2002 Annual Report

::  2002 Board of Directors Meeting  ::
San Diego, California  ::  US Grant Hotel

ASLH Election results…

Victoria Saker Woeste, chair of the ASLH nominating committee, announced the results of the ASLH election.
Elected to the Board of Directors:

  • Thomas Garden Barnes, Professor of History and Law, University of California, Berkeley
  • Barry Cushman, Professor of Law and Professor of History, University of Virginia
  • Laura F. Edwards, Associate Professor, History Department, Duke University
  • William P. LaPiana, Rita and Joseph Solomon Professor of Wills, Trusts, and Estates, New York Law School
  • Barbara Y. Welke, Associate Professor of History, University of Minnesota.

Elected to the Nominating Committee:

  • Sally E. Hadden, Associate Professor of History and Law, Florida State University.

Dirk Hartog steps down as editor of Studies in Legal History…

At the San Diego meeting Dirk Hartog stepped down as editor of the ASLH book series, Studies in Legal History. Tom Green will continue and Dan Ernst will now serve as his coeditor.

Tom Green said this about the change in editors:
This year is Dirk’s tenth and final year as co-editor of Studies in Legal History. Over the past decade, Dirk has set the highest possible standards regarding editorial judgment, industriousness and helpfulness to aspiring, and actual, Series authors. We have worked closely together at every stage of all our projects; to me, his departure is a great personal loss. It is a great loss as well to the Society, on whose behalf the Board will no doubt want to give him special thanks.

Both the Society at large and I, as ongoing editor, are most fortunate in having Dan Ernst as successor to Dirk. Dan possesses very special talent (which was obvious to all even before publication of his prize-winning book), and one aspect of that talent is his excellent editorial judgment. Although Dan officially becomes co-editor at the close of tonight’s meeting, he has generously been helping Dirk and me from the time of his selection this summer. Both Dirk and I (and we suppose Dan) want to thank the Publication’s committee, and especially its chair, Bruce Mann, for their judicious and most successful handling of the selection process.
Surrency Prize unanimously awarded to Maria Ågren

The Surrency Prize committee has made the unanimous decision to award the 2002 prize to Professor Maria Ågren for her article, “Asserting One’s Rights: Swedish Property Law in the Transition from Community Law to State Law,” which appeared in volume 19 of the Law and History Review (2001). 

In the context of early modern Sweden, Ågren explores the slow decline in the legitimacy of immemorial prescription as a defense of property rights.  Taking the immense importance of immemorial prescription in medieval law and society as a starting point, Ågren asks why particular social groups in seventeenth and eighteenth century Sweden increasingly questioned the fairness and utility of the doctrine.  To answer her question, she interweaves political, jurisprudential, and economic explanations.  Relevant to her account are developments as varied as the growing importance of professional lawyers, conflicts between the interests of the nobility and the crown, deepening skepticism about the value of lay, village-level legal knowledge, and increasing competition over land driven by a growing population. The committee is please to award the Surrency Prize to this virtuoso performance.

The Erwin C. Surrency Prize is awarded for the best article or review essay published during the previous year in Law and History Review. Serving on the prize committee were Carol Weisbrod (University of Connecticut), James Whitman (Yale University), and Richard Ross (University of Wisconsin, Madison), chair.