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Mary L. Dudziak

Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law

Areas of Expertise

Civil Rights History, Constitutional Law, Constitutional and Legal History, Law and War, Diplomatic History, Foreign Relations Law, Legal History


Constitutional Law, Equality at Emory, Foreign Relations Law, Going to War, War and Security Colloquium


Mary L. Dudziak is a leading scholar of legal history and the United States and the World. She works at the intersection of US domestic law and international affairs. She is currently writing about war and political accountability in American history. Her earlier scholarship examined the intersection of race, civil rights, and US foreign affairs during the Cold War, and topics in twentieth century US legal history. Dudziak' s courses include Foreign Relations Law, Constitutional Law, 20th Century US Constitutional History, Going to War (a history and political science course), and a seminar and colloquium on War and Security in Law, Culture, and Society. 

Dudziak is the author of War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences (Oxford University Press, 2012); Exporting American Dreams: Thurgood Marshall's African Journey (Oxford University Press, 2008); Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2000) (2nd ed. 2011); editor of September 11 in History: A Watershed Moment? (Duke University Press, 2003); and co-editor (with Leti Volpp) of Legal Borderlands: Law and the Construction of American Borders, a special issue of American Quarterly (September 2005), reissued by Johns Hopkins University Press in March 2006. Her next book, Going to War: An American History, is under contract with Oxford University Press. Other works on civil rights history and 20th-century constitutional history have appeared in numerous law reviews and other journals. She has published essays in Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, Washington Post, and other periodicals. She founded the Legal History Blog, and contributes to Balkinization.

Prior to joining Emory Law in 2012, Dudziak was the Judge Edward J. and Ruey L. Guirado Professor of Law, History and Political Science at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law; she also held joint appointments in USC's departments of history and political science. Before moving to USC Law, she was a professor of law and history at the University of Iowa, and a law clerk for Judge Sam J. Ervin, III, of the Fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals. Prof. Dudziak served as the John Hope Franklin Visiting Professor of American Legal History at Duke Law School and as the William Nelson Cromwell Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. She has also been a Distinguished Visitor at the University of Maryland School of Law.

Professor Dudziak was elected 2017 President of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR), and served as Vice President in 2016. She was named an Honorary Fellow of the American Society for Legal History (ASLH) in 2017, the highest honor conferred by the Society. In fall 2015, Dudziak was the Kluge Chair in American Law and Governance at the Library of Congress. She has been a member of the School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and has been awarded fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, the American Council of Learned Societies, and other institutions. She has served on boards of SHAFR, the ASLH, the Law and Society Association, and on boards of the journals American Quarterly and Diplomatic History. She has been an elected member of the Nominating Committee of ASLH and the American Studies Association. She is a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. She serves on the Historical Advisory Committee, US Department of State. She is an inaugural Nonresidential Fellow of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Education: JD, MA, MPhil and PhD, Yale University; AB, University of California, Berkeley

Photo by: Catrina Maxwell, CatMax Photography