Director of the Shelby Cullom Davis Center
125 Dickinson Hall
Manager, Shelby Cullom Davis Center
G-13 Dickinson Hall
Executive Secretary, Shelby Cullom Davis Center
205 Dickinson Hall

As part of our mission to support innovation in historical research, The Davis Center organizes its initiatives around a new theme every several years. By bringing together scholars across disciplines around a range of programming and events, we promote new ways of studying history’s most pressing topics.

2018-20: Law and Legalities

Law and Legalities Lady Justice; CC0 Creative Commons

During the academic years 2018/19 and 2019/20, the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies will focus of the topic of “Law & Legalities.” This two-year seminar will bring together scholars working on law in societies around the world and throughout human history, on topics including (but not restricted to) state administration, gender and sexuality, race, religion, property, science, environment, technology, war, migration, commerce, medicine, disability, incarceration, and human rights. How have legal, illegal, quasi-legal, and extra-legal forms of social order interacted in different periods and places? We will consider the historical possibilities and predicaments that have emerged within legal and juridical systems (both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’), as well as the conflicts that have arisen from the overlapping jurisdictions of custom, community, religion, nation-state, empire, and international bodies.

Upcoming Theme

For 2020/22, the Davis Center theme will be Revolutionary Change.

Past Themes

Throughout our history, we have explored a diverse range of themes, from Risk and Fortune to Corruption to the History of Education. Learn more.