29 September 2014

BLOG: European Society of International Law Interest Group History of International Law

The European Society of International Law announced the creation of an Interest Group "History of International Law" at its most recent Biennal Conference in Vienna (6-7 September).

Prof. R. Lesaffer and Prof. Assist. I. de la Rasilla del Moral invite all potentially interested lawyers, legal historians and historians to register for ESIL membership and join the Group.

Purposes and justifications:
The interest group on the History of International Law (IGHIL) is intended as a forum for scholarly discussion on current ideas and developments in the field of the History of International Law. It aims to foster debate and promote research collaboration on the history of international law amongst members of the European Society of International Law and within the broader global research community, including through collaborations with interest groups and clusters on the History of International Law and related areas in other national and international academic communities. 
Because of the traditional interdisciplinary pollination of the history of international law, which blends international relations theory and its historical discourse, legal history, the history of ideas, political thought and diplomatic history and it is being further enhanced by a growing diversity of standpoints, the ethos of the interest group shall be interdisciplinary. 
The IGHIL shall be particularly sensitive to tranversal engagement with the history of all specialized sectors of international law
It will also actively seek collaboration with specialized journals and international publishers in the dissemination of the fruits of its research findings to the greatest posible audience in accordance, whenever posible, with an open-access policy. 
Animated by an all-inclusive ethos of infinite curiosity, IGHIL shall seek to stimulate research on the
history of international law in all parts and regions of the globe throughtout different historical epochs while contributing to foster ever-higher standards of academic excellence in the field. IGHIL aims to do so without ignoring in any manner the development of the history of international law in Europe itself where so much still remains to be done and will seek to foster, in pursuance of the ESIL's foundational goals, “much closer links between those working in the international law field in Western Europe and their counterparts in Eastern and Central Europe”.
Furthermore, the IGHIL shall help to identify many primary and secondary sources in need of digitalization across the world in partnership with the digitalizing sector, thus actively promoting the digitalization of materials on the history of international law. It shall also attempt to provide greater accesibility fo research materials in different forms through experimentation with the innovative possibilities opened by new technologies. In an age of open access, this effort will be carried out in direct partnership with the publishing industry for it to experiment with new audio-visual learning enhancing tools in its migration to new technological platforms. 
Last but not least, through engagement with technological innovation, IGHIL will nurture the academic soil with better tools for promoting a future broader access to university education. IGHIL will also endeavour at promoting discussion on the role of the history of international law in the legal curriculum as a teaching discipline and it shall eagerly promote activities oriented at exploring its present and future potential in the classroom. To this end, it shall aim at fostering doctoral and post-doctoral research in the field of the history of international law in the belief, to quote from a leading post-doctoral programme in the social sciences, “that intellectual community, interlocutorship and scholarly synergetic exchanges are fundamental to the early phase of academic career and significantly enhance the quality of the individual research”.
Through its steering research committee, which shall be composed by its 5 elected members who
shall serve for a period of 3 years (renewable only once in consecutive terms), the IGHIL will seek, in constant dialogue with its group members, to promote a coherent and well-defined annual research programme in the field with particular attention to the balanced development within its research activities of innovation and scientific consolidation. In doing so, particular attention will be paid tomethodological issues – including historiographical methods - and to the enriching development of  the history of international through the identification of topic areas in different times and spaces. 
This research programme will be combined with the participation of IGHIL in the commemoration of great historical events with repercussion in the development of international law in a manner that promotes greater historical awareness among international legal scholars, international legal practitioners, international policy-makers and the public in general. 
Composed of a pool of leading specialists, IGHIL will also endeavour to feed accurately the media during major international crises.The IGHIL shall naturally actively participate in the annual workshops and biannual conferences of the ESIL and foster regular joint-workshops in collaboration with other interest groups and clusters on the History of International Law and related disciplines within and beyond Europe. 
While the working languages of the group shall be those of the Society, namely English and French, IGHIL shall seek to actively promote engagement with scholarly work produced in the other languages by encouraging translations and the cultivation of linguistic research skills among its members in accordance with the ESIL´s foundational commitment to”promoting linguistic diversity while at the same time maximising the ability of members to communicate effectively with one another”.

26 September 2014

BOOK: M.L. Duclos-Grécourt, Conceptualising the Law in Eighteenth Century French Lawyers' Political Thought (Poitiers: PU juridiques de Poitiers, 2014)

(image source: PinIt)

The Ph.D.-thesis of Marie-Laure Duclos-Grécourt on 18th century French lawyers' political legal thought has been published by Poitiers University press, as our colleagues of Nomodôs signalled. The work obtained an honourable mention at the prestigious French Senate's Ph.D. Thesis Prizes.

ARTICLE: de la Rasilla del Moral (Brunel) on "The Ambivalent Shadow of the Pre-Wilsonian Rise of International Law" (SSRN)

Prof. Assist. Ignacio de la Rasilla del Moral (Brunel) posted "The Ambivalent Shadow of the Pre-Wilsonian Rise of International Law" on the SSRN network (download here).

The generation of American international lawyers who founded the American Society of International Law in 1906 and nurtured the soil for what has been retrospectively called a “moralistic legalistic approach to international relations” remains little studied. A survey of the rise of international legal literature in the U.S. from the mid-19th century to the eve of the Great War serves as a backdrop to the examination of the boosting effect on international law of the Spanish American War in 1898. An examination of the Insular Cases before the US Supreme Court is then accompanied by the analysis of a number of influential factors behind the pre-war rise of international law in the U.S. The work concludes with an examination of the rise of natural law doctrines in international law during the interwar period and the critiques the realist founders of the field of “international relations” to the “moralistic legalistic approach to international relations”.

(source: International Law Reporter)

COLLOQUIUM: Retirement of Prof. dr. dr. h.c. Laurens Winkel (Erasmus University Rotterdam, 10 October 2014)

(image source: Edinburgh Legal History blog, picture taken at the occasion of Prof. Winkel's honorary graduation last year)

On 10 October 2014, the Erasmus University in Rotterdam hosts an event to celebrate the work and scientific career of Prof. dr. dr. h.c. Laurens Winkel. At the end of the day, Professor Winkel will deliver a final address, "Themis & Clio revisited".

In the morning (starting 09:30), a colloquium in honour of prof. Winkel, presided by Prof. mr. Wouter Veraart (VU Amsterdam), features the following orators:

  • Prof. dr. Xavier Prévost (Bordeaux)
  • Dr. Paul J. du Plessis (Edinburgh)
  • Dr. Jacob Giltaij (Helsinki)
  • Dr. Emese von Boné (Rotterdam)
  • Javier E. Rodriguez Diez (Rotterdam)
  • Prof. dr. Tammo Walinga (Antwerp/Rotterdam)

The registration form and practical details can be found on the EUR's website.

BOOK: Sylvain Soleil, The French Legal Model in the World. Ambition and Expansion (16th-20th Century) (Paris: IRJS Editions, 2014)

(image source:

Our colleagues at Nomodôs signalled the publication of an interesting new book by Prof. Sylvain Soleil (Rennes-1) on the external successes of the French legal model.

Abstract and Table of Contents:

Présentation (Quatrième de couverture):   Comprendre pourquoi et comment le droit français s'est peu à peu imposé comme un modèle juridique dans le monde ; tel est l'objet de cet ouvrage. Il s'agit d'un itinéraire qui traverse continuellement les frontières. Il s'agit d'une alchimie qui mêle les attentes des élites étrangères, l'ambition du législateur français, la place de la France dans le monde et les spécificités de son droit. Il s'agit d'une histoire où les techniques juridiques ont parfois pour compagnons de voyage la diplomatie, la langue française, la mode, la gastronomie, l'universalisme et la puissance des armes.
  À compter du second XVIe siècle, les juristes gallicans imposent, en contrepoint de Rome, de l'Espagne et des guerres civiles, un triple thème : exception, rivalité et primauté du droit français. Au Siècle des lumières, les réformateurs glorifient les ordonnances du grand Louis XIV qui sont effectivement copiées à l'étranger, mais ce sont les philosophes et leurs livres qui deviennent modèles de réformes. 1789 : les Révolutionnaires n'entendent pas travailler pour la France, mais pour l'univers. Avec les victoires militaires des années 1794-1799, le modèle juridique français s'impose effectivement à l'étranger, tantôt sous la contrainte, tantôt par imitation volontaire. L'esprit de conquête pousse Napoléon à transposer son modèle, la constitution de l'an VIII, les codes et la loi de pluviôse, dans ce qu'il nomme «le système européen». Mais, paradoxalement, c'est après le rejet doctrinal et législatif des cadres napoléoniens (1814-1820), que l'on assiste au grand déploiement du modèle français en Europe: le besoin urgent de réforme dans les États naissants, la puissance politique et culturelle de la France (du moins jusqu'en 1870) et la qualité technique de certains de ses systèmes juridiques se conjuguent pour susciter un engouement. Ce modèle forme désormais une référence inévitable quand un législateur étranger envisage une réforme.
  Le droit français est ainsi devenu un modèle juridique aux deux sens du terme: un système juridique différencié en même temps qu'un système juridique imité.
  Sylvain Soleil est professeur d’histoire du droit à l’Université Rennes 1 (CHD-IODE, UMR CNRS 6262).
 Sommaire:Introduction, p. 1.1. Modèle juridique. Signifiant et signifiés, p. 4.
2. Modèles juridiques français. Politique, culture et géographie, p. 10.
3. Modèles juridiques français. Une investigation historique, p. 16.
Chap. 1. 1550-1715 : exception, rivalité et primauté du droit français, p. 21.1. Le thème de l’exception française, p. 22.
2. La naissance d’un modèle juridique français, p. 27.
3. Le Grand Siècle, le modèle juridique et la fabrique de la gloire française, p. 45.
Conclusion. « Un jour, toute la terre en recevra des lois », p. 62.
Chap. 2. Lumières françaises et circulation des modèles de réforme, p. 65.1. Législation, coutumes et doctrine hors de France au XVIIIe siècle, p. 67.
2. Les Lumières françaises et leurs programmes de réforme, p. 74.
3. Des Monarques éclairés, pères fondateurs et recours aux modèles des Lumières, p. 88.
Conclusion. « Servir de modèle aux administrations qui ont le malheur d’être encore dans les ténèbres. », p. 113.
Chap. 3. La France révolutionnaire, matrice du droit universel, p. 119.1. Les Constituants et le messianisme révolutionnaire, p. 122.
2. Les Constituants et le jusnaturalisme, p. 131.
3. Les Constituants et leur modèle juridique, p. 137.
4. Les Jacobins et l’exportation des institutions françaises, p. 142.
5. Thermidore, Directoire, transfert et transposition du modèle français, p. 155.
6. Le modèle juridique révolutionnaire vu de l’étranger, p. 164.
Conclusion. Les champignons à la mode de France, p. 200.
Chap. 4. Napoléon : esprit de conquête et modèles de législation, p. 203.1. 1799-1806 : imposer un système juridique à la France, p. 205.
2. Les voix de l’expansion : annoncer la bonne nouvelle au monde entier, p. 217.
3. Les voies de l’expansion : impulser, transposer, promulguer, familiariser, p. 234.
Conclusion. Le maître, le modèle et l’élève, p. 263.
Chap. 5. 1814-1820 : que dire, que faire du droit français ?, p. 269.1. 1814. Que dire du droit français dans les territoires libérés ?, p. 271.
2. 1814. Que faire du droit français dans les territoires libérés ?, p. 284.
Conclusion. La surface des eaux et les profondeurs, p. 302.
Chap. 6. Le grand déploiement des modèles français au XIXe siècle, p. 309.1. Facteurs géopolitiques : besoin de réforme et recours à l’étranger, p. 314.
2. Facteurs culturels et politiques : la France exportatrice de modèles, p. 324.
3. Facteurs culturels et politiques : élites érangères, francophilie et défense du patrimoine juridique, p. 342.
4. Facteurs techniques : comparer, évaluer, choisir, p. 357.
Conclusion. Pays récepteurs et recours au modèle. Retour sur un siècle d’imitation, p. 386.
Conclusion générale, p. 389.Bibliographie, p. 405.Index, p. 427.

BLOG: ESIL Reflection on Collective Memory and International Law (Moshe Hirsh)

The European Society of International Law posted an ESIL Reflection on "Collective Memory and International Law", by Moshe Hirsch (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), which can be found here.

This Reflection briefly introduces the concept of collective memory and sketches out some lines pertaining to mutual interactions between international law and collective memories. The point of departure of this and other socio-legal studies of international law is that international legal rules and institutions are embedded in diverse social factors and processes (such as norms, socialization or identity).  A sociological analysis of international law enriches our understanding of the social factors involved in the formation, evolution and implementation of international law. Such an analysis may not only shed light on past and present trends in international law but may also bear certain implications for the interpretation of existing legal provisions, as well as suggesting better legal mechanisms for coping with contemporary challenges faced by international law. While sociological literature provides valuable tools for analyzing various international legal topics, it does not aim to substitute economic, political or other analyses but rather to complement them. Collective memory is one of the relatively new concepts in sociology's conceptual toolbox and since the 1980s has attracted increasing attention of sociologists (and scholars from other disciplines).

22 September 2014

BOOK: David on Jurisprudence and Theology: In Late Ancient and Medieval Jewish Thought

The author outlines the rabbinic jurisprudential thought rooted in Talmudic literature which underwent systemization and enhancement by the Babylonian Geonim and the Andalusian Rabbis up until the twelfth century. The book develops a synoptic view on the growth of rabbinic legal thought against the background of Christian theological motifs on the one hand, and Karaite and Islamic systemized jurisprudence on the other hand. It advances a perspective of legal-theology that combines analysis of jurisprudential reflections and theological views within a broad historical and intellectual framework.

The book advocates two approaches to the study of the legal history of the Halakhah: comparative jurisprudence and legal-theology, based on the understanding that jurisprudence and theology are indispensable and inseparable pillars of legal praxis.

20 September 2014

REMINDER: MASTER "Law and compared normativities between Rome and Paris" deadline 15 October 2014

Deadline 15th October 2014!

Master in diritto e normatività comparate
Dir. Prof. Emanuele Conte (Univ.RomaTre) and Prof. Paolo Napoli (CENJ - EHESS Paris)

All information here (Roma Tre University) and here (Cenj); or mail to    

 Until October 15th 2014, it is still possible to submit an application to an amazing new master at the RomaTre University! It is a 2 years master in "Law and compared normativities" which gives the opportunity to obtain a double degree from the University of RomaTre (first level Master) and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales - Paris (Master II). 

The first year of the Master will take place in Rome, the second one in Paris. Scholarships for accommodation expences are foreseen. 

18 September 2014

CFP: "Criminal Law and Emotions in European Legal Cultures: From 16th Century to the Present" (Berlin, 21-22 May 2015)

WHAT: Criminal Law and Emotions in European Legal Cultures: From 16th Century to the Present, Call for Papers

WHERE: Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Center for the History of Emotions, Berlin

WHEN:   21-22 May 2015

Deadline 1 October 2014
All information here

Legal institutions and jurists have often perceived themselves and promoted an image of their role and activity as essentially 'rational'.
Yet, emotions have always been integral to the law, particularly in the case of criminal law. Emotions were and are taken explicitly or implicitly into consideration in legal debates, in law-making, in the codified norms and in their application, especially in relation to paramount categories such as free will, individual responsibility and culpability, or the aggravating and mitigating circumstances of a crime.

Emotions could directly or indirectly play a role in defining what conduct was legally relevant, worthy of legal protection or in need of legal proscription; in why and how it was necessary to punish, and what feelings punishment was meant to evoke. 

Legal scholars in the past did not shun the complex relationship between law and emotions. Yet it is in the last two decades that specialists from different disciplines, from law theory to psychology, from philosophy to history, have shown an increasing and lively interest in unravelling the role played by passions, feelings and sentiments in criminal law. Special attention has been focused on three key areas: norms, practices and people.

CFP: "Law in Transition", XXIst Annual Forum of Young Legal Historians, (Tel Aviv, 1-3 March 2015)

WHAT: Law in Transition, XXIst Annual Forum of the Association of Young Legal Historians, Call for Papers

WHERE: Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv

WHEN: 1- 3 March 2015

All information here

Deadline for proposals  
1 November 2014

The upcoming XXIst Annual Forum of the Association of Young Legal Historians aims at a comprehensive discussion of law in transition. A wide variety of transitions of historical significance can be explored: political, economic, social, cultural, and more. “Law”—legal symbols, discourses, players, institutions, theories, and texts—has played a significant role in historical transitions, and legal historians have been crucial in exploring its multiple and contradictory effects. The stakes are not just historical, but current: these studies encourage transitions in the way law itself is conceived, theorised, and researched.

CONFERENCE: "The Roman Inquisition in Malta and Elsewhere" (Malta, 18-20 September 2014)

WHAT: The Roman Inquisition in Malta and Elsewhere, Conference

WHERE: Inquisitor's Palace, Vittoriosa, Malta

WHEN: 18- 20 September 2014

All information here

The Conference has managed to attract 28 among the leading academics on the Roman Inquisition. Discussed themes will include:

The impact of the Council of Trent

The Tridentine spirit was not only directed against the enemies and external threats to the faith – notably the Christian Protestant heretics – but its zeal and fervour acted as an integrating force in the Catholic world at large. It also provided a much needed energy and incentive. Nevertheless the Tridentine spirit did much more. It subordinated all aspects of life and government, in varying degrees, to an overarching ideology. Thus Tridentine culture was an attempt to integrate and guide the various strands of life – political, cultural, economic, and social – to impose order on society, by all means available.The Roman Inquisition came to serve as a tool to introduce Tridentine principles. The tribunal soon took upon itself to communicate the ‘truth’, fight ignorance and heresy in order to convert all the social strata of the population to the Church doctrine as expressed by the Council of Trent. By convincing the people to act as good Catholics, the Inquisitors acted as ‘missionaries’ as they emphasized the need to teach the basics of Catholic Reformation thought through the pastoral work. The fear of God which resulted out of this intensive activity was designed to lead the faithful to a general confession and the receiving of Holy Communion. Essentially therefore Tridentine Catholicism gave the faithful a sense of security by surrounding them with the protective sacraments, and Church dogma to lead a more intensive Christian life. Consequently, it gave the sacraments a new depth and a more meaningful presence in the life of the faithful. 

MEPLI ROUND TABLE REGISTRATION: "200 Years Savigny and Thibaut: The Codification Debate Revisited" (Maastricht, 10 October 2014)

WHAT: Registration open for the ‘200 Years Savigny and Thibaut: The Codification Debate Revisited’ , MEPLI Round Table

WHERE: Maastricht

WHEN: 10 October 2014

Registration is now open via this link, where you can also find more information about the location as well as the programme of the event. 

CONFERENCE AND CFP: "Concilium Lateranense IV. Commemorating the Octocentenary of the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215" (Rome, 25-29 November 2015)

Deadline November 1, 2014
All information here

WHAT:"Concilium Lateranense IV. Commemorating the Octocentenary of the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215", Conference and Call for Papers

The conference will move to different locations on different days, in part as a tribute to the movement of clerics around Rome as part of the many events surrounding the council.
On Wednesday 25 and Friday 27 November, it’ll be based in Trastevere, whose winding streets sit directly south of the Vatican, nestled beneath the Janiculum hill and home to the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere, consecrated by Innocent as part of the conciliar celebrations. Our hosts, the American Academy in Rome (Wednesday 25) and John Cabot University, Rome (Friday 27) are both based in this area: the American Academy in Rome sits on atop the Janiculum but on the city-side of the hill, and John Cabot University is in the centre of Trastevere, by the Villa Farnesina.
On Thursday – Thanksgiving in the United States – it’ll be in the Pontifical Gregorian University, in central Rome near to the Trevi fountain and the Quirinal Palace.
On Saturday 28 and Sunday 29, the conference will gather in the Rome campus of the University of Notre Dame. The campus, near to the Colosseum, is only a few hundred metres from the Lateran basilica and also from the churches of Santi Quattro Coronati and S. Clemente, both of which are of interest in their own right.

WHEN: 25-29 November 2015

Committee: Peter Clarke, (Southampton) Chair; Danica Summerlin (München) Secretary;
Brenda Bolton (London); Barbara Bombi (Kent); Maureen Boulton (Notre Dame);
Christoph Egger (Wien); Damian Smith (Saint Louis); Lila Yawn (Rome)

NOTICE: "the Richard & Diane Cummins Legal History Research Grant for 2015"

The Richard & Diane Cummins Legal History Research Grant for 2015

Deadline October 15, 2014

All information here

 The 2014 Cummins Grant Scholar is Professor Aniceto Masferrer (Valencia), President of the ESCLH.

GW Law is pleased to invite applications for the Richard & Diane Cummins Legal History Research Grant for 2015.
The Cummins Grant provides a stipend of $10,000 to support short-term historical research using  Special Collections at GW's Jacob Burns Law Library, which is noted for its continental historical legal collections, especially its French collection.  Special Collections also is distinguished by its holdings in Roman and canon law, church-state relations, international law, and its many incunabula.
The grant is awarded to one doctoral, LL.M., or S.J.D. candidate; postdoctoral researcher; faculty member; or independent scholar. The successful candidate may come from a variety of disciplines including, but not limited to, law, history, religion, philosophy, or bibliography.
Potential grant candidates residing more than 100 miles from Washington, DC, whose projects require onsite consultation of materials in Special Collections, are eligible. 
Applicants must submit the following:
  • a cover letter, not to exceed 600 words, which includes the project title, a brief summary of proposed research, and estimated dates of onsite research;
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a research proposal, not to exceed 1000 words, outlining the scope of the project, and specifying those materials from Special Collections that are relevant to the proposed research;
  • two letters of support, preferably from academic colleagues; for student applicants, one of the letters must be from a dissertation or thesis advisor.
These documents may be submitted electronically or in hard copy via mail.
During his or her visit, the grant recipient will deliver a presentation to interested faculty of the research completed at GW, and at the conclusion of the visit will submit a summary of research conducted during the visit.

14 September 2014

CONFERENCE: "Scriptoria e biblioteche nel basso medioevo (secoli XII-XV)", (Todi, 12-15 October 2014)

WHAT: "Scriptoria e biblioteche nel basso medioevo (secoli XII-XV)", LI Convegno storico internazionale CISBaM-Accademia Tudertina 

WHERE: Todi (Perugia), Italy

WHEN: 12-15 October 2014

All information here

CONFERENCE: "The role of conscience for the religious peace of Augsburg" (Zurich, 2 December 2014)

WHAT:  Die Bedeutung des Gewissens für den Augsburger Religionsfrieden, "The role of conscience for the religious peace of Augsburg", Conference

WHERE: University of Zurich, Senatszimmer KOL-E-13

WHEN: 2 December 2014, 18.15

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Heinrich De Wall, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All information here

CONFERENCE: "The Codex Gregorianus: the life of a legal compilation from Diocletian to Justinian" (Zurich, 4 November 2014)

WHAT: "The Codex Gregorianus: the life of a legal compilation from Diocletian to Justinian", Conference

WHERE: University of Zurich, Senatszimmer KOL-E-13

WHEN: 4 November 2014, 18.15

Speaker: Dr. Simon Corcoran , University College London

All information here

CONFERENCE: "The reign of law and the magistrates: a problem for historians and legal historians" (Zurich, 7 October 2014)

WHAT: "Die Herrschaft des Rechts’ und ihre Magistrate: Ein Problem der Neueren Geschichte für Historiker und Rechtshistoriker", "The reign of law and the magistrates: a problem for historians and legal historians", Conference

WHERE: University of Zurich, Senatszimmer KOL-E-13

WHEN: 7 October 2014, 18.15

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Robert von FriedeburgErasmus Center for Early Modern Studies, Rotterdam

All information here

CFP: "Special Issue of Gender & History: Marriage’s Global Past"

Call for Papers
Special Issue of "Gender & History": Marriage’s Global Past

Deadline: 15 January 2015

Sara McDougall, John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)
Sarah Pearsall, Cambridge University

This special issue of Gender & History explores marriage's global past from the medieval to the modern era. They solicit contributions that examine aspects of the history of marriage in societies and cultures throughout the world, with special attention to ideas and practices of monogamy and polygamy. Of particular interest is the role of gender in the construction and reconstruction of marriage. They also solicit papers that interrogate the relationship of marriage to various forms of power, including those of state, religious, and colonial institutions as well as the complicated dynamics of authority within households. They welcome both broad, comparative studies and more narrowly-focused ones.
Many imagine marriage as a timeless institution. In fact, as William Alexander wrote in 1779, in his History of Women, From the Earliest Antiquity, to the Present Time, “Marriage is so far from having been an institution, fixed by permanent and unalterable laws, that it has been continually varying in every period, and in every country.” This historian thus acknowledged both the shifting nature of marriage as an institution in a global context, as well as the ways that marriage profoundly shapes, and is shaped by, the role and status of women and men. This special issue similarly assumes varieties of marriages, in terms of both chronology and geography.
This special issue will also interrogate the profound interconnection of gender and marriage, especially with reference to issues of rank, race, age, nationality, culture, religion, and sexuality. Indeed, what might constitute “traditional” marriage in one context might appear radical in another. Indeed, while many contemporary scholars and advocates have called for a redefinition of what is termed “traditional marriage,” recent scholarship has also emphasized how very little is traditional about what is currently described in the Oxford English Dictionary as: “the formal union of a man and a woman, typically as recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife.”
One of the goals of this special issue is to explore how the idea of so-called “traditional marriage” took root and spread in many cultures. Often, of course, it did so even as local social practices deviated, sometimes notably, from this norm. Christian teachings beginning in the first millennium endorsed a particular model of marriage that became not only a centerpiece of Christian faith but also a potent political and social force across the world. In this model, marriage had to be exclusive and indissoluble, a monogamous and enduring commitment between one man and one woman. At that time and in subsequent centuries, as Christian teachings spread throughout the world, this model of marriage came into contact with cultures that had a variety of different ideas about the best ways to marry, and the purpose of marriage. Clashes between different practices of marriage lay at the heart of many early modern and modern encounters. This special issue of Gender & History hopes to offer new interpretations of this complex and fascinating history.
The volume will begin with a colloquium to be held 18-20 March 2016 at Cambridge University. Paper proposals (750 words maximum) are to be submitted by 15 January 2015. Invitations to present at the colloquium will be issued in February 2015. All those presenting must submit articles for pre-circulation by 15 January 2016. Participants will also be expected to read all the other articles and to participate fully in the two-day colloquium. This participation will include commenting on the paper of another participant, as well as more general discussions. After the colloquium, participants will be invited to submit their revised papers for publication. Those accepted by the editors for publication will be expected to submit their manuscripts by 1 September 2016. This timeframe will allow the editors to work with authors to produce the final text of the issue for publication in 2017.
Please send paper proposals to by 15 January 2015, with "Marriage’s Global Past” in the subject heading.

12 September 2014

CFP: "Law, Religion and Disability", special issue of the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies

Special Issue of the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies
The relationship of law, religion and disability is complex, emerging and still in development as a research area.  Scholarship on religion and disability has included feminist reflections regarding religion and disability (e.g. Minister 2013) and analysis of the physical isolation that can result in congregations where accommodations are made but without reflection on the communal aspects of integration (Eiesland 1994).  Further, health care providers working with disabled individuals negotiate and navigate their own religious identities in their professional sphere (Bray, Egan and Beagan 2012).  Legal advancement within the disability movement has produced results such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.  Public and policy challenges remain highly contested and disability advocates reflect on the limitations of existing policy as well as the challenge of the application of these policies (e.g. Prince 2012; Johner 2013).  
We are seeking articles that articulate the diverse perspectives of disability studies as it relates both to law and religion.  There are multiple ways the religion, law and disability intersect with one another.  The special issue intends to explore overlapping themes in dialogue to reflect on the current discourse about disability, disabled identities and its interconnections with law and religion.
Possible topics can include, but are not limited to:
What social, cultural or religious norms have created exclusive or inclusive environments?  E.g. What constraints might the Quebec Charter of Values have created for individuals at the intersection of religion and disabled identities?
Religious individuals and organizations face challenges regarding the theological debates regarding inclusivity versus exclusivity in the accommodation of disabled individuals.  What are some of the challenges of negotiating theological doctrine and what are the nuances made possible through theology regarding disability?
How is disability taught or not taught, in schools or within religious institutions?  What are the policies in the education system regarding disability and what challenges are ongoing regarding education and disability?
How do religious organizations and law respond to disability within a health framework?  What challenges are faced by healthcare workers who are religiously identified or disabled?  In what ways are religion, law and disability or disabled identities negotiated?

JOURNAL: "A Special Issue of Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies: The ERA in the 21st Century"

Guest Editor: Laura Mattoon D’Amore

Due date for receipt of papers is October 1, 2014

The failure of the Equal Rights Amendment links generations of feminists across nearly a century of activism.  In 1923, Alice Paul introduced the Equal Rights Amendment to Congress for the first time, demanding equality of rights under the law, regardless of sex. The amendment was introduced unsuccessfully to every Congress since 1923. Though it became a central rallying point for Second Wave feminism, passing both houses of Congress in 1972, it ultimately failed to receive enough state ratifications before its deadline in 1982. Despite its repeated failure the ERA has served as a symbolic torch carried by generations of feminists fighting for women’s rights.
The ERA serves as a conduit for critical dialogues about equal rights, because while the cultural, legal, political, and intellectual heritage of the United States is rooted in the “self-evident” precept of equality, it has prevented the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment for 90 years.  Furthermore, the topic of the ERA sometimes alienates supporters of equal rights who criticize its complicity in marginalizing race, class, gender, and sexuality through its heteronormative focus on women’s rights. The subject of the ERA has also caused some intergenerational conflict. Some activist feminists who have been working on the ERA for decades—who were in the trenches when it failed in 1982—believe that they have a more true idea of the significance of the loss.  Other activist feminists see the amendment as less relevant today than ever before, and are ready to rally efforts in other spaces.  Academics are highly critical of the political, economic, and legal shortcomings of the past, of the failure to unite in the present, and of the ways that the rhetoric of women’s equality that is so tightly intertwined with the ERA is, in turn, marginalizing others (particularly in terms of its lack of connection to intersections of race, class, gender identity, and sexuality).
This Special Issue about The ERA in the 21st Century seeks to bring together an interdisciplinary array of scholars from such academic disciplines as women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, American studies, history, law, literature, and political science with practitioners from the legal and political professions and activists from grassroots organizations to discuss the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  

CONFERENCE: "16th Annual Graduate Student Conference in African-American History" (Memphis, 11-13 February 2015)

WHAT: the 16th Annual Graduate Student Conference in African-American History, Conference and Call for papers

WHERE: University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee

WHEN: 11-13 February 2015

Deadline for proposals is December 1, 2014

The Graduate Association for African-American History (GAAAH) at The University of Memphis invites graduate students at all levels to submit proposals for its 16th Annual Graduate Student Conference in African-American History, to be held February 11-13, 2015, in Memphis, Tennessee. They welcome the submission of individual papers, complete sessions, workshops, and roundtables on all topics relating to the scholarship and teaching of the history of African Americans and blacks throughout the Diaspora. They hope to represent a broad range of disciplinary and methodological approaches.
For graduate students individual paper proposals should include a 300-word abstract, including a paper title; author contact information; postal address and e-mail address; and brief curriculum vitae. The organizers of complete sessions should send, in a single submission, abstracts and cvs for each of the paper presenters; 200-word description of the session; and contact information for all participants. Please list audio-visual requirements, if any.
This year’s conference will feature a keynote address from Dr. Eddie S. Glaude.  Dr. Glaude is a William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies, Department of Religion, and Chair, Center for African American Studies, at Princeton University.  Dr. Glaude’s books include In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America and Exodus!: Religion, Race, and Nation in Early 19th Century Black America.
The submission deadline for proposals is December 1, 2014. A committee of University of Memphis professors will consider all papers for the “Memphis State Eight Paper Prize” which is awarded to the conference’s best paper. The first place prize includes a monetary award. Second and third place papers will also receive recognition.

CFA: "Journal of Civil and Human Rights"

The Journal of Civil and Human Rights is seeking authors of articles and reviews to submit their work. The deadline is rolling. We put articles into the peer review process in the order they arrive.
More information about the journal, including the mission statement, submission guidelines, and editorial board, is available here:
The Journal of Civil and Human Rights is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary, academic journal dedicated to studying modern U.S.-based  social justice movements and freedom struggles, including transnational ones, and their antecedents, influence, and legacies. The journal features  research-based articles, interviews, editorials, and reviews of books, films, museum exhibits, and Web sites.
Please direct all submission inquiries to Michael Ezra, editor,

CFP: "All True, All Fiction: Conspiracy Theories at the Contours of Legality" (Washington D.C., 6-7 March 2015)

WHAT: All True, All Fiction: Conspiracy Theories at the Contours of Legality, 18th Annual Meeting of the ASLCH, Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities, Call for papers

WHERE: Washington, D.C.

WHEN: 6-7 March 2015

Deadline 5 october 2014

All information here

This panel aims to analyze conspiracy theories in their connection to law and their effect on people’s relationship to legality. At first glance, law and conspiracy theories seem to share similar qualities. Both are initially suspicious of the knowledge they are provided with; both employ methods of elimination; and, ultimately, both establish a certain ‘truth’ about their cases. Yet they are situated on a conflicting ground ontologically, ultimately aiming to achieve very different purposes. Furthermore, the law’s verdict is supposed to be final, but conspiracy theories change, differ, become amended, and get replaced by others as agendas shift. Unlike legal proceedings with a conclusive endpoint, the act of conspiratorial thinking thus needs to be constantly fed with new information. In this sense, with its claim on the finality of its verdict and authority to establish facts, the law is in a position to contain conspiracy theories while at the same time, inevitably, holding the potential to produce them by its very insistence on the certainty of the truth it engenders. This panel aims to reflect on this tension by analyzing the murkiness and (un)certainty that conspiracy theories generate at once as they confront the rituals of law, captured in such realms as courtrooms, legal documents, and government declarations. Yet, rather than approaching conspiracy theories as the final contenders on a hierarchical ladder of informed knowledge, a product of a “crippled epistemology” (Sunstein and Vermeule 2009), or a potential threat or risk to society, it analyzes them as a narrative genre that helps establish people’s relationship to the state and the legal field around them. It takes as its starting point anthropological analyses that have sought to interrogate the intersections of conspiratorial thinking with rumor, gossip, secrets, witchcraft, and magic as they vacillate between the contours of legality and the purported transparency of the state. Ultimately, the panel aims to reflect on conspiracy theories as a form of legal fiction.
If you are interested in presenting on this panel, please submit an abstract of no more than 350 words to by October 5, 2014.