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Stover Lecture SeriesĀ 

     The Stover Lecture Series is named for professor of history John F. Stover, who taught at Purdue from 1947 to 1978. Stover was a leading scholar of American history with a specialization in the history of American railroads. After his death in 2007, Stover’s wife Marjorie and children Charry and John established an endowment used for the benefit of a lecture series on issues of significance and relevance to the Department of History. The series presented its inaugural lecture in 2009. 

     In past years, our John F. Stover lecturers have presented talks on Civil War America as depicted in literature and movies, WWII-era France and race relations with U.S. African-Americans, early 20th century Japan Nobel laureates in the U.S., pre- and post- invasion Iraq, Mexican immigration laws of the late 1800’s to the present, and the role of jazz in the liberation of African-Americans and combating prejudice.



"Materials of Legal Meaning: How Textiles Change Our Understanding of Law in the Nineteenth Century United States"
Laura F. Edwards, Class of 1921 Bicentennial Professor in the History of Law and Liberty
Princeton University

March 9th, 2023

Time: 7:30 PM
Krannert Auditorium, Room 140
Photograph of Laura Edwards

     Laura F. Edwards is the Class of 1921 Bicentennial Professor in the History of American Law and Liberty at Princeton University.  She focuses on the legal history of the nineteenth-century United States, with an emphasis on people’s interactions with law and the legal system. 

     Her most recent book, Only the Clothes on Her Back:  Clothing and the Hidden History of Power in the Nineteenth-Century United States, combines material culture and legal history to reconstruct the economic world created by legal principles that allowed even people without rights to make legal claims to clothing, cloth, and related accessories. 

     She is also author of four other books, most recently, A Legal History of the Civil War and Reconstruction: A Nation of Rights (2015) and The People and Their Peace:  Legal Culture and the Transformation of Inequality in the Post-Revolutionary South (2009), which was awarded the American Historical Association’s Littleton-Griswold prize for the best book in law and society and the Southern Historical Association’s Charles Sydnor prize for the best book in southern history. She has received fellowships from the Newberry Library, the National Humanities Center, the NEH, the ACLS, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the American Bar Foundation.