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Victoria Saker Woeste

Victoria Saker Woeste is a Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation (ABF). Since joining the ABF in 1994, Woeste has established herself as a leading scholar in the field of U.S. legal history, specifically twentieth century business regulation and political economy.  She is a published author and has written three different books, including her most recent book, Jews and the Law (Quid Pro Books, 2014); her second book, Henry Ford's War on Jews and the Legal Battles Against Hate Speech (Stanford University Press, 2012); and her first book, The Farmer’s Benevolent Trust (The University of North Carolina Press, 1998), which won the Law and Society Association’s J. Willard Hurst Prize in 2000, and, in dissertation form, was awarded the 1993 Herman Krooss Prize of the Business History Conference.

Her current work is Suing Henry Ford:  America’s First Hate Speech Case,an explosive re-telling of a familiar episode in American history:  the 1927 libel lawsuit against Henry Ford and his antisemitic newspaper.  This study opens previously unexplored vistas into the history of the legal profession, the history of hate speech, and the history of civil rights activism.  Other projects include a biographical study of the civil rights lawyer Louis Marshall (1856-1929) and a study of the relationship between farm size, farm ownership (including racial and gender factors), and agricultural monopoly after World War II.

Woeste earned her B.A. with Distinction and Honors in History from the University of Virginia and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from the University of California at Berkeley, where she trained as an interdisciplinary academic in law and social science. 

In addition to her position as a research professor at the ABF, Woeste has served as a Professor of Law in the International and Comparative Law Program at Indiana University-Cairo University in Egypt during the summer of 2011 and as a Visiting Professor of Law and American studies at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis from 2010-2011. Prior to joining Indiana University, she served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Northwestern University in the Spring of 2001 and as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought and the Department of American Studies at Amherst College from 1990-1994. 

Woeste is professionally affiliated with several organizations, including the Agricultural History Society, American Constitution Society, American Historical Association, American Society for Legal History, Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities, Business History Conference, Law and Society Association, and Organization of American Historians. She also serves on the board of directors for the following organizations: the Aquinas Educational Foundation, the Lafayette Indiana Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Lafayette Citizens Band, and Lafayette Urban Ministry Hike Fundraising Committee. 

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