Friday, November 30, 2018

Pitts on international law and empire

Jennifer Pitts, University of Chicago, has published Boundaries of the International: Law and Empire with Harvard University Press. From the publisher:
Cover: Boundaries of the International in HARDCOVERIt is commonly believed that international law originated in relations among European states that respected one another as free and equal. In fact, as Jennifer Pitts shows, international law was forged at least as much through Europeans’ domineering relations with non-European states and empires, leaving a legacy still visible in the unequal structures of today’s international order. 
Pitts focuses on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the great age of imperial expansion, as European intellectuals and administrators worked to establish and justify laws to govern emerging relationships with non-Europeans. Relying on military and commercial dominance, European powers dictated their own terms on the basis of their own norms and interests. Despite claims that the law of nations was a universal system rooted in the values of equality and reciprocity, the laws that came to govern the world were parochial and deeply entangled in imperialism. Legal authorities, including Emer de Vattel, John Westlake, and Henry Wheaton, were key figures in these developments. But ordinary diplomats, colonial administrators, and journalists played their part too, as did some of the greatest political thinkers of the time, among them Montesquieu and John Stuart Mill. 
Against this growing consensus, however, dissident voices as prominent as Edmund Burke insisted that European states had extensive legal obligations abroad that ought not to be ignored. These critics, Pitts shows, provide valuable resources for scrutiny of the political, economic, and legal inequalities that continue to afflict global affairs.
Praise for the book:

“Illuminat[es] the ways in which international law was an artifact of empire, a system for organizing the world so as to perpetuate Western dominance.”- G. John Ikenberry

“In this masterful study, Jennifer Pitts examines universalist claims about the law of nations alongside rising European global power, uncovering a set of linked contradictions within eighteenth- and nineteenth-century political thought. A tour de force of interpretation and historical analysis, this subtle and persuasive book places the problem of empire at the very center of the history of international law—where it will now surely stay.” - Lauren Benton

“An outstanding history of international law and its entanglement with empire from one of the leading historians of political thought in the world today.” - Andrew Fitzmaurice

Boundaries of the International adds much nuance to existing literature, and challenges some of the past analytics through which the history of international legal thought has been written. A first-class book by a recognized leader in the field of history of international political and legal thought.” - Martti Koskenniemi

Further information is available here.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Wilson-Buford, "Policing Sex and Marriage in the American Military"

New from the University of Nebraska Press: Policing Sex and Marriage in the American Military: The Court-Martial and the Construction of Gender and Sexual Deviance, 1950–2000 (Nov. 2018), by Kellie Wilson-Buford (Arkansas State University). A description from the Press:
The American military’s public international strategy of Communist containment, systematic weapons build-ups, and military occupations across the globe depended heavily on its internal and often less visible strategy of controlling the lives and intimate relationships of its members. From 1950 to 2000, the military justice system, under the newly instituted Uniform Code of Military Justice, waged a legal assault against all forms of sexual deviance that supposedly threatened the moral fiber of the military community and the nation. Prosecution rates for crimes of sexual deviance more than quintupled in the last quarter of the twentieth century. 
Drawing on hundreds of court-martial transcripts published by the Judge Advocate General of the Armed Forces, Policing Sex and Marriage in the American Military explores the untold story of how the American military justice system policed the marital and sexual relationships of the service community in an effort to normalize heterosexual, monogamous marriage as the linchpin of the military’s social order. Almost wholly overlooked by military, social, and legal historians, these court transcripts and the stories they tell illustrate how the courts’ construction and criminalization of sexual deviance during the second half of the twentieth century was part of the military’s ongoing articulation of gender ideology.

Policing Sex and Marriage in the American Military provides an unparalleled window into the historic criminalization of what were considered sexually deviant and violent acts committed by U.S. military personnel around the world from 1950 to 2000.
A few blurbs:
“A far-reaching and harrowing analysis of the American military justice system’s policing of marital and sexual lives of service members during the second half of the twentieth century. . . . [This is] an original and important contribution to the historiography on gender and sexuality studies in the American military.”—Aaron Belkin
“Essential to the study of gender, sexuality, military culture, and crime, each of which matters in distinct but related academic disciplines and to policy-making and social justice advocacy. . . . [This book] reveals the U.S. military’s practice with respect to crime, sex, and marriage in a way that will enrich the fields of gender and sexuality studies. It makes [both] careful and novel arguments.”—Elizabeth L. Hillman
More information is available here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Bernstein on Contract Governance among 11th-Century Jewish Merchants

Lisa Bernstein, University of Chicago Law School, has posted Contract Governance in Small World Networks: The Case of the Maghribi Traders:
This Article employs a social network perspective to revisit the best known example of successful private ordering in the economics literature — the case of the Maghribi Jewish merchants who engaged in both local and long distance trade across the Islamic Mediterranean in the eleventh century. Drawing on a case study of the over 200 Maghribi merchant letters available in English, it reveals the ways that a bridge-and-cluster configuration of ties among traders known as a “small-world network” can be effective in supporting trade over long distances, even in an environment of noisy information. Recognizing the contract governance properties of small-world networks is important for three core reasons. First, because the underlying economic forces that give rise to small-world networks are quite common, and they are often associated with innovation related benefits, exploring their governance properties should make it possible to better understand the ways trade is, and can be, supported in a variety of modern markets. Second, understanding the ways small-world networks function can contribute to the design of formal and informal institutions to support exchange. Finally, understanding the governance power of small-world networks reveals that the small, geographically concentrated, close-knit groups (cliques) that the legal literature has long associated with successful private ordering are not in fact a precondition for well-functioning private order, as small-world networks can effectively support trade among large numbers of traders operating at considerable distances from one another.

Lynch's Australian Dissents

Andrew Lynch, University of New South Wales has published Great Australian Dissents with Cambridge University Press. From the publisher: 
Great Australian Dissents
When judges disagree, those in the minority write a dissenting opinion. This book considers the great dissents in Australian law. Their worth may derive from numerous factors, including their rhetorical force as a piece of legal reasoning or emotive power as a judicial lament for the 'error' into which the majority has fallen; the general importance of the issue at stake; as a challenge to the orthodoxy; and, sometimes, the subsequent recognition of a dissenting opinion's correctness and its ultimate vindication. On some occasions, all these features may be strongly present, on others only some. Through a diverse selection of memorable dissenting opinions, this book illuminates the topic of judicial disagreement more generally - not only through examples of instances when minority opinions have been distinctly valuable, but by drawing out a richer understanding of the attributes and circumstances which lead some dissents to become iconic, while so many lie forgotten.
 Table of Contents after the jump:

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Undergraduate Research Diversity Fellowships in Law and Social Science @ ABF

[We have the following announcement.]

The American Bar Foundation (ABF), among the world's leading research institutes for the empirical and interdisciplinary study of law, is now accepting applications for two exciting fellowship opportunities:
Summer Research Diversity Fellowship (SRDF) – Summer 2019 (8 weeks)
LSAC Research Diversity Fellowship – June 2019 to May 2020 (Chicago area applicants only)
Supported by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), the Kenneth F. and Harle G. Montgomery Foundation, and Walmart, these fellowships are designed to introduce undergraduate students to the rewards and demands of a research-oriented career in the field of law and social science.

From June 3 to July 31, 2019, Fellows will work full-time at the ABF’s office in Chicago and receive a stipend of $3,600. Each Fellow will be assigned to work on a specific research project with an experienced ABF scholar, participate in various in-house seminars, and go on field visits to law firms, social justice nonprofits, and criminal courtrooms. They will also have the opportunity to sit in on graduate level classes and meet with admissions representatives from local law schools.

The LSAC Research Diversity Fellow will continue their fellowship after the summer and work as a part-time research assistant at the ABF for a full academic year.

Eligibility.  The goal of these fellowships is to encourage a diverse and inclusive community in the fields of law and social science. Individuals who are diverse and underrepresented in both fields, and who demonstrate a commitment to diversity with respect to economic background, religious affiliation, race, ethnicity, disability, military experience, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity, are encouraged to apply.

Only sophomores and juniors attending colleges and universities in the U.S. will be considered. Applicants must have a grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). The LSAC Research Diversity Fellow must attend a Chicago-area university or college.

Application.  Candidates must apply via Interfolio. Required materials include:
    Two brief essays on topics indicated in the application form online.
    A writing sample from any academic discipline.
    Unofficial transcript of academic courses.
    One letter of recommendation (non-confidential is acceptable) from a faculty member familiar with the student’s academic work.
    Resume or academic CV.

Applications will open on November 15, 2018. Completed applications must be received by February 15, 2019. Due to the large volume of applications, late applications cannot be reviewed. Selections will be announced in April 2019.

To apply online for either fellowship, please visit [here].

For further information, please email or visit [here].

Conference: Money as a Democratic Medium

[We’ve previously posted an announcement of this conference, but we’re reposting with a link to an updated schedule.]

Money as a Democratic Medium.  December 14-15, 2018.  Harvard Law School.  Sponsored by Harvard Program on the Study of Capitalism, Institute for Global Law and Policy,  The Murphy Institute - Tulane University, the Harvard Law Forum, and Harvard Law School

 “Those who create and issue money and credit direct the policies of government and hold in the hollow of their hands the destiny of the people.”  The words, attributed to a 20th century British banker, capture an emerging consensus.  Money, governance, and public welfare are intimately connected in the modern world.  More particularly, the way political communities make money and allocate credit is an essential element of governance.  It critically shapes economic processes – channeling liquidity, fueling productivity, and influencing distribution.  At the same time, those decisions about money and credit define key political structures, locating in particular hands the authority to mobilize resources, determining access to funds, and delegating power and privileges to private actors and organizations.

Recognizing money and credit as public projects exposes issues of democratic purpose and possibility.  In a novel focus, this conference makes those issues central.  Scholars, policy makers, and students have often assumed that money and credit emerge from private exchange and entrepreneurial activity.  Recent work, by contrast, emphasizes that modern currencies depend on collective orchestration.  That approach resets the frame.  

First, examining money as a public project opens monetary institutions to our view.  Comparative and historical work suggests that societies have experimented constantly with different monetary structures and methods of allocating credit.  Everyday experience reiterates that lesson.  The Financial Crisis, the European Monetary Union, recurring sovereign debt crises among emerging countries – all have catalyzed intense debates over institutional reform.  Expanding our vision enables us to identify and explore more effectively the complex engineering that produces modern money and credit.  Given the broader view, we can better evaluate the way our monetary orders have changed and the capacities at stake when they do.  We can see causal connections previously obscured, including the relationships between governmental structures and market processes.  Likewise, we can ask new questions about the way disciplinary premises, such as the private genesis of money and credit or the classical dichotomy between real and nominal value, have shaped substantive inquiry.  Looking forward, we can consider institutional alternatives, the political and normative premises that shape them, and their impact on shaping the modern political economy.

Second, the new approach directs attention to a different register of claims and responsibilities.  If money is a public resource, if public obligation and enforcement anchor demand for the medium, if the government in essential ways supports the payments system – then we face profound legal and political obligations to evaluate the design of the monetary and financial system and the dynamics it produces, including how money circulates, whether participants in a monetary community have equal access to the medium, and how the current structures engender growth, mobility and opportunity, or dearth and exclusion.  Today’s challenge is to revise the monetary architecture we have inherited so that it operates to reinforce democratic aspirations rather than undermine them.

The goal of the conference is to bring individuals working in different areas with diverse methods into a common conversation.  Their projects are likely to inform each other and may suggest unanticipated synergies at the academic and policy-making level.  For example, one trend in recent work reinterprets the monetary system as a public utility.  That insight throws the regulatory regime crafted for banks and analogous institutions into a new light, suggesting that we have miscategorized those entities.  Another strand in scholarship and policy-making focuses on the long-standing failure by commercial banks to reach low-income individuals.  That work explores the motives that drive bankers’ decisions and considers efforts to re-align those incentives.  The projects on infrastructure and “banking the unbanked” each revise scholarly approaches to banks as intermediaries and innovate ways to expand access to credit. 

Similar potential synergies abound elsewhere.  Thus scholars from a variety of methodological angles are exploring the way societies anchor money’s value.  Their work considers the critical role played by public demand, including the determination by political authorities to take a particular unit in payment for taxes and other communal obligations.  That theoretic claim informs full employment/job guarantee programs, proposals for “complementary currencies” that could circulate as a more flexible local money within monetary unions, and models of sustainable credit that advocate loans tailored to increasing taxpaying capacity.  As the scholarship in these areas proliferates, its authors should vet their approaches to public demand against each other, looking for the differences and shared aspects that could stimulate new insights and stronger work.

The Conference is organized to invite sustained exchange among participants over the course of the two-day conference.  It is open to all students of money, the monetary system, and the modern economy, including the public.   Please register (no charge) [here.]  Schedule [here.]

Jagodinsky & Mitchell, eds., "Beyond the Borders of the Law"

New from the University Press of Kansas: Beyond the Borders of the Law: Critical Legal Histories of the North American West (Sept. 2018), edited by Katrina Jagodinsky (University of Nebraska) and Pablo Mitchell (Oberlin College). A description from the Press:
In the American imagination “the West” denotes a border—between civilization and wilderness, past and future, native and newcomer—and its lawlessness is legendary. In fact, there was an abundance of law in the West, as in all borderland regions of vying and overlapping claims, jurisdictions, and domains. It is this legal borderland that Beyond the Borders of the Law explores. Combining the concepts and insights of critical legal studies and western/borderlands history, this book demonstrates how profoundly the North American West has been, and continues to be, a site of contradictory, overlapping, and overreaching legal structures and practices steeped in articulations of race, gender, and power. 
The authors in this volume take up topics and time periods that include Native history, the US-Canada and US-Mexico borders, regions from Texas to Alaska and Montana to California, and a chronology that stretches from the mid-nineteenth century to the near-present. From water rights to women’s rights, from immigrant to indigenous histories, from disputes over coal deposits to child custody, their essays chronicle the ways in which marginalized westerners have leveraged and resisted the law to define their own rights and legacies. For the authors, legal borderlands might be the legal texts that define and regulate geopolitical borders, or they might be the ambiguities or contradictions creating liminal zones within the law. In their essays, and in the volume as a whole, the concept of legal borderlands proves a remarkably useful framework for finally bringing a measure of clarity to a region characterized by lawful disorder and contradiction.
A few blurbs:
“This rich and eclectic collection of writings by scholars of Native American, African American, Chicana/o, and Latina/o history as well as border and legal studies represents the death knell to the archetype of the ‘wild west.’ Rather than the North American West being a lawless region, Beyond the Borders of the Law demonstrates the varied origins, uses, and interpretations of the law in there and the ways in which even the most disenfranchised peoples used the legal system to advocate for their rights and personal freedoms. Focusing on themes of race and gender, property and citizenship, and justice and reform, the volume delves deeply and widely into the law’s influence in the borderlands across space, place, and time.” — Miroslava Chávez-Garca

“Western legal history is relatively new, and this creative collection of essays defines the field. Within the broad topic of legal borderlands, ten authors offer their engaging ideas about race and gender, property and citizenship, and justice and reform of the law in the American West. This book is most worthy of being described as ‘cutting edge.’”—John R. Wunder
More information is available here.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Pargas, ed., "Fugitive Slaves and Spaces of Freedom in North America"

New from the University of Florida Press: Fugitive Slaves and Spaces of Freedom in North America (Sept. 2018), edited by Damian Alan Pargas (Leiden University). A description from the Press:
This volume introduces a new way to study the experiences of runaway slaves by defining different “spaces of freedom” they inhabited. It also provides a groundbreaking continental view of fugitive slave migration, moving beyond the usual regional or national approaches to explore locations in Canada, the U.S. North and South, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Using newspapers, advertisements, and new demographic data, contributors show how events like the Revolutionary War and westward expansion shaped the slave experience.

Contributors investigate sites of formal freedom, where slavery was abolished and refugees were legally free, to determine the extent to which fugitive slaves experienced freedom in places like Canada while still being subject to racism. In sites of semiformal freedom, as in the northern United States, fugitives’ claims to freedom were precarious because state abolition laws conflicted with federal fugitive slave laws. Contributors show how local committees strategized to interfere with the work of slave catchers to protect refugees. Sites of informal freedom were created within the slaveholding South, where runaways who felt relocating to distant destinations was too risky formed maroon communities or attempted to blend in with free black populations. These individuals procured false documents or changed their names to avoid detection and pass as free.

The essays discuss slaves’ motivations for choosing these destinations, the social networks that supported their plans, what it was like to settle in their new societies, and how slave flight impacted broader debates about slavery. This volume redraws the map of escape and emancipation during this period, emphasizing the importance of place in defining the meaning and extent of freedom.
From an advance review:
“This anthology is the first to make a conceptual distinction between formal, semiformal, and informal freedom of runaway slaves and the first to examine the plight of fugitives in a broad continental perspective.”—Loren Schweninger
More information, including the Table of Contents, is available here.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Rosser on Ablavsky, The Rise of Federal Title

Here's another recent JOTWELL review of interest: Writing for the Property section, Ezra Rosser (American University Washington College of Law) reviews "The Rise of Federal Title," by Gregory Ablavsky (Stanford Law School). The article appeared in Volume 106 of the California Law Review (2018). Here's a taste:
Ablavsky’s article draws upon the history of western expansion across the Appalachian mountains from the original colonies and states to the fertile land beyond (especially present day Tennessee and Ohio) to show how the federal government came to have so much power over all aspects of land ownership in the territories and states. As numerous scholars have highlighted, although military conquest dominates the country’s historical imagination, non-Indians acquired land from Indian tribes largely through purchases and agreements. 
What Ablavsky adds is a sense of the messiness of land claims in the frontier, in the territories, and in newly admitted states. Ablavsky describes how speculators rushed to claim western land and how fortunes were made and lost on land speculation. Adding to the chaotic mix of speculative claims were those of veterans who had been promised western land for their service and those of individuals who unilaterally asserted the right to land based on state law preemption allowances.
Read on here.

Grisinger AND Franklin on Chin & Ormonde, "The War Against Chinese Restaurants"

Catching up on our JOTWELL reading, we came upon Joanna Grisinger's recent review of "The War Against Chinese Restaurants," by Gabriel J. Chin (University of California, Davis) & John Ormond (independent scholar). The article appeared in Volume 67 of the Duke Law Journal (2018). Here's the first paragraph of the review:
In the The War Against Chinese Restaurants, Gabriel J. Chin and John Ormonde describe how state and local actors in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries used legal tools to try to drive Chinese restaurants out of business. Chin and Ormonde describe a wide array of legislative, regulatory, and prosecutorial activity targeting Chinese-owned restaurants—some of it successful, some not—and argue that these local (but often nationally coordinated) efforts demonstrate white Americans’ intertwined concerns about work, immigration, urbanization, gender, and ethnicity in this era. And these concerns, once moved to the national stage, motivated Congress in 1917 and 1924 to ban almost all immigration from Asia.
Read on here.

It turns out the Cary Franklin (University of Texas at Austin School of Law) is also a fan of the article. Here's a taste of her JOTWELL review (for the Constitutional Law section):
In this article, Chin and Ormonde recover the largely forgotten history of the national campaign, in the last decade of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth, to eradicate Chinese restaurants from the United States. Although the number of Chinese immigrants in the U.S. decreased over those years as a result of tight restrictions on Asian immigration, the number of Chinese restaurants skyrocketed. In 1870, Chinese restaurants employed 164 Chinese workers; by 1920, such restaurants employed over 11,400 Chinese workers. By that point, it had become clear that the “Chop Suey craze” was not just a fad. Americans seemed to have a limitless appetite for Chinese food. But the rapid proliferation of Chinese restaurants exacerbated powerful nativist anxieties about economic opportunity, immigration, and the racial make-up of the American polity. Unions in particular decried the diversion of jobs and money away from “the American wage-earner” and to “workers and employers from the Orient.” Union leaders feared that the low wages and low prices associated with Chinese restaurants would depress restaurant workers’ pay and deprive so-called American restaurants of much-needed revenue. Deeply intertwined with these apparently economic concerns was the widely-shared fear that Chinese immigrants constituted a threat to “traditional” American culture and that Chinese men, often portrayed as shifty opium-pushers, posed a threat to the safety of white women. Thus began a decades-long campaign, orchestrated by unions, politicians, and law enforcement officers, to eliminate Chinese restaurants from cities and towns across the country.
Read on here -- and I recommend you read to the very end, where Franklin highlights the gender dimension to the article and offers the following observation. "This piece of history helps one to see more vividly how manufactured panics about the dangers of non-white immigrant men—then and now—enable those in power to obscure where the real threats to women lie."

Tickell on Shoplifting

Shelley Tickell, University of Hertfordshire, has published Shoplifting in Eighteenth-Century England with Boydell & Brewer. From the press:

Image result for shoplifting in eighteenth-century england"Shoplifting in Eighteenth-Century England examines the nature and 
impact on society of this commercial crime at a time of rapid retail expansion during the long eighteenth century. As a new consumer culture took root in England and shops proliferated, the crime of shoplifting leaped to public prominence. In 1699 shoplifting became a hanging offence. Yet whether compelled by need or greed, shoplifters continued to operate in substantial numbers on the shopping streets of London and provincial towns. Regarded initially as exclusively a crime of the poor, the eighteenth century witnessed a transformation in the public perception and understanding of such customer theft, signalled by the shocking arrest of Jane Austen's wealthy aunt for shoplifting in 1799.
This book shows, through systematic profiling of those who committed this crime, that shoplifting was primarily a crime of the poor and predominantly an opportunist one. Providing both quantitative analysis and engaging insights into real-life stories, the book describes the variable strategies adopted by shoplifters to raid elite and poorer stores, the practical responses of shopkeepers to this predation and the financial impact on their businesses. It investigates the trade lobbying that led to the passing of the Shoplifting Act, the degree to which retailers co-operated with the judiciary and their engagement with the capital law reform movement of the later eighteenth century. Examining the range of goods stolen, the book also addresses questions of whether or not this form of theft was driven by consumer desire and suggests that more subtle social and economic motives were at work.
Here's a layout of chapter titles: 
  • Customer Thieves
  • The Extent of the Crime
  • Shoplifting in Practice
  • What was Stolen
  • The Impact on Retailers
  • Retailers' Recourse to Law
  • Public Attitudes to the Crime
 Further information is available here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thorton on Edith Haynes's Case

Margaret Thornton, ANU College of Law, has posted Challenging the Legal Profession a Century On: The Case of Edith Haynes, which appears in the University of Western Australia Law Review 44 (2018): 1-20:
This article focuses on Edith Haynes’ unsuccessful attempt to enter the legal profession in Western Australia. Although admitted to articles as a law student in 1900, she was denied permission to sit her intermediate examination by the Supreme Court of WA (In re Edith Haynes (1904) 6 WAR 209). Edith Haynes is of particular interest for two reasons. First, the decision denying her permission to sit the exam was an example of a ‘persons’ case’, which was typical of an array of cases in the English common law world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in which courts determined that women were not persons for the purpose of entering the professions or holding public office. Secondly, as all (white) women had been enfranchised in Australia at the time, the decision of the Supreme Court begs the question as to the meaning of active citizenship. The article concludes by hypothesising a different outcome for Edith Haynes by imagining an appeal to the newly established High Court of Australia.

2018 Cromwell Fellowship Recipients

Belated news from the recent ASLH meeting: the winners of this year's Cromwell Fellowships. The William Nelson Cromwell Foundation awards these fellowships to support research and writing in American legal history by early-career scholars. This year's awardees:
Katherine Carper 
Meggan Farish Cashwell 
Anne Gray Fischer 
Matthew Guariglia 
Sara Matthiesen 
Ashton Merck 
Shaun Ossei-Owusu 
Ivon Padilla Rodriguez 
Brendan Shanahan 
Kent Weber 
Geneva Smith 
Calvin Snyder 
Rachel Watson
The members of the 2018 ASLH Committee for Research Fellowships and Awards were Serena Mayeri (Chair) (University of Pennsylvania); Leonardo Barbosa (CEFOR/Câmara dos Deputados, Brazil); Sandra VanBurkleo (Wayne State University); Kenneth Mack (Harvard University); Katherine Turk (University of North Carolina); and Tracy Steffes (Brown University).

Lim on US-Mexico borderland migrations

Julian Lim, Arizona State University has published Porous Borders: Multiracial Migrations and the Law in the US-Mexico Borderlands with the University of North Carolina Press. From the publisher:
Porous Borders
With the railroad’s arrival in the late nineteenth century, immigrants of all colors rushed to the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, transforming the region into a booming international hub of economic and human activity. Following the stream of Mexican, Chinese, and African American migration, Julian Lim presents a fresh study of the multiracial intersections of the borderlands, where diverse peoples crossed multiple boundaries in search of new economic opportunities and social relations. However, as these migrants came together in ways that blurred and confounded elite expectations of racial order, both the United States and Mexico resorted to increasingly exclusionary immigration policies in order to make the multiracial populations of the borderlands less visible within the body politic, and to remove them from the boundaries of national identity altogether.
Using a variety of English- and Spanish-language primary sources from both sides of the border, Lim reveals how a borderlands region that has traditionally been defined by Mexican-Anglo relations was in fact shaped by a diverse population that came together dynamically through work and play, in the streets and in homes, through war and marriage, and in the very act of crossing the border.
Praise for the book:

"Lim's ability to weave an analytical narrative from an array of disparate sources in local, state, and national archives in Mexico as well as the United States makes Porous Borders a model for transnational history and the historian's craft." - H-Net

“With lucid prose and binational archival depth, Julian Lim illuminates a key era and location in borderlands history. Starting with the cartographic expedition of 1848, Lim traces the construction of the El Paso–Juarez area as a political and economic engine of empire and border control and the ways that its multiracial, mixed-race denizens contested this process. Full of previously untold stories, this book stands to remap our understanding of the border.” - Rachel Ida Buff

“What makes this study original is its substantive inclusion of Chinese, Black, and Mexicano histories within a single frame. Lim’s innovative treatment of this material will push immigration and race historians to consider longer chronologies and dynamics at play in the borderlands.” - Kelly Lytle Hernández

Further details are available here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

CFP: Spaces of Roman Constitutionalism

[We have the following call for papers.]

Spaces of Roman Constitutionalism, University of Helsinki, September 26-28, 2019

Abstract: From the fora to the assemblies and beyond, public space in ancient Rome was both political and contested, reflecting changing notions of community, citizenship and the values and norms behind them. The purpose of this conference is to explore the political, cultural and legal notions of public space and public realm in Rome. By observing the place of magistrates in the public spaces of Rome and more generally in the ideas behind Republican governance, it seeks to question and unpack the notions that have been built into the concept of Roman republican governance. On one hand we have the notion of Republicanism and public law, which has a rich history of modernizing interpretations and reuses in European history. On the other, there is the equally rich tradition of rituals, ceremonies, religious convictions and beliefs that surround the practices of governance. By examining the spacial aspect, how these were situated and interlinked and how public and private spaces and roles intermingled, we are hoping to shed new light into cultural and social dimension of Roman republicanism and its transformation from the Republic to the Principate. By setting ideas into their dynamic spatial, social and cultural contexts, we hope to subvert the traditional story of Roman constitutionalism.

The organizers invite paper proposals for a number of central themes relating to the topic. The themes are:
- magistrates, assemblies and the transformation of the political spaces
- spaces of administration and memory
- religious institutions, collegia and the intermingling between the civic and religious spheres
- invisible borders and divisions in the public sphere
- the Republican domus, its connections with and role as a model of administrative space
- spaces of exclusion and intersectionality
- comparative studies on public space in the ancient world
- the reception of the Roman republicanist thought and practice

The abstract should be max. 400 words long and be accompanied by a short 1 page CV.

Confirmed keynote speakers: Harriet Flower (Princeton), Karl-Joachim Hölkeskamp (Köln), Catherine Steel (Glasgow), Clifford Ando (Chicago)

The conference is organized by the research project Law, Governance and Space: Questioning the Foundations of the Republican Tradition (SpaceLaw), funded by the European Research Council. There is no conference fee. The organizers are unfortunately unable to aid in either travel arrangements or the cost of travel.

The deadline for abstracts is January 25th, 2019. The proposals should be sent to

Transatlantic Tax Revolts, Eleanor Roosevelt's Tax Returns and the VAT That Never Was

Up now on Cambridge Core, from Modern American History is a symposium of three brief essays on taxation.  The first is How the Great American Tax Revolt Crossed the Atlantic, by Isaac William Martin, professor of sociology at the University of California–San Diego.  The second is Eleanor Roosevelt's Tax Returns, by Carolyn C. Jones, Orville L. and Ermina  D. Dykstra Chair in Income Tax Law at Iowa Law.  The third is The Myth of the “Overtaxed” American and the VAT That Never Was, by Ajay K. Mehrotra, Executive Director and Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation and Northwestern Law.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Brewer Prize to Stahl

We've learned that the American Society of Church History has awarded the 2018 Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize (for outstanding scholarship in church history by a first-time author) to recent guest blogger Ronit Stahl (University of California, Berkeley) for Enlisting Faith: How The Military Chaplaincy Shaped Religion and State in Modern America (Harvard University Press, 2017). 

Congratulations to Professor Stahl!

Berger-Howe Legal History Fellowship

[We have the following announcement.]

Harvard Law School invites applications for the Raoul Berger-Mark DeWolfe Howe Legal History Fellowship for the academic year 2019-2020.  Eligible applicants include those who have a first law degree, who have completed the required coursework for a doctorate, or who have recently been awarded a doctoral degree. A J.D. is preferred, but not required.  The purpose of the fellowship is to enable the fellow to complete a major piece of writing in the field of legal history, broadly defined. There are no limitations as to geographical area or time period.

Fellows are expected to spend the majority of their time on their own research. They also help coordinate the Harvard Law School Legal History Colloquium, which meets four or five times each semester. Fellows are invited to present their own work at the colloquium. Fellows will be required to be in residence at the law school during the academic year (September through May).

Applicants for the fellowship for 2019-2020 should submit their applications and supporting materials electronically to Professor Bruce H. Mann (

Applications should outline briefly the fellow’s proposed project (no more than five typewritten pages) and include a writing sample and a curriculum vitae that gives the applicant’s educational background, publications, works in progress, and other relevant experience, accompanied by official transcripts of all academic work done at the graduate level. The applicant should arrange for two academic references to be submitted electronically. The transcripts may be sent by regular mail to Professor Mann at Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138.

The deadline for applications is February 15, 2019, and announcement of the award will be made by March 15, 2019.  The fellow selected will be awarded a stipend of $38,000.

Vause on debt and dishonor in France

Erika Vause, St. John's University, has published In the Red and in the Black: Debt, Dishonor, and the Law in France between Revolutions with the University of Virginia Press. From the publisher: 
"The most dishonorable act that can dishonor a man." Such is Félix Grandet’s unsparing view of bankruptcy, adding that even a highway robber—who at least "risks his own life in attacking you"—is worthier of respect. Indeed, the France of Balzac’s day was an unforgiving place for borrowers. Each year, thousands of debtors found themselves arrested for commercial debts. Those who wished to escape debt imprisonment through bankruptcy sacrificed their honor—losing, among other rights and privileges, the ability to vote, to serve on a jury, or even to enter the stock market.
Arguing that French Revolutionary and Napoleonic legislation created a conception of commercial identity that tied together the debtor’s social, moral, and physical person, In the Red and in the Black examines the history of debt imprisonment and bankruptcy as a means of understanding the changing logic of commercial debt. Following the practical application of these laws throughout the early nineteenth century, Erika Vause traces how financial failure and fraud became legally disentangled. The idea of personhood established in the Revolution’s aftermath unraveled over the course of the century owing to a growing penal ideology that stressed the state’s virtual monopoly over incarceration and to investors’ desire to insure their financial risks. This meticulously researched study offers a novel conceptualization of how central "the economic" was to new understandings of self, state, and the market. Telling a story deeply resonant in our own age of ambivalence about the innocence of failures by financial institutions and large-scale speculators, Vause reveals how legal personalization and depersonalization of debt was essential for unleashing the latent forces of capitalism itself.
Praise for the book:

 "A ground-breaking study exemplary in every way." - Maura O’Connor

"In this impeccably researched and vigorously argued book, Erika Vause offers nuanced and original accounts of the concepts of debt and bankruptcy among merchants, moralists, and novelists that shed new light on the political divides and affinities that shaped France's trajectory from the Directory through the Revolution." - Clare Crowston

Further information is available here.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

MacMillan Delivers Marshall-Wythe Lecture

Catharine MacMillan, King’s College London, delivered the Marshall-Wythe Lecture in Legal History at the William & Mary Law School on November 6.  It was entitled “Personal Networks and the Transference of Legal Ideas: the Trans-Atlantic Career of Judah P. Benjamin” and followed a workshop the preceding day on “A Political Exile's Odyssey: The Strange Life of Judah P. Benjamin.”  More.

Legal History RA Sought

[Here's an ad for an RA job that landed in our email inbox.]  Historian Amy Speckart, PhD, seeks support in legal history research and analysis for a Historic Resource Study (HRS) of Thomas Stone National Historic Site in Charles County, Maryland. The 328-acre property, also known as Haberdeventure, was a home of lawyer and planter Thomas Stone (1743–1787), a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Supplementing an existing Historic Resource Study (1988), the current project pays particular attention to the subjects of agriculture, family, labor, and Stone’s legal career between 1765 and 1787 with the goal of placing extant cultural resources at the park in historical and geographical context. Primary source collection is anticipated to last through early 2019, with delivery of a final product in 2020.  [More.]

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Weekend Roundup

  • The Library of Congress recently announced the launch of the Foreign Law Web Archive, with a collection period commencing June 20, 2016.
  • Lots out this week for the the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, including this and this on South Asian soldiers' experiences in the trenches, Anya Jabour's Nursing Clio article on an American Red Cross nurse named Mary Curry, and our blogger Mitra Sharafi's piece on the longer history of poison as a weapon. From a few years ago, here is an NEH interview with Chad L. Williams on African-American soldiers in WWI. 
  • Congratulations to Deborah Hamer (William & Mary History), for winning an honorable mention for Best Article from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women. The article: “Marriage and the Construction of Colonial Order: Jurisdiction, Gender and Class in Seventeenth-century Dutch Batavia,” Gender & History 29, no. 3 (2017): 622-640.
  • Michael A. Livingston (Rutgers Law School) has posted The Other F-Word: Fascism, The “Rule of Law,” and the Trump Era, a review essay on several books “that have suggested parallels between 1930s-style fascism and present day politics, especially that of the Trump Administration,” including some of our summer reading (Timothy Snyder’s Road to Unfreedom and Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt’s How Democracies Die).  His verdict: “these parallels are generally unconvincing.”
  • In the New York Times: an op-ed by Gregory Downs (UC Davis) and Kate Masur (Northwestern) on "How To Remember Reconstruction" (and why Congress should pass the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park Act).
  • Update: John Fabian Witt on "Lincoln's Code" via YaleNews.
Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History bloggers.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Spitz on Colonialism and Humanity on Vancouver Island

Laura Spitz, University of New Mexico School of Law, has posted More or Less Human: Colonialism, Common Law, and the Social Construction of Humanity on Vancouver Island, 1849-1864:
Focusing on the colony of Vancouver Island in the mid-nineteenth century and the colonization efforts of James Douglas, this paper seeks to make three separate but related points about the meaning and relevance of being “human” in that place, at that time. First, practices of humanization and dehumanization were used in the construction of a consequential set of legal categories, including alien, Indian, corporation, white and citizen. In some sense, this period marked the beginning of colonial legal ‘sorting’ or ‘ordering’ in the region. Many of the most visible categorical contests surfaced through or in connection to contests about land and citizenship, but there was another story there, too: a much more basic story about who counted as fully human in the nascent colony. Second, notwithstanding colonial/settler practices of dehumanizing Indigenous people in the process of colonization, James Douglas believed that they were in fact human, and this was evident in his land policies and practices, including treaty-making. While Douglas is sometimes valorized for having recognized Aboriginal title in unceded land, however, the underlying assumption that Indigenous people were in fact human does not reveal a robust and nuanced view of humanity, nor was it especially progressive except in contrast to the even more discriminatory views of others. Rather, it was fundamentally liberal in the sense that it recognized that Indigenous people could be legal persons, capable of holding and exercising rights in property. Conceived thus, human being was a status which entitled the status-holder to something like membership in humankind; and humanity was essentially the totality of human beings. Finally, this conception of what it meant to be human would likely not have made sense in the context of Coast Salish justice systems and other traditions. Being human was not so much a status to which legal rights attached, as a largely relational way of being in the world, and even then, potentially transitional or temporary, and invariably subordinate to more powerful, nonhuman forces. In that view, humanity was not so much the totality of human beings, or at least not just that, but something one expressed towards others, both human and nonhuman. Ultimately, this disconnect between Douglas’s and Coast Salish understandings not only complicated treaty-making, it had lasting impact on the evolution of laws in the territory we now call British Columbia.

Sourcebooks on the Holocaust

A multi-volume publication, The Persecution and Murder of the European Jews by Nazi Germany, 1933-1945 is being published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg. The books are a production of the German Federal Archives, the Institute of Contemporary History Munich-Berlin, and the Chair of Modern History at the Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg, in collaboration with Yad Vashem.
From the publisher:
This source edition on the persecution and murder of the European Jews by Nazi Germany presents in a total of 16 volumes a thematically comprehensive selection of documents on the Holocaust. The work illustrates the contemporary contexts, dynamics, and intermediate stages of the political and social process that led to this unprecedented mass crime. It can be used by teachers, researchers, students, and all those who are interested in addressing the Holocaust. The edition comprises authentic testimony by persecutors, victims, and onlookers. These testimonies are furnished with academic annotations and the vast majority of them are published here for the first time in English.
The editorial board includes: Susanne Heim, Ulrich Herbert, Michael Hollmann, Horst Möller, Dieter Pohl, Sybille Steinbacher, Simone Walther-von Jena, and Andreas Wirsching. The international advisory board for the English edition consists of: Nomi Halpern, Elizabeth Harvey, Dan Michman, and Alan E. Steinweis. The coordinator of the English-language edition is Caroline Pearce, with assistance from Dorothy Mas.

Further information is available here.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Schmidt on Originalism and the Fourteenth Amendment

Christopher W. Schmidt, Chicago-Kent College of Law and American Bar Foundation, has posted Originalism and Congressional Power to Enforce the Fourteenth Amendment which appears in the Washington and Lee Law Review Online 74 (2018): 33:
In this Essay I argue that originalism conflicts with the Supreme Court’s current jurisprudence defining the scope of Congress’ power to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment. Under the standard established in Boerne v. Flores, the Court limits congressional power under Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment to statutory remedies premised on judicially defined interpretations of Fourteenth Amendment rights. A commitment to originalism as a method of judicial constitutional interpretation challenges the premise of judicial interpretive supremacy in Section 5 jurisprudence in two ways. First, as a matter of history, an originalist reading of Section 5 provides support for broad judicial deference to congressional constitutional interpretive authority. Second, even if one accepts originalism as the best way for courts to interpret the Constitution, this assumption does not necessarily apply to nonjudicial actors when they are fulfilling their own constitutional responsibilities—such as members of Congress acting to enforce the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment. Placing judicial originalism into the foreground of our discussion of Section 5 jurisprudence thus offers additional support for a broader reading of the congressional enforcement power than exists today under Boerne.
H/t: Legal Theory Blog, where my colleague Lawrence Solum writes that the paper includes “no discussion of the original public meaning of the text of Section 5.”

His comment provides an occasion to report that "original public meaning" took some hard knocks during the panel on "Originalism and History" at the just concluded annual meeting of the American Society for Legal History.   (See p. 33 of the program.)   Jonathan Gienapp, Stanford History, presented a paper drawing upon his Second Creation: Fixing the American Constitution in the Founding EraBernadette Meyler, Stanford Law, addressed the Confrontation Clause with a paper based on research in early American court records (and especially a homicide in New Jersey). In place of Saul Cornell, who could not attend, Logan Sawyer, Georgia Law, presented "Method and Dialog in History and Originalism," which contrasted the cordial exchanges of legal historians with an earlier generation of originalists (e.g., Willard Hurst and Raoul Berger) with those of today.

On such matters, be on the lookout for Law and History Review 37:3 (2019), a special issue on “Legal History and Originalism: Rethinking the Special Relationship."

Zhang Wins SSHA Presidents Book Award

Via a Yale Law School press release, we have word that the Social Science History Association has awarded the Presidents Book Award to Yale Law professor (and former LHB guest blogger) Taisu Zhang:
Zhang’s book, The Laws and Economics of Confucianism: Kinship and Property in Preindustrial China and England (Cambridge University Press) offers a novel argument as to why Chinese and English pre-industrial economic development went down different paths. Zhang argues that this social differences in Late Imperial and Republican China versus the more “individualist” society of early modern England had major consequences for property institutions and agricultural production. 
The 2018 SSHA Presidents Book Award is awarded annually to a first work by an early-career scholar and comes with a $1000 prize.
Read on here. Congratulations to Professor Zhang!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Brady Wins AALS Scholarly Papers Award

Via a University of Virginia School of Law press release, we have the following news:
Professor Maureen “Molly” Brady of the University of Virginia School of Law has been named co-winner of the 2019 Scholarly Papers Competition sponsored by the Association of American Law Schools. 
Her paper, “The Forgotten History of Metes and Bounds,” forthcoming in the Yale Law Journal, explores the social and legal context surrounding earlier metes and bounds systems and the important role that nonstandardized property can play in stimulating growth. Metes and bounds is a method of describing land or real estate that uses physical features of the local geography, along with directions and distances, to define and describe boundaries.
Read on here. Congratulations to Professor Brady!

Kornbluh & Mink on Welfare Reform in Feminist Perspective

New from the University of Pennsylvania Press: Ensuring Poverty: Welfare Reform in Feminist Perspective (Nov. 2018), by Felicia Kornbluh (University of Vermont) and Gwendolyn Mink (Independent Scholar). A description from the Press:
In Ensuring Poverty, Felicia Kornbluh and Gwendolyn Mink assess the gendered history of welfare reform. They foreground arguments advanced by feminists for a welfare policy that would respect single mothers' rights while advancing their opportunities and assuring economic security for their families. Kornbluh and Mink consider welfare policy in the broad intersectional context of gender, race, poverty, and inequality. They argue that the subject of welfare reform always has been single mothers, the animus always has been race, and the currency always has been inequality. Yet public conversations about poverty and welfare, even today, rarely acknowledge the nexus between racialized gender inequality and the economic vulnerability of single-mother families.
Since passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) by a Republican Congress and the Clinton administration, the gendered dimensions of antipoverty policy have receded from debate. Mink and Kornbluh explore the narrowing of discussion that has occurred in recent decades and the path charted by social justice feminists in the 1990s and early 2000s, a course rejected by policy makers. They advocate a return to the social justice approach built on the equality of mothers, especially mothers of color, in policies aimed at poor families.
A few blurbs:
"Placing feminist analysis front and center in the ongoing public debate about welfare policy, Felicia Kornbluh and Gwendolyn Mink offer a much-needed corrective to the standard historical narrative about welfare reform that normalizes the most gendered and retrograde provisions of the welfare 'ending' Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act."—Alice O'Connor 
"Ensuring Poverty is an important and overdue assessment of welfare reform's impact on women. Felicia Kornbluh and Gwendolyn Mink not only revive feminist criticism of the system's failure to value women's care work but also use new data to explain why welfare reform remains a critical aspect of politics today."—Dorothy Roberts
More information is available here. If you order from the Penn Press website, you can receive a 20 percent discount using this promo code: PJ55.

2018 Stein Award to Bishara for Sea of Debt

[We have the following announcement from the 2018 Annual Meeting of the ASLH.]

A Sea of DebtThe 2018 Stein Book Award winner is Fahad A. Bishara, University of Virginia, for A Sea of Debt: Law and Economic Life in the Western Indian Ocean, 1780-1950 (Cambridge University Press, 2017).
Fahad A. Bishara’s Sea of Debt is an ambitious and imaginatively conceived study that shows how law was a crucial force in tying together actors across the western Indian Ocean. Bishara follows Islamic law and its paperwork as they circulated between the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa. We learn how merchants from South Asia engaged with Islamic legal norms and institutions, and how all of this shifted as the British imperial presence intensified from the 1860s. Sea of Debt’s use of Arabic sources is particularly impressive, and sets the book apart from much work on the British imperial world. Illuminating the intersection of law and capitalism from Muscat to Mombasa (with a special focus on Zanzibar), Sea of Debt reveals how local actors—including is, jurists, traders, moneylenders, clerks, lawyers, and judges—shaped transoceanic commercial practices across the trade in dates, cloves, ivory and slaves through legal norms and networks.

Honorable mention went to Tom Lambert (Osborn Fellow in Medieval History, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University) for Law and Order in Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford University Press, 2017).

The members of the 2018 Stein Book Award committee were: Michael Grossberg (Indiana University Bloomington), Jisoo Kim (The George Washington University), Kristin Mann (Emory University), Jessica Marglin (University of Southern California), Matthew C. Mirow (Florida International University), Daniel Lord Smail (Harvard University), and David V. Williams (University of Auckland), with Mitra Sharafi (University of Wisconsin-Madison), chair. Special thanks also go to Jennifer Hanrahan (University of Wisconsin Law School).

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

ASLH Preyer Awards to Eatmon, Manners

A highlight of the ASLH annual meeting is the naming of the new Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars. About the award:
Named after the late Kathryn T. Preyer, a distinguished historian of the law of early America known for her generosity to early career 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 early career legal historians designated Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars will present what would normally be their first papers to the Society.
This year's awardees are Myisha S. Eatmon (Northwestern University), for her paper "'Righting Public Wrongs:' Black Use of Private Law in Search of Legal Recourse for White-On-Black Violence," and Jane Manners (New-York Historical Society) for "'Storehouse of the Industry of the Nation': Fire and Federalism in the Age of Jackson." 

Members of the the 2018 Preyer Memorial Committee were Jed Shugerman (Chair) (Fordham University); Rabia Belt (Stanford University); Anne Fleming (Georgetown University); Will Smiley (Reed College); Laura Kalman (University of California, Santa Barbara); and Gautham Rao (ex officio) (Editor, Law & History Review) (American University).

Kastenberg on Nixon's Attempt to Impeach Douglas

Justice Douglas en famille, 1939 (LC)
Joshua Kastenberg, University of New Mexico School of Law, has posted Safeguarding Judicial Integrity During the Trump Presidency: Richard Nixon's Attempt to Impeach Justice William O. Douglas and the Use of National Security as a Case Study, Campbell Law Review 40 (2018): 113-71:
In April 1970, Congressman Gerald Ford called for the impeachment of Justice William O. Douglas. Although Douglas had been accused by anticivil rights Southern Democrats of unprofessional conduct in his association with a political foundation as well as his four marriages, Ford reasoned that, in addition to the past allegations, Justice Douglas had become a threat to national security. Within two weeks of Ford's allegations, United States military forces invaded Cambodia without the express consent of Congress. Nixon's involvement in Ford's attempts to have Justice Douglas impeached give rise to the possibility that, in addition to trying to reshape the judiciary and further architect the "Southern Strategy" by bringing conservative Southern Democrats into the Republican Party, the impeachment would serve as a means to divert attention away from the Cambodian invasion. Ford's irresponsible conduct in this matter (and Justice Douglas's overall conduct) have never been historically addressed and, as a result, did not leave to future political leaders and judges a means by which to gauge behavior that can undermine the independence of the judicial branch. This Article is intended to provide a historical model of accountability.

ASLH Election Results

At this year's annual meeting of the American Society for Legal History, President Sally Gordon announced the election results.

The incoming members of the Board of Directors are: Binyamin Blum (University of California, Hastings College of Law); Rohit De (Yale University); Catherine Fisk (University of California, Berkeley); Katrina Jagodinsky (University of Nebraska); and Laurie Wood (Florida State University).

The new members of the Nominating Committee are Annette Gordon-Reed (Harvard University) and Serena Mayeri (University of Pennsylvania).

Congratulations to all, and thank you for your service. You can view the composition of the full Board and Nominating Committee here.

Advance Articles from AJLH

Have you signed up for Advance Alerts for the American Journal of Legal History?  Articles appearing on-line since November 8 are:

Law Evolves: The Uses of Primitive Law in Anglo-American Concepts of Modern Law, 1861-1961, by Coel Kirkby

Farewell Downton Abbey, Adieu Primogeniture and Entail: Britain’s Brief Encounter with Forced Heirship, by Lloyd Bonfield

Italian judges and judicial practice in Libya: a legal experiment in multinormativity, by Alessia Maria Di Stefano
The Jury Speaks: Jury Riders in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, by Mark Coen and Niamh Howlin

Monday, November 12, 2018

CFP: White Slavery in Transnational and International Context

[We have the following call for papers.]

White Slavery in Transnational and International Context, 1880-1950.  June 21, 2019, University of Warwick (UK).  Keynote: Brian Donovan ((University of Kansas)

This is a call for abstracts for paper, poster and creative presentations for a one day interdisciplinary conference on white slavery, as trafficking in women was historically called. The conference seeks to question how white slavery manifested in transnational and international contexts but welcomes papers on any localities.

We welcome papers exploring different aspects of white slavery from nationalism to visual representations, and their impact on anti-white slavery legislation. The conference seeks to investigate white slavery and its legacies from conceptual, legal, popular culture perspectives. It also seeks to place it in relation to wider themes of nationalism, race, gender, and labour, and question how white slavery relates to critiques of modernity.

We invite paper and poster presentations from range of disciplines that explore how white slavery manifested in these different contexts, in different localities, during the years 1880- 1950. The conference is particularly interested in exploring white slavery through the following themes:

* Race, nationality and nationalism
* Regulation / criminalisation of white slavery in domestic and international sphere
* Rhetoric of slavery and neo-abolitionism
* Age, innocence and purity
* Agency, autonomy and free will
* Gender; trafficking in boys / men
* Migration and gendered labour
* Critique of modernity
* White slavery in popular culture / media

We also welcome creative responses to the subject, and in particular poster presentations that engage the audience and foster debate on the conference themes. PG students at any stage of their studies are particularly encouraged to submit proposals for posters or other visual presentations. Poster presentations must be printed in advance of the conference and be size A1, either portrait or landscape (H: 84.1cm x W: 59.4cm); and you have to present in person. Poster session participants populate boards with pictures, data, graphs, diagrams, narrative text, and more - and will informally discuss their presentations with conference attendees during an assigned session.

Please send 300-word abstract for papers and 200-word abstracts for posters with a short bio to the organisers. Deadline is 31 January 2019. PG bursaries may be available.

Dr Catherine Armstrong (Loughborough University)  and Dr Laura Lammasniemi (University of Warwick)

O'Donnell's "Basic Bibliography" of Islam & Jurisprudence

Patrick S. O’Donnell, bibliographer extraordinaire, has posted Islam & Jurisprudence (or, ‘Islamic Law’): A Basic Bibliography.  As he explains over on Ratio Juris:
I have completed my latest bibliography, on Islam and Jurisprudence, available here. The introduction:

This compilation, like most of my bibliographies, has two constraints: books, in English. I trust the inference will not be made that this implies the best works are only in English, as it merely reflects the limits of my knowledge and research. “Jurisprudence” in this case can refer to Islamic philosophy and/or theory of law, as well as historical and existing legal systems in those countries in which Islam is (i) a state-sanctioned religion, (ii) predominant as a religious orientation in the society, (iii) or has a significant impact on the country’s legal system in one way or another. I have used the phrase “Islam and Jurisprudence” for the title to reflect the fact that it is a perilous endeavor to conclusively identify, except perhaps philosophically or theologically (and even then, there are inherent problems), Islamic law as such (i.e., in any kind of absolutist or ‘pure’ sense) in legal systems on the ground, as we say, even if we rightly derive warrant for this appellation from both emic and etic reasons. This list does not aspire to be exhaustive, although I hope it is at least representative of the depth and breadth of the available literature. I welcome suggestions for titles I may have inadvertently missed.

Krishnan on the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts

Jayanth K. Krishnan, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, has posted The Dubai International Financial Centre Courts: A Retrospective (Motivate Publishing House, 2018):
Can Western-based, English-speaking, common law commercial courts operate successfully in an environment that are not their own—such as in the Middle East? This question is not a simple thought experiment but rather the reality that has occurred since the mid-2000s in the Emirate of Dubai. This monograph recounts the history of how the ‘Dubai International Financial Centre Courts’ emerged. Drawing on extensive interviews with key stakeholders involved in the process, along with rich original documents as well as all of the Courts’ judgments, this narrative offers important lessons for those seeking to understand more fully the complex interplay of how law, legal institutions and legal and political actors operate in today’s globalised world.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sunday Book Review Roundup

At the Marginalia Review of Books is a review of The Oxford Handbook of English Law and Literature, 1500-1700, edited by Lorna Hutson.

Martha S. Jones' Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America is reviewed in the Boston Review.

In a Los Angeles Review of Books review essay, Robert L. Tsai reviews Kathleen Belew's Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America (along with Angela Nagle's Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan And Tumblr To Trump And The Alt-Right and Amy Chua's Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations).

Also at LARB is a review of Nathaniel Frank's Awakening: How Gays and Lesbians Brought Marriage Equality to America.

David W. Blight's Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom is reviewed in December's issue of The Atlantic.

At NPR is a review of Let the People See: The Story of Emmett Till by Elliott Gorn.

Jane Sherron De Hart's Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life is reviewed in The Washington Post.

At Public Books is a review of Ekklesia: Three Inquiries in Church and State by Paul Christopher Johnson, Pamela E. Klassen, and Winifred Fallers Sullivan.  Also at Public Books is a review of Reeve Vanneman and Lynn Weber Cannon's newly-reissued The American Perception of Class.

Michelle Perrot's The Bedroom: An Intimate History is reviewed in The Times Literary Supplement.

In The New York Times is a review of Behold, America: The Entangled History of "America First" and "the American Dream" by Sarah Churchwell.

Oona Hathaway and Scott Shapiro's The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World is reviewed in The Nation.

At Books and Ideas is a review of Alden H. Young's Transforming Sudan: Decolonization, Economic Development, and State Formation.

Ramachandra Guha's Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World 1914-1948 is reviewed in the New Statesman.

In the London Review of Books (and behind a paywall) is a review of political theorist Melinda Cooper's Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism.

Finally, Sam Rosenfeld's The Polarizers: Postwar Architects of Our Partisan Era is reviewed in The Nation.