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Claire Virginia EbyUntil Choice Do Us Part: Marriage Reform in the Progressive Era

University of Chicago Press, 2014

by Lilian Calles-Barger on June 23, 2015

Claire Virginia Eby

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Clare Virginia Eby is a professor of English at the University of Connecticut. In Until Choice Do Us Part: Marriage Reform in the Progressive Era (University of Chicago Press, 2014), Eby examines the origins of how we think of marriage through the theoretical and experimental reform of the institution in the progressive era. Marriage theorist such as Havelock Ellis, Elsie Clews Parson and Charlotte Perkins Gilman took up a critique of the economic for basis of marriage to advocate for a woman's legal autonomy, erotic agency, and right to non-reproductive sexuality. Against a traditional model, they proposed an equalitarian one of mutual consent and affection. Marital reform ideals included breaking the economic dependency of women, rejecting the validation of marriage by church or state, voluntary monogamy, at will divorce, and mutual sexual satisfaction. The redefining personal relationship, as a microcosm of society, was a means to reforming society as a whole, and an educational process carried through a variety of writing reaching a larger reading public. In addition to the theorists, Eby examines the lives and writing of three literary couples who experimented with the new ideal; Upton and Meta Fuller Sinclair, Theodore and Sara White Dreiser, and Neith Boyce and Hutchins Hapgood. Examples of literary works that explored new forms of marriage included Sinclair's Love's Pilgrimage (1911), Theodore Dreiser's The Genius (1915) and Neith Boyce's The Bond (1908). These works took up the themes of open marriages, sexual variety, emotional compatibility, dual careers, and the end of love in divorce. Until Choice Do Us Part provides insight into our contemporary marriage patterns and the tension between love and freedom that remains.

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Mark S. WagnerJews and Islamic Law in Early 20th-Century Yemen

June 20, 2015

During the early twentieth century, Yemeni Jews operated within a legal structure that defined them as dhimmi, that is, non-Muslims living as a protected population under the sovereignty of an Islamic state. In exchange for the payment of a poll tax, the jizya, and the acknowledged of supremacy of Islam, their lives and property were […]

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Nicholas R. ParrilloAgainst the Profit Motive: The Salary Revolution in American Government, 1780-1940

June 2, 2015

In this podcast I discuss Profit Motive: The Salary Revolution in American Government, 1780-1940  (Yale University Press, 2013) with author Nicholas R. Parrillo, professor of law at Yale University. Parrillo's book was winner of the 2014 Law and Society Association James Willard Hurst Book Prize and the 2014 Annual Scholarship Award from the American Bar Association's Section […]

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Marion Holmes KatzWomen in the Mosque: A History of Legal Thought and Social Practice

June 2, 2015

Recently, there have been various debates within the Muslim community over women's mosque attendance. While contemporary questions of modern society structure current conversations, this question, 'may a Muslim woman go to the mosque,' is not a new one. In Women in the Mosque: A History of Legal Thought and Social Practice (Columbia University Press, 2014), […]

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Jon L. MillsPrivacy in the New Media Age

May 25, 2015

That privacy in the digital age is an important concept to be discussed is axiomatic. Cameras in mobile phones make it easy to record events and post them on the web. Consumers post an enormous amount of information on social media sites. And much of this information is made publicly available. A common question, then, […]

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John Bronsteen, Christopher Buccafusco, and Jonathan S. MasurHappiness and the Law

May 12, 2015

In their new book Happiness and the Law (University of Chicago Press 2014), John Bronsteen, Christopher Buccafusco, and Jonathan S. Masur argue through the use of hedonic psychological data that we should consider happiness when determining the best ways to effectuate law. In this podcast Buccafusco, Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Center for Empirical Studies of […]

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Kirt von DaackeFreedom Has a Face: Race, Identity, and Community in Jefferson’s Virginia

April 16, 2015

In this podcast I talk to Kirt von Daacke about his 2012 work, Freedom Has a Face: Race, Identity, and Community in Jefferson's Virginia (University of Virginia Press, 2012). Professor von Daacke is Associate Professor of History and Assistant Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia. In this interview a […]

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Sally Cabot GunningSatucket Trilogy

April 9, 2015

In this podcast I talk with author Sally Cabot Gunning about law in the Satucket Trilogy: The Widow’s War, Bound, and The Rebellion of Jane Clarke (Harper, 2006, 2008, 2010). Gunning is an accomplished writer of mystery novels and historical fiction set in eighteenth-century America. By bringing to life important pieces of America’s legal past, […]

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Leigh Ann WheelerHow Sex Became a Civil Liberty

April 6, 2015

Leigh Ann Wheeler is professor of history at Binghamton University. Her book How Sex Became a Civil Liberty (Oxford University Press, 2013), examines the role of the American Civil Liberties Union in establishing sexual rights as grounded in the U.S. constitution. Wheeler begins in the bohemian New York with the personal biographies of individuals who […]

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James Q. WhitmanThe Verdict of Battle: The Law of Victory and the Making of Modern War

April 3, 2015

In The Verdict of Battle: The Law of Victory and the Making of Modern War (Harvard University Press, 2012),  Yale Law School Professor James Q. Whitman dissects the law behind eighteenth century European land wars. Whitman's impressive attempt to sort out the intellectual path of the laws of war leaves us with a clearer understanding of […]

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