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A summer of scholarship

CLSJ faculty spent their summers around the globe, pursuing groundbreaking research and intellectual exploration. Where did they go and what are they working on? We asked, and they told:

Ralph Grunewald

This summer began with a wonderful trip to Door County, where my family and I could catch a breath after the semester. Once back, I had to stop dreaming of cherry pie and start working on an article that discusses how concepts of "truth" and "justice" are interrelated, here and in Europe. This semester will be especially exciting for me - I am chairing a campus wide Mellon Workshop on "Guilt." Experts from all areas discuss how our understanding of accountability (individual, collective) has changed in recent years. This, my classes, and a talk in late fall are keeping me fairly occupied. But there always is (needs to be) time for a run in the Arboretum and a fun photo session with my now kindergartner daughter.

Richard Keyser

This summer I had the opportunity to spend six weeks in London, where, in addition to seeing iconic sights like the Tower of London, I did some research in the manuscripts held at the British Library that relate to a research project I am doing on Anglo-Norman legal history. It has been exciting to work on some of the texts that provide background for the Magna Carta of 1215 and its vision of widely shared (if not universal) legal rights. I also, as usual, revamped my classes. For American Legal History I (to 1860), I have switched textbooks and added a new monograph that examines the colonial background of the legal ideas found in the U.S. Constitution. I am also teaching a new class for the Department of History on European Environmental History, which will take a long view of interactions between people and their environments in the Old World.

Mitra Sharafi

Over the summer, I spent a month in London doing archival research for two projects. At the British Library, I collected materials on poisoning in British India, looking at the annual reports of military medical figures known as chemical examiners who ran forensic labs for the courts. This work will form the basis of a book project on medical jurisprudence in colonial India. I also looked at admissions materials submitted by law students from across the British Empire at London's Inns of Court, where students became barristers (courtroom lawyers). I am planning an article on the social and professional networks and identities that emerged among colonial non-Europeans studying law in London in the late 19th-early 20th centuries.

Karl Shoemaker

I am working on the legal history of the devil. In the late Middle Ages, it was quite popular to portray a lawsuit between Christ and the devil. Sometimes, such portrayals were even used in law schools to teach legal procedure. I am also writing an article on the development of law and legal process in 13th-century France.