Meet the 2023 Hurst Fellows and Co-Conveners and learn a little bit about them!

2023 Hurst Fellow:

2023 Hurst Co-Conveners:


Dilyara Agisheva in a black and white photo, standing in front of an ornate statue

Dilyara Agisheva

  • 2023 Hurst Alumni Fellow
  • Research Fellow
  • Harvard Law School

Dilyara's Bio

Dilyara Agisheva is a research fellow in the Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School. She received a B.A. in Middle Eastern studies and political science at the University of California, an M.A. in Middle Eastern, South Asian and African studies at Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic studies at Georgetown University. Her research focuses on legal change in Crimea following the Russian annexation in the late 18th century.

A headshot photo of Evelyn Atkinson with long blonde hair and smiling at the camera

Evelyn Atkinson

  • 2023 Robert Gordon/Stanford Law School Fellow
  • Associate Professor of Law
  • Tulane Law School

Evelyn 's Bio

Evelyn Atkinson is an associate professor of law at Tulane Law School. Her book manuscript, under contract with Columbia University Press, is entitled “American Frankenstein: A History of the Constitutional Corporate Person in the Nineteenth Century.” In addition to constitutional legal history, Atkinson’s research also focuses on the role of corporate personhood in tort law. Her article, “Telegraph Torts: The Lost Lineage of the Public Service Corporation” (Michigan Law Review, 2023), examines the role of popular demands for corporation’s emotional responsibility to the public in the context of the emerging category of the public utility corporation at the turn of the 20th century, highlighting implications for contemporary regulation of social media companies. This article won the Kathryn T. Preyer Award from the American Society for Legal History. Atkinson is the recipient of the Fishel-Calhoun Article Prize from the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, as well as the Graduate Student Paper Competition Prize from the Journal of Law & Social Inquiry for her article, “The Burden of Taking Care: Attractive Nuisance Lawsuits and the Safety First Movement.” Her scholarship has also been published in the Journal of Law & Social Inquiry, the Law and History Review, the Yale Journal of Law & Humanities and the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender. Atkinson received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago, her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School and her B.A. in liberal arts from Sarah Lawrence College.

A headshot photo of Jilene Chua with long brown hair and smiling

Jilene Chua

  • 2023 Rebecca Scott/University of Michigan Fellow
  • Ph.D. Candidate
  • Johns Hopkins University

Jilene's Bio

Jilene Chua is completing her Ph.D. in history at Johns Hopkins University. This fall, she will be an assistant professor of history at Boston University. She specializes in histories of race, migration, gender and sexuality in the U.S. and Southeast Asia. Her current project investigates how Chinese migrants troubled U.S. law and empire in the Philippines in the first half of the 20th century. It conceptualizes the Philippines as a place with persistent Southeast Asian networks amidst U.S. imperial attempts to regulate these intimacies. Chua’s research has benefited from time she spent re-learning Tagalog at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute and from being a visiting researcher at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies in Kyoto University (Japan) and the Ateneo de Manila University (Philippines). Her project has also been supported by the Fulbright Program, the American Society for Legal History and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

A headshot photo in black and white of Saumyashree Ghosh smiling at the camera with short cut dark hair and wearing thick frame glasses and earrings

Saumyashree Ghosh

  • 2023 Morton Horwitz Fellow
  • Advanced Ph.D. Candidate
  • Princeton University

Saumyashree's Bio

Saumyashree Ghosh is an advanced doctoral candidate in history at Princeton University. She is a historian of the early modern and modern worlds and is scheduled to defend her submitted Ph.D. this year. Her research focuses on the myriad interactions of law with political theory and political economy in South Asia and the Indian Ocean worlds. Titled “Beyond Sovereignty,” her dissertation is an exercise in comparative legal history and studies the longue-durée experience of Muslims under non-Muslim rule in India’s southern littoral. It rethinks Muslim political power and argues for an untold history of jural colonization and modernity in the Muslim world. Her work has been supported by the American Historical Association, the American Society for Legal History, multiple centers at Princeton University and the American Institute of Indian Studies. Trained as a historian in India where she was raised, she also holds an M.Phil. degree in the social sciences. Alongside the dissertation, she is working on two parallel projects: one on mercantile insurance in the informal economy of the “bazaar” in South Asia and another on the arbitration of slave-trading vessels in the Indian Ocean. Beginning in Fall 2023, she will hold a postdoctoral position at Yale Law School. In another life, she completed a J.D. and pursued her preferred career in law. 

A headshot photo of Linda Kinstler with long blonde hair and standing with arms crossed while wearing a denim shirt

Linda Kinstler

  • 2023 Charles McCurdy/UVA Fellow
  • Charlotte W. Newcombe Fellow
  • Ph.D. Candidate
  • U.C. Berkeley

Linda's Bio

Linda Kinstler is a Ph.D. candidate in the Rhetoric Department at University of California, Berkeley and a Charlotte W. Newcombe Fellow. Her dissertation, “The Afterlives of Oblivion,” is a legal genealogy of oblivion in international jurisprudence. Her scholarly writing appears in Law, Culture, and the Humanities, nonsite, and Space & Culture. Her first book, “Come to This Court and Cry” (Bloomsbury/Public Affairs, 2022), won a 2023 Whiting Award in Nonfiction and was shortlisted for the Wingate Prize. She is deputy editor of The Dial and a contributing writer at Jewish Currents and The Economist. Her writing also appears in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian and elsewhere. She holds an M.Phil. in European literatures from the University of Cambridge and an M.A. in research architecture from Goldsmiths, University of London, where she studied as a Marshall Scholar.

A headshot photo of David Korostyshevsky, who is bald with a thin beard, smiling, and wearing thick black frame glasses and a blue sweater with a zipper

David Korostyshevsky

  • 2023 Lawrence Friedman/Stanford Law School Fellowship
  • Department of History Instructor
  • Colorado State University

David's Bio

David Korostyshevsky is an interdisciplinary historian studying addiction, gender and the family at the nexus of medicine and law. His research interests also include life insurance medicine and the formation of enduring disparities in modern healthcare systems. Korostyshevsky’s first book project, “The Drunkard’s Discipline: A Medico-Legal History of Compulsive Drinking in the Nineteenth-Century United States,” frames the quest to define, detect and discipline the habitual drunkard as a biopolitical enterprise. The habitual drunkard rendered visible an uncomfortable specter of white masculine failure that threatened women, children and the family when he appeared in civil law contexts such as adult guardianship proceedings, divorce cases and life insurance litigation. Non-criminal courts practiced judicial patriarchy as they operationalized medical knowledge about intoxication to discipline the habitual drunkard and protect his family. Reconstructing the medico-legal formation of habitual drunkenness reveals a pathologization of compulsion that predates “drugs” and “addiction” as problems altogether. Korostyshevsky is an instructor in the Department of History at Colorado State University, where he teaches courses on early U.S. and medical history. He holds a Ph.D. in the history of science, technology and medicine from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Arts in history from the University of New Mexico. He resides in Fort Collins, Colorado, with his partner and two muted tortoiseshell cats.

A headshot photo of Michael McGovern who his standing, smiling, and wearing thin framed glasses and a denim jacket over a buttoned shirt

Michael McGovern

  • 2023 Mary Frances Berry Fellow
  • Ph.D. candidate and Certificate Student
  • Princeton University

Michael's Bio

Michael McGovern is a Ph.D. candidate in history of science and certificate student in African American studies at Princeton University. This summer, he will defend his dissertation, “Justice in Numbers: Statistics and the Transformation of Civil Rights in Modern America.” McGovern’s project considers the changing nature of statistical evidence of discrimination in the U.S. courtroom by following collaborations between quantitative social scientists and civil rights organizations like the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He argues that debates over the limitations of statistics shored up commitments to colorblind justice and legitimated the structural inequality targeted by progressive lawyers. By providing a historical account of the opportunities and hazards of quantitative frameworks for racial justice, McGovern hopes to better inform discussions about discrimination in an era of big data and machine learning. His work has been supported by the Princeton Mellon Initiative, Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs, the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation and the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine. Before coming to Princeton, McGovern received a B.A. from the University of Chicago and an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge in the history and philosophy of science. He spent time working as a software developer for a large Midwest industrial supplier and has hosted podcasts for the New Books Network. McGovern lives in Sunnyside, Queens. Starting in August 2023, he will be a resident fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project.

A picture of Yukako Otori with medium length dark hair, sitting while holding a small child

Yukako Otori

  • 2023 Harry Scheiber Fellow
  • Lecturer and Chair of North American Studies
  • Tokyo University of Foreign Studies

Yukako's Bio

Yukako Otori is a historian specializing in the study of children and childhood. She is now writing an academic monograph, tentatively titled “Disposable Childhood: Child Migrants at the U.S. Border, 1890s-1920s.” Based on her dissertation, this book project traces the development of legal and administrative rules governing the immigration status of foreign-born children at the U.S. border. She aims to unpack how the U.S. government created what she calls the guardianship principle to exclude children arriving unattended, diseased, disabled and in other disquieting circumstances during the Progressive Era. Yukako is a lecturer and chair of North American studies at the School of International and Area Studies at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Previously, she received a B.A. and M.A. in American studies from the University of Tokyo and a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. Her research has been supported by the Fulbright Program, American Historical Association, Immigration and Ethnic History Society, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Smith College, University of Chicago Library, Honjo International Scholarship Foundation, Konosuke Matsushita Memorial Foundation and Harvard University. Yukako enjoys traveling between languages and cultures. Most recently, she published a short essay in Japanese about swaddling and cradle boarding in early America.

A black and white photo of Doris Morgan Rueda who is smiling with short, wavy styled hair and large, round glasses; their right arm is tattooed

Doris Morgan Rueda

  • 2023 Hendrik Hartog/Princeton University Fellow
  • Law and History Fellow
  • Stanford Center for Law and History at Stanford Law School

Doris' Bio

Doris Morgan Rueda is a legal historian who studies the intersection of juvenile justice, the Latinx experience and the American borderlands. She received her doctorates at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2022 and currently is the Law and History Fellow at the Stanford Center for Law and History at Stanford Law School. She has written articles, book chapters and essays that explore juvenile justice, Latinx history, legal history and art. Her current project is a book on the history of 20th-century borderland juvenile justice through the lens of incarcerated youth in the Arizona State Industrial Schools. Her work has been supported by the American Association for University Women, the American Historical Association, the American Society for Legal History, the Western History Association and the Arizona Historical Society. She is a self-trained multimedia artist with work spanning painting, digital editing and photography that has been featured in exhibits and publications.

A headshot photo of Ari Schriber smiling with a short cropped beard and wearing a suit jacket while standing in front of a shelf of books

Ari Schriber

  • 2023 William E. Nelson Fellow
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
  • University of Toronto

Ari's Bio

Ari Schriber is an Arts and Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. His research interests lie at the intersection of 20th-century Islamic legal history and Islamic intellectual history in the Middle East and North Africa. Schriber is particularly interested in investigating the evolution of Islamic legal practice in colonial and post-colonial courts of 20th-century Morocco. Schriber is currently preparing a monograph based on his doctoral thesis, provisionally entitled “The (Un)Making of Modern Shari’a: Judgeship, Proof, and Legislation in Twentieth-Century Moroccan Courts (1912-1965).” Drawing on archival fieldwork in Morocco and France, the book traces a single three-decade dispute involving paternity, land and slavery for which both Moroccan shari’a and French colonial courts claimed jurisdiction. Schriber completed his B.A. at the University of Virginia in religious studies and Middle East studies and his master’s (2013) and Ph.D. (2021) in the Department for Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. Beginning in Fall 2023, Schriber will be a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Religious Studies at Utrecht University (Netherlands).  

A headshot photo of Maham Theisen smiling with long and curly brown hair while wearing a dark jacket over a green top

Maham K Theisen

  • 2023 Reva Siegel/Yale Law School Fellow
  • Fellow at the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies
  • Ph.D. Candidate
  • Brandeis University

Maham's Bio

Maham K. Theisen is a Ph.D. candidate in the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department at Brandeis University and a fellow at the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies. Her dissertation is a legal history of Israel from 1992 to 2013, specifically looking at Israeli Supreme Court cases following the passage of the Basic Law of Human Dignity. This work explores the boundaries between national concerns and individual rights in a democratic nation-state, focusing on the themes of land, family and religion. Her research interests include universalism and inclusivity in nation-state law, courts as political institutions and comparative citizenship. Theisen grew up in Pakistan and Virginia. She received her B.A. from the University of Chicago, where she wrote her thesis in international studies on citizenship law in Bangladesh. She has worked at the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights and the American Bar Foundation. She has previously taught on citizenship and nationalism at Brandeis, and currently teaches about Israeli history and the Arab-Israeli conflict at SUNY Albany. She lives with her husband and cat in Overland Park, Kansas.

A close-up headshot photo of Charlotte Whatley who has long sandy brown hair and is smiling while wearing light framed round glasses with large lenses

Charlotte Whatley

  • 2023 David J. Seipp Fellow
  • Ph.D. Candidate
  • University of Wisconsin–Madison

Charlotte's Bio

Charlotte Whatley is a doctoral candidate in the department of history at University of Wisconsin–Madison and is interested in the performative nature of the law and its relationship to the legality and legitimacy of royal authority. Her dissertation, “Property and Power: Legal Performance in the Reign of Edward III,” examines late medieval English property disputes pertaining to the right of advowson and, through analysis of the litigation strategies used in them, exposes the complex relationship between ritualized aspects of medieval English law and the legal authority of kings. Whatley holds a B.A. with honors in history and a B.A. in classics from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia, and an M.A. in history from the University of Houston. Her research has been supported by UW-Madison’s Institute for Research in the Humanities, the UW Institute for Legal Studies and the Medieval Academy of America. Her most recent work can be found in her chapter, “Excommunication and its Discontents,” in “A Global History of Crime and Punishment in the Middle Ages,” currently in press.

A photo of Michelle McKinley with curly brown hair and wearing a bright colored top while speaking on stage with a microphone nearby

Michelle McKinley

  • Bernard B. Kliks Professor of Law
  • University of Oregon Law School

Michelle's Bio

Michelle McKinley is the Bernard B. Kliks professor of law at the University of Oregon Law School. McKinley has extensively published work on public international law, Latin American legal history and the law of slavery. Her monograph, “Fractional Freedoms: Slavery, Intimacy and Legal Mobilization in Colonial Lima, 1600-1700,” was published by Cambridge University Press’s Studies in Legal History series in 2016. The monograph received the 2017 Judy Ewell prize for best work in women’s history from the Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies, and an honorary mention for the J. Willard Hurst prize for the best work in sociolegal history from the Law and Society Association. Her articles have appeared in the Law and History Review; Slavery & Abolition; Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice; Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power; Yale Journal of Law and Humanities; and Unbound: Harvard Law Journal of the Legal Left, among others. She has been awarded fellowships for her research from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, the John Carter Brown Library and the Newberry Library. She was a Fulbright Fellow in Colombia in 2015 and named a senior fellow in Spain for 2022. She was awarded the Surrency Prize in 2011 for her article, "Fractional Freedoms: Legal Activism & Ecclesiastical Courts in Colonial Lima, 1593-1700."

McKinley’s current project explores the trans-Atlantic itineraries of Afro-Iberians who moved to the Americas in the 16th and 17th centuries. Inspired by the “biographical turn” in Atlantic history and slavery scholarship, “Bound Biographies” recreates the lives of those who shaped the early centuries of Iberian emigration and a Black diaspora at the margins of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The work examines how law facilitated these transactions and movements of people (enslaved, indentured and free), capital and commodities, and renders a more complex and nuanced history of the people inextricably linked by the processes of conquest, slavery and empire.

A photo of Sarah Barringer Gordon smiling with her short dark blonde hair blowing in the wind

Sarah Barringer-Gordon

  • Arlin M. Adams Professor of Constitutional Law
  • University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Sarah's Bio

Sally Gordon is the Arlin M. Adams professor of constitutional law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. Gordon is a legal historian best known for her work on religion in American public life and the law of church and state, especially for the ways that religious liberty developed over the course of American history. She is a frequent media commentator on the constitutional law of religion and debates about religious freedom. 

Gordon was president of the American Society for Legal History from 2017-19 and served as co-editor of “Studies in Legal History,” the society’s book series, from 2011-2022. She also co-convened the 2021 Hurst Institute with Lauren Benton. 

Gordon serves on the boards of the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation, the Omohundro Institute and the California Supreme Court Historical Society. She has received the University of Pennsylvania's Lindback Award for distinguished teaching and the Penn Carey Law’s Robert A. Gorman Award for Teaching Excellence. She is also a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. Gordon has been a Guggenheim Fellow, the Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History at the Library of Congress, and a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University.

Her first book, “The Mormon Question: Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth- Century America'' (UNC Press, 2002), won the Mormon History Association’s and the Utah Historical Society’s best book awards in 2003. Her second book, “The Spirit of the Law: Religious Voices and the Constitution in Modern America” (Harvard, 2010), explored the world of church and state in the 20th century. She is currently at work on “Freedom’s Holy Light: Disestablishment in America, 1771-1876,” under contract with the University of North Carolina Press. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of American History, the American Quarterly, the Journal of Southern History, the William and Mary Quarterly, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the New York University Law Review and other scholarly publications. She is also the co-editor of a forthcoming symposium issue of the Journal of the Early Republic, which will feature an article by Gordon on Biddy Mason’s freedom suit and its place in California and American history, as well as “Staying in Place: The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church and Postwar Battles for the Control of Black Church Property,” forthcoming in the Journal of the Civil War Era.

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