Max Planck Summer Academy for Legal History 2019: Law in Texts and Contexts

Stefanie Rüther's picture
Summer Program
January 31, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Law and Legal History, Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Research and Methodology


5 August – 16 August 2019


Applications are to be submitted by 31 January 2019.


The course

The Max Planck Summer Academy for Legal History provides a selected group of highly motivated early-stage graduate students, usually PhD candidates, with an in-depth introduction to basic approaches and methods in legal history. The academy consists of two parts. The first part provides an introduction to the study of sources, methodological principles, as well as theoretical models and controversial research debates on basic research fields of legal history. In the second part, the participants discuss the special research theme and develop their own approach to the topic.

The course will take place at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


This year’s theme : Law in Texts and Contexts

Written texts represent the largest part of the sources of legal history. Obviously, they cannot be understood without their respective historical contexts. In recent decades, however, there has been a growing awareness that they must also be read with specific attention to their mediality and their interrelation with visual and oral sources, as well as objects and artefacts. Historians, but also legal theorists, are reflecting more intensively about textuality and normativity, and digital humanities seem to hold great opportunities for legal historical research. What do these developments mean for legal historical research, and its specific task?

Applicants to the 2019 Summer Academy are encouraged to present research projects that give special consideration to the connection between normativity and textuality.


Eligibility Requirements

Early-stage graduates, usually PhD candidates. Working knowledge of English is required, German is not a prerequisite


Applications have to be supported by a CV, a project summary (approx. 10 pages) and a letter of motivation.


There is no participation fee. Accommodation will be provided by the organisers. Participants, however, will be responsible for covering their

travel expenses. There will be a limited number of scholarships available.



Contact Info: 

Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt a. Main

Research Coordinator

Dr. Stefanie Rüther

Contact Email: