Julia Rudolph

Adjunct Professor of Legal History


Julia Rudolph is a scholar specializing in the cultural and intellectual history of early modern Britain and Europe, with a particular focus on legal history and gender history in 17th and 18th-century England and Ireland.

She received her B.A. from Brown University and Ph.D. from Columbia University. Research grants awarded include a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship at the Folger Shakespeare Library, a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities at the Penn Humanities Forum, and a Goleib Fellowship in Legal History at New York University School of Law. Rudolph was on the faculty at Bucknell University and the University of Pennsylvania before joining the history department at North Carolina State University in 2011.

Rudolph is the author of Revolution by Degrees: James Tyrrell and Whig Political Thought in the Late Seventeenth Century (Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2002), and of various articles on gender, crime, and the history of the book in early modern England; one of these articles, “Gender and the development of forensic science: a case study” (English Historical Review, 2008), was awarded the North American Conference on British Studies’ 2009 Prize for the best article in any field of British Studies. She has also edited a collection of theoretical and interdisciplinary essays entitled History and Nation (Bucknell University Press, 2006).

Her latest book, Common Law and Enlightenment in England 1689-1750 (Boydell & Brewer Press, 2013), makes an important contribution to historical scholarship on Anglo-American jurisprudence. Drawing on 18th-century works of jurisprudence, legal histories, manuals of law, and notebooks of legal practice, and looking in detail at four pivotal, widely-discussed cases, the book illuminates the ways in which common law custom and tradition continued to be valued foundations for the authority of law, even during a period of political change, commercial growth and philosophical rationalism. She is currently at work on two new projects: one on the history of English mortgage law, the other on the history of judicial power in early modern Ireland.