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April 29, 2014

Prof. Michelle McKinley named Princeton Program in Law and Public Affairs fellow

Oregon Law's Michelle McKinley recently was named a fellow with Princeton University's Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA). McKinley's project was one of five to secure a fellowship out of a large pool of applicants. 

The program brings world-class legal experts together to explore the role of law in constituting politics, society, the economy and culture. LAPA participants are engaged in the study of law both in the present and over time, not only in the U.S., but also in countries around the world and across national borders.

LAPA Fellows devote the major portion of their time to their own research and writing on law-related subjects of empirical, interpretive, doctrinal and/or normative significance. In addition, LAPA Fellows are expected to participate in LAPA programs and some fellows may be invited to teach a course in one of Princeton's graduate or undergraduate programs.

Professor McKinley is the Oregon Law Bernard B. Kliks Professor of Law. Her chosen LAPA project reflects her recent professorship lecture on enslaved women in colonial Latin America.

Her project, "Degrees of Freedom: Intimacy, Slavery, and Legal Mobilization in Colonial Latin America" explores the issues with enslaved women acting as legal actors within the landscape of Hispanic urban slavery in reference to women who are socially disfavored, economically active and extremely litigious. McKinley's project takes a look at their freedom suits to portray how enslaved litigants strategically exploited the rhetorical power of liberty through recourse to the law, although their lived realities were decidedly un free and unequal.

McKinley's project reflects her extensively published work on international law, Latin American legal history and the law of slavery. Her articles appear 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, and the Newberry Library. She was awarded the Surrency Prize in 2011 for her article, "Fractional Freedoms: Legal Activism & Ecclesiastical Courts in Colonial Lima, 1593-1700."

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