Welcome to the home page of H-LAW, a
Humanities Social Sciences Online
discussion network sponsored by the
American Society for Legal History.
H-LAW solicits discussion of issues
relating to teaching and research in the
history of all legal traditions:
common-law, civil-law, and all other
ASLH publishes Law & History Review through the
Cambridge University Press. The journal
is available online via the History
Cooperative and JSTOR.
::Nineteen Years of H-Law::
Nineteen years ago, on June 29, 1993, H-Law founding moderator Chris
Waldrep posted the first two messages to the list. These were followed in
ensuing days and weeks and years by many thousands of additional posts all still available via the discussion logs accessible at the H-Law web
Before H-Law, scholarly communication did take place, but not on a daily
basis and not with the scope of participation that online communication
makes possible. From the beginning, H-Law’s discourse was of the highest
order. H-Law always has been the virtual equivalent of sitting at a
seminar table and exploring (and sometimes arguing) the many topics
composing our field. As our discussion of historical precedents for the
ACA shows, H-Law continues to maintain this high level of scholarly
Think about how many of us have never known a time when such widespread
access to our field was NOT available. Think about the professional and
scholarly connections that would NOT have been possible without H-Law.
Other methods of online communication have expanded our virtual community
even further, but it all began with two simple posts to a few hundred
subscribers trying out a new technology.
As we begin our twentieth year of operation, the moderators and editorial
board of H-Law invite everyone to scan H-Law’s discussion logs; they make
clear that we have a lot to be proud of. At the very least, the logs offer
fascinating reading in the history of our field.
::2013 Annual Meeting::
The 2013 meeting of the American Society for Legal History will take place in Miami, Florida, November 7-10, 2013. The ASLH invites proposals on any facet or period of legal history, anywhere in the world. In selecting presenters, the Program Committee will give preference to those who did not present at last year’s meeting.
Travel grants will be available for presenters in need; these resources will nevertheless still be limited, and special priority will be given to presenters traveling from abroad, graduate students, post-docs, and independent scholars.
The Program Committee welcomes proposals for both full panels and individual papers, though please note that individual papers are less likely to be accepted. As concerns panels, the Program Committee encourages the submission of a variety of different types of proposals, including:
traditional 3-paper panels (with a separate commentator and chair); incomplete 2-paper panels (with a separate commentator and chair), which the Committee will try to complete with at least 1 more paper;
panels of 4 or more papers (with a separate commentator and chair);
thematic panels that range across traditional chronological or geographical fields;
All panel proposals should include the following: A 300-word description of the panel;
A c.v. for each presenter (including complete contact info);
In the case of paper-based panels only, a 300-word abstract of each paper. Individual paper proposals should include:
A c.v. for each presenter (including complete contact info);
A 300-word abstract of each paper.
The deadline for submitting proposals is March 1, 2013. Proposals should be sent as email attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Substantive questions should be directed to Christina Duffy Ponsa at email@example.com or Karl Shoemaker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Timothy S. Huebner has compiled the Fall 2012 list of New Books in American legal and Constitutional history, which is now available at the “New Books” link. Links to previous lists are availible at the bottom of the current list. Authors and publishers are encouraged to submit information on forthcoming books to email@example.com.
A new section complied by John Wertheimer containing legal history syllabi submitted by H-law members is now available in the "Resources" section under the "Teach Legal History," link. If you would like to contribute a syllabi for inclusion please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to the winners of the ASLH 2012 awards.
Craig Joyce Medal: Christopher Waldrep, professor of history at San Francisco State University, is the second recipient of the medal, given on occasion by the Society “to recognize members who have given long and outstanding service” to the Society.
The John Phillip Read Book Award for 2012 went to Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Harvard University Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement (Oxford University Press, 2012).
The William Nelson Cromwell Foundation Book Prize for 2012 went to Daniel J. Sharfstein, Vanderbilt University School of Law, for The Invisible Line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White (Penguin Press, 2011).
The Surrency Prize for 2012 was awarded to Rebecca J. Scott for her essay, “Paper Thin: Freedom and Re-enslavement in the Diaspora of the Haitian Revolution,” which appeared in Law and History Review, Volume 29, Number 4.
The William Nelson Cromwell Foundation Article Prize for 2012 went to David Freeman Engstrom’s “The Lost Origins of American Fair Employment Law: Regulatory Choice and the Making of Modern Civil Rights, 1943-1972,” which appeared in volume 63 of the Stanford Law Review in 2011.
The Paul Murphy Prize for 2012 was awarded to Sam Lebovic, Rutgers University, for his book project, Beyond the First Amendment: The Problem of Press Freedom in the American Century.
The William Nelson Cromwell Foundation Dissertation Prize for 2012 went to Laura M. Weinrib, Princeton University, “The Liberal Compromise: Civil Liberties, Labor, and the Limits of State Power, 1917-1940.”
Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars for 2012 were Sarah Levine-Gronningsater (Ph.D. Candidate, University of Chicago), for her paper “Poor Law, Slave Law, God’s Law: Quaker Antislavery and the Early Modern Origins of New York’s Gradual Emancipation” and Taisu Zhang (Ph.D. Candidate, Yale University; Visiting Assistant Professor, Duke University School of Law), for his paper “Kinship Networks, Social Status and the Creation of Property Rights in Early Modern China and England.”