• 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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  • LSA International Research Collaborative program

    Date: 2015.06.20 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    The Law and Society Association is launching another cycle of International Research Collaboratives (IRCs) for the LSA meeting in Mexico City in 2017. Unlike Collaborative Research Networks (CRNs), IRCs aim to produce a particular scholarly product (like a joint publication), and have a limited life span–usually of a couple of years. IRCs must be multi-national and multi-disciplinary in their membership. The program offers some travel funding, particularly for members coming from outside of Europe or North America. The deadline is a month away: July 17, 2015.


  • History of Forensics conference in London

    Date: 2015.06.13 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    An important conference on the history of forensics is happening in London next month. “Locating Forensic Science and Medicine” (24-25 July 2015) will be held at University of Notre Dame Global Gateway in Trafalgar Square. The workshop is organized by Ian Burney and Neil Pemberton (CHSTM, Manchester), along with Chris Hamlin (University of Notre Dame).

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  • Like a dream

    Date: 2015.06.10 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    Fat book cropped tinted retouched

    The fattest book ever

    As the summer research season starts up, a thrilling new experience awaits those who have not yet been to the British Library since its policy change earlier this year. BL users are now permitted to photograph most archival documents, as users of the National Archives at Kew have been for years. I spent a few days at the BL in March, and it was like a dream. Read the rest of this entry »

  • South Asia Roundup at the LSA 2015

    Date: 2015.06.05 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    This past weekend was a good one for South Asian legal studies at the Law and Society Association meeting in Seattle. The South Asia Collaborative Research Network (CRN 22) celebrated its 10th anniversary–we started in 2005. About 35 of us gathered for the joint annual CRN lunch, co-hosted with the British Colonial Legalities CRN (CRN 15) now run by Rohit De and Pooja Parmar. Read the rest of this entry »

  • New Books on South Asian Legal History

    Date: 2015.05.23 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    Bhuj doorwayLegal historians of South Asia have been busy!  I can think of 13 books that have appeared since 2009, namely:

    • Ritu Birla’s study of law and late colonial market governance (2009)
    • Mithi Mukherjee’s book on the intellectual legal history of colonial and postcolonial India (2010)
    • Nandini Chatterjee’s study of Christians and law in colonial India (2011)
    • Elizabeth Kolsky’s book on white violence and the rule of law (2011)
    • Chandra Mallampalli’s study of one interracial family’s legal history in South India (2011) Read the rest of this entry »

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