Monday, January 15, 2018

Rare Book School: Law Books: History & Connoisseurship

[Via H-Law, we have the following announcement from Mike Widener, Rare Book Librarian & Lecturer in Legal Research, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.]

Rare Book School is now accepting applications for "Law Books: History & Connoisseurship," a week-long, intensive course that will be offered June 10-15, 2018, at the Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut.

This year marks my sixth time teaching the course, and the first time that I will be most ably assisted by Ryan Greenwood, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections at the University of Minnesota Law Library.

This intensive, week-long course is about building focused, interesting, and useful collections of historical materials in Anglo-American, European, and Latin American law. It is aimed at individuals and librarians who collect historical legal materials, and the book dealers who supply them. Lively discussion and extensive hands-on activities are hallmarks of the course. A full description, preliminary reading list, and past student evaluations are available [here].

Details on applying for admission to the course are at The application deadline for first-round decisions is February 19. Applications received after this date will be considered on a rolling basis. Enrollment is strictly limited to 12 students.

I can answer questions about the content of the course. All questions about applications, admissions, tuition, and housing should be directed to the Rare Book School staff, at

Swanson on the Corset

Kara Swanson, Northeastern University School of Law has posted on SSRN "The Corset," her forthcoming contribution to A History of Intellectual Property in 50 Objects, edited by Dan Hunter and Claudy Op Den Camp and coming out with Cambridge University Press. Here is the abstract: 
Corset Sylphide (1899) (NYPL)
Two centuries ago, women and girls throughout the United States reached for one piece of technology first thing in the morning, and kept it with them all day long -- the corset. Although earlier men had worn corsets, the corset’s purpose by the mid-nineteenth century was to create the public shape of the female body. It emphasized (or depending on the whims of fashion, deemphasized), bust, waist, and hips in ways intended to accentuate differences between male and female. Today, the corset still fascinates, an emblem of femininity that appears on fashion runways, the concert stage (famously worn by pop star Madonna), and in blockbuster movies (Rocky Horror Picture Show, Gone with the Wind). Less visible are the ways the corset as an object of intellectual property has exposed the masculine assumptions in our understanding of technology, patents, and law.
For more on corsets, don't miss Ruth Goodman's How to Be a Victorian: A Dawn-to-dusk Guide to Victorian Life and anything on Frida Kahlo's painted corsets.

H/t: The Faculty Lounge (on the book)

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Weekend Roundup

  • Patti Minter, history professor and former faculty regent on the Western Kentucky University Board of Regents [and ASLH stalwart!], said she plans to file to run for State Representative for the 20th House District of Kentucky, a position previously held by Rep. Jody Richards (D).”   H/t: College Heights Herald, here and here.
  • "On January 13, 2018, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum will officially close the 'Images of Internment' exhibit with a 4:00 p.m. reception and auction event."  More
Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History bloggers.

Friday, January 12, 2018

International Journal of Law and Public Administration

[We have the following call for submissions.]

International Journal of Law and Public Administration is a new journal on the subjects of International law, Constitutional and administrative law, Criminal law, Contract law,Tort law, Property law, Equity and trusts, Public administration, Public policy, Public management, et al.

We are recruiting reviewers for the journal. If you are interested in this position of reviewing submissions, we welcome you to apply for. Please find further details [here.]

We are also calling for the submission of papers. Please see the journal’s profile here and submit your manuscripts online. If you have any questions, please contact the editorial assistant at

We would appreciate it if you could share this information with your colleagues and associates.

CFP: Eleventh International Junior Faculty Forum

[We have the following call for papers.]

Sponsored by Stanford Law School, the International Junior Faculty Forum (IJFF) was established to stimulate the exchange of ideas and research among younger legal scholars from around the world. We live today in a global community– in particular, a global legal community. The IJFF is designed to foster transnational legal scholarship that surmounts barriers of time, space, legal traditions and cultures, and to create an engaged global community of scholars. The Eleventh IJFF will be held at Stanford Law School in fall 2018 (the exact date has not yet been fixed).

In order to be considered for the 2018 International Junior Faculty Forum, authors must meet the following criteria:
  • Citizen of a country other than the United States
  • Current academic institution is outside of the United States
  • Not currently a student in the United States
  • Have held a faculty position or the equivalent, including positions comparable to junior faculty positions in research institutions, for less than seven years as of 2018; and
  • Last degree earned less than ten years before 2018
Papers may be on any legally relevant subject and can make use of any relevant approach: they can be quantitative or qualitative, sociological, anthropological, historical, or economic. The host institution is committed to intellectual, methodological, and regional diversity, and welcomes papers from junior scholars from all parts of the world. Please note, however, that already published papers are not eligible for consideration. We particularly welcome work that is interdisciplinary.

Those who would like to participate in the IJFF must first submit an abstract of the proposed paper. Abstracts should be no more than two (2) pages long and must be in English. The abstract should provide a roadmap of your paper—it should tell us what you plan to do, lay out the major argument of the paper, say something about the methodology, and indicate the paper’s contribution to scholarship. The due date for abstracts is Friday, February 23, 2018, although earlier submissions are welcome. Please submit the abstract electronically to with the subject line, International Junior Faculty Forum. The abstract should contain the author’s name, home institution, and the title of the proposed paper. Please also send a current CV.

After the abstracts have been reviewed, we will invite, no later than end of March 2018, a number of junior scholars to submit full papers of no more than 15,000 words, electronically, in English, by mid-May 2018. Please include a word count for final papers. There is no fixed number of papers to be invited, but in the past years up to 50 invitations have been issued from among a much larger number of abstracts.

An international committee of legal scholars will review the papers and select approximately ten papers for full presentation at the conference, where two senior scholars will comment on each paper. After the remarks of the commentators, all of the participants, junior and senior alike, will have a chance to join in the discussion. One of the most valuable—and enjoyable—aspects of the Forum, in the opinion of many participants, has been the chance to meet junior and senior scholars, and to talk about your work and theirs.

Stanford will cover expenses of travel, including airfare, lodging, and food, for each participant. Questions should be directed to

Professor Lawrence M. Friedman, Stanford Law School

OAH Process blog explores legal history

Process, the blog of the Organization of American Historians, is running a series of posts on legal history. The posts so far --

Gregory Ablavsky (Stanford Law School) on "History, Power, and Federal Indian Law"

Alisha J. Hines (Duke University) on "The Entitlements of Freedom: A Mother's Pursuit of Mastery in the Antebellum South."

Gabriel Loiacono (University of Wisconsin Oshkosh) on "Using Poor Laws to Regulate Race in Providence in the 1820s."

Stay tuned for more . . . It looks like Katrina Jagodinsky (University of Nebraska) is up next!

Macalister-Smith and Schwietzke on Diplomatic Conferences & Congresses

Image result for macalister-smith schwietzke diplomatic

Peter Macalister-Smith, Assistant General Editor of the Encyclopedia of Public
 International Law, and Joachim Schwietzke, Library Director Emeritus at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (Heidelberg) have published Diplomatic Conferences and Congresses
A Bibliographical Compendium of State Practice 1642 to 1919 (Arbeitshefte der Arbeitsgemeinschaft für juristisches Bibliotheks- und Dokumentationswesen 25) with W. Neugebauer. From the press: 
A survey of diplomatic conferences and congresses convened from 1642 to 1919 with extensive references to their published documents and a synopsis of the resulting acts, agreements, conventions, declarations, treaties and other instruments adopted by each conference or congress.
The meetings of the conferences and congresses are arranged thematically in 111 groups starting at Münster and Osnabrück to prepare the Peace of Westphalia. In total 280 conferences and congresses are recorded. Over one third of the conferences and congresses were held from 1827 to 1919 at London and Paris. Other leading cities in order of diminishing frequency were Brussels, Bern, The Hague, Berlin, Istanbul, Washington and Vienna. The compendium closes with the peace of Brest-Litovsk (1917) and the Inter-Allied Conference of the Powers held in Paris and environs from 1919 to 1920. The Latin American and Pan American congresses are well represented, for example at Buenos Aires, Guatemala, Lima, Managua, Mexico, Montevideo, Panama, Rio de Janeiro, San José, San Salvador, Santiago and Tegucigalpa. Annexes supply further information on the Versailles treaty with Germany and the Covenant of the League of Nations.
Here is the Table of Contents. Further information about the collection is available here

Perino on the Lost History of Insider Trading

Michael A. Perino, St. John's University School of Law and the author of The Hellhound of Wall Street: How Ferdinand Pecora’s Investigation of the Great Crash Forever Changed American Finance (Penguin, 2010), has posted The Lost History of Insider Trading:
Common conceptions about the history of insider trading norms in the United States are inaccurate and incomplete. In his landmark 1966 book Insider Trading and the Stock Market, Dean Henry Manne depicted a world in which insider trading was both widespread and universally accepted. It was SEC enforcement efforts in the early 1960s, he contended, that swayed public opinion to condemn what had previously been considered a natural and unobjectionable market feature. For five decades, the legal academy has largely accepted Manne’s historical description and the vigorous debates over whether the federal government should prosecute insider trading have assumed, either explicitly or implicitly, the accuracy of those views. This paper challenges that conventional wisdom and shows that the shift in insider trading norms began earlier than has previously been supposed and substantially preceded governmental enforcement efforts. Insider trading, while generally believed to be ubiquitous in turn-of-the-century stock markets, was not universally condoned. In fact, the propriety of the practice at publicly traded companies was highly contested. Those debates coincided with the growth of public companies and an ongoing shift in views about how the stock market functioned. The early twentieth century debate over insider trading thus featured both modern arguments about property rights in information and the effect that insider trading has on stock market participation and older ideas about manipulation and market inefficiency that would generally not be accepted today.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

CFP: Legal History and Empires: Perspectives from the Colonised

[We're moving this post up because the deadline for submitting proposals has been extended to January 30, 2018.]

The conference "Legal History and Empires: Perspectives from the Colonised" will be held at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, in Barbados from July 11 to 13, 2018. The conference is jointly sponsored by the Faculty of Law and Faculty of Humanities and Education of The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, and an international group of legal historians and historians of the law.  [The keynote speaker is] Dr. Maya Jasanoff, Coolidge Professor of History, Harvard University.

This conference follows the successful conference on the Legal Histories of the British Empire held at the National University of Singapore in 2012, and is similarly designed to bring together senior and emerging scholars working in the fields of imperial and colonial legal history. We invite paper or panel proposals addressing legal histories of empires broadly, and encourage participants to think in particular how their research connects with the theme of the conference: perspectives from the colonized.  Without in any way limiting the range of proposals topics and themes might include: relations between Empires; histories from the peripheries of empire; mobilities, networks and transplants; law and gender; Indigenous histories and the law; slavery and indentured labour; regulation of labour; histories of immigration law; administration of justice and rule of law; histories of public or private law; colonial law and local circumstances; settler colonialism; crime; the professions.

Individual paper proposals should be maximum 300 words (and include a bio of no more than 100 words); panel proposals should consist of an overall panel theme (300 words), the titles of individual papers and short bios (no more than 100 words) of each presenter. Panels may include commentators. Proposals should be sent to Prof Shaunnagh Dorsett, University of Technology Sydney ( by 30 JANUARY 2018.

General inquiries about the Conference should be addressed to Dr. Asya Ostroukh, UWI, Cave Hill (  The Conference website is [here.]  (Information, including accommodation options and additional optional activities on July 10 and 14 will be available soon.)

Landmark Cases in Public International Law

New from hart Publishing is Landmark Cases in Public International Law, edited by Eirik Bjorge and Cameron Miles
The past two hundred years have seen the transformation of public international law from a rule-based extrusion of diplomacy into a fully-fledged legal system. Landmark Cases in Public International Law examines decisions that have contributed to the development of international law into an integrated whole, whilst also creating specialised sub-systems that stand alone as units of analysis. The significance of these decisions is not taken for granted, with contributors critically interrogating the cases to determine if their reputation as 'landmarks' is deserved. Emphasis is also placed on seeing each case as a diplomatic artefact, highlighting that international law, while unquestionably a legal system, remains reliant on the practice and consent of states as the prime movers of development.

The cases selected cover a broad range of subject areas including state immunity, human rights, the environment, trade and investment, international organisations, international courts and tribunals, the laws of war, international crimes, and the interface between international and municipal legal systems. A wide array of international and domestic courts are also considered, from the International Court of Justice to the European Court of Human Rights, World Trade Organization Appellate Body, US Supreme Court and other adjudicative bodies. The result is a three-dimensional picture of international law: what it was, what it is, and what it might yet become.
TOC after the jump.

Lind's Dred Scott Reader and Bibliography

We’ve just learned of the the publication Dred Scott v. Sandford: Opinions and Contemporary Commentary, (Hein), edited by Douglas W. Lind, the Director of the Library and Professor of Law at Southern Illinois University School of Law.
The decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), that African Americans were unable to become American citizens and therefore lacked standing to sue in federal court, and that Congress had no authority to prohibit slavery in the territories, was truly monumental in its impact on the nation and immediately generated widespread public debate. For more than one hundred and fifty years, there existed no single source containing the nine opinions that comprise the Dred Scott decision alongside the contemporary intellectual commentary.

Dred Scott v. Sandford: Opinions and Contemporary Commentary
not only fills that scholarly void but also includes Professor Lind’s bibliographic essay which traces the production and transmission history of Dred Scott and details many previously unrecorded bibliographic aspects of the separately printed decision. In doing so, Lind adds important elements to the historiography of a landmark in American judicial thought—a decision which provided the textual ammunition for both sides of a debate that further divided the nation as it marched toward civil war.

Because of the modern relevance and the interdisciplinary nature of the topic, the scholarly interest in this collection should appeal not only to law school libraries but also to general academic libraries.

Balancing interests

In today’s post, I will share how I ultimately landed on the research project that became my book.  Like many of your stories, I imagine, it is one that involves dedicated teachers, visceral reactions to the material they taught me, a bit of luck, and a willingness to make adjustments to my plans along the way.

Before entering Tulane as a bright-eyed undergraduate, I knew I loved history and wanted to major in it, but I also planned to go to law school when I finished college. My love for history only grew as I began my studies. I took a course during my sophomore year of college on slavery and freedom in the antebellum South taught by Dr. Betty Wood, a visiting scholar from the University of Cambridge.  I was hooked.  I remember feeling so frustrated by my history education to that point and angry that I knew practically nothing about the system of chattel slavery that existed for so much of the history of the European colonies in America and the United States.  I read Solomon Northup’s narrative, recently made famous by the movie Twelve Years a Slave.  I read scholarly analyses of slavery and debated its meaning in class. The indignation of not knowing the extent or the horrors of this topic lit a fire under me that lingered long after my initial exposure in Dr. Wood’s class.  I imagine that other researchers must have similar stories of being drawn to the topics left out of high school history courses. 

After a couple of years of college, my interest in law school waned.  I was still drawn to the study of law, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a lawyer.  If I’m being completely honest, I’m not sure that I had a good sense of what being a lawyer was actually like, either.  I didn’t want to spend three years away from full-time reading and studying history (though I recognize now that law school does involve quite a bit of history, too!). While having these doubts about law school, I had the great fortune to take an American Legal History class with the late Dr. Judith Schafer.  Dr. Schafer made everything click.  I realized I could combine my interests in history and law by pursuing a graduate degree in legal history.

Dr. Schafer was also a scholar of the legal history of slavery, so her course introduced me to this particular sub-field.  While I was searching for a senior thesis topic, Dr. Schafer sent me to meet with the late Marie Windell (an archivist at the University of New Orleans, where the manuscript records of the Louisiana Supreme Court are housed).  With Ms. Windell’s advice, I wrote a senior thesis on a Louisiana Supreme Court case, Eulalie and her children v. Long & Mabry (9 La. Ann. 9 (1854)), which has since become the subject of the brilliant plenary address (at the ASLH meeting in Miami in 2013) and an article by the most recent ASLH President, Rebecca J. Scott (“Social Facts, Legal Fictions, and the Attribution of Slave Status: The Puzzle of Prescription”, Law and History Review, 35:1(2017): 9-30).  My senior thesis was my first effort at archival research, and I loved it.

With some basic research skills in hand, and my newfound passion for issues related to slavery and freedom, I applied to graduate school.  I was delighted to be accepted to the Ph.D. program at Duke, where I planned to work with Laura Edwards and Peter Wood.  That part of my plan worked out.  My tentative dissertation project idea?  Not so much.  At the time, I had hoped to shift my interests in slavery, freedom, and law from the nineteenth century to the eighteenth.  I was fascinated with the seeming contradictions between the rhetoric of the Revolution and the existence of chattel slavery among the nation’s founders.  Like many students, I discovered that a few other scholars had thought about this issue, so I returned to the drawing board. 

The influence of my former mentor, Judy Schafer, made a major difference in the trajectory of my career for a second time.  She emailed me about the St. Louis Circuit Court Historical Records Project, which includes hundreds of freedom suit case files that had recently been scanned and made available online: a grad student’s dream! (As a side note, in addition to the freedom suits files, the Project also contains collections of cases related to Native Americans, Lewis and Clark, and the fur trade.)  Although I wrote my senior thesis on a nineteenth-century topic, I continued to want to look into the earlier era, but I also needed a masters’ thesis topic for the first-year research seminar I was taking that semester. 

I decided to give the project a try. I soon discovered that this nineteenth-century topic allowed me to dive into the same core issue that sparked my interest in the American Revolution: the relationship between slavery and freedom.  St. Louis was a border city on the Mississippi River with a relatively small—but powerful—elite slaveholding population.  Its location and its population made the city a crossroads between slavery and freedom.  The relationship of St. Louis to the free state of Illinois, for example, raised important questions for the courts. St. Louis judges and juries had to grapple with interstate comity issues in a region with wide variations in personal status.  The richness of the freedom suit files is undeniable. Its vast material on the lives and experiences of enslaved people continues to enthrall me to this day.  Once I read the case files and began writing about them, I knew I had found my long-term project.  Twelve years later, I published my book on the same topic.

In my next post, I will discuss the challenges of balancing feedback from a variety of sources in the writing and publishing process.

Taft, Hughes and the Travails of Progressivism: An ICH Seminar

[We are moving up this announcement because the deadline has been extended to January 20.]

The Institute for Constitutional History is pleased to announce another seminar for advanced graduate students and junior faculty, “William Howard Taft and Charles Evans Hughes; the Travails and Contradictions of Progressivism within the Law: 1908-1941.”
Between them, Taft and Hughes served as Governor (H),
Governor General (T); Circuit Court Judge (T), Secretary of War (T), President (T), Supreme Court Justice (H), Nominee for the Presidency (H), Secretary of State (H), Chief Justice (T), Chief Justice (H), and this list is not complete.  It indicates, however, the impressive scope of their accomplishments.  In 1916, Taft had called himself a "progressive Conservative," while in 1935, the Taft's biographer noted of his successor that as Chief Justice, Hughes had "ruled against capital, against labor, against the farmer and for the farmer, against Congress and for Congress, against the president and for him."  Hughes' biographer described him as "an old fashioned progressive."  Alpheus Thomas Mason wrote that "Hughes's mind was singularly devoid of ideological content or commitment."  How had progressivism been transformed during their careers?  To what extent were both jurists "independent of rigid ideology?"  This seminar seeks to explore these questions through books, articles, and discussion.

Daniel R. Ernst is Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he has taught since 1988.  He is the author of Lawyers against Labor: From Individual Rights to Corporate Liberalism (University of Illinois Press, 1995), which received the Littleton-Griswold Prize of the American Historical Association, and Tocqueville's Nightmare: The Administrative State Emerges in America, 1900-1940 (Oxford University Press, 2014).  He received the American Society for Legal History's Surrency Prize in 2009 and was a Fulbright Scholar in New Zealand in 1996, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow in 2003-04, and a Law and Public Affairs Fellow at Princeton University in 2015-16.

Jonathan Lurie is a professor of history emeritus and formerly an Academic Integrity Officer at Rutgers University in Newark. He had been a member of the History Department there since 1969.   His books include: The Chicago Board of Trade, Law and The Nation, Arming Military Justice, Pursuing Military Justice, The Slaughterhouse Cases [co-authored with Ronald Labbe], Military Justice in America, and The Chase Court.  Lurie's fields of interest comprise legal history, military justice, constitutional law and history, and eras of the Civil War and Reconstruction.  The book on the Slaughterhouse cases received the Scribes award in 2003 as the best book written on law for that year.  In 2005, he served as a Fulbright Lecturer at Uppsala University law School in Sweden.  Lurie was the Visiting Professor of Law at West Point in 1994-1995.  He has lectured on several occasions at the United States Supreme Court. His biography of William Howard Taft was published by Cambridge University Press in 2012.   Lurie's book on the Supreme Court and Military Justice was published late in 2013 by Sage/ CQ Publishers. He has just completed a manuscript for the University of South Carolina Press on the Taft Court (1921-1930).

The dates the seminar will meet are: February 9 and 23, and March 9 and 23; Friday afternoons from 2-5 p.m.  The seminar will be held at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York City.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Green on the 12 Problems of Substantive Due Process

Christopher R. Green, University of Mississippi School of Law, has posted Twelve Problems with Substantive Due Process, which is forthcoming in the Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy:
I present twelve quick problems for the idea that “without due process of law” in the Fifth or Fourteenth Amendments can be tolerably paraphrased as “unreasonably”:

FJC's "Debates on the Federal Judiciary," Vol. 3

The Federal Judicial History Office of the Federal Judicial Center has just published Debates on the Federal Judiciary: A Documentary History, Volume III: 1939–2005, by Jake I. Kobrick and Daniel S. Holt. It may be obtained as a paperback and as a pdf here.
The concluding volume of the series covers debates concerning structural changes to the federal courts, including the creation of the U.S. magistrate and U.S. bankruptcy judge positions, and alterations to the federal appellate system, including the division of the Fifth Circuit, the creation of the Federal Circuit, and proposals for a national court of appeals. A section on criminal justice reform recounts debates over access to counsel for indigent defendants, detention before trial, habeas corpus, and the creation of the U.S. Sentencing Commission. The volume also covers proposed civil justice initiatives regarding diversity jurisdiction, class actions, case management, alternative dispute resolution, and the creation of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, and concludes with discussions on the discipline of federal judges, including proposals for a nonimpeachment method for judicial removal.
We’ve previously noted Volumes 1 and 2.  Now that the series is complete, we can pass along the following recipe for terrific course on the history of the American federal judiciary.  Combine the FJC's three documentary volumes with Federal Courts: An Essential History, by Peter Charles Hoffer, Williamjames Hull Hoffer, and N. E. H. Hull, and/or Building the Judiciary Law, Courts, and the Politics of Institutional Development by Justin Crowe.  Season to taste with selections from the FJC’s Famous Federal Trials and the Famous Trials compiled by Douglas O. Linder of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School et voilà!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

CEU Fellowships in Demise of Constitutionalism

[We are moving this up because the deadline is fast approaching: Jan.15, 2018]
Image result for "central European university"
The Central European University's Legal Studies Department is offering two 12-month postdoctoral/research fellowships as part of its Demise of Constitutionalism Project. The deadline is Jan.15, 2018, but "applications are welcome continuously until the fellowships are awarded to suitable candidates."

Full details after the jump.
H/t: LSAtalk