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Laura F. Edwards, Peabody Family Professor of History

Laura F. Edwards
Contact Info:
Office Location:  333 Carr Building
Office Phone:  (919) 668-1435
Email Address: send me a message

Teaching (Fall 2015):

  • HISTORY 890S-08.01, RSCH TOP IN GENDER Synopsis
    Social Sciences 107, M 01:25 PM-03:40 PM

PhDUniversity of North Carolina, Chapel Hill1991
MAUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill1987
BANorthwestern University1985

Legal History
Race and Ethnicity
Cultural History
Labor and Working Class History
Politics, Public Life and Governance
United States and Canada
Research Interests:

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 three books: Gendered Strife and Confusion: The Political Culture of Reconstruction (1997), Scarlett Doesn't Live Here Anymore: Southern Women in the Civil War Era (2000, and The People and Their Peace: Legal Culture and the Transformation of Inequality in the Post-Revolutionary South.

Curriculum Vitae
Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. The People and Their Peace: Legal Culture and the Transformation of Inequality in the Post-Revolutionary South (2009), Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press (Awarded the Littleton-Griswold Award by the American Historical Association for Best Book in Law and Society and the Charles Sydnor Award by the Southern Historical Association for the Best Book in Southern History.)
  2. Scarlett Doesn't Live Here Anymore: Southern Women in the Civil War Era (2000), Urbana: University of Illinois Press
  3. Gendered Strife and Confusion: The Political Culture of Reconstruction (1997), University of Illinois Press (Named a Choice Outstanding Academic book; excerpted in: Major Problems in the History of the American South, 2nd ed., edited by Paul Escott, David R. Goldfield, Elizabeth Hayes Turner, and Sally G. McMillan; A History of Gender in America: Essays, Documents, and Articles, edited by Sylvia D. Hoffert.)
  4. “The History in ‘Critical Legal Histories’”, Law and Social Inquiry, vol. 37 no. 1 (Winter, 2012), pp. 187-199
  5. "Southern History as U.S. History", Journal of Southern History, vol. 75 (August 2009), pp. 1-32
  6. "The Civil War and Reconstruction", in The Cambridge History of Law in America, edited by Christopher Tomlins and Michael Grossberg (2008), pp. 313-344, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  7. "Status Without Rights: African American and the Tangled History of Law and Goverance in the Nineteenth-Century U.S. South", American Historical Review (April, 2007), pp. 365-393
  8. "Enslaved Women and the Law: The Paradoxes of Subordination in the Post-Revolutionary Carolinas", Slavery & Abolition, vol. 26 (August, 2005), pp. 305-323 (Republished in Gwyn Campbell, Suzanne Miers, and Joseph C. Miller, eds., Women in Slavery: The Modern Atlantic, vol. 2. (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2007), pp. 128-51..)
  9. "Law, Domestic Violence, and the Limits of Patriarchal Authority in the Antebellum South", Journal of Southern History, vol. 65 (November, 1999), pp. 733-70 (Awarded the Fletcher M. Green and Charles W. Ramsdell Award by the Southern Historical Association for best article published in the Journal of Southern History in 1998-1999. Republished in Nancy Bercaw, ed., Gender and the Southern Body Politic (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2000), 63-86; to be republished in J. William Harris, ed., The Old South: new Studies of Society and Culture (New York: Routledge, forthcoming 2008)..)
  10. "The Problem of Dependency: African Americans, Labor Relations, and the Law in the Nineteenth-Century South", Agricultural History, vol. 72 (Spring, 1998), pp. 313-40 (Awarded the Vernon Carstensen Award by the Agricultural History Society, for best article published in Agricultural History in 1998..)
  11. "The Disappearance of Susan Daniel and Henderson Cooper: Gender and Narratives of Political Conflict in the Reconstruction-Era U.S. South", Feminist Studies, vol. 22 (Summer, 1996), pp. 363-386 (Republished in Martha Hodes, ed., Sex, Love, Race: Crossing Boundaries in North American History (New York: New York University Press, 1999), 294-312.)
  12. "'The Marriage Covenant Is at the Foundation of All Our Rights': The Politics of Slave Marriages in North Carolina after Emancipation", Law and History Review, vol. 14 (Spring, 1996), pp. 81-124 (Republished as "Marriage, Households, and the Politics of Reconstruction in North Carolina," in Glenda Gilmore, Jane Dailey, and Bryant Simon, eds., Race, Gender, and Politics in the New South, 1865-1980 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), 7-27.)
  13. "Sexual Violence, Gender, Reconstruction, and the Extension of Patriarchy in Granville County, North Carolina", North Carolina Historical Review, vol. 68 (July, 1991), pp. 237-260 (Awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr., Award for the best article in African American HIstory.)
Selected Grant Support

  • John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.      
  • Mellon Foundation Fellowship, The Newberry Library.      
  • Rockefeller Fellowship, The National Humanities Center.      
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Endowment for the Humanities.      
  • Smithsonian Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Museum of American History.      
  • Monticello College Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, The Newberry Library.      

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