A scholar whose research focuses on the evolution of commercial law and civil procedure, Amalia D. Kessler (MA ’96, PhD ’01) seeks to explore the intersections between law, markets and dispute resolution—with a particular focus on the forces that have shaped the nature and origins of modern capitalism. Her current book project is Arbitration and the Quest for Modern American Democracy: Struggles over Industrialization, Immigration, and State Building, 1900-1950 (under contract, Yale University Press). In 2018, her book, Inventing American Exceptionalism: The Origins of American Adversarial Legal Culture, 1800-1877 (Yale University Press, 2017) received the American Society for Legal History’s John Phillip Reid Book Award for the best English-language monograph by a mid-career or senior scholar on Anglo-American legal history. In 2008, her book, A Revolution in Commerce: The Parisian Merchant Court and the Rise of Commercial Society in Eighteenth-Century France (Yale University Press, 2007), was awarded the American Historical Association’s J. Russell Major Prize for the best book in English on any aspect of French history. In 2011, she received the Hessel Yntema Prize from the American Society of Comparative Law for the “most outstanding” article by a scholar under 40 appearing in the previous year’s volume of the American Journal of Comparative Law. And in 2005, she received the Surrency Prize from the American Society for Legal History for the best article in the previous year’s volume of the Law and History Review.
Professor Kessler is the Director of the Stanford Center for Law and History and has an appointment (by courtesy) with the Stanford History Department. She has served as the Jean-Paul Gimon Director of the France-Stanford Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and has been a visiting professor at such institutions as the Yale Law School, Tel Aviv University Law School, the Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) and the École des hautes études en sciences sociales. Support for her research has been provided by, among other institutions, the American
Council for Learned Societies and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 2003, she was a trial attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and clerked for Judge Pierre N. Leval of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.