Mary L. Dudziak

Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law
and Director of the Project on War and Security
in Law, Culture and Society

Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Expertise:
Constitutional Law, Constitutional and Legal History, Law and War, Civil Rights History, Diplomatic History, Foreign Relations Law


Mary L. Dudziak is a legal historian whose research focuses on the impact of war on American democracy and on the relationship between international affairs and American legal history. She has written extensively about the impact of foreign affairs on civil rights policy during the Cold War and other topics in 20th-century U.S. legal history. Professor Dudziak’ s courses include Constitutional Law, Foreign Relations Law, 20th Century U.S. Constitutional History, and Law and War in 20th Century America. She is Director of the Project on War and Security in Law, Culture and Society, which will launch a colloquium at Emory in Spring 2013 on interdisciplinary approaches to the study of law, war and security.

Professor Dudziak is the author of War·Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences (Oxford University Press, 2012); ; Exporting American Dreams: Thurgood Marshall's African Journey (Oxford University Press, 2008); Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2000) (2nd ed. 2011); editor of September 11 in History: A Watershed Moment? (Duke University Press, 2003); and co-editor (with Leti Volpp) of Legal Borderlands: Law and the Construction of American Borders, a special issue of American Quarterly (September 2005), reissued by Johns Hopkins University Press in March 2006. Her next book is How War Made America: A 20th Century History, under contract with Oxford University Press. Other works on civil rights history and 20th-century constitutional history have appeared in numerous law reviews and other journals. She founded the Legal History Blog and contributes to Balkinization.

Prior to joining Emory Law in 2012, she was the Judge Edward J. and Ruey L. Guirado Professor of Law, History and Political Science at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law; she also held joint appointments in USC’s departments of history and political science. Prior to joining USC Law, she was a law clerk for Judge Sam J. Ervin, III, of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and a professor of law and history at the University of Iowa. Prof. Dudziak served as the John Hope Franklin Visiting Professor of American Legal History at Duke Law School and as the William Nelson Cromwell Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. She has also been a Distinguished Visitor at the University of Maryland School of Law.

Professor Dudziak has served on boards of the American Society for Legal History, the Law and Society Association, and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and is a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies, and has been a member of the School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

Education: AB, University of California, Berkeley; JD, MA, MPhil and PhD, Yale University.


Mary L. Dudziak

Selected Publications

On war

WAR TIME: AN IDEA. IT'S HISTORY, IT'S CONSEQUENCES (Oxford University Press, 2012)

"Law, War, and the History of Time," 98 California Law Review 1669 (2010).

"Making Law, Making War, Making America," in Christopher Tomlins and Michael Grossberg, eds., The Cambridge History of Law in America (Cambridge University Press,forthcoming 2008).

On Civil Rights and Foreign Affairs


The Case of ‘Death for a Dollar-Ninety-Five’: Miscarriages of Justice and Constructions of American Identity," in Charles Ogletree and Austin Sarat, eds., Making Sense of Miscarriages of Justice (New York University Press, 2010).

"The 1963 March on Washington, At Home and Abroad," Revue Franaise d'tudes Americaines (special issue on Foreign Policy and Civil Society)(March 2006).

Discrimination and Diplomacy: Recovering the Fuller National Stake in 1960s Civil Rights Reform," in Rights and Realities: Legal and Social Scientific Approaches to Employment Discrimination (Laura Beth Nielsen and Robert Nelson, eds.) (Kluwer Academic Publishing, 2005). 

"Brown as a Cold War Case," 91 Journal of American History 32 (June 2004).

"Birmingham, Addis Ababa and the Image of America: International Influence on U.S. Civil Rights Policy during the Kennedy Years," in Brenda Gayle Plummer, ed., Window on Freedom: Race, Civil Rights and Foreign Affairs, 1945-1988 (University of North Carolina Press, 2003).

"The Little Rock Crisis and Foreign Affairs: Race, Resistance and the Image of American Democracy," 70 Southern California Law Review 1641 (1997).

"Josephine Baker, Racial Protest and the Cold War," 81 Journal of American History 543 (1994), reprinted in Michael L. Krenn, ed., The African American Voice in U.S. Foreign Policy since World War II (Garland Press, 1998), and Adrien K. Wing, ed., Critical Race Feminism: Global Issues (New York University Press, 2000).

"Desegregation as a Cold War Imperative," 41 Stanford Law Review 61 (1988), reprinted in Richard Delgado, ed., Critical Race Theory: The Cutting Edge (1995) and Michael L. Krenn, ed., Race and U.S. Foreign Policy during the Cold War (Garland Press, 1998).

On Thurgood Marshall


Thurgood Marshall’s Bill of Rights for Kenya,” 11 Green Bag 2d 307 (Spring 2008).

"Working Toward Democracy: Thurgood Marshall and the Constitution of Kenya," 56 Duke Law Journal 721 (December, 2006). 

"A Bill of Rights for Kenya:  Marshall's Role," in Justice for All: The Legacy of Thurgood Marshall (U.S. State Department on-line publication).

Other works in Civil Rights History

"Law and Social Context in Civil Rights History," Review essay, Michael J. Klarman, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality (Oxford University Press, 2004), 72 Chicago Law Review 429 (Winter 2005).

"The Supreme Court and Racial Equality During World War II," 1996 Journal of Supreme Court History 35.

"The Limits of Good Faith: Desegregation in Topeka, Kansas, 1950-1956," 5 Law and History Review 351 (1987), reprinted in Rita G. Napier, ed., Kansas and the West: New Perspectives (University Press of Kansas, 2003).


Other works in Legal History

SEPTEMBER 11 IN HISTORY: A WATERSHED MOMENT? (Duke University Press, 2003)


A Sword and a Shield: The Uses of Law in the Bush Administration,” in The Presidency of George W. Bush: A First Historical Assessment, Julian Zelizer, ed. (Princeton University Press, 2010).

"Who Cares about Courts? Creating a Constituency for Judicial Independence in Africa: A Review of Jennifer Widner, Building the Rule of Law: Francis Nyalali and the Road to Judicial Independence in Africa (2001)," 101 Michigan Law Review 1622 (2003) (review essay).

"The Politics of ‘The Least Dangerous Branch’: The Court, the Constitution and Constitutional Politics Since 1945," in Jean-Christophe Agnew and Roy Rosenzweig, eds., A Companion to Post-1945 America (Blackwell Press, 2002).

"Just Say No: Birth Control in the Connecticut Supreme Court Before Griswold v. Connecticut," in P. Finkelman and S. Gottlieb, eds., Toward a Usable Past: Liberty Under State Constitutions (Georgia University Press 1991), reprinted 75 Iowa Law Review 915 (1990).

"Oliver Wendell Holmes as a Eugenic Reformer: Rhetoric in the Writing of Constitutional Law," 71 Iowa Law Review 833 (1986).

On Archival Research

"On Using U.S. Diplomatic Records for Research on African Constitutions: A Guide to the Archives," Newsletter of the Africa Section of the Association of American Law Schools (2002).

Other Works

"Interchange: History in Professional Schools," Journal of American History (September 2005)(roundtable conversation on the nature of historical research and teaching in professional schools).

Selected Op-eds and Short Essays

The Global Impact of Brown v. Board of Education: Use of the ruling in Cold War foreign relations,” SCOTUS Blog, Feb. 18, 2010.

What a Constitutional Crisis Looks Like (Balkinization, January 8, 2008)
Hurricane Damage (Boston Globe, Sept. 2005)

Finding the Words,” USC Faculty Footnotes (2004).

The demise -- and possible revival -- of Roe vs. Wade (San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 2004)
The Supreme Court's History of Indifference to the Opinions of Other Countries' Courts (History News Network, Sept. 2003)
LOOKING INSIDE: Even Two Years Later, Memories Are Changing (Newsday, Sept. 2003)
The Duty of the Living (USC Law, 2002)

"America the Beautiful" (San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 14, 2001)  Allen Iverson and Urban Community (Los Angeles Times, June 9, 2001)


Mary L. Dudziak

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