• Cornelia Sorabji Scholarship in Law

    Date: 2015.09.03 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    Cornelia Sorabji seated portraitSomerville College and Oxford’s Faculty of Law have launched a campaign to create a scholarship for an Indian trainee lawyer to study law at Oxford. The scholarship, which will require a £1.2 million endowment, will be named after Cornelia Sorabji, “the first woman to read law at Oxford, the first Indian national to study at a British university and the first woman to practice law in both Britain and India.” See this Oxford Law newsletter (p.75) for more. Sorabji’s path to the practice of law was by no means easy. She was blocked from practicing in British India at every point until she came up with the ingenious idea of making herself legal adviser to women living in purdah. In key ways, she was also opposed to the Indian independence and women’s movements.

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  • New dissertation prize on Pakistan

    Date: 2015.09.01 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    Did you complete a doctoral dissertation on Pakistan over the past year? You should consider submitting it for the new S. Pirzada Dissertation Prize on Pakistan. Deadline: Dec.1, 2015.

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  • Sea of files

    Date: 2015.08.14 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    File Room Dayanita Singh (cover)How do you convey to non-South Asianists what a High Court records room in India looks like? Photography isn’t allowed in the Bombay High Court, where I’ve done research over the past decade. And words alone never did it.

    I’m thrilled to have discovered the work of photographer Dayanita Singh, and am now the proud new owner of File Room (2013).This book of images captures the full overwhelming sight of court records–forests of paper and seas of files, to use Singh’s words–that seem impossibly chaotic to the outside observer but that contain their own order to the people who work there.

    Welcome to our world!

  • IAS Fellowship opportunity

    Date: 2015.08.09 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    IAS Soc Sci SchoolThe Institute for Advanced Study (School of Social Science) in Princeton, NJ is featuring the theme of “Law and the Social Sciences” for its 2016-17 fellowships. The school takes a broad view of what constitutes social science. Having spent a year at the IAS (Historical School) a few years ago, I can recommend the experience highly. Housing is on-site, there is a very nice daily lunch with the other fellows, and you have access to the wonderful and very efficient library systems of both the IAS and Princeton University (the IAS is technically separate from Princeton). Don’t miss this amazing opportunity, South Asianists! Deadline: Nov.1, 2015.

  • New Books in South Asian Studies

    Date: 2015.08.06 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    Screenshot 2015-08-06 15.30.55Do you have a new book out? You should consider sending a pitch to the organizers of the podcast interview series, “New Books in South Asian Studies.” To date, the series has featured many historical works. Legal studies are of interest, too.

    Equally, there are similar series like “New Books in Law” and “New Books in History.” All are part of the “New Books Network: Discussions with Authors about Their New Books.”

  • Medico-legal tales from the Raj

    Date: 2015.07.13 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    Snake from Thanatophidia

    I’m working on a book project on medical jurisprudence (or forensic science) in colonial India. While doing this research, I’ve come across some truly bizarre phenomena. Three of the most striking are: soap corpses, giving birth after death, and the snake-and-banana trick.

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  • Truly South Asian

    Date: 2015.07.08 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    South Asia MapIn the field of South Asian legal studies, “South Asia” is a euphemism. It usually means India.

    But there’s a growing trend among scholars to create a trans-regional conversation that brings Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, the Maldives and even Myanmar (Burma) and Tibet into the conversation.

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  • Legal Spankies in Colonial India

    Date: 2015.07.05 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    Spankie silhouette (from Veitch) (2)Who wins the prize for best name in colonial Indian legal history?

    For years, I had an easy answer. It was Mr. Justice Robert Spankie, a judge of the Allahabad High Court in the late 19th century. Of course!

    But recently while reading Bhavani Raman‘s work on martial law in South India, I came across another Spankie: an Advocate General named Serjeant Spankie from the early 19th century.

    It turns out there was a whole family of legal professionals by the name of Spankie.

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  • In-fighting in legal history

    Date: 2015.07.02 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    DavidsForkBaptistChurch3 Recently I had the pleasure of reading some work on a topic near and dear to my heart: intra-group disputing within religious communities in legal history.

    Dylan Penningroth is working on a fascinating project in part on litigation within African-American churches from the Civil War until WWII. Jeffrey T. Perry has done similarly intriguing research on dispute resolution among 19th-c. Kentucky Baptist churches. Both projects reminded me of the Zoroastrian temple trust litigation I write about in my book. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Crash Course on Legal Pluralism

    Date: 2015.06.21 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    Interested in the field of legal pluralism? You may want to take a 3.5-day intensive course for junior scholars, practitioners, and senior scholars new to the field in Bombay/Mumbai (9-12 Dec. 2015), immediately preceding the Commission on Legal Pluralism’s 2015 conference (14-16 Dec. 2015).

    Deadline: Oct.1, 2015.

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