2006 Conference

The ASLH traveled to the Baltimore-Radisson Hotel for its annual meeting on November 16-19.  Despite some challenging weather on the 16th (the President spent four and half hours on the tarmac in Boston when the Baltimore Airport was closed), more than 300 people registered for and attended the conference.  Professor Robert Gordon of the Yale Law School and former president of the Society gave the plenary address in Westminster Hall of the University of Maryland Law School on “From Private Practice to Public Involvements:  Pathways to Republican Lawyering.”  The address was followed by a splendid reception co-sponsored by the Maryland Law School, the Baltimore Law School and Johns Hopkins University.  The full program (DOC) is available online.


Results of Elections

Lauren Benton of New York University, Christine Desan of Harvard University, William Forbath of the University of Texas, Sally Hadden of Florida State University, and Robin Chapman Stacey of the University of Washington were elected to three-year terms on the Board of Directors.  They replace Stuart Banner of the University of California, Los Angeles, Philip Hamburger of Columbia University, Victoria D. List of Washington & Jefferson College, David Seipp of Boston University, and James Q. Whitman of Yale University, whose terms have expired.  Our thanks are owing to the outgoing members of the board for their years of faithful service, and congratulations to the new members!


Christopher Capozzola of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and David S. Tanenhaus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, were elected to three-year terms on the Nominating Committee.  The replace Adam Kosto of Columbia University and Tahirih Lee of Florida State University, whose terms have expired.  Once more our thanks are owing to the outgoing members of the committee for their years of faithful service, and congratulations to the new members!


Bill LaPiana to Step Down as Secretary

At the annual meeting Charlie Donahue announced that Bill LaPiana would be stepping down as Secretary of the Society as of the first of January.  Bill is willing to continue as Treasurer.  The Board will be submitting a By-Law amendment to the membership allowing the offices of Secretary and Treasurer to be split.  “This job is just too big for one person,” Donahue said.


Prizes and Awards

At the annual lunch on the 18th, Charlie Donahue announced the following prizes and awards:

The first annual Preyer Scholars were Sophia Z. Lee, a JD/PhD student at Yale, for her paper, “Hotspots in a Cold War: The NAACP’s Postwar Labor Constitutionalism, 1948-1964” and Karen M. Tani, a JD/PhD student at the University for Pennsylvania for her paper, “Fleming v. Nestor: Anticommunism, The Welfare State and the Making of ‘New Property.’”

William Nelson Cromwell Fellowships were awarded to:. Christopher Beauchamp, Ph.D., University of Cambridge, for postdoctoral research to convert his dissertation on patent litigation in the late nineteenth century into a book; Kenneth W. Mack, J.D. Harvard Law School; Ph. D. Princeton University and member of the Harvard Law School faculty for archival research to complete his book on African American lawyers and their legal practice during the first half of the twentieth century; Kunal Parker, J.D. Harvard Law School, Ph.D. Princeton University (candidate), member of the Cleveland State Law School faculty and Golieb Fellow, NYU Law School to complete his dissertation on changing understandings of history and of custom in nineteenth century legal thought; Nicholas Parrillo, J.D./ Ph.D (candidate), Yale Law School and  Golieb Fellow, NYU Law School to continue his doctoral dissertation research on the legal history of governmental salaries and pay; Daniel J. Sharfstein, J.D. Yale Law School and Golieb Fellow, NYU Law School for archival research on his book on families whose racial identities shifted from African American to white from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries.

For the first time in the history of these awards the Sutherland Prize and the Surrency Prize were awarded to the same person for the same article: Dr Andrea McKenzie (Assistant Professor of History, University of Victoria, Canada), for ‘ “This Death Some Strong and Stout Hearted Man Doth Choose”: The Practice of Peine Forte et Dure in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century England’, Law & History Review, 23, 2 (2005).

The William Nelson Cromwell Prize was awarded to Professor Holly Brewer of North Carolina State University for her book, By Birth or Consent: Children, Law, and the Anglo-American Revolution in Authority (Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture by University of North Carolina Press, 2005).

The first annual Reid Prize was awarded to Professor Daniel J. Hulsebosch, of the New York University School of Law, for his book Constituting Empire: New York and the Transformation of Constitutionalism in the Atlantic World, 1664-1830. Daniel Hulsebosch is pictured with John Reid.

Professor Anne Lefebvre-Teillard of the University of Paris (II, Panthéon-Assas) was elected a corresponding fellow of the Society.

Professor Morton J. Horwitz of the Harvard Law School was elected an honorary fellow of the Society.


ASLH Observes its Fiftieth Anniversary
The ASLH was founded in 1956, fifty years ago this year.  At the annual lunch Charlie Donahue asked three members who were at the lunch and who were “there at the founding” to stand:  Herb Johnson (University of South Carolina), Joe McKnight (Southern Methodist University) and John Phillip Reid (New York University).  Enthusiastic applause followed.


Next Year: Tempe (Phoenix), Arizona

The Program Committee for the Tempe (Phoenix) meeting (October 25-28, 2007) has been formed.
Update Your Membership Profile

Also at the annual meeting, Charlie Donahue urged members to update their profiles on the membership directory that is maintained at the University of Illinois Press.  “We are in particular need of current email addresses of the members, since this is the most efficient method for us to communicate with you,” Donahue said.


In Memoriam
Legal historian and State University of New York at Albany President Kermit Hall died on August 13, 2006 in a swimming accident in Hilton Head, South Carolina.  Hall contributed greatly to the field, both in terms of academic scholarship and public history.  He wrote several classic and award winning works on legal and judicial history, including, The Magic Mirror: Law in American History (Oxford UP, 1989, with a revised edition this year), the Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States (2nd ed., rev., Oxford, 2005), the Oxford Companion to American Law (Oxford, 2003), and, most recently, The Judicial Branch (Oxford UP, 2005) with Kevin McGuire.

At the 2006 ASLH Annual Meeting, a special panel was held on Saturday, November 18, at 6:15pm, entitled “Remembering Kermit Hall:  Friends, Students, Collaborators.”  Panel participants included the following:

Sandra VanBurkleo, convener, Wayne State University (PhD U of Minnesota), far right.
John Johnson, University of Northern Iowa (PhD U of Minnesota), obscured by Sandra VanBurkleo.
Joel Grossman, The Johns Hopkins University, in red sweater.

James Ely, Vanderbilt Law, center.
Arnita Jones, AHA, second from end.

Leonard Slade, Africana Studies at the University of Albany, far left.
Students (including Tim Huebner, Lou Faulkner Williams, Eric Rise, Steve Noll, Liz Monroe, and others with Ph.D.s from U Florida)