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Victoria Saker Woeste

Victoria Saker Woeste headshot

Affiliated Research Professor


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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 political economy, civil rights, and hate speech. She is the author of three books: Jews and the Law (Quid Pro Books, 2014); Henry Ford's War on Jews and the Legal…

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Research focus

Research has examined how law mediates and shapes the relationships among the state, the market, and society in U.S. history, as well as uncovered institutional and organizational responses to legal and economic change. 


"Why Ford Needs to Grapple With Its Founder's Anti-Semitism"
Washington Post (Made by History Blog)
Jews and the Law
Quid Pro Books
Henry Ford's War on Jews and the Legal Battle Against Hate Speech
Stanford University Press

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The Anti-Semitic Origins of the War on 'Fake News'

Sep 3, 2019

In September 2017, Professor Woeste wrote a Washington Post op-ed discussing the origins of the term "fake news" (following Trump's consistent use of it today) and its ties dating back to American…

Anti-Monopoly Laws and Attitudes Past and Present

Sep 3, 2019

In February 2019, Professor Woeste spoke at the University of Florida’s Bob Graham Center for Public Service on the history of late 19th century and early 20th century debates over monopoly…

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Professional Service & Recognition

  • Evaluator, Franklin Research Grants, American Philosophical Society
  • Member, Law and Society Association Kalven Prize Committee
  • Manuscript Reviewer, Journal of American History
  • Judge, California Supreme Court Historical Society Law Student Essay Competition
  • Member, Committee on Research, Fellowships, and Awards, American Society for Legal History
  • Chair, Craig Joyce Award Committee, American Society for Legal History, 2012
  • Consultant, The People v. Leo Frank, documentary film, Ben Loeterman Productions for Frontline, PBS, and the National Endowment for the Humanities (2009)
  • Wayne D. Rasmussen Award Committee, Agricultural History Society, 2010-12
  • Nominee, Board of Trustees, American Society for Legal History, 2009
  • Founder and Co-Chair, Chicago Legal History Seminar
  • Consultant, Court History Association, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Illinois
  • Chair, Surrency Article Prize Committee, American Society for Legal History
  • Precinct Captain, Obama for America, West Lafayette, Indiana
  • Member, Board of Directors, American Society for Legal History, 2010-2012
  • Member, Cromwell Prize Committee, American Society for Legal History, 2010-2012
  • Chair, J. Willard Hurst Book Prize Committee, Law and Society Association
  • Manuscript reviewer, Agricultural HistoryEnterprise and SocietyLaw and Social Inquiry, 2012
  • Associate Editor, Law and Social Inquiry
  • Principal Academic Advisor, Sapiro v. Ford, documentary film based on Henry Ford’s War, Michael Rose Productions Inc., Federal Court Historical Society and Detroit Public Television, 2012-13
  • 2015-16 Distinguished Lecturer, Organization of American Historians

Reading list

It Is Our Choices That Make Us What We Truly Are: Moral Choice in the Harry Potter Novels
Victoria Saker Woeste

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