Sunday, May 26, 2019

Schlegel's "Crib" on Critical Legal History

John Henry Schlegel, University at Buffalo Law School, has posted Objectivity in the Writing of History/Critical Legal History: Two Cribs for Harried Graduate Students:
Scholars have long argued about the degree to which objectivity is possible in the writing of history. In 1988 Peter Novick published a wonderful chronicle of this dispute, a summary of which history graduate and law students might find useful. Novick’s book concludes with work by legal historians affiliated with the Critical Legal Studies movement. Critical Legal History developed a distinctive understanding of its subject matter that, through the concepts of contingency and constitutiveness, seemingly managed to avoid questions about objectivity. A summary of how this was accomplished might also be found useful by history and legal history graduate and law students interested in the development of Critical Legal History and its subsequent path.
I know that new and recent entrants to the field of legal history often consult LHB for clues on how insiders understand it.  As its subtitle suggests, cluing in new entrants is Professor Schlegel’s aim in this essay, and he succeeds.  --Dan Ernst.