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Laura F. Edwards

Laura F. Edwards headshot

William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law (2016-17)

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  • Chicago, IL 60611
  • Phone: (312) 988-6596

Joint appointment

Duke University

Education

Ph.D., History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; M.A., History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; B.A., American Culture, Northwestern University

Curriculum vitae

Bio

Laura F. Edwards is the Peabody Family Professor of History in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences at Duke University. She was appointed as the American Bar Foundation’s 2016-17 William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law. Prior to her position at Duke, she taught at the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of South Florida, and the University of Chicago.…

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Research focus

Women, gender, and the law in the nineteenth-century. Specifically, her research focuses on how disadvantaged and dependent groups such as slaves, women and children used the law in the nineteenth century to empower themselves and shape their communities.


Projects

Only the Clothes on Her Back

Only the Clothes on Her Back shifts the analytical frame from property the minority owned to property the majority possessed, a shift that changes our understandings of Americans' relationship to the…

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Publications

“Textiles: Popular Culture and the Law”
Buffalo Law Review 64 (pp. 193-214)
A Legal History of the Civil War and Reconstruction: A Nation of Rights
New York: Cambridge University Press
“Reconstruction and the History of Governance,” Gregory P. Downs and Kate Masur, eds., The World the War Made
Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press (pp. 30-44)

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Presentations

“The Fourteenth Amendment and Popular Conceptions of Governance”
Jun 2016
“The Reconstruction of Rights: The Fourteenth Amendment and Popular Conceptions of Governance”
Oct 2015

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Professional Service & Recognition

  • Visiting Neukom Fellows Chair in Diversity and Law, American Bar Foundation, Chicago, Illinois, 2016-2017
  • Littleton-Griswold Book Prize Committe, American Historical Association, 2000-2002; 2015-2017
  • Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2015, for A Legal History of the Civil War and Reconstruction:  A Nation of Rights
  • Fellowship selection committee member, American Council of Learned Societies, 2014-2017
  • Mellon Research Fellowship, the Library Company of Philadelphia and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 2014.
  • Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring, the Graduate School, Duke University, 2013
  • Fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, 2012-2013
  • Howard D. Johnson Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching, College of Arts and Sciences, Duke University, 2009-2010
  • Charles Sydnor Prize, awarded by the Southern Historical Association for best book in southern history, 2009, for The People and Their Peace:  Legal Culture and the Transformation of Inequality in the Post-Revolutionary South
  • Littleton-Griswold Prize, awarded by the American Historical Association for best book in American Law and Society, 2009, for The People and Their Peace: Legal Culture and the Transformation of Inequality in the Post-Revolutionary South
  • Co-Chair, ASLH Program Committee, Annual Meeting, American Society for Legal History, 2008
  • Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, National Humanities Center, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, 2007-2008.
  • Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities, the Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois, 2006-2007.
  • Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stanford Humanities Center, 2006-2007, declined.
  • Editorial and Advisory Boards, Law and History Review, 2005-present
  • Organization of American Historians:  Distinguished Speaker Program, 2003
  • NEH Postdoctoral Fellowship for University Professors, 1999-2000
  • Fletcher M. Green and Charles W. Ramsdell Award for best article published in the Journal of Southern History in 1998-1999, for "Law, Domestic Violence, and the Limits of Patriarchal Authority in the Antebellum South,”  Southern Historical Association
  • Research Fellow, American Center for Politics and Public Policy, UCLA, 1998-99.
  • Vernon Carstensen Award for best article published in Agricultural History for "The Problem of Dependency: African Americans, Labor Relations, and the Law in the Nineteenth-Century South,” Agricultural History Society, 1998
  • Choice Outstanding Academic Book for Gendered Strife and Confusion: The Political Culture of Reconstruction, 1997            
  • Presidential Young Faculty Award, University of South Florida, 1996-97.
  • Smithsonian Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C., 1995.
  • Monticello College Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois, 1994.
  • Research and Creative Scholarship Award, Research Council, University of South Florida, summer 1994.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Best Scholarly Article in African-American History Published in the Years 1991-1992, for "Sexual Violence, Gender, Reconstruction, and the Extension of Patriarchy in Granville County, North Carolina.
  • Albert J. Beveridge Research Grant, American Historical Association, 1991.

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