Graduate Student Annual Conference Paper Prize

Applications are Now Closed

The Stanford Center for Law and History will invite paper submissions from graduate students for its fifth annual conference, “Legal Histories of the Body and the State: Dobbs and the Legacies of Regulating Gender and Sex.” This conference seeks to bring together scholars who examine the intersectional legal histories of regulating and policing sex, gender, and reproduction. As attacks on gender and sexual equality are on the rise, advocates point towards history as justification for state-enforced heteronormativity and traditional gender roles. This conference addresses the court’s claim to diagnose Roe’s “faulty historical analysis” and invites attendees to examine the interwoven legal histories of gender, race, class, and sexuality that have shaped today’s sociolegal and political landscape. As women, migrants, LGBTQIA, and many more are left trying to navigate a post-Dobbs present, this conference aims to give us a better understanding of how past communities have challenged the law to guarantee greater equality for all.  This one-day conference will be held on Friday, May 5th, 2023, at Stanford and is cosponsored by the Stanford Humanities Center. This conference will include three panels and a book talk focused on Felicia Kornbluh’s forthcoming book, A Woman’s Life is a Human Life: My Mother, Our Neighbor, and the Journey from Reproductive Rights to Reproductive Justice. It will conclude with a keynote session featuring Professor Mary Ziegler of UC Davis Law who will present, “Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization and the Remaking of Constitutional Politics.”

Areas of possible, but certainly not exhaustive, legal-historical interest for the conference include:

  • Reproductive Rights and Race
  • Race, Gender,  and Access to Medical Care/Medical Decisions
  • Reproductive Rights and Disability 
  • Rhetoric around Reproductive Rights
  • Race, Law, and Gender 
  • Barriers to Reproductive Autonomy 
  • Race and Eugenics
  • Law and Contraception

SCLH’s goal is to bring together faculty, postdocs, and students for workshops, conferences, and lectures examining the relationships between law and history, broadly defined. With these goals in mind we encourage submissions from scholars working across disciplines. US and comparative perspectives are all encouraged.

The conference organizers will select one graduate student as the winner of the SCLH Graduate Student Paper Prize. This student will present on one of the three panels. Funding for travel and housing will be provided.

Application Requirements:

  • CV
  • Paper abstract (500 words or less)

Applications closed on January 20th, 2023. Please direct any questions to

Past and Present Winners