Legal History Roundtable

In the fall of 2016, the Boston College Law School Legal History Roundtable started its 15th successful year. The Roundtable draws on Boston College Law School’s and Boston College’s strength and interest in legal history. It offers an opportunity for Boston College faculty and faculty from other area institutions, students, and members of the Boston College community to meet and discuss a pre-circulated paper in legal history. Meeting several times each semester, the Roundtable seeks to promote an informal, collegial atmosphere of informed discussion.

For the 2016-2017 academic year, Professor Mary Sarah Bilder, Professor Daniel R. Coquillette, Professor Frank Herrmann and Professor James S. Rogers are conveners.

The Roundtable meets in the afternoon at 4:30 pm in the Library Conference Room of the Boston College Law School Library. Refreshments are available beginning at 4:15 pm.*

Papers will be available when appropriate before each presentation.

BC Law graduate working

Attend the Roundtable 
For more information, please contact: 
Joan Manna
(617) 552-4344

For assistance with parking passes for non-BC faculty, please also contact Joan.

Fall 2016
 

Tuesday, September 20
“The Fourteenth Amendment as an Act of War: Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and the Fourteenth Amendment”
(a public lecture, co-sponsored with the Clough Center)
Professor Michael Vorenberg, Brown University, History Department
 

Thursday, November 17
"Self-Governance By Means of the State: Marine Insurance, the Laws of Merchants, and the the British Empire, 1622-1765"

Hannah Farber, Postdoctoral Fellow/Visiting Assistant Professor, Boston College History Department

Spring 2017
 

Friday, January 27
Of Coercion and Accommodation: Looking at Japanese American Imprisonment through a Law Office Window
Professor Eric Muller, Moore Distinguished Professor, University of North Carolina Law School
*Note: this event will begin at 3:30 pm, with refreshments available at 3:15 pm.

Bio:
Eric L. Muller is the Dan K. Moore Distinguished Professor in Jurisprudence and Ethics at the University of North Carolina School of Law. He holds an A.B. from Brown University and a J.D. from Yale Law School. In addition to many articles about the wartime imprisonment of Japanese Americans in the United States, he has published three books on the subject: “Free to Die for their Country: The Story of the Japanese American Draft Resisters in World War II” (University of Chicago Press 2001); “American Inquisition: The Hunt for Japanese American Disloyalty in World War II” (University of North Carolina Press 2007); and “Colors of Confinement: Rare Kodachrome Photographs of Japanese American Incarceration in World War II” (University of North Carolina Press 2012).


Abstract:
Crucial to the implementation of the War Relocation Authority’s (WRA) regulations of its detention camps for the uprooted Japanese American community of the West Coast were the WRA “project attorneys,” white lawyers stationed in the camps who gave legal advice to administrators and internees alike. These lawyers left behind a voluminous correspondence that opens a new window on the WRA’s relationship with its prisoners, a relationship heretofore understood as encompassing coercion on one side and either compliance or resistance on the other. This paper uses the voluminous correspondence of the project attorney at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming as a new lens for viewing the regulatory relationship between the WRA and the imprisoned community. It focuses on three of the many matters about which the project attorney gave advice: the design of the camp’s community government, its criminal justice system, and its business enterprises. Evidence from this one law office suggests that on many key issues, the relationship between the WRA and the internees was marked not so much by coercion as by reciprocal accommodation, with each taking account of some of the preferences of the other. While the data are from just one of the ten WRA camps, they suggest a need to reconsider our understanding of how this American system of racial imprisonment operated.
 

Thursday, February 16
“The Jesuits, the Souls of Slaves, and the Battle for Saint-Domingue, 1720-1730” 
Professor Malick Ghachem, MIT History Department

Explanatory Note

Chapter Five

Abstract: The story of the Society of Jesus in Saint-Domingue (Haiti) begins in the early years of the eighteenth century, when the French monarchy expelled the resident Capuchin friars and invited the Jesuit order to take their place.  The remarkable priests who served during these years laid the foundations of the Catholic Church in Haiti, attending to the spiritual needs of a nascent French planter community while also organizing parishes and building the main cathedral in Cap Français.   The work of carving out an Ignatian space in this emerging crucible of eighteenth-century Atlantic capitalism unfolded against the backdrop of a near-total breakdown of political order in the colony during the early 1720s.  As local creoles mounted a dramatic rebellion against the slave trading monopoly of the French Indies Company in Saint-Domingue, the Jesuits found themselves drawn into some unexpected realms of secular and spiritual effort alike: the writing of Haiti’s first histories and the proselytization of its rapidly expanding and already resistant community of slaves.  How the Ignatians carried out these two missions tells us much about both the Jesuit order itself and the circumstances of Haiti’s sudden rise as the most profitable plantation colony in the world by the third decade of the eighteenth century.

Biography: Malick W. Ghachem is a historian and lawyer.  His primary areas of concentration are slavery and abolition, criminal law, and constitutional history.  He is the author of The Old Regime and the Haitian Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2012), a history of the law of slavery in Saint-Domingue (Haiti) between 1685 and 1804.  The book received the American Historical Association’s J. Russell Major Prize for the best work in English on French history and was co-winner of the Caribbean Studies Association’s Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Prize for the best book published in the field of Caribbean studies over the past three years.  He teaches courses on the Age of Revolution, Slavery and Abolition, American criminal justice, and other topics.

Professor Ghachem earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University and his doctorate in history from Stanford.  He clerked for the Honorable Rosemary Barkett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Miami, FL in 2004.  A member of the Massachusetts bar, Professor Ghachem practiced law in Boston from 2005 to 2010 for two law firms: Zalkind, Rodriguez, Lunt & Duncan LLP and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.  For part of that period (2006-2007) he served as a lecturer in MIT’s Political Science Department.  Between 2010 and 2013, he taught at the University of Maine School of Law in Portland, ME, where he is now a Senior Scholar.

  • Professor Mary Beth Basile Chopas, UNC Law School
  • Professor Samantha Barbas, SUNY-Buffalo Law School
  • Professor John Fabian Witt, Yale Law School
  • Professor Daniel J. Sharfstein, Vanderbilt Law School
  • Professor Stewart Jay, University of Washington School of Law
  • Elizabeth Papp Kamali, Assistant Professor, Harvard Law School Ph.D. candidate
  • Professor Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Harvard Law School
  • Brad Snyder, Professor of Law at University of WisconsinRobert Gordon, Professor, Stanford Law School
  • Peter Pihos, dissertation completion fellow at Penn's School of Arts and Sciences
  • Daniel Klerman, Professor of Law at USC Law School
  • Annette Gordon-Reed, Professor of Law and History at Harvard University
  • Emily Kadens, Baker and Botts Professor in Law at the University of Texas Austin
  • Sir John Baker, St. Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge
  • Anne Fleming, Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School
  • Michael Hoeflich, John H. & John M. Kane Professor of Law, University of Kansas
  • Pauline R. Maier, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of History, MIT
  • Jack Rakove, William Robertson Co Professor of History and American Studies, Stanford Law School
  • Gerard N. Magliocca, Professor of Law, Indiana University School of Law—Indianapolis
  • Hon. Margaret H. Marshall, MA Supreme Judicial Court
  • Aniceto Masferrer, Professor of Legal History, University of Valencia and President, the Society for Comparative Legal History' (ESCLH)
  • Kristen Stilt, Northwestern University Law School
  • Abigail Chandler, University of Massachusetts-Lowell
  • Hendrick Hartog, Class of 1921 Bicentennial Professor of the History of American Law and Liberty of Princeton University
  • Jedidiah Kroncke, Raoul Berger-Mark DeWolfe Howe Fellow, Harvard Law School
  • Intisar Rabb, Professor, Boston College Law School
  • Professor Kif Augustine-Adams, J. Reuben Clark Law School, BYU
  • Professor Bernard Bailyn, Harvard University
  • Karen Beck, Curator of Rare Books, Boston College Law School
  • Professor Warren Billings, Distinguished Professor of History, Emeritus, University of New Orleans History Department
  • Professor Barbara Black, Columbia Law School
  • Professor Susanna Blumenthal, University of Michigan Law School
  • Professor Emeritus Morris Cohen, Yale University Law School
  • Professor Kristin Collins, Boston University Law School
  • Professor Cornelia Dayton, University of Connecticut History Department
  • Professor Christine Desan, Harvard Law School
  • Professor Charles Donahue, Harvard Law School
  • Professor Mary Dudziak, Judge Edward J. and Ruey L. Guirado Professor of Law, History and Political Science, University of Southern California
  • Professor William B. Gould IV, Stanford University Law School
  • Professor Ariela Gross, University of Southern California Law School
  • Professor Paul Halliday, University of Virginia History Department
  • Professor Richard Helmholz, University of Chicago Law School
  • Professor Francis R. Herrmann, S.J., Boston College Law School
  • Professor Marilynn Johnson, Boston College History Department
  • Professor Bernie D. Jones, Suffolk University Law School
  • Professor Carolyn Jones, University of Iowa Law School
  • Professor Laura Kalman, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Professor Linda Kerber, University of Iowa History Department
  • Professor Ken Kersch, Director of the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy, Boston College
  • Professor Marjorie Kornhauser, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University
  • Professor Pnina Lahav, Boston University School of Law
  • Professor Kenneth Mack, Harvard Law School
  • Professor Joyce Malcolm, Bentley College History Department
  • Professor Ray Madoff, Professor of Law, Boston College Law School
  • Dr. Maeva Marcus, Editor of the Documentary History of the Supreme Court
  • Professor Jennifer Mnookin, University of Virginia Law School
  • Professor William Nancarrow, Curry College History Department (former Ph.D. candidate at Boston College)
  • Professor James Oldham, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Professor Ileana Porras, Visiting Professor at Boston College Law School
  • Professor James Rogers, Boston College Law School
  • Professor David Seipp, Boston University Law School
  • Professor Jed Shugerman, Harvard Law School
  • Mr. Anthony Taussig, London
  • Dean William Treanor, Fordham University Law School
  • Professor Russell Versteeg, New England School of Law
  • Dr. Michael von der Linn, Antiquarian Book Department, Law Book Exchange
  • Professor Robert Williams, University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law
  • Professor Michael Wilrich, Brandeis University History Department