you forgot to renew your membership! You can do there here, and vote next time around.


President Elect (Uncontested)

Professor Constance Backhouse is Distinguished University Professor and University Research Chair at the University of Ottawa. Professor Backhouse teaches in the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law in the areas of criminal law, human rights, legal history, and women and the law. During her academic career to date Professor Backhouse has taught at four Canadian universities and colleges, and served as director of the University of Ottawa’s Human Rights Centre form 2001 to 2003. She is a graduate of the University of Manitoba, Osgoode Hall Law School, and Harvard University.

During a long and energetic career, Professor Backhouse has been the recipient of many awards and honors: an honorary doctorate (2002) and law society medal (1998) from the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Bora Laskin Human Rights Fellowship (1999), the Joseph Brant Award for multicultural history (2002), the Jules and Gabrielle Léger Fellowship (2006), the Trudeau Fellowship (2006), and the Ramon Hnatyshyn Award of the Canadian Bar Association for outstanding contributions to legal scholarship in Canada (2006). Early in her career she was awarded the Augusta Stowe-Gullen Affirmative Action Medal by the Southwestern Ontario Association for the Advancement of Learning Opportunities for Women (1981). In 2004,
Professor Backhouse became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Professor Backhouse has also received teaching awards from the University of Ottawa in 2001-02 and 2002-03, and in 2006 she was selected by the University of Ottawa for its “Award for Excellence in Research.”

Professor Backhouse is known internationally for her feminist research and publications on sex discrimination and the legal history of gender and race in Canada. Her work documents violations of human rights, and, in particular, past neglect of gender equality in the Canadian legal system. A legal scholar who uses a narrative style of writing, her most recent books and articles have concentrated on the ways in which women and racialized communities have struggled for justice within the legal system. Professor Backhouse’s most recent book, coauthored with her sister, the Hon. Justice Nancy L. Backhouse, is The Heiress versus the Establishment: Mrs. Campbell’s Campaign for Legal Justice (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2004). Her other books include Colour-Coded: A Legal History of Racism in Canada,1900-1950 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999), winner of the 2002 Joseph Brant Award of the Ontario Historical Society (“best book in multicultural history published within the past three years”), and Petticoats and Prejudice: Women and the Law in Nineteenth-Century Canada (Toronto: Women’s Press, 1991), winner of the 1992 Willard Hurst Prize in American Legal History of the Law and Society Association. In 1993, 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 “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, additionally, 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. All told, Professor Backhouse has over 50 publications to her credit. Her work has been supported by the Law Foundation of Ontario, the Osgoode Society, the Department of Justice, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, most recently (2005-07) for her current project on the history of sexual assault law in Canada, 1900-1975.

In addition to her academic and scholarly activities, Professor Backhouse has served for many years as a mediator and adjudicator of human rights complaints. In that capacity she served as an adjudicator for the compensation claims arising from the physical, sexual and psychological abuse of the former inmates of the Grandview Training School for Girls (1995-98), and continues to adjudicate compensation claims for the former students of Aboriginal residential schools across Canada. She has served as an expert witness and consultant on various aspects of sexual abuse and violence against women and children. She is a member of the board of directors for the Claire L’Heureux-Dubé Fund for Social Justice and the Women’s Education and Research Foundation of Ontario, Inc.

Board of Directors: “at large” positions (choice of 8 candidates; the 4 candidates receiving most votes will be deemed elected)

Alfred L. Brophy is Professor of Law at the University of Alabama School of Law, Tuscaloosa. He has been book reviews editor of the Law and History Review since 2003. He has written Reconstructing the Dreamland: The Tulsa Riot of 1921 (Oxford University Press, 2002), Reparations Pro and Con (Oxford University Press, 2006) as well as a number of articles on colonial and antebellum law. He is currently working on moral philosophy in the old South. He graduated from Columbia Law School and has a Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization from Harvard. Al Brophy writes: “I hope the Society will continue its important role in bringing together scholars who are interested in the history of law and reach out to historians and others who work in legal sources, but who have not been as frequent participants in the legal history world. Along those lines, I hope the Society will focus on making membership inviting and affordable to a wide range of scholars, particularly those in early stages of their careers.”

Christina Duffy Burnett has recently been appointed to the faculty of Columbia Law School, where she will be in residence as an Associate Research Scholar during the 2007-08 year before commencing full-time teaching in the fall of 2008. Burnett’s scholarship focuses on the constitutional and international legal history of American empire. Her current project examines the encounter among multiple constitutional traditions (American, Latin American, Spanish) in the context of empire at the turn of the twentieth century. Burnett is the co-editor (with Burke Marshall) of Foreign in a Domestic Sense: Puerto Rico, American Expansion, and the Constitution (Duke University Press, 2001), and the author of “Untied States: American Expansion and Territorial Deannexation,” University of Chicago Law Review 72 (2005), among other articles. A Puerto Rican and an advocate of self-determination for the territories of the United States, Professor Burnett has spoken to audiences throughout the country about the historical, constitutional, and political dimensions of territorial status under U.S. sovereignty. She holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, an M.Phil. in political thought and intellectual history from Cambridge University, and a Master’s degree in American history from Princeton University where she is currently completing a doctorate in American legal history. Burnett served as a law clerk to Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer on the United States Supreme Court in the October 2004 Term and to Judge José A. Cabranes on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in the August 2000 Term.

Mary L. Dudziak is the Guirado Professor of Law, History and Political Science at the University of Southern California, and a Member of the School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (2007-08). She has also taught at Harvard Law School and the University of Iowa. Publications include Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2000); editor, September 11 in History: A Watershed Moment? (Duke University Press, 2003); co-editor (with Leti Volpp), Legal Borderlands: Law and the Construction of American Borders, published as a special issue of the American Quarterly (September 2005), republished by the Johns Hopkins University Press (2006); and articles on civil rights history and 20th-century constitutional history in law reviews and history journals. Exporting American Dreams: Thurgood Marshall’s African Journey, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2008, and How War Made America: A 20th Century History is under contract with OUP. She is the author of the Legal History Blog. Education: A.B., University of California, Berkeley; J.D., M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. (American Studies), Yale University. Honors include: Guggenheim Fellowship, 2007-08; ACLS Fellowship, 2006-07; Distinguished Lecturer, Organization of American Historians; and others. Past ASLH service (partial list): Chair, Nominating Committee, 2001; Board of Directors and Executive Committee, 1/1995-12/1997, and 1989-92; Program Committee Chair, 1993; Program Committee, 1988; Editorial Board Law and History Review since 2005. Mary Dudziak writes: “I would bring to the Board ideas from my work in other historical organizations, an interest in transnational and comparative legal history, and interest and experience in promoting legal history on the web.”

Annette Gordon-Reed is Professor of Law at New York Law School and Professor of History at Rutgers University (Newark). Born and raised in Texas, she is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School, where she was a member of the Harvard Law Review. At NYLS she teaches Property, Legal History, Criminal Procedure, and American Slavery and the Law. At Rutgers she teaches “Topics in American Political and Legal History 1776-1828” (graduate level) and “The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1828” (undergraduate). In 1997 Gordon-Reed published Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy. She has also written numerous articles and book reviews, edited Race on Trial: Law and Justice in American History, and worked with civil rights leader Vernon Jordan on his memoir, Vernon Can Read. Two books are in press: The Hemings Family of Monticello: A Story of American Slavery, the first volume of two, forthcoming from W.W. Norton in fall, 2008; and Andrew Johnson, on the presidency of Andrew Johnson, forthcoming from Times Books, also 2008. Those works will be followed by A Jefferson Reader on Race for Princeton University Press. Gordon-Reed is active in several scholarly societies, and currently serves on the Advisory Council of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR). She also serves on the Advisory Committee for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and on the Editorial Board of the William & Mary Quarterly; the Advisory Committee for the International Center for Jefferson Studies; the Advisory Committee on African American Interpretation at Monticello; the Advisory Board of The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (where she serves on the Executive Committee) and the Council on Foreign Relations. She is also currently a Non-Fiction judge for the 2007 National Book Award. Gordon-Reed has previously served on the ASLH Nominating Committee and is one of the judges for the Society’s John Philip Reid Prize. She lives in Manhattan with her husband Robert Reed, and their children Susan and Gordon.

Adam Kosto is Associate Professor of History and Department Chair at Columbia University, New York. He specializes in the institutional history of medieval Europe, with a focus on Catalonia and the Mediterranean. He received his B.A. from Yale in 1989, an M.Phil. from Cambridge in 1990, and his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1996. He is the author of Making Agreements in Medieval Catalonia: Power, Order, and the Written Word, 1000-1200 (Cambridge University Press, 2001), and co-editor of The Experience of Power in Medieval Europe, 950-1350 (Ashgate, 2005) and of Charters, Cartularies and Archives: The Preservation and Transmission of Documents in the Medieval West (Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 2002). He is currently working on a book on hostages as a mode of surety in Medieval Europe and a project on the legal and documentary practices of laypeople in the Early Middle Ages. Kosto has served the ASLH most recently as chair of the Nominating Committee (2005-6). Adam Kosto writes: “I am particularly interested in maintaining the chronological, geographical, and disciplinary breadth of the Society’s membership and its work.”

Andrea McKenzie is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. She received her PhD in History from the University of Toronto in 1999. From 2000-2004 she was an adjunct lecturer and honorary research advisor at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. She took up her current position in July 2004. McKenzie has presented numerous papers on crime and print culture in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England at conferences in Canada, Australia, the United States and Britain, and has published articles in The Huntington Library Quarterly, Cultural and Social History, Law and History Review, London Journal, and the Journal of British Studies. Her article, “‘This Death Some Strong and Stout Hearted Man Doth Choose’: The Practice of Peine Forte et Dure in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century England,” published in the Law and History Review, 23, 2 (2006) was awarded both the ASLH Surrency prize and the ASLH Sutherland prize for 2006. Her first book, Tyburn’s Martyrs: Execution in England, 1675-1775, is in press with Hambledon Continuum (forthcoming October 2007). Her next project, a history of the cultural politics of manly courage in early modern England, is tentatively entitled Playing the Man: Masculinity and Courage in England, 1660-1750. McKenzie’s scholarly interests lie at the intersection of the criminal law and cultural and social history, with an emphasis on class, gender, power, legitimation and inequality. Andrea McKenzie writes “I have had several years’ experience organizing a province-wide graduate student history conference, and I am keen to contribute to the ASLH.”

Dylan C. Penningroth is an Associate Professor of History at Northwestern University and a Research Fellow at the American Bar Foundation. He is also affiliated with Northwestern University’s Department of African American Studies. He received a BA from Yale University (1993) and an MA and PhD from Johns Hopkins (2000). Before joining Northwestern he taught at the University of Virginia. Penningroth works in African American history, and in U.S. social and legal history. His research has focused on the history of black family and community life, on the ownership of property by slaves, and on ideologies of slavery in the U.S. and Ghana. Recent publications include “The Preacher’s Wife: Law, Divorce, and Respectability Among African Americans, 1865-1930” (Journal of Family History, forthcoming) and “The Claims of Slaves and Ex-Slaves to Family and Property: A Transatlantic Comparison” (American Historical Review, forthcoming). His book, The Claims of Kinfolk: African American Property and Community in the Nineteenth-Century South (University of North Carolina Press, 2003) won the Avery O. Craven Award of the OAH (2004); as a dissertation it was awarded the Allan Nevins Prize of the Society of American Historians. Penningroth is currently at work on two projects: a study of African Americans’ engagement with local courts in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century South, and a study of the legacy of slavery in early-twentieth-century Gold Coast/Ghana colonial courts. He has held fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution, the Carter G. Woodson Institute, and the Newberry Library/NEH. A member of ASLH since 2002, he has presented papers at the annual meeting and has served for the past two years on the Surrency Prize Committee. Dylan Penningroth writes: “If elected to the Board, I would be particularly interested in exploring ways of bringing the ASLH into closer engagement with scholars of the legal histories of Africa.”

Jonathan Rose is Professor of Law and Willard H. Pedrick Distinguished Research Scholar at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University. He is active in the American Society of Legal History and is currently Chair, Local Arrangements Committee, and Co-Chair, Program Committee for the 2007 Annual Conference. His published research focuses on medieval and early modern English legal history, including the regulation of the legal profession (“The Ambidextrous Lawyer: Conflict of Interest and the Medieval Legal Profession,” 7 U. Chi. Law School Roundtable 136 (2000), and “The Legal Profession in Medieval England: A History of Regulation,” 48 Syracuse L. Rev. 1 (1998)); early defamation law (“Early Occupational Defamation and Disloyal Lawyers: ‘He is Ambodexter. There Cannot Be A Greater Slander’,” 33 Cambrian L. Rev. 53-66 (2002), and “Of Ambidexters and Daffidowndillies: Defamation of Lawyers, Legal Ethics and Professional Reputation,” 8 U. Chi. Law School Roundtable 423 (2001)); and historiography (“English Legal History and Interdisciplinary Legal Studies,” in Anthony Musson, ed., Boundaries of the Law: Geography, Gender and Jurisdiction in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Ashgate, 2005), “Doctrinal Development: Legal History, Law, and Legal Theory,” 22 Oxford J. Legal Studies 323 (2002), and “Learning to be a Legal Historian: Reflections of a Non-Traditional Student,” 51 J. Legal Educ. 294 (2001). Recent research involves the operation of the 15th century justice system: “Feodo de Compedibus Vocato le Sewet: The 15th Century Prison ‘Oeconomy’,” in Paul Brand, Andrew Lewis & Paul Mitchell eds., Law In The City: Proceedings of the Seventeenth BLHC, 2005 (2007), and “Litigation and Political Conflict in Fifteenth-Century East Anglia: Conspiracy and Attaint Actions and Sir John Fastolf,” 27 Journal of Legal History 53-80 (2006). Work currently in progress examines the legal and social norms governing maintenance in late medieval England.

Board of Directors: graduate student position (choice of 2 candidates; the candidate receiving most votes will be deemed elected)

Roman J. Hoyos is a Ph.D. Candidate in American History at the University of Chicago. He also holds a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law (2001), where he served as the Special Sections Editor for the Law Review. Mr. Hoyos’ primary interests lie in nineteenth century American legal and constitutional history. Currently, he is working on his dissertation, “In Convention Assembled: Constitutional Conventions, Law and Democracy in 19th Century America,” which explores the role of state constitutional conventions in nineteenth century American public life. For the past five years, Mr. Hoyos has been a Board of Trustees Fellow at the University of Chicago. In 2007 he was a Fellow at the ASLH Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Karen Tani is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania and a law clerk to the Honorable Guido Calabresi, Second Circuit Court of Appeals. She holds degrees from Dartmouth College (B.A.) and the University of Pennsylvania (J.D., M.A.). Her research focuses on twentieth-century poverty policy, poverty law, and the development of the American welfare state. She is the author of “Flemming v. Nestor: Anticommunism, the Welfare State, and the Making of the New Property,” forthcoming in the Law and History Review (Summer 2008), for which she was named an ASLH Kathryn T. Preyer Scholar in 2006. Her dissertation, supervised by Sarah Barringer Gordon, Michael Katz, and Tom Sugrue, is tentatively titled “Litigating the American Welfare State, 1937-1976.” Recent honors include graduating magna cum laude, Order of the Coif from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she also won the Fred G. Leebron Memorial Prize for the Best Paper in Constitutional Law. Karen Tani writes: “I hope to bring to the Board my enthusiasm for the field of legal history and my desire to make it even more accessible to graduate and undergraduate students. I also hope that my perspective as a graduate student and a participant in a growing joint degree program will help the Society find ways to continue encouraging young scholars.”

Nominating Committee (choice of 4 candidates; the 2 candidates receiving most votes will be deemed elected)

Bernie D. Jones is Assistant Professor in the Department of Legal Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where she is also Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of History. She received her J.D. from the New York University School of Law and her Ph.D. in History from the University of Massachusetts. She is currently working on a book manuscript, Policing the Color Line: Southern Justices on Miscegenation in the Antebellum Will Contest. The book is a study of slaveholding men in the antebellum South who used trusts and estates law to recognize slave women partners and their mixed-race slave children, in contravention of the law of slavery which denied the women and children status as family members. In 2005 Jones was the recipient of an American Society for Legal History William Nelson Cromwell foundation fellowship to work on this project. More recently (Spring 2007), she received an American Association of University Women short-term research publication grant for the same project. Her publications include “When Critical Race Theory Meets Legal History,” 8 Rutgers Race and the Law Review 1-25 (fall 2006); “Righteous Fathers, Vulnerable Old Men and Degraded Creatures: Southern Justices on Miscegenation in the Antebellum Will Contest,” 40 Tulsa Law Review 699-750 (summer 2005); “International and Transracial Adoptions: Toward a Global Critical Race Feminist Practice?” 10 Washington and Lee Race and Ethnic Ancestry Journal, 43-64 (spring 2004); “Single Motherhood By Choice, Libertarian Feminism, and the Uniform Parentage Act,” 12 Texas Journal of Women and the Law 419-449 (spring 2003); and "Critical Race Theory: New Strategies for Civil Rights in the New Millennium?” 18 Harvard BlackLetter Law Journal 1-90 (spring 2002). Jones has taught classes in legal history, slavery and the law, law and the family, women and the law, and legal theory. In 2005 she was a Fellow at the ASLH Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Martha S. Jones is Associate Professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in the Department of History, the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies and the Law School. She holds a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University (2001) and a J.D. from the CUNY School of Law (1987). She is the author of All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture, 1830-1900 (2007), which examines nineteenth-century African American debates over the rights of women, and “Leave of Court: African-American Legal Claims Making In the Era of Dred Scott v. Sandford” forthcoming in Manisha Sinha and Penny Von Eschen, editors, Contested Democracy: Politics, Ideology and Race in American History (2007). Jones has been a fellow with the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities, the Library Company of Philadelphia, and the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History. She was a recipient of the AHA’s Littleton-Griswold research grant (2002), and a visiting professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, in Paris (2006 and 2007). She irects, with Rebecca J. Scott (Michigan) and Jean Hébrard (EHESS), the Law and Slavery and Freedom Project, an international research collaborative, and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Women’s History. Her current book project, Riding the Atlantic World Circuit, is a comparative study of slavery and law in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century French Caribbean and United States. She has been a regular attendee and presenter at ASLH conferences since 2002.

Amalia D. Kessler is Associate Professor of Law and (by courtesy) History at Stanford University. She holds an A.B. from Harvard (1994), a J.D. from Yale (1999), and a Ph.D. from Stanford (2001). Her book, A Revolution in Commerce: The Parisian Merchant Court and the Rise of Commercial Society in Eighteenth-Century France, will appear in the fall of 2007. She has also written several articles concerning early-modern French commercial law and culture, including: “Enforcing Virtue: Social Norms and Self-Interest in an Eighteenth-Century Merchant Court,” Law and History Review 22 (2004), which received the ASLH’s Surrency prize; and “Limited Liability in Context: Lessons from the French Origins of the American Limited Partnership,” Journal of Legal Studies 32 (2003). Her current research explores the procedural tradition of early American equity courts and its surprising, continental European parallels. She has published an article on these themes—”Our Inquisitorial Tradition: Equity Procedure, Due Process, and the Search for an Alternative to the Adversarial,” Cornell Law Review (2005)—and is now undertaking a new book project, research for which is being funded by a Ryskamp Fellowship from the ACLS. She is actively involved with the ASLH, having served on the 2006 Program Committee and, since May 2007, as Associate Editor (Book Reviews, Non-Americas) for the Law and History Review. In addition, she is currently serving as a member of the Executive Committee of the AALS Section on Comparative Law. Amalia Kessler writes: “Should I be elected to the Nominations Committee, one of my main goals will be to try to ensure a greater representation of topics and scholars from outside the U.S. in ASLH activities.”

Barbara Y. Welke is Associate Professor of History and Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota. Welke received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Chicago (1995) and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School (1983). Her current work addresses legal personality and citizenship in the long nineteenth century and the history of product liability from the last quarter of the nineteenth century through the twentieth century. Publications include Recasting American Liberty: Gender, Race, Law and the Railroad Revolution, 1865-1920 (Cambridge 2001), awarded the AHA Littleton-Griswold Prize; and “When All the Women Were White, and All the Blacks Were Men: Gender, Class, Race, and the Road to Plessy, 1855-1914,” Law & History Review, awarded the ASLH Surrency Prize. Welke has been involved in the ASLH since the early 1990s and has served on the Board of Directors (2002-2005), the Editorial Board of Law and History Review (1995-Present), the Cromwell Prize Committee (2004-2006), and the Program Committee (2005, 2001, 1998). In 2007 she has been chair of the Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History (June 2007).

To print out a ballot and vote, go here (pdf), and scroll down.