Cynthia Nicoletti, an expert in legal history who specializes in the Civil War and Reconstruction, will join the University of Virginia School of Law in the fall as an associate professor of law.
Nicoletti is already a familiar face at the University. This year she taught four courses at the Law School, including Civil War and the Constitution, as a visiting law professor from Mississippi College. In addition, she earned her bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees at UVA. (She earned her J.D. at Harvard Law School.)
"The law has always been at the center of my interest in the Civil War, and my interest in the Civil War is why I came to the University of Virginia," she said. "I loved going to school here, and it's really like a homecoming to be back."
Nicoletti's scholarship and teaching take a fresh look at some commonly held historical assumptions.
"If you know anything about the legal history of the Civil War, you tend to know two things: The war determined that secession was illegal, and that it ended slavery," she said. "I'm interested in questioning both of those conclusions."
Nicoletti is currently at work on a book based on her doctoral dissertation, which won the American Society for Legal History's William Nelson Cromwell Prize in 2011. The paper examines the issue of whether secession could have been legally valid.Read on here.
Congratulations to Cynthia Nicoletti and to UVA Law!