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Wallace Johnson Program for First Book Authors

June 30, 2019

The Wallace Johnson Program for First Book Authors, sponsored by the American Society for Legal History (ASLH), is designed to provide advice and support to scholars working toward the publication of first books in legal history, broadly defined. In conversation with peers and with the advice of senior scholars, participants will learn about approaching and working with publishers, and will develop and revise a book proposal and one to two sample chapters.

Applications for Johnson Fellows are invited from early career, pre-tenure scholars, publishing in English, who have completed PhDs or JDs and are working on first books in legal history. The deadline for applications is June 30, 2019.

Scholars with expertise in all chronological periods and geographical fields are encouraged to apply, as are scholars who may not (yet) identify as legal historians.

The program includes the following elements:

  • Fall 2019 (Nov. 21, 2019): one-day, pre-conference workshop at the ASLH Annual Meeting (Boston, MA), introduction to book publishing and proposal writing;
  • Spring 2020 (date TBD): remote meeting, feedback from program leader and peers on draft book proposal;
  • Summer 2020 (last week of July): two-day workshop on draft chapters, University of Pennsylvania Law School; and
  • Fall 2020 (November 11-14, 2020): Wallace Johnson Fellows Roundtable at the ASLH Annual Meeting (Chicago, IL).

The 2019-20 Johnson Program will be led by Professor Reuel Schiller, with the participation of other senior legal historians. Participants must commit to participation in all elements of the program.

Up to 5 Fellows will be selected. Each will receive substantial funding for travel and accommodation related to the program, with a small supplement to participants who have no institutional support for travel and research.

The application deadline is June 30, 2019. Applicants should submit items 1-3 as a single .pdf document, Times New Roman, 12 point font, with your full name in a header on each page:

1. Applicant Information Sheet (in lieu of cover letter):

    • Personal Information: first name; last name; current mailing address; phone; email address; current institution; current position; institutional affiliation for 2020-2021;
    • Education: month and year of graduate degree, institution, and field: Ph.D.; J. D.; Other
    • Funding: We are committed to enabling fellows from a range of institutional positions to participate in the program. Your answer here will have no effect on your candidacy, but will enable us to provide small supplements to participants without institutional support. If selected for the Wallace Johnson program, would you have access to university or other institutional funds to help cover the costs of attending the program? Yes, No, Don’t Know. Comments or relevant details.

2. Project Description (single spaced; not exceeding 1,000 words) organized with the following sections and addressing these questions. We are looking for candid self-reflection. You should think of this document as the first step in the revision, rethinking process.

    • Author Bio: Tell us about yourself, including your position and commitments for the fellowship year (remember, we’ll have your cv);
    • Dissertation: What was your dissertation about? What was its argument? What was its arc? What were its original contributions?
    • Book: What changes are you imagining for the book in terms of conceptualization, structure, narrative, or arc? Are you planning additional research and/or new chapters? How are you imagining the book’s audience?

3. Abridged Curriculum Vitae (limited to 2 pages);

4. Two letters of recommendation submitted separately. Please ask two scholars who know your work well to write a letter of recommendation. We recommend that at least one letter come from a faculty member who was a major advisor of the dissertation. Letters should be sent by email directly to Barbara Welke ([email protected]) and received no later than June 30, 2019.

All materials should be submitted to Barbara Welke ([email protected]), Chair, University of Minnesota by June 30, 2019.