August 22, 2012
Harvard Law School Professor Annette Gordon Reed ’84 has been appointed to the Charles Warren Professorship of American Legal History.
Gordon-Reed, a recipient of the National Book Award for Non-Fiction, the Pulitzer Prize in History, a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, The Dorothy And Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers Fellowship, and a National Humanities Medal, is also a Professor of History in Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Gordon-Reed was elected a member of the American Academy of Art and Sciences in 2011.
She currently shares the Warren chair with Professor Morton J. Horwitz, who plans to retire this year. For the academic year 2014-2015, Gordon-Reed will be the Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professor of American History at Queen’s College, University of Oxford.
HLS Dean Martha Minow said: “We are thrilled to recognize Annette Gordon-Reed’s superb scholarship with the chair that recognizes excellence in legal history. Her extensive archival research, meticulous analysis, and ability to imagine the worlds of presidents, slaves, lovers and interracial families have already reshaped our understandings of early American history, and her ongoing work will bring more arresting insights, illuminating American law and history, and inspiring generations of scholars and students.”
“I am deeply honored to be named the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History,” Gordon-Reed said. “It is especially meaningful to me because I will succeed the man who taught me legal history when I was student at HLS, Morton Horwitz, whom I am now privileged to call my colleague.”
Prior to joining the HLS faculty in 2010, Gordon-Reed served as the Wallace Stevens Professor of Law at New York Law School and as the Board of Governors Professor of History at Rutgers University-Newark. She also previously served at HLS as the Charles Warren Visiting Professor of American Legal History in fall 2009.
Gordon-Reed is the author of "Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy" (1997), a book that examines scholarly writing on the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings and was a finalist for the First Annual Library of Virginia Award. She is also the author of The Hemingses of Monticello (2008), which traces the lives of four generations of an enslaved family and has won numerous awards, including the National Book Award for Non-Fiction, the Pulitzer Prize in History, the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic Book Award, the George Washington Book Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, The New York County Lawyers’ Association Law and Literature Award, the New Jersey Council of the Humanities Book Award, the Library of Virginia Literary Award, and the Southern Historical Association Owsley Award.
Gordon-Reed is also the co-author of "Vernon Can Read!: A Memoir" (2001), which was written with Vernon Jordan Jr. and received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. She is the editor of "Race on Trial: Law and Justice in American History" (2002). Her most recent work is "Andrew Johnson. The American Presidents Series: The 17th President, 1865-1869" (2011).
Before entering academia, Gordon-Reed was Counsel to the New York City Board of Correction from 1987 to 1992 where she helped to formulate policies, grievance procedures, and legislation affecting inmates. After graduation from HLS, Gordon-Reed was an associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel in New York.
The Charles Warren Professorship of American Legal History is funded by the Charles Warren American History Fund, which was created in 1965 as a residuary bequest of Mrs. Charles Warren, widow of lawyer Charles Warren HLS 1890-92. The fund, which supports a number of gifts at Harvard University, was established to “stimulate the interest in, promote the study of, and aid constructive scholarship in, the subject of American History.”
A legal scholar and historian, Warren served as Assistant Attorney General under President Woodrow Wilson. He argued or wrote briefs on 39 cases that were heard by the U.S. Supreme Court and was an expert in the areas of governmental neutrality and international law. He also authored the book The Supreme Court in United States History (1922), which won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1923.