Laura Edwards—“Women, Law, and Culture:  Rethinking Legal Change in the Civil War Era”

October 2, 2013toOctober 4, 2013
Laura Edwards, Duke University

Laura Edwards, Duke University

Time and Place TBA

This presentation is about the ways that ordinary people in the South, particularly African American women, contributed to the legal changes that we associate with the Reconstruction Amendments and top-down change. These groups had a much broader, expansive notion of “rights” and also of what the government should accomplish—and those ideas, in part, were based in expansive notions of local governance and in the culture of the South.

Laura Edwards is a professor of history at Duke University, where she teaches courses on women, gender, and law. Her research focuses on the same issues, with a particular emphasis on the nineteenth-century U.S. South. She is the author of Gendered Strife and Confusion: The Political Culture of Reconstruction (1997), Scarlett Doesn’t Live Here Anymore: Southern Women in the Civil War Era (2000), and The People and Their Peace: Legal Culture and the Transformation of Inequality in the Post-Revolutionary U.S. South (2009), which won the Littleton-Griswold Award from the American Historical Association for the best book in law and society and the Charles S. Sydnor Award from the Southern Historical Association for the best book in southern history. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2012-2013 to complete a new book, “A Nation of Rights: A Legal History of the Civil War and Reconstruction.”

Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Women in Society, the CSWS Women of Color Project, Oregon Humanities Center, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion.