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Graduate Studies - Legal History

Updated May 22, 2019

Vanderbilt is home to a thriving community of legal historians. Our faculty expertise ranges from ancient Rome to the contemporary United States, and we place a strong emphasis on comparative and thematic inquiry. Faculty have written on topics as diverse as ancient violence, the history of prostitution, racial passing, Islamic law, American slavery, and law in early modern empires.

Our community is centered on the Legal History Workshop, an invited speaker series that runs throughout the year. The workshop features some of the most exciting new perspectives on legal history, and strives to be international and comparative in methods and scope.

In addition to coursework in their geographic and chronological areas of expertise, students are encouraged to take the Methods in Legal History seminar, which runs every other year. This team-taught seminar introduces students to the range of work done by legal historians, and runs in conjunction with the workshop.

Current Faculty

Lauren Benton (History/Law)
Ari Bryen (History/Classical & Mediterranean Studies/Law)
Leor Halevi (History/Law)
Joel Harrington (History) 
Sarah Igo (History/Law) 
Tom McGinn (History/Law)
Kimberly Welch (History/Law)

Affiliated Faculty

Sara Mayeux (Law/History)
Daniel Sharfstein (Law/History) 


The Legal History Colloquium