Greetings from the Law & History Collaborative Research Network, part of the Law & Society Association (www.lawandsociety.org/crn.html).
We have just come from the Law and Society Association annual meeting in Minneapolis, where we were thrilled with the success of our first year as a Collaborative Research Network. Creating a CRN, we think, significantly improved the discussion of legal history at LSA. We were able to better coordinate and publicize legal history panels and create new opportunities to interact scholars from other fields. But we hope that this is just the beginning. With more participation, we believe next year will be even better, and we invite you to join us.
What is the Law & History CRN?
The Law & History CRN brings together scholars interested in legal history, both American and non-American, of any time period from contemporary to ancient. We welcome a broad array of scholarly interests and methodological approaches. The Law and Society Movement has long welcomed legal historians and encouraged legal history, and our CRN intends to further foster this relationship. We seek to encourage presentation of historical legal work at the Law and Society’s Association’s annual meeting, and to create opportunities for interdisciplinary and cross-generational conversations.
What does it mean to join the Law & History CRN?
It means you will be welcomed into a network of scholars interested in participating in the historical examination of the law at the Law and Society Association annual meeting and beyond. In practical terms, joining the CRN means joining a listserv (administered via Google Groups) that we use to alert members of the LSA’s call for papers, organize panels, and communicate about panels of interest for scholars interested in law and history at LSA. We will also on rare occasions send out other announcements relevant to legal history.
The next Law & Society Association meeting will be held May 28-31 in Seattle, Washington. The call for papers should be out soon, and the deadline for submitting papers and panels will be in the fall of 2014, so it's not to early to start thinking about proposals.
What are the advantages of joining the Law & History CRN?
We see our main contribution as encouraging connections among a broad range of scholars and drawing attention to the historical legal research presented at the annual conference. More specifically, we’re interested in putting together and publicizing legal history panels at the LSA annual meeting. If you have a paper you’d like to present, you can use the listserv to find other potential panelists; we can also use our access to the LSA website to help connect you with other relevant paper submissions. And if you’re planning a panel that seems relevant to legal historians, please let us know so that we can list it as a CRN panel (if you’re interested) and publicize it among our members. Further, we can make connections with other CRNs, further increasing the potential audience for each panel. This year (our first year as a CRN) we had five panels designated as CRN panels, two of which were co-listed with other CRNs. Finally, the administrative advantage of affiliating your paper/panel with a CRN is that the CRN can request that up to four of CRN-affiliated panels be scheduled at different times to avoid conflicts.
Do I need to be a member of LSA to join the Law & History CRN?
No. We strongly encourage everyone who is presenting at LSA to also become a member, but all we’re asking you to do right now is sign up for the email announcements.
I’m not a legal historian/I’m not a historian – can I join?
Absolutely. LSA is about drawing connections across fields and methods. If you’re interested in legal history, or you’re using historical materials, or you’re looking to the past, and you’d like to present on a panel with other people interested in historical sources/methods/questions, we’d love to have you.
I’m already a member of the American Society for Legal History – why should I also attend LSA?
We are all enthusiastic ASLH participants, but the LSA annual meeting differs in a few important ways. First, it’s a large interdisciplinary meeting with substantial representation from sociology, political science, anthropology, economics, and other fields. It can thus be a great place to make connections, put together panels across disciplinary lines, and participate in interdisciplinary conversations. Second, since LSA traditionally accepts all paper and panel submissions, it provides a welcoming place for all scholars, especially graduate students who may find it difficult to get on the program at smaller conferences. And third, we want to exchange ideas with scholars interested in legal history more than once a year.
How do I join?
Send an email with your contact information to any or all of us and we will make sure you are included.
Joanna Grisinger, Center for Legal Studies, Northwestern University
Kimberly Welch, Department of History, University of West Virginia
Logan Sawyer, University of Georgia Law School
Kathryn Schumaker, Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage, University of Oklahoma