Upcoming Conference – Houston, Texas










The American Society for Legal History will be having its 48th annual meeting in Houston, Texas from November 8 -11, 2018. The preliminary draft program is now available at 2018 ASLH Annual Meeting Program (Draft). The meeting hotel is the Hilton-Américas, and a special discounted hotel rate of $194 per night has been negotiated. The ASLH had to guarantee that a minimum number of room nights would be booked to secure free meeting space. As such, we strongly encourage attendees to book the meeting hotel.

Airport accessibility information is available here, and hotel accessibility information is available here. The hotel will provide a designated gender-neutral bathroom for ASLH attendees. Location information will be provided in the meeting program.

The meeting is being sponsored by the University of Houston Law Center and the University of Houston.  Craig Joyce, Chairman of the Local Arrangements Committee, has prepared a comprehensive website to aid meeting attendees. It can be accessed here.

Pre-registration is no longer available. However, you can still register on site at the ASLH Registration Desk. Please note that refunds can no longer be claimed in that numbers had to be guaranteed to the hotel on October 15th.


Pre-conference Colloquium and Workshops

The ASLH will host a Student Research Colloquium on Wednesday, Nov. 7, and Thursday, Nov. 8, immediately preceding the annual meeting. The Colloquium enables eight Ph.D. students and law students to discuss their in-progress dissertations and articles with distinguished ASLH-affiliated scholars. This year, the Department of History at Rice University will host the event. Application information is available here (the application deadline is July 15, 2018).


Pre-Conference Workshop on Medieval Legal History, Thursday, November 8th, 2018

On Thursday November 8, immediately before the main conference begins, the American Society for Legal History (with the support of Vanderbilt University) is hosting a workshop on medieval legal history, broadly defined both chronologically and geographically. The workshop will consist of a range of paper presentations and discussions, as shown on the program below. Lunch will be made available to those attending.

The workshop will take place in the Conference Hotel and some of the papers will be pre-circulated, to facilitate discussion. Any one registered for the main conference is welcome to register the workshop, but space is limited to forty attendees. If you would like to register to attend, please register here.

12:00-1:00 pm – Daniel Smail (Harvard), “The Legal Ecology of Debt Collection”

1:00-1:15 Break

1:15-2:30 Paper-workshop session:

  • Ari Z. Bryen (Vanderbilt University), “The Judgment of the Provinces: Law, Culture, and Empire in the Roman East”
  • Geoffrey Koziol (Berkeley), “Learning to legislate: from the Carolingians to the Peace of God and beyond”
  • Comment: Caroline Humfress (St Andrews), William Caferro (Vanderbilt University)

2:30 – 2:45 break

2:45- 3:45 Alice Taylor (King’s College, London): “What does Scotland’s earliest legal tractate actually say (and what does it mean)?”

3:45-4:00 break

4:00- 5:45 Early-Career Scholar Panel

  • Jesse Abelman (Yeshiva University), ‘Violence and Jewish Courts in High Medieval Northern Europe’
  • Sara Ludin (Berkeley), ‘Protest, Veridiction, and Legal Speech Acts in Early German Reformation Litigation, 1529-1555’
  • Dana Lee (Princeton), ‘Early Debates on Excuses in Islamic Legal History: The Case of the Stolen Veil in Seventh Century Tāʾif’
  • Charlotte Whatley (University of Wisconsin-Madison), ‘Kingship and Collusion: Extra-Legal Negotiation and Legal Fictions in the Age of Edward III’
  • Comment: Lena Salaymeh  (Tel Aviv University).

5:45-5:50 Closing Remarks


Pre-conference Workshop on Teaching Legal History

We invite 30 ASLH attendees to register for our pre-conference workshop on teaching legal history from 11-4 on Thursday, November 8 in the conference hotel. Participants will have an opportunity to share their own challenges and successes in dialogue with workshop facilitators on topics ranging from digital and creative pedagogies, to co-convened JD/graduate seminars, and undergraduate legal history curriculum building. Lunch is provided to all pre-registered participants through the generous sponsorship of University of Nebraska Lincoln’s College of Arts & Sciences Instructional Improvement Fund.

The agenda is as follows:

11-12: Ari Bryen & Kimberly Welch, Building an Undergraduate Legal History Program

12-1: Lunch & Open Discussion on Teaching Experiences, Concerns, & Strategies

1-2: Katrina Jagodinsky, Digital Pedagogies for Legal History

2-3: Sally Hadden, Teaching American Legal History: Digital Resources and Teaching Opportunities

3-4: Martha S JonesKaren Tani, Teaching Legal History Seminars w/ Graduate and JD Students

Pre-Register for the workshop here.


Caution: Do not be misled by outside housing or travel agencies claiming to be the official housing provider for the upcoming ASLH Annual Meeting in Houston. You can only book rooms at the ASLH’s discounted rate through the link provided in your registration confirmation email. Unfortunately, unscrupulous providers sometimes claim to provide housing for meetings and conventions when they are in no way affiliated with the sponsoring organization. This practice is a scam that attendees should be aware of in order to avoid passing on personal or financial information. Reservations made by unaffiliated organizations may be illegitimate, not have the rooms to sell, have unreasonable cancellation or change penalties, or be completely non-refundable.

Host an ASLH Conference

The American Society for Legal History’s Standing Committee on Annual Meetings invites proposals to host or sponsor (in full or in part) a future Annual Meeting. Interesting venues, affordable hotel rates, tax exemption for out-of-state non-profits and reasonable funding support for meeting events are highly favored in site selection. Contact the committee’s chair, Joanna Grisinger at Northwestern University, by <email>