LAPA Announces 2010-2011 Fellows

Fellows chosen from over 150 applicants

Press Release Display Announcement

The Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) at Princeton University is pleased to announce its fellows for the 2010-2011 academic year.   Each year, LAPA hosts a select group of fellows drawn from the academy, legal practice, and government or policymaking institutions.  In addition to pursuing unique research projects, they share their experience and expertise with students and faculty in both formal and informal settings.

The fellows were selected in a competitive process from among 159 applicants.  “We attracted a particularly large and impressive number of qualified applicants,” explained LAPA Acting Director Paul Frymer. “These new fellows represent a range of impressive accomplishments in a variety of academic disciplines, including anthropology, intellectual property, constitutional law, and legal history among others.  They will have much to contribute to the academic life of Princeton and we are excited to have them join us.”

Throughout the next academic year, LAPA Seminars will feature the work of the fellows, providing the opportunity for lively multidisciplinary scholarly discussion among Princeton faculty and graduate students about fellows’ projects.  In addition, several of the fellows will offer courses in one of Princeton’s academic departments.

The 2010-2011 LAPA Fellows are:

Tanya K. Hernandez is a professor of law at Fordham University School of Law, where she teaches Comparative Employment Discrimination, Critical Race Theory, and Trusts & Estates.  She received her A.B. from Brown University, and her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she served as Note Topics Editor of the Yale Law Journal.  She has served as a faculty fellow at the Institute for Research on Women at Rutgers University, and as a scholar in residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.  In 2009, Professor Hernandez was elected to the American Law Institute and in 2007, Hispanic Business Magazine selected her as one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics.  Professor Hernandez serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Legal Education, and the Latino Studies Journal published by Palgrave Macmillan Press.  Professor Hernandez’s scholarly interest is in the study of comparative race relations and anti-discrimination law, and her work in that area has been published in the California Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Harvard Civil Rights Civil Liberties Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal amongst other publications.  With George Washington University Law School colleague Robert Cottrol, Professor Hernandez wrote the forthcoming volume The Long Lingering Shadow: Law, Liberalism and Cultures of Racial Hierarchy and Identity in the Americas (UNC Press, 2010).  While at Princeton, she will conduct the research for her next book, which is focused on the topic of Latino inter-ethnic racism in the workplace and its implications for the enforcement of employment discrimination laws.

Susan Longfield Karr is an associate member of the University of Chicago Human Rights Program and an Affiliate of the European University Institute, where she served as a postdoctoral fellow in the Max Weber Program and the Department of History and Civilization in 2008-2009.  She received her Ph.D. in Early Modern European History from the University of Chicago (2008).  Broadly trained as an Early Modernist, her research focuses on the intersection of humanism and political thought in sixteenth-century Italy, Germany, France, and England.  Integrating social, political, legal, and intellectual history, Karr’s research explores how the introduction of philological, comparative, and historical methods to the teaching and interpretation of Roman law informed the centrality of ius gentium (universal customary law or the laws of peoples) within natural law and natural rights theories from the sixteenth century onwards.  By focusing on lectures, treatises, orations and emblems, her research demonstrates how humanist jurists used the category of ius gentium—which they held was the source of the rights of individuals—to hold civil laws, and those who administered them, accountable to a higher criterion of justice.  While at Princeton, she will continue to work on her manuscript, entitled, On Justice and Right:  The Moral Authority of Jus Gentium, which will explore the influence the sixteenth-century legal humanism on the so-called fathers of international law: Alberico Gentili (1552-1608) and Hugo Grotius (1583-1645).  She will be the Mellon/LAPA Fellow in Law and the Humanities.

Anna Kirkland is an associate professor of Women’s Studies and Political Science at the University of Michigan.  She earned her J.D. (2001) and Ph.D. (Jurisprudence and Social Policy, 2003) from the University of California, Berkeley.  Her research has focused on the construction of the legal categories that receive civil rights protections in various jurisdictions of the United States as well as the ways in which ordinary people understand and negotiate their identities through the law.  Her first book, Fat Rights: Dilemmas of Difference and Personhood, was published in 2008 by New York University Press.  Professor Kirkland has also published work on fat acceptance advocates and their perceptions of law, fatness as disability, transgendered plaintiffs who win their cases, transgender discrimination as sex discrimination, and the moral, racial, gendered, and political features of the “obesogenic environment” account of population weight gains.  With Michigan colleague Jonathan Metzl, Kirkland edited the forthcoming volume Against Health:  Has Health Become the New Morality? (New York University Press, 2010).  While at Princeton, she will work on a second book examining vaccination law, politics and activism.  The new research focuses on the ongoing Autism Omnibus Proceedings before the federal vaccine compensation court, in which the Special Masters have so far found that vaccines did not cause autism spectrum disorder in children.  Kirkland is also studying movement opposition to the rulings, state-level vaccine controversies and regulation, and the interaction between vaccine safety advocates and policymakers at the federal level.

Elizabeth Mertz is a member of the senior research faculty at the American Bar Foundation and John and Rylla Bosshard Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin Law School.  She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Duke University and a J.D. from Northwestern University.  She is a Fellow of the American Anthropological Association.  Her scholarship focuses on the intersection of law and language, analyzed from an anthropological perspective.  Mertz recently published a study of first-year law school education, The Language of Law School: Learning to “Think Like a Lawyer” (Oxford University Press, 2007), which was co winner of the Law & Society Association’s Herbert Jacob Book Prize.  She currently serves as editor of the Political and Legal Anthropology Review, following many years as editor of Law & Social Inquiry.  She also held leadership positions in the Law and Society Association.  In addition to law and language, her interests include legal translation, family law, law and social science, the legal profession, and legal education.  Together with other scholars, she is active in the New Legal Realism Project (  With Stewart Macaulay and Lawrence Friedman, she is co-editor of Law in Action: A Socio-Legal Reader (Foundation Press, 2007); she also edited The Role of Social Science in Law (Ashgate, 2008).  Her current empirical research focuses on post-tenure law professors in the United States.

Gordon Silverstein is an assistant professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley where he teaches courses in American constitutional law, American political thought, comparative constitutionalism and the separation of powers.  He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University.  He is the author of Law’s Allure: How Law Shapes, Constrains, Saves and Kills Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and Imbalance of Powers: Constitutional Interpretation and the Making of American Foreign Policy (Oxford University Press, 1997).  After completing his undergraduate education at Cornell University, Silverstein worked as a journalist for the Wall Street Journal in New York and Hong Kong and the San Francisco Chronicle.  Silverstein has published many articles on aspects of constitutional law and some his work has been supported by a major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  Prior to Berkeley, he taught at Dartmouth College, Rice University and the University of Minnesota and served as a program director for the New America Foundation in Washington, DC.  In addition to continuing his research and writing on American foreign policy, law and the separation of powers, at Princeton Silverstein will focus on the comparative study of the emergence and entrenchment of judicial review.

Steven Wilf is the Joel Barlow Professor of Law at the University of Connecticut, where he was one of the founders of the Intellectual Property Program.  He received both his Ph.D. in History from Yale University and his law degree from Yale Law School in 1995.  He served as a law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit before joining the Connecticut faculty.  A scholar whose research focuses upon intellectual property law, historical jurisprudence, and legal history, he seeks to explore the fundamental ways that the origins of legal processes effect normative outcomes.  Numerous essays and a recent book, The Law Before the Law (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008), explore imaginative, often extra-official understandings of legalism. His latest book, Law’s Imagined Republic: Popular Politics and Criminal Justice in Revolutionary America, will be published this year by Cambridge University Press.  He has been a visiting professor at Hebrew University, Jerusalem and DAAD guest professor at the Freie Universitat, Berlin. He also has held fellowships as John Carter Brown Fellow at Brown University, Fellow in Comparative Legal History at the University of Chicago, Samuel Golieb Fellow at the New York University Law School, and, most recently, Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem.  At Princeton, Wilf will continue his current work on a book, under contract with Cambridge University Press, examining the history of United States intellectual property law from its beginnings to the present.  He will be the Microsoft/LAPA Fellow in Law, Property and the Economic Organization of Society.

The Program in Law and Public Affairs is jointly funded by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, the University Center for Human Values, and Princeton University.