I study twentieth century American legal history. My dissertation prospectus, “Views from the Midwest: Rural Communities, Law, and Nation in the Twentieth Century,” examines local government structures in rural Midwestern communities in an effort to make “the rural” legible in new ways to historians as well as legal scholars. I ask, what was the experience of living in and maintaining a rural community in an urbanizing and urbanized America?
You can find working chapter abstracts and details about the archives that I work with, here.
I am also interested in public history, narrative, and micro-history projects. My previous work has focused on recovering marginalized voices within twentieth century social movements, including the civil rights and women’s rights movements. My law review note concerns the hidden civil rights activism behind the landmark constitutional decision, Chambers v. Mississippi (101 Calif. L. Rev. 445 (2013)).
Forthcoming, Studies in Law, Politics & Society
Legal Lives in Muller v. Oregon
Legal opinions both preserve history and construct the ways in which society remembers historical events. But legal opinions are imperfect archivists of history, and the historical narrative constructed within legal briefs and opinions are, by necessity, shaped by the demands of legal norms and doctrine. This article uses the Supreme Court decision Muller v. Oregon (1908) as a lens to explore the repercussions of the distorted history preserved in legal opinions. Rather than understanding the opinion only as an early piece of feminist jurisprudence, the article offers a threefold argument. First, it locates the multiple feminisms present in the labor conflict that gave rise to the litigation with the women workers. Second, the article offers a reading of Muller that is in conversation with regulations on Chinese laundries and considers the case as part of a line of anti-Chinese laundry legislation. Finally, the article concludes that it is only through attention to place and local labor, gender, and race relationships are these observations made possible
Updated Fall 2017