Stanford Center for Law and History

The Stanford Center for Law and History (SCLH) brings together faculty, postdocs, and students from across Stanford University’s many schools and departments—and beyond—to participate in a broad range of conferences, workshops, and lectures devoted to examining the multifaceted interrelationships between law and history (without geographic, temporal, or other subject-area limitations).

SCLH seeks to:

  • Serve as an intellectual hub for law and history at Stanford, facilitating sustained dialogue and engagement among the many on campus who work at the intersection of the two fields.
  • Promote a broad range of interdisciplinary approaches to the study of law and history.
  • Advance the law and history research (and teaching) interests of Stanford’s diverse constituents, including not only faculty, but also students at all levels.
  • Serve as a bridge between Stanford’s law and history community and those with shared interests based elsewhere in the Bay Area and around the globe.
  • Support students working on law and history topics at Stanford and elsewhere, including by offering a Stanford Law School Legal History Paper Prize and Graduate Student Annual Conference Paper Prize.
Illustration of burning of witches, 1555.

Burning of witches, 1555.

Victorian woman on trial - Illustration

Victorian woman on trial.

Execution at Yokohama, Japan - Illustration

Execution at Yokohama, Japan.

Historic Bulahdelah Court House

Bulahdelah Courthouse, built in 1888, New South Wales, Australia.

Professor Amalia D. Kessler on the Stanford Center for Law and History


The Stanford Center for Law and History 2022-2023 Workshop meets three times per quarter from 12:45-2:00 PM (PST). To RSVP and receive the papers in advance, please sign up for our email list.

Fall Quarter Winter Quarter Spring Quarter

  • Oct. 4, 2022- Bruno Lima, Max Planck Institute, The Untold Story of Abolitionism: Luiz Gama’s Freedom Claims in Brazil
  • Oct. 11, 2022- Adnan Zulfiqar, Rutgers Law and Stanford Humanities Center, The Caliph’s Jihad: Medieval Jurists, Duties, and the Search for Political Cohesion
  • Nov. 1, 2022- James Campbell, Stanford History Department, Race and Voting in Mississippi: A Brief History
  • Nov. 15, 2022 – Yuhe Faye Want, Stanford IDEAL Postdoc American Studies & Yale, Making an Exception: Racializing the Merchant Status and the Chinese Exclusion Law

  • Jan. 24, 2023 – Tanner Allread, Stanford Law, The Origins of Indigenous Constitutionalism: Choctow Law and Governance, 1826-1830
  • Feb. 7, 2023 – Judith Surkis, Rutgers History Department, The Intimate Life of International Law after Decolonization: Custody, Nationality, and Franco-Algerian Children
  • Feb. 21, 2023 – Doris Morgan Rueda, Stanford Center for Law & History, The Court of Desert Devil’s Island: Disciplinary Boards and Juvenile Justice within Fort Grant State Industrial School 

  • April 11, 2023 – Gina Dent, UC Santa Cruz Feminist Studies Department, Prison as a Border: Punishment, Visuality, History 
  • April 25, 2023 – Mohammed Fadel, University of Toronto Law, Khalil’s Restatement (mukhtaṣar), the Rule of Recognition, and the Consolidation of the Maliki School of Law in the 14th Century
  • May 9, 2023 – K-Sue Park, Georgetown Law, Property and Sovereignty in America: A History of Title Registries and Jurisdictional Power


Past Event Highlights

Stanford Center for Law and History 13

Book Panel: "Theaters of Pardoning" with Bernadette Meyler

(November 1, 2019)
Commentary by: Peter Brooks, Robert Weisberg, and Kenji Yoshino

Stanford Center for Law and History 14

Book Talk: "Federal Ground" with Gregory Ablavsky

(February 16, 2021)
Commentary by: Ned Blackhawk, Nicholas Parrillo, Claire Priest, and Gautham Rao

Stanford Center for Law and History 17

Working with Intellectual Property: Legal Histories of Innovation, Labor, and Creativity

(April 23, April 30, May 7, 2021)

Conference Site
Stanford Center for Law and History 15

Book Talk: "Beyond Belief, Beyond Conscience" with Jack Rakove

(May 4, 2021)
Commentary by: Elizabeth Katz and Michael McConnell

Stanford Center for Law and History 10

Legal Histories of Policing and Surveillance

(April 20, 2018)

SCLH's first annual one-day conference.

Conference Website

Stanford Center for Law and History 21

Book Talk with Rowan Dorin

(February 15, 2023)
Commentary by: Jessica Goldberg and Laurent Mayali

Event Recording
Stanford Center for Law and History 22

Virtual Book Talk with Ada Kuskowski

(March 10, 2023)
Commentary by: Bernadette Meyler

Degree Programs & Other Opportunities


Amalia D. Kessler 1

Amalia D. Kessler

  • Lewis Talbot and Nadine Hearn Shelton Professor of International Legal Studies
  • Associate Dean for Advanced Degree Programs
  • Professor, by courtesy, History
  • Director, Stanford Center for Law and History
History 6

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