Women, Crime, and Storytelling

February 2022

Alison Frank Johnson, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Emily Greble, Vanderbilt University

This workshop will investigate the dynamic ways that women experienced, participated, and challenged the law. Histories of law in the modern era narrate the expansion of modern, progressive, and centralizing legal structures. But when explored through women’s legal encounters, we find that women simultaneously experienced discrete forms of inequality and also found creative spaces for advocacy. Adopting a capacious understanding of “legal encounters,” our workshop brings together a diverse group of scholars in Europe, the Americas, and New Zealand, who deploy the analytical tool of storytelling to excavate women’s voices from the legal record. Topics will range from women’s experiences with the legal issues of slavery, refuge, prostitution, exile, conversion, abandonment, marital rights, property, infanticide, and capital punishment.