Professor Karl Shoemaker has been selected by the College of Letters & Science as the recipient of the Robert F. and Sylvia T. Wagner Distinguished Faculty Award. Professor Shoemaker has received this award in recognition of his scholarship on medieval history and for support of his current and planned research for the next 5 years. His current project is a legal history of the devil.
“I am currently working on a legal history of the devil. Long before Faust or The Devil and Daniel Webster, medieval jurists were fascinated by the question of whether the devil had legal rights. Was the devil owed due process? Must the enemy of humankind be afforded justice, or could he be defeated by mere divine force? These questions were discussed in law schools in the Middle Ages and they were written about in medieval legal treatises. These questions also go to the heart of timeless issues that ground the relationship of law to power in the modern world. My book will explore the development of this “satanic jurisprudence” within medieval legal history, as well as its connection to fundamental contemporary questions concerning due process, individual rights, and the rule of law.”
Professor Shoemaker has also been invited to give the keynote lecture at the Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities Conference in Toronto, Canada. This conference will take place June 22-23, 2023, at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.