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Amalia Kessler

Amalia Kessler

Jean-Paul Gimon Director, France-Stanford Center for Interdisciplinary Studies
Lewis Talbot and Nadine Hearn Shelton Professor of International Legal Studies and Professor (by courtesy) of History


A scholar whose research focuses on the evolution of commercial law and civil procedure, Amalia D. Kessler (MA ’96, PhD ’01) seeks to explore the roots of modern market culture and present-day process norms. In 2007–08, she received a Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies, supporting research on her current book project concerning the 19th-century origins of American adversarial legal culture. In 2008, her book, A Revolution in Commerce: The Parisian Merchant Court and the Rise of Commercial Society in Eighteenth-Century France (Yale University Press, 2007), was awarded the American Historical Association’s J. Russell Major Prize for the best book in English on any aspect of French history.

In 2011, she received the Hessel Yntema Prize from the American Society of Comparative Law for the “most outstanding” article by a scholar under 40 appearing in the previous year’s volume of the American Journal of Comparative Law. And in 2005, she received the Surrency Prize from the American Society for Legal History for the best article in the previous year’s volume of the Law and History Review.

Professor Kessler has been a visiting professor at both the Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) and the École des hautes études en sciences sociales. She has an appointment (by courtesy) with the Stanford University Department of History and is the Jean-Paul Gimon Director for the France-Stanford Center of Interdisciplinary Studies. Before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 2003, Professor Kessler was a trial attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and clerked for Judge Pierre N. Leval of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.