15 August 2018

SEMINAR: Folger Institute Spring Seminar: The Corporation in Early Modern Political Thought (DEADLINE: 4 September 2018 – 7 January 2019)

(Source: Folger Institute)

Via H-Law, we learned of the Spring Semester Seminar sponsored by the Folger Institute Center for the History of British Political Thought

Philip Stern

Spring Semester Seminar

Sponsored by the Folger Institute Center for the History of British Political Thought

The corporation was a foundation of medieval and early modern political, religious, and commercial life and a central feature of early modern European thought about overseas expansion. This seminar will trace the evolution of the corporation as an idea and an institution, particularly in relation to European commerce and empire in Asia, Africa, the Atlantic, and Mediterranean worlds. It will engage with questions about legal and institutional pluralism and the composite nature of imperial sovereignty, the intimate relationship between political economy and political thought, the development of ideas about the distinctions between “public” good and “private” interest, and the ways in which encounters with other Europeans as well as indigenous peoples outside Europe influenced European political and economic thought. Readings will include works by Giovanni Botero, Johannes Althusius, Gerard de Malynes, Thomas Smith, Richard Hakluyt, Hugo Grotius, Thomas Hobbes, Josiah Child, Charles Davenant, Samuel Pufendorf, Adam Smith, and Edmund Burke, as well as various texts—such as administrative records, legal documents, and institutional correspondence—critical to excavating the political thought of corporations in the early modern world.

DirectorPhilip Stern is Gilhuly Family Associate Professor of History at Duke University and the author of The Company-State: Corporate Sovereignty and the Early Modern Foundations of the British Empire in India (2011). He is currently working on two projects, one tracing the history of the colonial corporation and another that explores problems in legal geography in the early modern British Empire.

Schedule: Fridays, 1:00–4:30 p.m., 1 February through 12 April 2019, excluding 15 March and 22 March.

Apply4 September 2018 for admission and grants-in-aid; 7 January 2019 for admission only.

More information here

BOOK: Christopher MAY and Adam WINCHESTER, eds., Handbook on the Rule of Law (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018). ISBN 9781786432438, £184.50

Edward Elgar Publishing is publishing a Handbook on the Rule of Law later this month, which includes a part on the History of the Rule of Law.


In the last half century, the rule of law has increasingly been appealed to as a common global value. The Handbook on the Rule of Law analyses the appeal of this idea, its context and background through a range of questions about the character, history and global reach of the rule of law, offering readers a definitive understanding of this central global norm.

Original contributions from leading academics explore the rule of law conceptually and historically through its associated institutions, as well as examining detailed cases evaluating how the everyday application of the rule of law impacts society as a whole. Exploring a wide range of research on the social, political and economic dimensions of the rule of law, this Handbook clearly illustrates the link between the rule of law and the global political system.

This informative Handbook will be key reading for postgraduate students of international relations, global politics and law, as well as for legal scholars wanting to build upon their knowledge with a wider account of the rule of law. Researchers in areas impacted by the rule of law will also find this volume to be stimulating reading.



Introduction – The Rule of Law in the Contemporary World
Christopher May and Adam Winchester

Part I: Defining the Rule of Law
1. The advantages of a thin view
Jørgen Møller

2. The Promise of a Thick View
Adriaan Bedner

3. Difficulties with Measuring the Rule of Law
Tom Ginsburg

4. The Rule of Law, Legal Pluralism, and Challenges to a Western-centric View: Some Very Preliminary Observations
Peer Zumbansen

5. Arbitrary Power and the Ideal of the Rule of Law
Martin Krygier with Adam Winchester

6. The Centrality of Predictability to the Rule of Law
Christopher May

7. The Rule of Law in Inter-national Relations: Contestation despite Diffusion - Diffusion through Contestation
Antje Wiener

Part II. The History of the Rule of Law
8. The Rule of Law: An Outline of its Historical Foundations
Pietro Costa

9. Minimising Magna Carta and Modernising Exposition of the Rule of Law in the English Historical Constitution
John Allison

10. Turning the Rule of Law into an English Constitutional Idea
John Allison

11. The Rule of Law and the Rise of Capitalism
Tor Krever

Part III: Institutions of the Rule of Law
12. The Rule of Law and its Application to the United Nations
Clemens Feinäugle

13. Power Rules: The World Bank, Rule of Law Reform, and the World Development Report 2017
Deval Desai

14. The Rule of Law and the European Union
Amichai Magen and Laurent Pech

15. Non-governmental Organisations and the Rule of Law: The Experience of Latin America
Fiona Macaulay

16. Lawyers and the Rule of Law
David Howath

17. The Rule of Law and Legal Education: Do They Still Connect?
John Flood

Part IV: Contextualising The Rule of Law
18. The Rule of Law, New Constitutionalism, and Transnational Legality
Claire Cutler

19. Global Administrative Law
Valentina Vadi

20. The Rule of Law and Feminism. The Dilemma of Differences
Anna Loretoni

21. The Rule of Law and Islam
Jerg Gutmann and Stefan Voigt

22. The Rule of Law and Human Rights
Mona Rishmawi

Part V: Applying the Rule of Law
23. The Rule of Law From a Law and Economics Perspective
Mariana Mota Prado

24. The Rule of Law, Institutions, and Economic Development
Lydia Brashear Tiede

25. The Legal Empowerment of the Poor
Dan Banik

26. The Rule of Law as a Marketing Tool: The International Criminal Court and the Branding of Global Justice
Christine Schwöbel-Patel

27. The Rule of Law and Terrorism
Clive Walker

28. Post-conflict Peacebuilding and the Rule of Law
Teresa Almeida Cravo

29. Rule of Law in Asia: The Case of China
Tom Kellogg

30. Court Development in Timor-Leste: ‘Handover’ and its Long Shadow
Pip Nicholson and Samantha Hinderling


More information here

BOOK: Justin A. JOYCE, Gunslinging Justice: The American Culture of Gun Violence in Westerns and the Law (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2018). ISBN 978-1-5261-2618-4, £90.00

Manchester University Press is publishing a book on the Western genre and American gun rights and legal paradigms later this month.


This book is a cultural history of the interplay between the Western genre and American gun rights and legal paradigms. From muskets in the hands of landed gentry opposing tyrannical government to hidden pistols kept to ward off potential attackers, the historical development of entwined legal and cultural discourses has sanctified the use of gun violence by private citizens and specified the conditions under which such violence may be legally justified. Gunslinging justice explores how the Western genre has imagined new justifications for gun violence which American law seems ever-eager to adopt.


Justin A. Joyce is Research Associate to Provost McBride at Emory University and Managing Editor of the James Baldwin Review


Introduction: the warp, woof, and weave of American gun violence
1 'A kind of wild justice': revenge and constitutional commentary in the Western
2 No retreat: American self-defense doctrine
3 American gun rights: from national defense to self-defense
4 The guns that 'won the Western': firearm iconography in western literature and film
5 Guns and governmentality: normative masculinity and disciplined gun violence
6 Deserve's got [everything] to do with it: property, process, and justice in Unforgiven
7 Old dogs and new tricks: race and justifiable homicide in neoliberalism's Western imagination

More information here

14 August 2018

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS: Towards a History of Files – Vol. 4 of Administory (DEADLINE: 31 August 2018)

(Source: Administory)

We learned of a Call for Contributions from Administory – Zeitschrift für Verwaltungsgeschichte. Here the call: 

Call For Contributions: Towards a History of Files – vol. 4 of Administory
Towards a History of Files

Max Weber famously observed that the modern office is based upon »files«. In his characterization of the »bureau« he went as far as to say that it was composed of the »body of officials actively engaged in a ›public‹ office, along with the respective apparatus of material implements and the files« (Gerth/Wright Mills 1946: 197). In recent years, anthropologists, historians, literary critics and media historians as well as sociologists, have moved beyond reading documents just »as evidence of any kind of historical reality«, but rather as »testimonies of the practices and cultural techniques embodied by them«. (Siegert 2003: 25) Drawing from the study of discourse, materiality, cultural techniques as well as of science and technology, scholarship on bureaucracy increasingly examines the role of documentation processes in the life of institutions.

With respect to processes of administration this body of scholarship revealed that »bureaucracies don’t so much employ documents as they are partly constructed by and out of them« (Gitelman 2014: 5, referring to Hull 2012). Files are connecting administrative acts: »Every file note indirectly contains a command. Reporting the execution of an order triggers the next one. […] An executed command, then, has a double orientation: it generates the next command and notes its own execution.« (Vismann 2008: 8) In other words, records generate files and build a papery organism that embodies and at the same time realizes the logics of law, state, and government.

Based on this observation, we would like to develop the analytical viewpoint by strengthening the historical perspective. This opens several important questions. The first asks what actually is considered to be a file under specific historical circumstances? Some studies understand files chiefly as those administrative objects referred to as »files« in particular bureaucratic settings. More commonly, scholars follow Weber in identifying files as »written documents«. However, we want to attend to files as a particular documentary type, which was and is subject to change both as an integrative written record and as material artefact. Therefore, files belong to a particular genre of documentation and are defined by their relation to other records. Understanding files as artefacts, therefore, allows for an analysis of the historically specific ways through which documents are physically and discursively interrelated.

Related to this is the second questions which focuses on the role of political, medial, or material transformation for the ways in which files gather, organize, articulate, store, and circulate individual documents. Unlike other kinds of documents, whose completeness and temporal finality is essential to their function, files grow and expand unlimitedly. What effects have for example political transformations for this process? Are filing routines interrupted, efforts made to restore a continuity of documentation, to destroy or to hide files? Changes in mediality (e.g. the use typescripts instead of manuscripts, or more ephemeral notes as post-its instead of forms) will affect equally the potential of files for organizing and synthesizing the various kinds of paperwork. Do these changes affect the way in which people, places, things, and processes are transformed into cases and issues.

We invite contributions that explore files that shape or emerging during moments of political, medial, or material transformation. Situations of turbulence highlight specific qualities of files and therefore allow for observing particular qualities. We are looking for contributions dealing with cases outside Europe or North America as well as papers engaging with pre-modern times.

·       discourses dealing with files
·       structures of participation
·       laws, norms, procedures, techniques of production, access, circulation, storage
·       materiality, material media, including electronic media and their impact on files and vice versa
·       interaction of files and administrations, including human and non-human actors
·       material and reality effects of files
·       historical emergence of files
·       the file as a genre and its boundaries (ephemeral notes)
·       speech and writing (catastrophes for administrative writing e.g. destruction of files, telephone, type writer, post-its, email et cetera)

ADMINISTORY aims to foster debate on the history of states and administrations. With its innovative articles and broad methodological and theoretical spectrum, the yearbook is a key interface between historical and cultural science research, and discussions on the state and administration in the social, legal and political sciences. The yearbook publishes original contributions in English and German. On average, our articles contain 9000 words including footnotes.

If you intend to contribute to this volume, please submit a title and a short abstract (max. 2500 characters) by August 31 2018 to We expect an outline sketch (around 10’000 characters) by end of September 2018 and the submission of the final article by end of January 2019.

For more information on the yearbook:

Cited Literature
·       Hans Heinrich Gerth/Charles Wright Mills (eds.), From Max Weber. Essays in Sociology, New York 1946
·       Lisa Gitelman, Paper Knowledge. Toward a Media History of Documents, Durham/London 2014
·       Matthew S. Hull, Government of Paper. The Materiality of Bureaucracy in Urban Pakistan, Berkeley/Los Angeles/London 2012
·       Bernhard Siegert, Passage des Digitalen. Zeichenpraktiken der neuzeitlichen Wissenschaften 1500-1900, Berlin 2003
·       Cornelia Visman, Files. Law and Media Theory, Stanford 2008

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Fellowship – Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University (DEADLINE: 1 DECEMBER 2018)

Via the Legal History Blog, we learned of a Call for applications for Fellowships at the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University. Here the call:

During the 2019-20 academic year, the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University will focus on the topic of “Law & Legalities.”This seminar will bring together visiting scholars working on law in societies around the world and throughout human history, on topics including (but not restricted to) state administration, gender and sexuality, race, religion, property, science, environment, technology, war, migration, commerce, medicine, disability, incarceration, and human rights. How have legal, illegal, quasilegal, and extra-legal forms of social order interacted in different periods and places? We will consider the historical possibilities and predicaments that have emerged within legal and juridical systems (both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’), as well as the conflicts that have arisen from the overlapping jurisdictions of custom, community, religion, nation-state, empire, and international bodies.

Fellowships are awarded to employed scholars who are expected to return to their position. Verification of employment and salary will be requested prior to approval by the Dean of the Faculty. PhD required.

The application for a visiting position is available 

The deadline for receipt of applications and letters of recommendation for fellowships is December 1, 2018, 11:59 p.m. EST. Applicants must apply online and submit a CV, cover letter, research proposal, abstract of proposal, and contact information for three references.
Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Further information is available here.
Angela N. H. Creager
Director, 2016–2020

CONFERENCE: Le traité de Versailles : Regards franco-allemands en droit international à l'occasion du centenaire (Strasbourg), 28-29 September 2018

Via International Law Reporter, we learned of a conference on “The Versailles Treaty: French and German Perspectives in International Law on the Occasion of the Centenary”:

On September 28-29, 2018, the Centre des études internationales et européennes at the Université de Strasbourg will hold a conference on "Le traité de Versailles : Regards franco-allemands en droit international à l'occasion du centenaire / The Versailles Treaty: French and German Perspectives in International Law on the Occasion of the Centenary." The program is here. Preceding the conference, on September 26-27, there will be a Young Researchers Workshop on the subject of "Le principe d’autodétermination un siècle après le traité de Versailles : d’hier à aujourd’hui – et demain ? / Das Selbstbestimmungsprinzip ein Jahrhundert nach dem Versailler Vertrag: Von gestern bis heute - und morgen?" The program is here.

BOOK: Adriano PROSPERI, Justice Blindfolded : The Historical Course of an Image [Catholic Christendom, 1300-1700] (Leiden: Brill, 2018). ISBN 978-90-04-36220-8, €105.00

(Source: Wikipedia)

Brill will publish a book on the history of "justice" and its iconography through the centuries later this month.  


Justice Blindfolded gives an overview of the history of "justice" and its iconography through the centuries. Justice has been portrayed as a woman with scales, or holding a sword, or, since the fiftteenth century, with her eyes bandaged. This last symbol contains the idea that justice is both impartial and blind, reminding indirectly of the bandaged Christ on the cross, a central figure in the Christian idea of fairness and forgiveness.

In this rich and imaginative journey through history and philosophy, Prosperi manages to convey a full account of the ways justice has been described, portrayed and imagined.


Adriano Prosperi, Ph.D (1968), Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy, is Emeritus Professor of Early Modern History. He has published extensively on the Reformation, the Tridentine Council, and the idea of faith in Western Europe. His most recent books are a study of Luther, Lutero. Gli anni della fede e della libertà (Milan 2017) and a history of the death penalty, Crime and Forgiveness: Christianizing Execution in Medieval Europe (Harvard University Press 2018)


Preface to the Italian Edition
Preface to the English Edition Index of Illustrations
Chapter One. Scale and Sword, Eyes and Blindfold: the Attributes of Justice
Chapter Two. Justice, That is to Say God
Chapter Three. The Blindfold
Chapter Four. Jesus, Barabbas and the Good Thief
Chapter Five. Justice and Grace
Chapter Six. Miracles and Salvation
Chapter Seven. The Divine Eye of the Law
Chapter Eight. Changes in Symbols
Chapter Nine. The Veil of Justice and the Risks of the Limelight.

More information here

13 August 2018

CALL FOR PAPERS: IMC Leeds, 1-4 July, 2019 The Materiality of Law Manuscripts (DEADLINE: 1 SEPTEMBER 2018)

(Source: British Library)
We learned of a Call for Papers from “The Transformations of Medieval Law” Project, on the materiality of medieval and early modern law mansuscripts. Here the call: 

In connection with the 2019 congress theme of Materialities, we are seeking papers for sessions on the materiality of medieval and early modern law manuscripts. This session explores the materiality of medieval legal texts at different stages of their use, from their initial production and layout, to binding with other texts, marks made by users, translation, and printing. We are particularly interested in how the materiality of legal manuscripts reflects how they transformed through time as needs of their users changed.

Topics might include but are not limited to:
• the production of law manuscripts
• the layout of law manuscripts
• the compilation of law manuscripts
• user marks in law manuscripts
• the translation of law manuscripts
• multilingual law manuscripts
• the transition from manuscript to printing

We welcome research on manuscripts from any legal tradition and comparative approaches.
Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words including five keywords to Helen F. Leslie-Jacobsen (, no later than the 1st September 2018.

Sponsors: “The Transformations of Medieval Law” Project (Bergen Research Foundation and University of Bergen, Norway)

JOB: Professor for Civil Law and Legal History, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (DEADLINE: September 30, 2018)


We learned of a job application for a Professorship at the Martin Lither University Halle-Wittenberg, to succeed Professor Heiner Lück. Here the job offer:

The Faculty of Law, Economics and Business at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg is looking to appoint a
W3-Professor for Civil Law and Legal History
(to succeed Prof. Lück)
from October 1st, 2019. 

The professor should represent the civil law in its full extent, in particular family and inheritance law, as well as the field of legal history with a focus on German legal history of the Middle Ages and the early modern times in research and teaching. 

Applicants are expected to show a habilitation or an equivalent academic achievement. 
The duties of the position also include all tasks listed in § 34 of the Higher Education Act of the Land of Saxony-Anhalt (Hochschulgesetzes des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt). Thus, applicants must fulfill the appointment requirements for professors in accordance with § 35 of the Higher Education Act of the Land of Saxony-Anhalt. 

Martin Luther University aims to increase the proportion of women in academia and encourages qualified women to apply. The Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg offers excellent opportunities to reconcile work and family.

Severely handicapped applicants are given preference if equally qualified. 

Applications should be received by September 30th, 2018. Applications should be submitted, preferably by e-mail, to: 
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Juristische und Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät
Universitätsplatz 10 a
06108 Halle (Saale)

The application should include a curriculum vitae, certificates, an account of the scientific career, a list of publications, a statement of the extent of the previous fund-raising activity and proof of previous teaching. 

The salary is paid within the legal and budgetary conditions. 
Expenses incurred by the application will not be reimbursed.

To learn more about working & living in Germany, please visit:

More information here

CONFERENCE : V Biennial Conference of the Latin American Society of International Law “Dialogues of International Law”, Torcuato Di Tella University (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 24-25 September 2018

Coming September, the Latin American Society of International Law is holding its 4th biennial conference.

The full programme can be found here

Two panels deal with the history of international law on September 25, namely:

11.30 – 13.00: PARALLEL SESSIONS


Chair: Justina Uriburu (Torcuato Di Tella University).
           Amaya  Alvez  (Universidad  de  Concepción)  and  Arnulf  Becker  Lorca  (Brown University): “¿Autodeterminación para los Pueblos Originarios? Los límites de la Consulta Indígena Constituyente en Chile”.
        Sebastián Machado (University of Melbourne): “La historia del derecho internacional
como una herramienta crítica y hermenéutica”.
        Liliana  Obregón  (Harvard  University):  “América  Latina  y  la  Historiografía  del
Derecho Internacional”.

14.30 – 16.00: PARALLEL SESSIONS


Chair: Francisco José Quintana (Torcuato Di Tella University). Speakers:
        José Manuel Barreto (Universidad Externado de Colombia; Universidad Católica de
Colombia): “Las Casas y los Orígenes Coloniales del Derecho Internacional y los
Derechos Humanos”.
        Fabia Fernandes Vecoso (University of Melbourne): “Intervention, sovereign debt,
and the making of spatial order: revisiting the 1902-1903 Venezuelan Blockade”.
           Juan Pablo Scarfi (Universidad Nacional de San Martín): “El Derecho Internacional (Latino)Americano y la no Intervención: La Hegemonía  Estadounidense en América Latina y el Debate (Humanitario) sobre la  Intervención en los Orígenes del Sistema Interamericano”.

 More information about the conference can be found here

BOOK: Bettine BIRGE, Marriage and the Law in the Age of Khubilai Khan - Cases from the Yuan Dianzhang (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2017). ISBN 9780674975514, €49.50

(Source: HUP)

Harvard University Press recently published a book on marriage law during the reign of Khubilai Khan.


The Mongol conquest of China in the thirteenth century and Khubilai Khan’s founding of the Yuan dynasty brought together under one government people of different languages, religions, and social customs. Chinese law evolved rapidly to accommodate these changes, as reflected in the great compendium Yuan dianzhang (Statutes and Precedents of the Yuan Dynasty). The records of legal cases contained in this seminal text, Bettine Birge shows, paint a portrait of medieval Chinese family life—and the conflicts that arose from it—that is unmatched by any other historical source.

Marriage and the Law in the Age of Khubilai Khan reveals the complex, sometimes contradictory inner workings of the Mongol-Yuan legal system, seen through the prism of marriage disputes in chapter eighteen of the Yuan dianzhang, which has never before been translated into another language. Birge’s meticulously annotated translation clarifies the meaning of terms and passages, some in a hybrid Sino-Mongolian language, for specialists and general readers alike. The text includes court testimony—recorded in the vivid vernacular of people from all social classes—in lawsuits over adultery, divorce, rape, wife-selling, marriages of runaway slaves, and other conflicts. It brings us closer than any other source to the actual Mongolian speech of Khubilai and the great khans who succeeded him as they struggled to reconcile very different Mongol, Muslim, and Chinese legal traditions and confront the challenges of ruling a diverse polyethnic empire.


Bettine Birge is Associate Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, with a joint appointment in the Department of History, at the University of Southern California.


Maps, Figures, and Charts*
I. The Age of Khubilai Khan and the Yuan dianzhang
1. The Historical and Social Context of the Yuan dianzhang
2. Yuan Administration and the Legal System
3. Origins, Contents, and Transmission of the Yuan dianzhang
4. Notes on the Translation
II. Chapter 18, “Marriage,” from the Yuan dianzhang: An Annotated Translation
5. Sections 1–2: Marriage Rites and Exchanges; Getting Married
6. Sections 3–5: Marriage between Officials and Commoners; Marriages of Military Personnel; Divorce
7. Sections 6–8: When the Husband Dies; Levirate Marriage Approved; Levirate Marriage Rejected
8. Sections 9–12: Secondary Wives; Marriage between Slaves and Commoners; Marriage of Entertainers; Marriage during the Mourning Period
Appendix A: Translation of Title Page of the Yuan dianzhang
Appendix B: Marriage Cases from Chapter 18 of the Yuan dianzhang in Chronological Order
Appendix C: Marriage Cases from Chapter 18 of the Yuan dianzhang with Dates

More information here

JOURNAL: Law and History Review, Vol. 36 Issue 3 (2018)

(Source: Cambridge Core)

The Law and History Review just published its 3rd Issue of the year. Here the Table of Contents:

ASLH 2017 Plenary Lecture
The Long Resistance
Tomiko Brown-Nagin 441
Legal Reasoning in a Slave Society (Brazil, 1860–88)
Pedro Jimenez Cantisano and Mariana Armond Dias Paes 471
Lawless Wars of Empire? The International Law of War in the
Philippines, 1898–1903
Will Smiley 511
A Lost Theory of American Emergency Constitutionalism
John Fabian Witt 551
A Day in the Life: Aryanization Before the Swedish Supreme
Court 1941–42
Anna Wallerman 593
“An Honest But Fearless Fighter”: The Adversarial Ideal of Public
Defenders in 1930s and 1940s Los Angeles
Sara Mayeux 619

Review Essay
Bayonets in Paradise: Martial Law in Hawai’i During
World War II—Harry N. Scheiber and Jane L. Scheiber
reviewed by Tom Coffman 667

Book Reviews
Maintenance in Medieval England—Jonathan Rose
reviewed by James Masschaele 671
Die Historische Rechtsschule—Hans-Peter Haferkamp
reviewed by Mathias W. Reimann 67

More information here

11 August 2018

CALL FOR PAPERS: Law, Literature, and Psychoanalysis, 1890-1950, University of Sheffield, April 11-13, 2019 (DEADLINE 28 NOVEMBER 2018)

Via Law & Humanities Blog, we learned of a call for papers for a conference on “Law, Literature and Psychoanalysis, 1890-1950”. Here the call:

Ravit Reichman (Brown University)
Lizzie Seal (University of Sussex)
Victoria Stewart (University of Leicester)

Call For Papers:

The twentieth-century was a period of worldwide literary experiment, of scientific developments and of worldwide conflict. These changes demanded a rethinking not merely of psychological subjectivity, but also of what it meant to be subject to the law and to punishment. This two-day conference aims to explore relationships between literature, law and psychoanalysis during the period 1890-1950, allowing productive mixing of canonical and popular literature and also encouraging interdisciplinary conversations between different fields of study.

The period examined by the conference included: developments in Freudian psychoanalysis and its branching in other directions; the founding of criminology; continuing campaigns and reforms around the death penalty; landmark modernist publications; the ‘Golden Age’ of detective fiction; and multiple sensational trials (Wilde, Crippen, Casement, Leopold and Loeb, to name but a few). Freud’s followers, like Theodor Reik and Hans Sachs, would publish work on criminal law and the death penalty; psychoanalysts were sought after as expert witnesses; novelists like Elizabeth Bowen would serve on a Royal Commission investigating capital punishment; while Gladys Mitchell invented the character of Beatrice Adela Lestrange Bradley as a literary detective-psychoanalyst.

We therefore hope to consider areas including literature’s connection with historical debates around crime and punishment; literature and authors on trial and/or on the ‘psychiatrist's couch’; and literature’s effect on debates about human rights. The event is linked to and partly supported by an AHRC project on literature, psychoanalysis and the death penalty, but the aim of this conference is much wider. Interdisciplinary approaches, especially from fields such as psychoanalysis, philosophy, law or the visual arts, are particularly encouraged. We also welcome papers on international legal systems and texts. All responses are welcome and the scope of our interdisciplinary interests is flexible, with room in the planned programme for strands of work that might be more or less literary. 
Possible topics might include: 

  • psychoanalysis in the real or literary courtroom;
  • literary form and the insanity defence;
  • canonical authors as readers of crime fiction and vice versa;
  • censorship cases;
  • the influence of famous legal cases on literary productions or on psychoanalytic theory;
  • influences of criminology and criminal psychology on literature;
  • representations of new execution methods (for example, the gas chamber and the electric chair);
  • portrayals of restorative versus retributive justice;
  • literary responses to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
  • relationships between modernism and Critical Legal Studies (CLS). 

Please send 250 word paper proposals or 300 word proposals for fully formed panels to Katherine Ebury by 28th November 2018.

10 August 2018

Angela FERNANDEZ, Pierson v. Post, The Hunt for the Fox - Law and Professionalization in American Legal Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018). ISBN 9781107039285, £ 95.00

Cambridge University Press is publishing a book on Pierson v. Post, a leading 19th century case in American property law. 


The 1805 New York foxhunting case Pierson v. Post has long been used in American property law classrooms to introduce law students to the concept of first possession by asking how one establishes possession of a wild animal. In this book, Professor Angela Fernandez retells the history of the famous fox case, from its origins as a squabble between two wealthy young men on the South Fork of Long Island through its appeal to the New York Supreme Court and entry into legal treatises, law school casebooks, and law journal articles, where it still occupies a central place. Professor Fernandez argues that the dissent is best understood as an example of legal solemn foolery. Yet it has been treated by legal professionals, the lawyers of its day, and subsequent legal academics in such a serious way, demonstrating how the solemn and the silly can occupy two sides of the same coin in American legal history.


Angela Fernandez, University of Toronto
Angela Fernandez is a legal historian at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, where she is also a member of the Department of History. She has published numerous articles and is co-editor of Law Books in Action: Essays on the Anglo-American Legal Treatise (2012).


Part I. The Literary History of Pierson:
1. Solemn foolery
2. Rabelaisian play
Part II. The Social History of Pierson:
3. Local justice
4. Lawyerization
5. The legal fictions needed for a state of nature debate
Part III. The Intellectual History of Pierson:
6. The reporter
7. Mandarization

More information here

BOOK: Mathew TURNER, Historians at the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial (London: I.B. Tauris, 2018). ISBN 9781788310734, € 79,21

I.B. Tauris is publishing a book on the role of historians as expert witnesses during the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial.


The Frankfurt Auschwitz trial was a milestone event in West German history. Between 1963 and 1965, twenty-two former Auschwitz personnel were tried in Frankfurt am Main. It was a trial that saw the engagement of four of the nation's leading historians as expert witnesses - Martin Broszat, Hans Buchheim, Helmut Krausnick, and Hans-Adolf Jacobsen - appointed by the prosecution to give evidence pertaining to the historical and organisational context of the Holocaust. Following the trial, the reports of these historians were published in a bestselling book, Anatomie des SS-Staates (Anatomy of the SS State) and Mathew Turner here investigates the relationship between the trial and this publication. In recent years, more attention has been paid to the intersection between history and law that accompanies historians' entry into the courtroom. Very little, however, has been written about this intersection with a focus on a single case study. Based on original research in several German archives and first-hand interviews, Turner addresses these connections through a study of West Germany's most famous trial, and the monumental work of history produced from the engagement of historical expertise in court.


Mathew Turner is a Lecturer in History at Deakin University, Australia, from where he gained his PhD. He has been a Guest Scholar at the Jena Center for Twentieth Century History in Germany.


Background to Frankfurt: the IfZ, Gutachten and the Ulm Trial
The Law Courts History: Pre-Trial Preparations
Giving Evidence: The Historians' Court? Or Historians Caught?
Judgement Day: Hofmeyer Reaches a Verdict
Publishing Anatomie: Gutachten to Chapters
Responding to Anatomie: Scholar React
Receiving Anatomie: Hoe the Book Made History

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09 August 2018

BOOK: Elena COOPER, Art and Modern Copyright : The Contested Image (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018). ISBN 9781107179721, £ 85.00

Cambridge University Press has just published a book on the history of copyright protecting the visual arts.


This book is the first in-depth and longitudinal study of the history of copyright protecting the visual arts. Exploring legal developments during an important period in the making of the modern law, the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth centuries, in relation to four themes - the protection of copyright 'authors' (painters, photographers and engravers), art collectors, sitters and the public interest - it uncovers a number of long-forgotten narratives of copyright history, including views of copyright that differ from how we think today. As well as considering the distinct nature of the contribution of copyright to the history of the cultural domain accounted for by scholars of art history and the sociology of art, this book examines the value to lawyers and policy-makers today of copyright history as a destabilising influence: in taking us to ways of thinking that differ from our own, history can sharpen the critical lens through which we view copyright debates today.

Looks at legal developments in the making of modern law in relation to the visual arts, providing fresh perspectives and critical insights into copyright and its history
This book is based on extensive original archival work that uncovers unexplored facets of copyright history
Explores the contribution of copyright history to broader developments described by scholars of art history and the sociology of art


Elena Cooper, CREATe, University of Glasgow
Elena Cooper is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at CREATe, University of Glasgow, where she has been a postdoctoral researcher since 2014. Prior to this, she was Orton Fellow in Intellectual Property Law at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge. Prior to her time at Cambridge, Elena was a solicitor specialising in intellectual property litigation. Elena is a member of the British Art Network organised by the Tate and The Institute of Art and Law.


1. Introduction
2. Art, copyright and 'authors', 1: 1850–62
3. Art, copyright and 'authors', 2: 1862–11
4. Art, copyright and collectors: the wrongs that artists commit
5. Art, copyright and the face: a nineteenth-century publicity right
6. Art, copyright and the public interest: galleries, printsellers and 'pirates'
7. Drawing conclusions: images of art and images of copyright.

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