Mark S. Weiner
|Occupation||filmmaker, legal historian|
Mark S. Weiner is an American writer, web-based documentary filmmaker, and legal historian. He retains the position of professor of law at Rutgers University School of Law--Newark, where he teaches constitutional law and legal history, though he turned to a full-time writing career in 2012 and stopped actively teaching at the school. He blogs at his website Worlds of Law.
Weiner received his A.B. from Stanford University, where he graduated with Honors and Distinction and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University, where he was awarded a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship from the United States Department of Education, a Samuel I. Golieb Fellowship in Legal History from New York University School of Law, and a dissertation fellowship from the Whiting Foundation. He received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2001. In 2009 he was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Akureyri, Iceland.
He is the author of three books:The Rule of the Clan: What an Ancient Form of Social Organization Reveals about the Future of Individual Freedom (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2013), Americans without Law: The Racial Boundaries of Citizenship (New York University Press, 2006), and Black Trials: Citizenship from the Beginnings of Slavery to the End of Caste (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004). The Rule of the Clan received the 2015 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. Black Trials was selected a 2005 Silver Gavel Award winner by the American Bar Association for its contribution to the public understanding of law.Americans Without Law was awarded the President's Book Award from the Social Science History Association (see juridical racialism).
Weiner has written numerous articles about a wide variety of topics involving law, culture, and historical consciousness. Topics of his work include the memory of medieval law in modern Iceland, the Argentinean statesman Domingo Sarmiento, kinship and legal identity in Muslim societies, the history of Coca-Cola, and corporate food museums. He has likewise published poems on historical themes in the experimental journal Rethinking History. Other notable publications include "New Biographical Evidence on Somerset's Case," in Slavery & Abolition (2002).
Weiner has produced short documentary videos about legal history and comparative law. His work includes videos about the Napoleonic Code Bedouin law, "Why German Law is Like Music," the use of stone and glass in European Union legal buildings, and judicial bobbleheads.
"Juridical racialism" is a term coined by Weiner in his book Americans Without Law: The Racial Boundaries of Citizenship. Juridical racialism is a civic rhetoric or discourse through which the racial boundaries of civic life are defined based on the perceived capacity of minority groups for specific forms of legal behavior. According to Weiner, "juridical racialism was a civic rhetoric that fused the concepts of race and law into a single idea--in which the two concepts were mutually constitutive--and that drew its principles from prominent contemporary social scientific theories of human variation, especially those associated with the developing field of anthropology."
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