Since 1994, Richard Kaeuper and I have promoted a series of annual panels on this general theme at the International Congresses on Medieval Studies held in May of each year at the Medieval Institute of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo MI. Our sessions have from the start been under the sponsorship of the American Society for Legal History. From the year 2000, The Selden Society of London has joined in co-sponsorship.
We are all too aware that Legal History can be a forbidding field that offers few apparent attractions to non-lawyers, even within the European Middle Ages. Kalamazoo offeredn appropriate environment to take the subject beyond its specialist confines. We have therefore tried each year since then to formulate a specific topic that would encourage colleagues from the many and diverse disciplines of Medieval Studies to submit papers and enjoy the discussion. The record speaks for the successful start to this enterprise. ("Res ipsa loquitur".) But since much remains to be done here and elsewhere, I make available here the seed ideas we have spread around in the hope that further thought about and criticism of them will in due course bear better and more lasting fruit elsewhere.
We would be happy to hear of any manner of topic within our theme for the current year. Please, submit ABSTRACTS AND PROPOSALS in good time for the Congress Deadline of September 15 to:
Richard Kaeuper, Dept. of History, University of Rochester, ROCHESTER
or Paul Hyams, History Dept., Cornell University, ITHACA NY 14853-4061
Better still E-Mail Kaeuper <email@example.com> or Hyams <firstname.lastname@example.org>, and you will likely receive a swifter response!
Panels to Date
1994: APPROACHES TO VIOLENCE
Karina Tokareva-Parker (Indiana U.), "Champions, Outlaws & Avengers: Legal Language, Notions and Rituals in Beowulf"2000: WHEN IS "TIME OF THE ESSENCE"?
F.R.P. Akehurst (U. of Minnesota), "Philippe de Beaumanoir as Story-Teller"
Mary Jane Schenck (U. of Tampa), "When Narrative is Not Fiction: The Truth of Legal Stories"
Charles A./ Donahue, Jr. (Harvard Law School), "The Story of a Failed Marriage: Witnesses' Narratives in the Late Medieval Court of York"
Julia Barrow (Nottingham Univ.), "Death Comes to the Canon: The Other Year of Grace"
Russell Peck (U. of Rochester), "Gower on Time: History, Memory, and Law"
Richard H. Helmholz (U. of Chicago Law School), "Delay in Choosing Pastors: The Canon Law and English Common Law"
2001: PERSONAL VENGEANCE AND PUBLIC JUSTICE IN ENGLAND
Chris Briggs (Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure), "Assessing Attitudes to the Use of Law and Litigation in Medieval English Peasant Culture"2002: THE LAW AND THE OUTLAW
Mary M. Rogers (U. of Toronto), "Prudence vs. Vengeance in the Tale of Melibee"
Paul Hyams (Cornell), "Righting Wrongs in Medieval England: The Less Violent Option"