A brief Q&A discussing my current research project and related issues.
Just out in Law and Literature: “‘No Body to be Kicked’? Monopoly, Financial Crisis, and Popular Revolt in 18th-Century Haiti and America.”
Here’s the abstract:
“Contemporary law and legal theory are resigned to the view that the corporation is a mere nexus of contracts, a legal person lacking both body and soul. This essay explores that commitment to the immateriality of the corporation through a discussion of the 18th-century revolt against the Indies Company in Saint-Domingue (Haiti) and British North America. Opponents of the joint-stock monopoly in these Atlantic settings believed, like critics of transnational corporate power today, that the company form represented a merger of wealth and power operating to subvert the liberties of disenfranchised outsiders. Financial crisis served to destabilize the fiscal and political environment that insulated the Indies Company from its critics, who took advantage of these openings by attacking the material embodiments of the corporation in the name of “free trade.” The 18th-century opposition to monopoly privilege suggests that corporate personality was neither dismissed as fiction nor accepted as reality, and that in some circumstances, at least, the corporate body could indeed be held to account for the sins of a person without conscience.”
My review of Ronald Johnson’s excellent and important book Diplomacy in Black and White: John Adams, Toussaint Louverture, and Their Atlantic World Alliance (University of Georgia Press, 2014), for The Journal of Southern History, vol. LXXXI, no. 2, May 2015, pp. 448-450.
Just published in the Southern California Law Review, my essay on empire, immigration, Islam, and the legalization of gay marriage in France and the United States. The full cite is 88 S. Cal. L. Rev. 511 (2015).
Here is a recent interview with “Faculti” on my book The Old Regime and the Haitian Revolution:
About to come out in volume 12 of First Amendment Law Review, my essay on “Religious Liberty and the Financial War on Terror.” You can find a “draft” typeset version here; for the official and final published version please see FALR. N.b.: the article deals with some highly controversial cases involving Muslim charities in the post-9/11 era. Please read before drawing conclusions.