Marianne Constable, Professor

Closed (1) Chicago husband killing and the new unwritten law

Applications for fall 2021 are now closed for this project.

Chicago Husband-Killing and the New Unwritten Law is a book-length manuscript concerned with a particular defense known as the new unwritten law, which supposedly exonerated women accused of killing their husbands in Chicago at the beginning of the twentieth century. The point of the book is to explore the rhetoric of law and the rhetoric of history. Given that law and history privilege writings as evidence and as sources of authority, how can one write a history of unwritten law?

Most of the research and writing is done, but I would like the two apprentices to:

1) read and comment on drafts of the project, from the Prologue on, in order, with attentiveness to style and tone as well as substance and argument, for comprehension -- then meet w/ me and the other undergrad apprentice for discussion and comments;

2) help me fill some holes regarding particular cases or their contexts, largely having to do with Chicago history, women's rights, women's cases, Prohibition, from newspapers and secondary sources. Some are available as Berkeley online materials, but others require interlibrary use and access.

3) put some data in visual form (graphs or figures). Some tabulation and re-organization is needed which builds on the work of past research apprentices.




Specific role:
- meet w/ me regularly (at set time) every 2 weeks
- read, comment, on drafts
- bibliographic searches, formatting, summary memos
- some quantitative material turned into visuals


Qualifications: Junior or senior; Good writing, reading, editing, thinking; Interest in rhetoric, law, philosophy, history; Familiarity with UCB libraries and searching far beyond in govt docs and newspapers; Experience with (or willingness to learn) about making Sankey diagrams. Able to both grasp big picture and focus on details of a text; work independently yet ask for help when stymied; meet with me in my office at regular meeting time that we will establish. In your application, please describe how you are qualified and which aspects of the project you are most interested and prepared for, rather than simply asserting that you are! Give examples of things you have done or classes you have taken that you think can carry over into this work. I do have an apprentice working already in the area of 1920s film and literature, and psychology/trauma -- so if you are more on the history/social science side, that would be a good fit.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: Really depends on Covid situation
Ability to go remote, need library proxy, zoom connection