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Professor Kristin Kalsem : Harold C. Schott Scholarship Award Lecturer


Professor Kristin Kalsem is the recipient of the 2012 Harold C. Schott Scholarship Award, which recognizes outstanding research and scholarly achievement by a member of the faculty of the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

Professor Kalsem received her J.D. with Honors from the University of Chicago Law School in 1987 and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa in 2001, where she also served as a member of their English Department and a lecturer at their law school. Professor Kalsem has been an influential scholar in women and the law since joining our faculty in 2001. She also serves as co-director of the College’s Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice and a co-director of the joint degree program in law and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.

In her 2012 book, In Contempt: Nineteenth-Century Women, Law, and Literature (Ohio State University Press), Professor Kalsem brings together law, literature, and feminism to illuminate how 19th century women writers advocated legal issues in their literary works and lives as authors. The book is an important interdisciplinary accomplishment befitting the recognition of the Schott Award. In the book, Professor Kalsem reveals and details a wealth of suppressed evidence of 19th century women’s feminist jurisprudence (“outlaw texts,” as she identifies them), casting new light on history and introducing useful new ways to see the performance of feminist jurisprudence in law and literature. Christine Krueger, professor of English at Marquette University, is among those who have praised the book, noting that “Kristin Kalsem’s In Contempt makes a significant contribution to scholarship on the history of feminist jurisprudence. She covers thorny legal issues including married women’s property, infanticide, and lunacy law, as well as birth control, imperialism, and women’s admission to the bar. In her afterword she urges scholars to engage the ‘new evidence’ she has brought to light—and I have no doubt that this evidence will be welcomed enthusiastically.”

She is a teacher and scholar who is firmly dedicated to bridging theory and practice. That determination is fully evident in In Contempt– as it is, too, in her articleSocial Justice Feminism, 18 UCLA Women’s Law Journal 131 (2010) (with Professor Verna L. Williams), which inspired a conference last fall that brought scholars and activists

Professor Kalsem will deliver a public lecture on her scholarship here at the College of Law during the Fall 2013 semester. Until then, please join me in warmly congratulating Professor Kristin Kalsem for this well-deserved recognition.