Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Halliday to Lead a Folger Seminar on "Law as Politics in England and the Empire"

[Here is an exciting announcement from the Folger Institute's Center for the History of British Political Thought.]

Law as Politics in England and the Empire, ca. 1600-1830

In part because English law operated in multiple forms-statute and common law, equity and civil law-it proved highly malleable as it interacted with new circumstances around the globe. New forms of property arose in North America and the Caribbean. In Tangier, English law encountered Portuguese law, and Jewish or Muslim litigants sued Christians. In Bengal, native courts persisted alongside English ones. Hybrid legal forms arose, generating novel social and political practices and ideas. Among other issues, this seminar will consider the legal origins and constitutional forms of different colonies, plantations, and other imperial outposts. How did metropolitan and colonial legislation restrict or expand the work of courts and judges? What were the different legal statuses of Britons and non-Britons? Participants will examine the distinct kinds of labor and will also explore varieties of property and the impact on English law of practices outside England. The seminar will mix readings in sources and recent scholarship with discussion of seminar members' projects on these and related themes. Sponsored by the Center for the History of British Political Thought, it is intended for scholars of literature and political thought as well as history, with or without extensive experience in legal history.

Director: Paul Halliday is Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Habeas Corpus: From England to Empire (2010), among other works. His current projects include an examination of the material forms of judicial knowledge and authority in the eighteenth century and the role of judges in making the British Empire from the sixteenth century to the nineteenth.

Schedule: Fridays, 1 - 4:30 p.m., 25 January through 12 April 2013, excluding 8 February and 5 April.

Apply: 4 September 2012 for admission (and grant-in-aid requests for Folger Institute consortium affiliates); 7 January 2013 for admission only. Visit the Institute website for materials and guidelines.

Questions? Please contact