:: HONORS ::
Until recently the fellows of the American Society for Legal History were among its best kept secrets. The names appeared on the back cover of the Law and History Review (which, in most online versions, was not online), and the election of fellows was recorded in tiny type on the website on a page that virtually no one looked at. In 2011 the board made some important changes in an amendment to the by-laws that were approved by the membership without objection in August of that year: Going forward the category of Corresponding Fellows was abolished. In an increasingly globalized world it seemed odd to have one category that was open only to residents of the United States and Canada and another category that was open only to residents of countries other than the United States and Canada. From now on there will be only one category of Honorary Fellows. Existing Corresponding Fellows may remain as such, if they so choose, or they may choose to become Honorary Fellows.
Originally the number of Honorary Fellows and Corresponding Fellows was limited to ten in each category. Since the election is for life, increasing longevity meant that suitable candidates for the honor had to wait until someone died. In a couple of cases rather obvious candidates never made it because they had the misfortune to die young. Expansion of the number to fifteen in each category did not have the desired effect because the Committee on Honors, quite understandably, did not want to tie its hands, and only one could be elected in each category each year. The only limitation in the new category of Honorary Fellows is that no more than three may be elected in any given year. The number of legal historians both in the United States and world-wide has greatly expanded in recent years. The ASLH, for example, now has almost a thousand members. Expansion of the category of those honored for their scholarship and contribution to the field seems to be in order.
This year John Beattie of the University of Toronto (Canada), Linda Kerber of the Univeristiy of Iowa, and Bruce Kercher of Macquarie University, New South Wales (Australia) were elected to the expanded category of Honorary Fellows. They join Philip Girard of Dalhousie University (Canada) and William E. Nelson of New York University who were elected in 2011. The new by-laws call for a recognition of the election, which occurred at the annual meeting, where the Committee’s citations of each of them was read. It also calls for the Society to maintain an ‘honor roll’ of its fellows. This page is the beginning of such a roll. The names of the new Honorary Fellows are linked to the citation that was read at the annual meeting. Although the reasons for the election of those who were elected prior to 2011 (only those who are still living are listed) may seem obvious to many, your webmaster is at work trying to fill in the obvious. All the Corresponding Fellows were given the option of joining the new expanded category of honorary fellows, and all accepted.
Morris S. Arnold
Lawrence M. Friedman
R. H. Helmholz
Morton J. Horwitz
Harold M. Hyman
Stanley N. Katz
John T. Noonan, Jr.
John Phillip Reid
Harry N. Scheiber
W. A. J. Watson
J. H. Baker
Raoul C. Van Caenegem
Hector L. MacQueen
S. F. C. Milsom
Peter G. Stein
Elections 2011 and Subsequent (All Honorary Fellows)
THE CRAIG JOYCE MEDAL
The Society is run entirely by volunteers. We have no paid employees. Each year over a hundred names are listed on the Society’s list of officers, directors, and committee members. Some of these tasks are quite onerous, and the Society could not operate without the willing cooperation of many of its members. A few people contribute their time to the Society over many years in ways that are above and beyond the call of duty, even in an organization whose members have a strong sense of duty. Among such people Craig Joyce stands out. For more years than anyone can remember he has served as chair of the Committee on Conferences and the Annual Meeting. What this means is that he has, at his own expense, wandered around the country looking for appropriate sites for the ASLH annual meeting, negotiating with hotels, and persuading members of the Society in the chosen locale to serve on the Local Arrangements Committee. As if this were not enough, Craig has recently volunteered to chair a new committee on the history of the Society. Your webmaster remembers a conversation with Craig some years ago in which he remarked that it was odd that in a group as literate as the ASLH, whose members professional lives are for the most part dependent on written records, the Society's culture was almost exclusively oral. The only problem was that we did not regularly gather around a fire so that the older members could convey to the younger their accumulated wisdom. The purpose of the new committee is to make sure that the Society has a proper historical record of its more than fifty years of activities.
At its meeting in Atlanta the board voted to create a medal, to be given every two or three years, to acknowledge extraordinary volunteer contributions to the Society. Quite fittingly, they voted to name the medal after Craig Joyce, and, equally fitttingly, they voted to name Craig Joyce its first recipient.
At the meeting in St. Louis the board voted break the every-two-to-three-year cycle and to award the medal to Chris Walrep. The Society honored Chris with this award because of his long and diverse
service to the Society, but most of all for his pivotal role in the founding
and guidance of H-LAW, the list-serv co-sponsored by the ASLH and H-NET
(Humanities and Social Sciences Network Online). Under Chris’s sage and steady leadership, H-LAW has become an indispensable resource for the legal-history community. Unfortunately, Chris was too ill to come to the meeting. Chuck Zelden, the first book-review editor of H-LAW and now its head moderator, accepted the medal for Chris.