Julia Rudolph, Professor of History at North Carolina State University, is a scholar specializing in the history of early modern Europe, with a particular focus on legal history and gender history in 18th-century Britain and its empire. She received her B.A. in Classics and Renaissance Studies from Brown University and Ph.D. in History from Columbia University.
Rudolph is the author of numerous books and articles on the history of political thought and jurisprudence, legal publishing, jurisdiction and political economy. She is the author of two prizewinning articles on gender and evidence law. Other awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, postdoctoral fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Golieb Fellowship in Legal History at New York University School of Law. Prior to joining the history department at North Carolina State University, Rudolph was on the faculty at Bucknell University and the University of Pennsylvania.
Professor Rudolph is committed to interdisciplinary scholarship, drawing history together with law, economics, gender studies, bibliography and media studies, and colonial studies. She has long pursued research and teaching opportunities in the histories of women and gender, and has become increasingly engaged with historical questions regarding race, the history of slavery, and the history of capitalism. Her current book project, The Search for Security: Mortgage, Fairness and Fraud in the British Empire, focuses on the history of mortgage lending in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This study investigates the evolution of mortgage law, its wide impact on commercial and agricultural investment, and its influence in other areas of law such as women’s property rights, enslavement and inheritance. Rudolph not only examines how secured lending became essential to the amassing of wealth across the British Empire, but also how foundational ideas about predatory lending, fraud, risk and unconscionable contracts developed at the same time that mortgage became a powerful engine of empire, capital and law.