Legal History Forum Past Presenters

Legal History Forum Past Presenters

Record of Presenters


Clifford Ando | University of Chicago (Tuesday, September 13) The Rise of the Indigenous Jurists

Dylan Penningroth | University of California, Berkeley (Tuesday, October 11) Race in Contract Law.

Lisa Ford | University of New South Wales (Tuesday, November 8) Liberated Africans and Imperial Inquiry, 1822: The Problem of Evidence

Fei-Hsien Wang | Indiana University (Tuesday, February 7) Bicycle Thieves Going to the Supreme Court: Reconfiguring Values and the Law in Post-World War II China (1945-1949)

Maggie Blackhawk | New York University (Tuesday, March 14) Legislative Constitutionalism & Federal Indian Law

Jonathan Gienapp | Stanford University (Tuesday, April 18) The Meaning of the United States: Debating Union Before the Constitution


Jesús Velasco | Yale University (Tuesday, September 14) Science of the Soul, Bodies of Law

Daniel Carpenter | Harvard University (Tuesday, October 19) Democracy by Petition: Popular Politics in Transformation, 1790-1870

Sarah A. Seo | Columbia Law School (Tuesday, November 16) Between Pardons and Treason: Conspiracy Laws in the United States

Farah Peterson | University of Chicago Law School (Tuesday, February 15) Our Constitutionalism of Force

Debin Ma | London School of Economics (Tuesday, March 8) Ideology and Contours of Economic Change in Modern China, 1850-1950

Robert Shoemaker | University of Sheffield (Tuesday, April 5) Victims in the English Cirminal Courts, 1674 to the Present: From Obligations to ‘Rights’


Ariela Gross | USC Gould School of Law (Tuesday, September 15), "Becoming Free, Becoming Black: Race, Freedom, and Law in Cuba, Virginia, and Louisiana"

Thomas McSweeney | William & Mary Law School (Tuesday, October 13), "Writing the Common Law in Latin in the Later Thirteenth Century"

Kentaro Matsubara | University of Tokyo (Tuesday, November 10), "Land, Credit, and Possession in Qing South China: Internal Tensions of a Society Reflected in its Institutions"

K-Sue Park | Georgetown University Law Center (Tuesday, February 16), "Conquest and Slavery as Foundational to Property Law"

Intisar Rabb | Harvard Law School (Tuesday, March 9), "Islamic Law's Marbury Moment? An Early Case of Land and Leadership, 661-883"

Kunal Parker | University of Miami School of Law (Tuesday, March 23), "Common Law Modernism: The Turn to Process in American Legal Thought, 1900-1970"

Christopher Tomlins | UC Berkeley School of Law (Tuesday, April 6), "In the Matter of Nat Turner: A Speculative History"


Marcus Folch | Columbia University (Classics) (Tuesday, October 15), "Political Prisoners in Democratic Athens"

Naomi Lamoreaux | Yale University (History and Economics) (Tuesday, November 5, co-sponsored with the Bert W. Wasserman Workshop in Law & Finance), "The Achievement of General Laws in the Mid-Nineteenth Century United States"

Maeve Glass | Columbia Law School (Tuesday, November 19), "Founding Properties"

Nikolas Bowie | Harvard Law School (Thursday, December 5), "The Constitutional Right to Local Self-Government"

Coel Kirkby | Sydney Law School (Tuesday, February 4), "Brexit’s Civil Warrior: On the Genesis of Finnis’ Practical Guide to Statesmen"

Michael Szonyi | Harvard University (East Asian Languages and Civilizations) (Tuesday, February 25), "Land Markets, Property Rights, and Corporate Organizations in Late Imperial China: Preliminary Reflections on Recently Discovered Materials from Fujian"


Sergei Antonove | Yale University (History) (Tuesday, September 18), "The Fracturing of Tsarist Russia: Criminal Upperworlds and the Great Trials of the 1870s"

Brian R. Cheffins | University of Cambridge Faculty of Law (Thursday, September 20), co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Corporate Law, "The Public Company Transformed"

Natasha Wheatley | Princeton University (History) (Tuesday, October 23, Room 120), "Legal Pluralism as Temporal Pluralism: Historical Rights, Legal Vitalism, and Non-Synchronous Sovereignty"

Philippe Sands | UCL Faculty of Laws, Tuesday, January 15, Faculty Lounge, co-sponsored by the Center for Global Legal Challenges, "East West Street: On the Origins of 'Genocide' and 'Crimes Against Humanity'"

William Ewald | University of Pennsylvania Law School (Law and Philosophy) (Tuesday, February 12), "Who Wrote the Declaration of Independence?"

Duncan Williams | USC Dornsife (Religion and East Asian Languages and Cultures) (Wednesday, February 20), co-sponsored by the Council on East Asian Studies and the Departments of Religious Studies and American Studies, "American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War"

H. Timothy Lovelace | Indiana University Maurer School of Law (Law and History) (Tuesday, March 5), "Taking Affirmative Action around the World"

Miranda Johnson | University of Sydney (History) (Tuesday, April 9) "Indigenous Rights or Decolonization? Toward a Deeper History of Indigenous International Law"

Madeleine Zelin | Columbia University (History and Chinese Studies) (Tuesday, April 16), "Legal Transplants and Local Custom: The Struggle over Apportioned Liability for the External Debt of Partnerships."


Rohit De | Yale University (History), Tuesday, September 26, "Defending Kenyatta: Decolonization, Mobility, and a Global History of Rebellious Lawyering"

Li Chen | University of Toronto (History), Tuesday, October 10, "The Security Regime and Emergency Governance of Colonial Empires in Late Qing China"

Mira Siegelberg | Queen Mary University of London (History and Law), Tuesday, November 14, "The Fate of Non State Legal Order in the Twentieth Century: On Intellectual History and International Legal History""

Mitra Sharafi | University of Wisconsin Law School, Tuesday, December 5, "Forensic Experts and Corruption in Colonial India: Graphology as a Suspect Science"

Erika Hermanowicz | University of Georgia (Classics), Thursday, February 22, co-sponsored by Archaia and the Departments of Classics, Religious Studies, "The Roman Legal Understanding of Church Property in Late Antiquity"

Walter Scheidel | Stanford (Classics and History), Tuesday, February 27, co-sponsored by the Law, Economics & Organization Workshop, "Escape from Rome: The Failure of Empire and the Making of the Modern World"

Cynthia Nicoletti | University of Virginia School of Law, Tuesday, March 20, "Emancipation and Its Challengers in the South Carolina Sea Islands"

Matthew Sommer | Stanford University (History), Tuesday, April 17, Gender Passing and Official Panic in Qing Dynasty China


Noel Lenski, Yale University (Classics & History) (Thursday, September 22) "The Significance of the Edict of Milan"

Gregory Ablavsky, Stanford Law School (Thursday, October 20) "The Expenses of Sovereignty: Dependence, Allegiance, and Federal Finance in the Early U.S. Territories"

Sam Erman, University of Southern California Gould School of Law (Thursday, November 17) "The Constitution and the New Expansion: Debating the Status of the Islands"

Sara McDougall, John Jay College & CUNY Graduate Center (History) (Thursday, February 2) "Like Father like Son? Clerical Celibacy and the Inheritance of Priestly Office in Medieval Europe"

Risa Goluboff (Dean’s Lecture), University of Virginia School of Law (Tuesday, February 21) 

Isabel Hull, Cornell University (History) (Thursday, March 30) "Carl Schmitt, International Law, and Imperialism"

Dylan Penningroth, University of California, Berkeley (History & Law) (Thursday, April 20)


Edward Rugemer, Yale University, History (September 29, 2015) “The Consolidation of Slave Law in Jamaica and South Carolina during the Seventeenth Century”

Jeremy Adelman, Princeton University, History (October 1, 2015) “Inequality and Development”

Elizabeth Papp Kamali, Harvard Law School (November 17, 2015) “Anger’s Place in the Medieval English Law of Felony”

Ada Ferrer, NYU History (February 23, 2016) “A Black Kingdom of This World: History and Revolution in Havana, 1812”

Rabia Belt, Stanford Law School (March 8, 2016) “Ballots for Bullets? Disabled Veterans and the Right to Vote”

Lindsay Farmer, University of Glasgow (April 5, 2016) “Making Sexual Offenses”

Sophia Z. Lee, University of Pennsylvania Law School (April 12, 2016) “Barnette and the First Amendment Right to Privacy”


Paul Sabin, Yale University, History (September 23, 2014) “Environmental Law and the End of the New Deal Order”

Holly Brewer, University of Maryland, History (October 14, 2014) “Creating a Common Law of Slavery for England and its Empire”

Paul Brand, Michigan Law School and Oxford, All Souls College (November 4, 2014) “Judges and Juries in Civil Litigation in Medieval England: The Millon Thesis Reconsidered”

David Freeman Engstrom, Stanford Law School (February 24, 2015) “‘Not Merely There to Help the Men’: St. John v. General Motors Corp. and Equal Pay Litigation at the Dawn of American Fair Employment Law”

Sam Lebovic, George Mason, History (March 10, 2015) “From Censorship to Classification: How World War II Remade American Press Freedom”

Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Harvard Law School (April 16, 2015) “Race and Gender at Work: Constance Baker Motley and Sex Discrimination on and off the Bench”


Danielle Allen, Institute for Advanced Study (September 19, 2013) “Social Capital and the Art of Association”

Ned Blackhawk, Yale University, History (October 1, 2013) “The Problem of Indigenous Governance in the American West: The Civil War Treaties of James Doty and John Evans”

Petra Moser, Stanford University, Economics (November 21, 2013) “Dead Poets’ Property: Does Copyright Increase the Price of Content?”

Brian Tamanaha, Washington University School of Law (February 18, 2014) “Insights about the Nature of Law from the History of Law”

Rebecca McLennan, University of California Berkeley, History (March 25, 2014) “Living Law in Revolutionary Era America: Towards a New Cultural History”

Randall Lesaffer, Tilburg Law School (Netherlands) (April 1, 2014) “Peace Treaties and the Formation of International Law”


Steven Pincus, Yale University, History (September 24, 2012), “The Rise of the Interventionist State”

William Forbath, University of Texas School of Law (November 1, 2012) “Jews, Law, and Identity Politics”

Jed Sugerman, Harvard Law School (November 27, 2012) “The Founding of the Department of Justice: Professionalization without Civil Rights or Civil Service”

Jill Lepore, Harvard University (January 31, 2013) “On Evidence: Proof in the Classroom, the Laboratory, and the Courtroom”

Sarah Barringer Gordon, University of Pennsylvania Law School (March 5, 2013) “State v. Church: Limits on Church Power and Property from Disestablishment to the Civil War”

Laura Weinrib, University of Chicago Law School (April 9, 2013) “Free Speech or Fair Labor”

David Armitage and Jo Guldi, Harvard University (Aril 23, 2013) “The Return of the Longue Durée: Law, War, and Land”


Naomi Lamoreaux, Yale University, History and Economics (September 22, 2011) “Intermediaries in the Market for Technology”

Mark S. Weiner, Rutgers-Newark School of Law (October 25, 2011) “The Rule of the Clan: What an Ancient Form of Social Organization Can Teach Us about Modern Law and Culture”

Melinda C. Miller, United States Naval Academy (November 15, 2011) “The One Thing Needful: Free Land and Black Mobility, 1880-1900”

Daniel Hulsebosch, NYU Law School (February 7, 2012) “Being Seen Like a State: The American Constitution and Its International Audiences at the Founding”

James Masschaele, Rutgers University, History (February 28, 2012) “How the King’s Law Became the Common Law under the Early Angevins”

Alison LaCroix, University of Chicago Law School (April 10, 2012) “The Lawyer’s Library in the Early American Republic”


Beverly Gage, Yale University, History (September 23 2010) “G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the American Century”

Christina Duffy Ponsa, Columbia Law School (October 12, 2010) “The Monroe Doctrine Rightly Understood: Empire and Law in the Americas on the Eve of World War I”

Catherine Fisk, UC- Irvine School of Law (November 16, 2010) “Screen Credit and the Writers Guild of America, 1938-2000: A Study in Labor Market and Idea Market Intermediation”

Lisa Cook, Michigan State University (February 8, 2011) “Violence, Legal Segregation, and Economic Activity: Evidence from African American Patents, 1870 to 1940”

Serena Mayeri, University of Pennsylvania Law School (February 15, 2011) “Reasoning from Race: Feminism, Law, and the Civil Rights Revolution”

Daniel Sharfstein, Vanderbilt University Law School (March 7, 2011) “The Invisible Line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White”

Rebecca Scott, University of Michigan (April 19, 2011) “Paper Thin: Freedom, Re-enslavement, and Determinations of Status in the Diaspora of the Haitian Revolution”

James Q. Whitman, Yale Law School (May 3, 2011) “Why was Eighteenth-Century Warfare so Civilized?”


Joseph Manning, Yale University, History (September 22, 2009) “Seeking Justice, Telling Stories: The Adjudication of a Family Property Dispute in Southern Egypt, June, 170 BC”

Amy Dru Stanley, University of Chicago, History (October 13, 2009) “The Badges of Woman’s Slavery: Abolition, War Powers, and Inviolate Rights”

Steven Neff, Edinburgh Law School (November 17, 2009) “Natural Law and Its Three Incarnations”

Adriaan Lanni, Harvard Law School (February 23, 2010) “Transitional Justice in Classical Athens”

Amalia Kessler, Stanford Law School (March 23, 2010) “Civic Republicanism and the Rise of a Unified (Oral and Adversarial) Model of Procedure”

Assaf Likhovski, Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law (April 13, 2010) “Chasing Ghosts: On Writing Cultural Histories of Tax Law”


Jay Winter, Yale University, History (September 23, 2008) “From War Talk to Rights Talk: Réne Cassin, Human Rights, and the Two World Wars”

Jed Sugerman, Harvard Law School (November 18, 2008) “The People’s Courts: The Rise of Judicial Elections and Judicial Power in America”

Christopher W. Schmidt, Chicago-Kent College of Law and the American Bar Foundation (October 28, 2008) “Explaining Massive Resistance: The Debate over Law and Social Change,

Ron Harris, Tel Aviv University (February 24, 2009) “Law, Finance, and the First Corporations”

Samuel Moyn, Columbia University, History (March 24, 2009) “Personalism, Community, and the Origins of Human Rights”

Risa Goluboff, University of Virginia School of Law (April 7, 2009) “People out of Place: The Sixties, the Supreme Court, and Vagrancy Law”