University of Wisconsin–Madison

Law and Society Postdoctoral Fellows 2008-2014

Laurie Wood (2013-14)

Laurie Wood was named the 2013-14 Law and Society Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Law School.  Dr. Wood completed her Ph.D. in History at the University of Texas at Austin in 2013. She is a historian of the early modern world and her research focuses on law and Francophone history in comparative and global perspectives.

Dr. Wood's dissertation, "Îles de France: Law and Empire in the French Atlantic and Indian Oceans, 1680-1780," examines courts, known as conseils supérieurs, as anchors that connected the far-flung reaches of France's early modern empire in a common legal culture, from Versailles in France to Martinique and Mauritius in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. More broadly, her research interests focus on the question of how humans define themselves at the crossroads of global and local categories and how they act on these understandings of location and context. Her work reframes colonial and metropolitan French histories as a shared past and engages transnational work on legal regimes and comparative imperialism.

Dr. Wood's research has been supported by the Huntington Library in San Marino, the John Carter Brown Library in Providence, the Newberry Library in Chicago, the UCLA William Andrews Clark Memorial Library in Los Angeles, and the University of Texas at Austin.

Ada Kuskowski (2012-13)

Ada-Maria Kuskowski was named the 2012-13 Law and Society Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Law School. In summer 2012, Dr.  Kuskowski completed her Ph.D. at Cornell University, where she specialized in medieval legal history.She also holds Bachelor of Common Law and Bachelor of Civil Law degrees from McGill University Faculty of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University.

Dr. Kuskowski's research focuses on the development of legal literature during the middle ages, notably on the development of the law book, the discourse of customary law, and legal professionalization. Her dissertation, "Writing Custom: Juristic Imagination and the Invention of Customary Law in Thirteenth-Century France," explores the development of a legal literature to describe custom and the constitution of lay jurists into textual communities. While her research lies in European legal history, she is interested in comparative law and law's relationship to other bodies of knowledge.

Dr. Kuskowski was the Samuel I. Golieb Fellow at New York University Law School (2011-12), a visiting scholar in the Quebec Research Centre for Private and Comparative Law at the McGill University Faculty of Law (2010-11), and she held the Theodor Mommsen Fellowship at Cornell University (2009-10). She is a member of the American Legal History Association and the American Historical Association.

Upon completion of the fellowship at Wisconsin, Dr. Kuskowski accepted a position at SMU Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Felicity Turner (2011-12)

Felicity Turner, a former Postdoctoral Fellow at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia, was selected as the 2011-12 Law and Society Fellow.

Dr. Turner completed her dissertation, “Narrating Infanticide: Constructing the Modern Gendered State in Nineteenth-Century America”, at Duke University, from which she graduated in May 2010. In June, 2011, she received Honorable Mention for the Dissertation Prize awarded at the Law and Society Association's annual meeting. Drawing on over two hundred cases of infant death and infanticide from Connecticut, Illinois, and North Carolina, Turner’s dissertation traces how modern ideas about gender and race became embedded in the institutions of law and government between the Revolution and the end of Reconstruction. Her research has been supported by fellowships from the Newberry Library, the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation, and an Albert J. Beveridge Grant from the American Historical Association. Dr. Turner also was selected to participate in the 2011 Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History, a biennial event hosted by the Institute for Legal Studies and cosponsored by the American Society for Legal History.

Dr. Turner’s broader research and teaching interests include the “long” nineteenth century, women’s and gender history, and the history of sexuality. Her next project will employ a range of legal and cultural sources as a means of examining how conceptions of the human body changed over the course of the nineteenth century. After completion of the fellowship, Dr. Turner began a post-doctoral position at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Nancy Buenger (2010-11) 

Nancy Buenger, a 2009 University of Chicago history Ph.D., was selected as the 2010-11 Law and Society Fellow. Dr. Buenger is the recipient of a 2009-10 University of Minnesota Law School Alumni Fund Fellowship in Legal History. In 2009 she was named a Fellow of  the Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History at Wisconsin.  She is currently completing a publication manuscript of “Extraordinary Remedies: The Court of Chancery and Equitable Justice in Chicago” for the University of Chicago Press, by invitation.

Dr. Buenger’s research and teaching explores the religious, colonial, and urban implications of equitable courts in the Americas from the sixteenth through the twentieth century. She was awarded a University of Chicago Von Holst Prize Lectureship for her course Spirituality and Statecraft in the Americas, which she designed and team-taught with a Latin American historian. A former Chicago History Museum conservator, her historical and museum publications include an academic prize-winning digital project on bioethics and human remains research.

Dr. Buenger’s next project focused on equitable US territorial and extraterritorial courts.

Kelly Kennington (2009-10)

Kelly Kennington, who holds a Ph.D. in history from Duke University, was selected as the 2009-10 Law and Society Fellow. Dr. Kennington holds an M.A. in history from Duke (2004) and a B.A. from Tulane University (2002). Her dissertation is entitled, "River of Injustice: St. Louis’s Freedom Suits and the Changing Nature of Legal Slavery in Antebellum America.”

Dr. Kennington has received numerous awards for her work, including the Anne Firor Scott Research Award, the Price Research Fellowship, and the Bass Fellowship at Duke, and has presented several papers, including "'In Contempt and Defiance of the Ordinance': The Nature of Freedom in a Border Community," at the American Society for Legal History. She was a co-organizer of the First Annual North Carolina History Thesis Writers Conference in 2006 and the Duke-UNC Southern Studies Seminar, 2005-06.

Dr. Kennington’s next project examined the complex relationships between slavery and freedom across the Border States. After completion of the fellowship, she joined the faculty of at Auburn University as an assistant professor of history.

Alexei Trochev (2008-09)

Alexei Trochev was selected as the first Law & Society Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Law School. He holds doctorate in political science from the University of Toronto and Masters in Public Administration from the University of Kansas. He has taught federalism at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada, and Russian and comparative constitutional law at Pomor State University Law School in Arkhangelsk, Russia.

Dr. Trochev is the author of "Judging Russia: The Constitutional Court in Russian Politics, 1990-2006" (Cambridge University Press,  2008). In addition to several book chapters on the informal dimensions of Russian judicial politics, his articles on post-Soviet courts have appeared in American Journal of Comparative Law, Law & Society Review, I-CON International Journal of Constitutional Law, and East European Constitutional Review.

Dr. Trochev's next project explored the interplay between political fragmentation and judicial disempowerment in post-communist countries.

Lock Icon