Sara Ludin, 2019-2021 Postdoctoral Fellow, is completing her Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. She is a socio-legal historian of the early modern German-speaking lands, with a special interest in law and religion, secularity and secularism, legal phenomenology and difference, and law and language. Her dissertation, “The Reformation Suits: Litigation as Constitution-Making in a German Imperial Court, 1521-1555” reconsiders the role of civil litigation in the early Reformation in Germany, long regarded as an instance of the instrumentalization of law by “old-faith” authorities against the Protestants. Sara’s research shows how experimental uses of mundane, formulaic legal instruments of Roman law civil procedure fused with the legal culture and legal pluralism of the German lands, such that the litigation context became an unexpected proxy for the most pressing constitutional questions of the early Reformation.
Sara will use her time at the Baldy Center to revise her dissertation into a book manuscript, to complete a journal article based on material from her dissertation, and to begin to develop her next research project.