Education, Training, & Certifications
Duke Appointment History
- Associate Professor in Women's Studies, Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences 2003 - 2006
- Associate Professor of History, History, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences 2001 - 2005
- Associate Chair, History, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences 2003 - 2004
- Visiting Associate Professor, History, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences 2000 - 2001
In the News
JUN 16, 2018
AUG 23, 2017 The Hill
MAY 1, 2017
OCT 14, 2015
AUG 3, 2015 New Books in Law
JUL 1, 2015
APR 7, 2015 McClatchy DC
APR 8, 2013
Awards & Honors
- Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2015. Choice. 2015
- Dean's Award for Excellence in Mentoring. The Graduate School, Duke University. 2013
- Charles Sydnor Prize for Best Book in Southern History. Southern Historical Association. 2010
- Howard D. Johnson Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching. Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Duke University. 2010
- Littleton-Griswold Prize for Best Book in American Law and Society. American Historical Association. 2009
- Fletcher M. Green and Charles W. Ramsdell Award for Best Article Published in the Journal of Southern History for the Years 1998-1999. Southern Historical Association. 2000
- Vernon Carstensen Award for Best Article Published in Agricultural History in 1998. Agricultural History Society. 1999
- Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award. American Library Association. 1998
Fellowships, Supported Research, & Other Grants
- Visiting Neukom Fellows Chair in Diversity and Law awarded by American Bar Foundation, 2016 - 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 - 2013
- Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship awarded by National Humanities Center 2007 - 2008
- Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities awarded by The Newberry Library 2006 - 2007
- NEH Postdoctoral Fellowship awarded by National Endowment for the Humanities 2000 - 2001
- Research Fellow awarded by American Center for Politics and Public Policy 1998 - 1999
- Smithsonian Postdoctoral Fellowship awarded by National Museum of American History 1995
- Publications & Artistic Works
- Edwards, LF. A Nation of Rights: A Legal History of the Civil War and Reconstruction. NY,: Cambridge University Press, 2015.
- Edwards, LF. The People and Their Peace: Legal Culture and the Transformation of Inequality in the Post-Revolutionary South. Chapel Hill, NC,: University of North Carolina Press, 2009.
- Edwards, LF. Scarlett Doesn’t Live Here Anymore: Southern Women in the Civil War Era. Urbana, IL,: University of Illinois Press, 2000.
- Edwards, LF. Gendered Strife and Confusion: The Political Culture of Reconstruction. Urbana, IL,: University of Illinois Press, 1997.
- Edwards, LF. Only the Clothes on Her Back: Women, Textiles, and National Development in the Nineteenth-Century United States(In preparation). .
- Edwards, LF. "Rights that made the world right." Judicature 102, no. 2 (June 1, 2018): 14-25.
- Edwards, LF. "Sarah Allingham's Sheet and Other Lessons from Legal History." Journal of the Early Republic 38, no. 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, no. 3 (November 2016): 310-328. Full Text
- Edwards, LF. "Textiles: Popular culture and the law." Buffalo Law Review 64, no. 1 (January 1, 2016): 193-214.
- Edwards, LF. "The History in "Critical Legal Histories": Robert W. Gordon. 1984. Critical Legal Histories. Stanford Law Review 36:57-125." Law and Social Inquiry 37, no. 1 (December 1, 2012): 187-199. Full Text
- 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, no. 3 (August 2009): 533-564. Link to Item
- 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.
- Edwards, LF. "Status Without Rights: African American and the Tangled History of Law and Governance in the Nineteenth-Century U.S. South." American Historical Review 112 (April 2007): 365-393.
- Edwards, LF. "Enslaved Women and the Law: The Paradoxes of Subordination in the Post-Revolutionary Carolinas." Slavery & Abolition 26 (August 2005): 305-323.
- Edwards, LF. "Law, Domestic Violence, and the Limits of Patriarchal Authority in the Antebellum South." Journal of Southern History 65 (November 1999): 733-70.
- Edwards, LF. "The Problem of Dependency: African Americans, Labor Relations, and the Law in the Nineteenth-Century South." Agricultural History 72 (1998): 313-40.
- Edwards, LF. "The disappearance of Susan Daniel and Henderson Cooper: Gender and narratives of political conflict in the reconstruction-era U.S. South." Feminist Studies 22, no. 2 (January 1, 1996): 363-386. (Review) Full Text
- Edwards, and LF, . "’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 14 (1996): 81-124.
- Edwards, LF. "Sexual Violence, Gender, Reconstruction, and the Extension of Patriarchy in Granville County, North Carolina." North Carolina Historical Review 68 (1991): 237-260.
- Edwards, LF. "Textiles: Popular Culture and the Law." Buffalo Law Review 64, no. January 2015: 193-214. (Essay)
- Edwards, LF. ""The Fourteenth Amendment: Transforming Our Relationship to Rights and the Federal Government"." Insights in Law and Society 17, no. Winter 2017: 4-10. (Essay)
- Edwards, LF. "Afterward." In The Civil War and the Transformation of American Citizenship, edited by Quigley, P, 217-236. Baton Rouge,: Louisiana State University Press, 2018. (Afterword)
- Edwards, LF. "Law as Social History." In The Oxford Handbook of Legal History, edited by Tomlins, C and Dubber, M. New York,: Oxford University Press, 2018. (Essay)
- Edwards, LF. "Reconstruction and the History of Governance." In The World the War Made, edited by Downs, G and Masur, K, 30-44. Chapel Hill, NC,: University of North Carolina Press, 2015. (Essay)
- Edwards, LF. "Laura Edwards on the Early Republic, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Women’s History." In The Historians Behind the History: Conversations with Southern Historians, edited by Bever, M and Suarze, S. Birmingham, AL,: University of Alabama press, 2015.
- Edwards, LF. "Epilogue." In Rethinking Emancipation: Legacies of Slavery and the Quest for African American Freedom, edited by Link, W, 252-270. New York,: Cambridge University Press, 2015.
- Edwards, LF. "The Material Conditions of Dependency: The Hidden History of Free Women’s Control of Property in the Early Nineteenth Century South." In Signposts: New Directions in Southern Legal History, edited by Hadden, S and Minter, P, 171-92.: University of Georgia Press, 2013. (Essay)
- Edwards, LF. "The Contradictions of Democracy in American Institutions." In Democracy from Book to Life: Language and Practice in the North Atlantic 1750-1850, edited by Innes, J and Philp, M, 40-54.: Oxford University Press, 2013. (Essay)
- Edwards, LF. "Up from the Pedestal: The Influence of Anne Scott's Ladies on Southern Women's History." In Writing Women's History: A Tribute to Anne Firor Scott, edited by Payne, E, 28-63. Jackson, MS,: University Press of Mississippi, 2011. (Essay)
- Edwards, LF. "Reconstruction, Women, and Political Culture." In Reconstruction in North Carolina, edited by Escott, PD.: University of North Carolina Press, 2008. (Essay)
- Edwards, LF. "The Civil War and Reconstruction." In The Cambridge History of Law in America: Volume 2, The Long Nineteenth Century, edited by Tomlins, C and Grossberg, M, 313-344. NY,: Cambridge University Press, 2008. (Essay)
- Edwards, LF. "Emancipation and its consequences." In A Companion to the American South, 269-283. November 30, 2007. Full Text
- Edwards, LF. "The People’s Sovereignty and the Law: Defining Gender, Race, and Class Differences in the Antebellum South." In Beyond Black and White: Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in the United States South and Southwest, edited by Cole, S, 3-34.: Arlington, Texas: University of Texas Press for the University of Texas, Arlington, 2004.
- Edwards, LF. "Women, Gender, and Labor." In The Blackwell Companion to 19th Century America, edited by Barney, WL and Edwards, LF, , 223-37.: Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Limited, 2001.
- Edwards, LF. "Women and Domestic Violence in Nineteenth-Century North Carolina." In Lethal Imagination: Violence and Brutality in American History, edited by Bellesiles, M, 115-36. New York,: New York University Press, 1999.
- Edwards, LF. "Captives of Wilmington: The Riot and Historical Memories of Political Conflict, 1865-1898." In Democracy Betrayed: The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 and Its Legacy, edited by Tyson, TB and Cecelski, DS, 113-41.: Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998.
- Edwards, LF. "U.S. Women’s History." In Encyclopedia of Social History, 775-777.: New York: Garland, 1994.
- Edwards, LF. "You Can’t Go Home Again: Politics, War, and Domestic Life in the Nineteenth-Century South." Reviews in American History 25 (1997): 570-76.
- Edwards, LF. "Women and Work in Florida: A Photographic Essay." Tampa Bay History 18 (1996): 32-48.
- Edwards, LF. "Before Dred Scott: Slavery and Legal Culture in the American Confluence, 1787-1857." Law and History Review 36, no. 3 (August 1, 2018): 681-683. Full Text Link to Item
- Teaching & Mentoring
- HISTORY 120: A History of American Democracy: Everything You Need to Know about US History in One Semester 2019
- HISTORY 394: Research Independent Study 2019
- HISTORY 791: Reading Topics: Independent Study 2019
- HISTORY 890S-13: Research Topics in Methods and Theory 2019
- HISTORY 299: Women and Popular Culture in U.S. History 2018
- HISTORY 335: United States Legal History 2018
- HISTORY 393: Research Independent Study 2018
- HISTORY 792: Reading Topics-Independent Study 2018
- HISTORY 790S-06: Topics in Law and Society 2017
- Scholarly, Clinical, & Service Activities
Presentations & Appearances
- “The Fourteenth Amendment and the Reconstruction of Rights After the Civil War". Constitution Day. University of Las Vegas, Nevada. September 17, 2018 2018
- “James and His Striped, Velvet Pantaloons: Textiles, Commerce, and Law in the New Republic” . Workshop on Democracy in America. The Tobin Project. May 7, 2018 2018
- “New Directions in the Study of the Fourteenth Amendment” . Conference of the Society of Civil War Historians. May 2018 2018
- “Extending Conceptions of Women’s Political Participation” . Organization of American HIstorians. April 2018 2018
- “The Hidden World of Governance in Jacksonian America and the Artificial Line between Legal History and Political History” . Andrew Jackson at 250: Race, Politics, and Culture in the Age of Jacksonian “Democracy”. Yale University. December 2017 2017
- “Only the Clothes on Her Back: Textiles, Law, and Commerce in the Nineteenth-Century United States” . Conference. American Society for Legal History. November 2017 2017
- “The Reconstruction of Rights After the Civil War” . Teach-In on the Strength and Fragility of Constitutions,. University of Oklahoma. September 25, 2017 2017
- “The Fourteenth Amendment and the Reconstruction of Rights” . Jack Stalworth Lecture in Southern History. University of South Alabama. September 13, 2017 2017
- “’Take No Account of Anything Made Entirely Within Yourself’: The Legal Power of Textiles and the Status of Women Between the Revolution and the Civil War in the United States” . Legal History Roundtable. American Bar Foundation. May 5, 2017 2017
- “Fourteenth Amendment: Transforming American Democracy?” . Leon Jaworski Public Program Series, National Law Day. American Bar Association. May 1, 2017 2017
- “Petitioning in Local Forums: Democratic Participation in an Undemocratic System, 1780-1860” . History of American Democracy Conference. The Tobin Project. May 2017 2017
- “Textiles and the Material Culture of Law and Governance”. “Textiles and the Material Culture of Law and Governance,”. CUNY Graduate Center, New York City and the McNeil Center in Early American History. February 2017 2017
- “The History of the Courts and Individual Rights”. A History of the Federal Judiciary. Federal Judicial Center. April 2016 2016
- “The Reconstruction Amendments in Law, Politics, and History” . Organization of American HIstorians. April 2016 2016
- “The Reconstruction of Rights: The Fourteenth Amendment and Popular Conceptions of Governance”. Leon Silverman Lecture. Supreme Court Historical Society. October 2015 2015
- "Law Outside the Nation: Overlapping Jurisdictions and Conflicting Conceptions of Citizenship, Keynote Address for the Conference, "Citizenship in the Era of the American Civil War," the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, Virginia Tech. April 2015 2015
- "Looking at Nation-Building through Local Eyes: Rethinking Law in the Reconstruction-Era United States, Milton Klein Lecture, History Department University of Tennessee. March 2014 2014
- "Reconstruction, Rights, and the Nation's Legal Culture," for the conference, "The World the Civil War Made," the Civil War Era Center, Penn State University. June 2013 2013
- "Law and Culture in Conversation," Keynote Address for the Conference, "Disrobing the Law in American Culture: The 2013 American Studies Graduate Student Conference," Princeton University. April 2013 2013
- "Women, the Civil War, and the Legal Transformation of the United States, " 2013 Annual Gary C. and Eleanor G. Simons Lecture, University of Florida. April 2013 2013
- "The People and Their Peace: Legal Culture in the Post-Revolutionary South," Third Annual Society of the Cincinnati Lecture, Virginia Commonwealth University. November 2012 2012
- "How Legal History Can Help Us Redefine the Contours of Southern History," Keynote Address, Southern Intellectual History Conference, University of Alabama. February 2011 2011
- "The Meaning of Democracy in the Post-Revolutionary United States," for the conference, "Two Eras of Democracy," Oxford University, England. June 2010 2010
- “The Perils of Inclusion: Democracy in the Early Nineteenth-Century United States," Workshop on Democracy in Context, Oxford, England, June 2008.. June 1, 2008 2008
Service to the Profession
- Advisory Board. Exhibit on the Reconstruction Amendments. National Constitution Center. 2018 - 2019 2018 - 2019
- Editorial Board. Journal of Supreme Court History. 2018 - 2020 2018 - 2020
- Editorial Board. Journal of the Civil War Era. 2018 - 2020 2018 - 2020
- Advisory Board. Reconstruction of the Cyclorama (depicting the Battle of Atlanta) and Exhibits on the Civil War. Atlanta History Center. December 2017 - 2019 2017 - 2019
- Committee member. Reid Book Prize Committee. American Society of Legal History. 2017 - 2019 2017 - 2019
- Littleton-Griswold Book Prize Committee, American Historical Association. American Historical Association. 2015 - 2017 2015 - 2017
- Chair, Program Committee. Southern Historical Association. 2014 2014
- Fellowship Selection Committee. American Council of Learned Societies. 2014 - 2016 2014 - 2016
- Cromwell Book Prize Committee, American Society for Legal History. 2012 - 2014 2012 - 2014
- Executive Committee, Southern Historical Association. 2009 - 2012 2009 - 2012
- President. Southern Association of Women HIstorians. 2007 - 2008 2007 - 2008
- Editorial Board. Law and History Review. 2005 - 2020 2005 - 2020
- Board of Directors. American Society for Legal HIstory. 2003 - 2006 2003 - 2006
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