Katharina Isabel Schmidt
Katharina is a fifth-year student in the Department. Her dissertation traces the line that runs from the German-Jewish “free law”-movement before World War I to Nazi “life”-jurists like Carl Schmitt. Her goal is to write a comprehensive history of German legal modernism between 1900 and 1949. Katharina is concurrently completing a JSD degree at the Yale Law School. Her JSD dissertation looks at how U.S. jurists developed an “American way of law” against the background of European legal failures in the interwar period. Katharina’s other interests include German legal science in colonial Africa and the South Pacific as well as transnational intellectual history with a particular focus on émigré scholars in the United States, Latin America, and Asia. As part of her work, Katharina looks to cultural and intellectual history as well as to the history of science and knowledge-production for new ways of approaching the study of law in society. Before coming to Princeton, Katharina obtained law degrees from University College London (LL.B ’10), the University of Cologne (Baccalaureus Legum ’10), the University of Oxford (BCL ’11), and the Yale Law School (LL.M ’13). She has published reviews, essays, and articles in the German Studies Review, the Law & History Review, the American Journal of Comparative Law, and the Oxford Handbook for Legal History.