Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Ramnath Receives Burbank and Surrency Prizes

We continue our posting of announcements and awards from the just-concluded annual meeting of the American Society for Legal History with an article that received two prizes: Kalyani Ramnath’s “Intertwined Itineraries: Debt, Decolonization, and International Law in Post-World War II South Asia,” Law and History Review 38 (February 2020).  It received the 2021 Jane Burbank Prize in Global Legal History with the following citation:

"Intertwined Itineraries" traces a routine case for debt recovery across jurisdictions in South Asia during the upheaval of decolonization and post war independence. In so doing, Ramnath weaves together histories of decolonization, legal pluralism, migration, jurisdiction, and professional legal networks in the making of international law. Beautifully written and well researched, Ramnath shows the reader how numerous and less well known partitions shaped the Indian subcontinent in 20th century South Asian political history.
It also received the 2021 ASLH Surrency Prize:
Kalyani Ramnath’s “Intertwined Itineraries” charts a whole world of law in motion.  From the courts of Madras to the rice and rubber fields of Southeast Asia, and from there to the law libraries of the Netherlands and India, she traces the travels of a single dispute and its afterlives across several genres of legal writing. She assembles a disparate cast of characters – a Tamil-Speaking Chettiar widow in Madras, a Polish scholar-in-exile, a Dutch scholar of international law in Utrecht – and threads her narrative needle through the most unlikely of places. The result is nothing less than a complete retelling of the histories of decolonization and international law in the Indian Ocean world, and of the many lost streams, disputes, and lives that poured into it. “Intertwined Itineraries” is an ambitious, bold, and breathtakingly creative piece of scholarship.
–Dan Ernst