Assistant Professor of Law
Office: Room 6112, Law School
PhD (History), Princeton University (2006)
BCL (Law), Oxford University (1999)
BA (Law), Cambridge University (1998)
BA (History), McGill University (1996)
Mitra Sharafi is a legal historian of South Asia. She holds law degrees from Cambridge and Oxford (the UK equivalent of a JD and LLM) and a doctorate in history from Princeton. Sharafi's research has been supported by the Institute for Advanced Study through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council and other funding bodies. Her book, Law and Identity in Colonial South Asia: Parsi Legal Culture, 1772-1947 is forthcoming in 2014 with Cambridge University Press' "Studies in Legal History" series (ed. Michael Lobban). It explores the legal culture of the Parsis or Zoroastrians of British India, an ethno-religious minority that was unusually invested in colonial law. Currently, Sharafi is at work on a project on medical jurisprudence in colonial India (including bloodstain analysis and poisoning). She is also writing a study of non-Europeans from across the British Empire who studied law at London's Inns of Court during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Since 2010, her South Asian Legal History Resources website has shared research guides and other tools for the historical study of law in South Asia: http://hosted.law.wisc.edu/wordpress/sharafi/
Sharafi's research interests include South Asian legal history; the history of the legal profession; the history of colonialism; law and religion; law and minorities; legal consciousness; legal pluralism; and the history of science and medicine.
At the UW Law School, Sharafi teaches Contracts I to first-year law students. She is also part of UW's Legal Studies program, an interdisciplinary undergraduate major that combines law with the humanities and social sciences. Sharafi teaches three Legal Studies courses: "Legal Pluralism," "Law and Colonialism" and "Medico-Legal History." She is affiliated with the History Department, and is involved with the UW Center for South Asia.