Laura F. Edwards

Laura F. Edwards

Professor in Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies

External address: 
333 Carr Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90719, Durham, NC 27708-0719
Phone: 
(919) 668-1435

Overview

My research focuses on women, gender, and the law in the nineteenth-century, particularly the U.S. South. In addition to articles on these topics, I have published four books: A Legal History of the Civil War and Reconstruction:  A Nation of Rights (2015); The People and Their Peace: Legal Culture and the Transformation of Inequality in the Post-Revolutionary South (2009); Scarlett Doesn't Live Here Anymore: Southern Women in the Civil War Era (2000); and Gendered Strife and Confusion: The Political Culture of Reconstruction (1997).  The People and Their Peace was awarded the Charles Sydnor Prize for the best book in southern history by the Southern Historical Association and the Littleton-Griswold Prize for the best book in American Law and Society by the American Historical Association.  I have received fellowships from the American Bar Foundation,the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Humanities Center, the Newberry Library, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Smithsonian Institution.  I am now working on a new book project, Only the Clothes on Her Back:  Textiles, Law, and Commerce in the Nineteenth Century United States.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1991

  • M.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1987

  • B.A., Northwestern University 1985

Fellowships, Supported Research, & Other Grants

Visiting Neukom Fellows Chair in Diversity and Law awarded by American Bar Foundation, (2016 to 2017)

Mellon Research Fellowship awarded by The Library Company of Philadelphia and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, (2014)

Guggenheim Fellowship awarded by John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (2012 to 2013)

Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship awarded by National Humanities Center (2007 to 2008)

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities awarded by The Newberry Library (2006 to 2007)

NEH Postdoctoral Fellowship awarded by National Endowment for the Humanities (2000 to 2001)

Research Fellow awarded by American Center for Politics and Public Policy (1998 to 1999)

Smithsonian Postdoctoral Fellowship awarded by National Museum of American History (1995)

Edwards, LF. "Before Dred Scott: Slavery and Legal Culture in the American Confluence, 1787-1857." Law and History Review 36.3 (August 1, 2018): 681-683. Full Text

Edwards, LF. "Afterward." The Civil War and the Transformation of American Citizenship. Ed. Quigley, P. Baton Rouge.: Louisiana State University Press. 2018. 217-236. (Afterword)

Edwards, LF. "Law as Social History." The Oxford Handbook of Legal History. Ed. Tomlins, C and Dubber, M. New York.: Oxford University Press. 2018. (Essay)

Edwards, LF. "Reconstruction and the History of Governance." The World the War Made. Ed. Downs, G and Masur, K. Chapel Hill, NC.: University of North Carolina Press. 2015. 30-44. (Essay)

Edwards, LF. "Laura Edwards on the Early Republic, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Women’s History." The Historians Behind the History: Conversations with Southern Historians. Ed. Bever, M and Suarze, S. Birmingham, AL.: University of Alabama press. 2015.

Edwards, LF. "Epilogue." Rethinking Emancipation: Legacies of Slavery and the Quest for African American Freedom. Ed. Link, W. New York.: Cambridge University Press. 2015. 252-270.

Edwards, LF. "The Material Conditions of Dependency: The Hidden History of Free Women’s Control of Property in the Early Nineteenth Century South." Signposts: New Directions in Southern Legal History. Ed. Hadden, S and Minter, P.: University of Georgia Press. 2013. 171-92. (Essay)

Edwards, LF. "The Contradictions of Democracy in American Institutions." Democracy from Book to Life: Language and Practice in the North Atlantic 1750-1850. Ed. Innes, J and Philp, M.: Oxford University Press. 2013. 40-54. (Essay)

Edwards, LF. "Up from the Pedestal: The Influence of Anne Scott's Ladies on Southern Women's History." Writing Women's History: A Tribute to Anne Firor Scott. Ed. Payne, E. Jackson, MS.: University Press of Mississippi. 2011. 28-63. (Essay)

Edwards, LF. "Reconstruction, Women, and Political Culture." Reconstruction in North Carolina. Ed. Escott, PD.: University of North Carolina Press. 2008. (Essay)

Edwards, LF. "The Civil War and Reconstruction." The Cambridge History of Law in America: Volume 2, The Long Nineteenth Century. Ed. Tomlins, C and Grossberg, M. NY.: Cambridge University Press. 2008. 313-344. (Essay)

Pages

Edwards, LF. "Rights that made the world right." Judicature 102.2 (June 1, 2018): 14-25.

Edwards, LF. "Sarah Allingham's Sheet and Other Lessons from Legal History." Journal of the Early Republic 38.1 (2018): 121-147. Full Text

Edwards, LF. "The Reconstruction of Rights: The Fourteenth Amendment and Popular Conceptions of Governance." Journal of Supreme Court History 41.3 (November 2016): 310-328. Full Text

Edwards, LF. "Textiles: Popular culture and the law." Buffalo Law Review 64.1 (January 1, 2016): 193-214.

Edwards, LF. "The Peace: The Meaning and Production of Law in the Post-Revolutionary United States." University of California, Irvine Law Review 1 (September 2011): 565-85.

Edwards, LF. "Southern History as US History." Journal of Southern History 75.3 (August 2009): 533-564.

Edwards, LF. "The Forgotten Legal World of Thomas Ruffin: The Power of Presentism in the History of Slave Law." North Carolina Law Review 87 (March 2009): 855-900.

Pages

Edwards, LF. "Women and Work in Florida: A Photographic Essay." Tampa Bay History 18 (1996): 32-48.

Pages