Susanna Blumenthal, LAPA Fellow; University of Minnesota Law School and Department of History

The Mind in Issue: Consciousness and Liability in the 19th-Century American Courtroom

Date: 
Mon, 04/19/2010
Location: 
4:30-6 PM, Kerstetter Room, Marx Hall

Please join us for a LAPA Seminar with LAPA Fellow Susanna Blumenthal, Associate Professor of Law and History at the University of Minnesota.  Her commentator will be Daniel Rodgers, Henry Charles Lea Professor of History at Princeton.

As always, the LAPA format asks that seminar participants familiarize themselves with the paper in advance. The commentator will open the session by summarizing the main themes in the paper and presenting some topics for discussion. The author then has the right of first response before we open to the floor for questions. The seminar will end with a brief reception in the Kerstetter Room, giving everyone a chance to mingle and meet.

Susanna Blumenthal is Associate Professor of Law and History at the University of Minnesota, where she researches and teaches in the areas of American legal history, criminal law, and trusts and estates. Professor Blumenthal's most recent articles, which explore the historical relationship between law and the human sciences, appear in the Harvard Law Review, UCLA Law Review, and Law and History Review. Blumenthal received her A.B., magna cum laude from Harvard-Radcliffe College and went on to earn a J.D. and a Ph.D. in history from Yale University, where she was awarded the George Washington Egleston Prize for Best Dissertation in American History. After law school, she clerked for Judge Kimba M. Wood of United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Blumenthal joined the Minnesota faculty as a tenured member of the Law School and History Department in 2007, after teaching at the University of Michigan Law School. She presently serves as the Director of the Legal History Program at the University of Minnesota, and was appointed as the John K. & Elsie Lampert Fesler Fellow at the Law School for 2007-2008. Other prizes and fellowships Blumenthal has received include the Samuel I. Golieb Fellowship in Legal History at New York University School of Law, the Sargent Faull Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship, by the American Council of Learned Societies. At LAPA she will continue her current work on a book about insanity trials in the nineteenth-century United States, entitled Law and the Modern Mind: Consciousness and Culpability in American Legal Culture, which will be published by Harvard University Press. Other works in progress include an essay analyzing transatlantic medico-legal debates concerning the sanity of suicide across the nineteenth century, and a book-length study of the legal regulation of fraud in Gilded Age America.

Daniel Rodgers, the Henry Charles Lea Professor of History, is an historian of American ideas and culture who has taught at Princeton since 1980.  He earned his Ph.D. in history from Yale University (1973) after graduating from Brown University (1965).  He is the author of three books: The Work Ethic in Industrial America, 1850-1920 (1978), winner of the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize; Contested Truths: Keywords in American Politics (1987); and Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Age (1998), which won the American Historical Association's Beer Prize and the Organization of American Historians's Hawley Prize.  His articles run the gamut from American exceptionalism, to the career of 'republicanism,' to the election of 2000.  He has held fellowships from the NEH, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and has served as a member of the editorial boards of the American Historical Review and the Journal of American History.  He was chair of the History Department from 1988 to 1995 and organizer of its summer workshops for public and parochial school history teachers. He has been a Fulbright lecturer in Germany and Japan and the Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions at Cambridge University.  He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.