Partial Transcript: It is July 23rd, 2008 and this is Betsy Draine and I am interviewing David Trubek.
Segment Synopsis: David Trubek (DT) was born in Bergen County, NJ. His father was a small businessman; his mom was a commercial artist. They lived in a small NJ suburb. His father was academically and politically active, supporting civil libertarian efforts against McCarthyism and advocating a more progressive view of business conduct. He befriended Estez Kefauver and eventually became the financial manager for Kefauver's U.S. presidential campaign. DT's father was primarily a financial adviser who used his skills to support progressive sociopolitical movements. DT consequently became more conscious of the relationship between politics and intellectualism, adopting a generally progressive political view.
Keywords: Cold War; Dean of International Studies Emeritus; Estez Kefauver; George Washington Bridge; Joseph McCarthy; Margaret Meade; New Jersey; Robert Hutchins; Voss-Bascom Professor of Law; civil liberties
Partial Transcript: So then you started in at school and you were describing that.
Segment Synopsis: DT attended a private, conservative secondary school that served mainly to prepare students for an Ivy League education. It was excellent instilling the essential skills--writing, studying, reading, etc.--but did not involve much in sociopolitical matters outside its walls.
Several of the students in DT's graduating class chose not to apply to Ivy League schools, which did not reflect well on his prep school's administration. These students--DT among them--were regarded as rebels just for not applying to the Ivy Leagues.
The "rebel group" comprised four people, including DT and a UW colleague of his who eventually entered the performing arts. Another attended Rutgers and became headmaster of a country day school. The other peer attended the same high school as DT; eventually he attended Berkeley and is now a cabinet maker.
DT decided against applying to the Ivy League partly because of a rebellious mentality against the "haut bourgeoisie"--the upper-middle class--that was popular in his class.
Keywords: Bayfield, WI; Bobby Whitman; Colorado; Czesław Miłosz; Exeder; F. Scott Fitzgerald; Harvard University; Inglewood; Ivy League; Lake Superior; Manhattan; New Jersey; New York City; Putney School; Riverdale; Rutgers University; Tacoma, Washington; UC-Berkeley; UW-Madison; Vermont; Wisconsin; Yale University
Partial Transcript: So then you came here simply to take a degree in letters and science.
Segment Synopsis: DT first wanted to major in psychiatry when he began attending UW-Madison; hence he started in a pre-med program in college in the fall of 1953. There were no housing arrangements for out-of-state students; consequently DT found himself living in subprime conditions.
At a Quaker meeting, DT met a man who was looking for tenants to split a place with him. The house was very pretty but had very poor heating and some structural problems. Among DT’s roommates were a shoe salesman, a siding salesman, a physics PhD student, a chemistry PhD student, a senior in meteorology, a senior in journalism and naval science, and a sophomore in the ILS program; this variety provided DT with a diverse intellectual environment. They joined parties at the coops where alcohol was provided by chemistry students. James Jones, who later became a UW law professor, served as a cook for the get-together’s.
Much to his surprise, DT was elected the president of Robin Hood’s Merry Men, a political group that called for the recall of Senator Joe McCarty, during is very first semester at UW. Thus he became very active in student politics. DT’s father was politically attacked by McCarthyism and so hid many of his socialistic literature.
Despite his medical aspirations, DT flunked chemistry. His adviser, James F. Crow, chastised him for it; he took DT under his wing in academics and beyond. Altogether, DT’s exposure to various cultural and intellectual viewpoints, his failure of chemistry, and his participation in ILS persuaded him to look elsewhere in school.
Keywords: Daily Cardinal; Frank Lloyd Wright; Green Lantern Eating Coop; Groves Coop; James Dresser; James E. Jones; James F. Crow; Jim Crow; Joe McCarthy; Joseph McCarthy; Labor Youth League; Louise Trubek; Margaret Meade; Overture Center; Robin Hood's Merry Men; Shorewood; Taliesin; Wisconsin Octopus
Partial Transcript: So did this feel like a failure on your part?
Segment Synopsis: In 1954, DT found himself involved in student journalism (and hence all the more in politics) when the Dean of Students asked if he’d be interested in becoming editor of Humor Magazine. He also founded a literary magazine called The New Idea, which functioned as a supplement to the Daily Cardinal, for which DT wrote regular commentaries. He also served as a student senator representing the student life and interests committee (SLIC).
DT became involved in the Red Scare though journalism. The Labor Youth League was among the organizations found on the Attorney General’s List, a list that included groups suspected of Communist sympathy; specifically, it listed groups believed to be on the “Communist front,” i.e., groups that were under control of the Communist Party of the United States. (The Labor Youth League did turn out to be on the front.) McCarthy did not attack the university directly but rather strategically aimed suspicions at student groups, requiring the university to provide a membership list of student organizations. DT, his wife, and another friend fought and defeated this requirement on anonymous free speech grounds.
Shortly thereafter, the Labor Youth League folded for several reasons. DT wrote an epitaph for the group bidding it a formal farewell. At this time DT was not doing his best academically, partly due to his extensive involvement in student journalism and politics.
Keywords: California; Communism; Communist Party of the United States; Daily Cardinal; Humor Magazine; Inglewood; James F. Crow; Joseph McCarthy; Labor Youth League; Louise Trubek; Oberlin Conservatory; ROTC; The Nation; The New Idea [literary magazine]; The Progressive; UC-Berkeley
Partial Transcript: Let me ask you a little bit about this before we get right into the history department.
Segment Synopsis: DT was influenced by a graduate sociology class that included Tarcott Parsons’ The Social System. He also wrote a senior thesis in the history department despite there being no formal honors program. He wrote his doctoral thesis on how Thomas Jefferson changed his constitutional jurisprudence to be consistent with the Louisiana Purchase. More generally, the impact of sociopolitical ideas on constitutional interpretation became a common theme in his later scholarship. DT also took an advanced history course under Prof. Taylor Wilkins. DT also dabbled in Asian history with his future wife, Louise; they both took a survey course on the topic during a winter semester.
Louise and DT had known each other throughout college but did not become a couple until their senior year. This was important to both of them since it allowed them to establish their own life agendas before committing to a long-term relationship. They had worked on the student senate. They both worked on civil liberties and civil rights issues—Louise focused on racial equality and integration.
DT took a course on Yates. He talked his way into a lot of advanced courses. He served as his own advisor during his years as a history major because the department provided no formal advisors. Indeed, his college education was very formless, giving him a lot of leeway to explore other departments at various levels.
Keywords: Burley Taylor Wilkins; Henry Adams; Talcott Parsons; The Federalist Papers; Thomas Jefferson
Partial Transcript: So then there comes the Army; we gotta do the Army.
Segment Synopsis: When DT was in the Army he chose to serve in the ROTC rather than be drafted as a private. (The Korean War had recently ended but the draft continued.) He attended a summer camp during his adolescence that imbued some military values in him. He went through basic training and did not enjoy it in the least. Despite his ambition, DT received poor grades in ROTC summer camp.
Because he indicated his interest in law, DT was sent to train in the military police (MP), which was very ironic given his prior service as a student journalist speaking out against the ROTC. Typically a person would serve either two years in active duty and three years in reserve or one year in active duty and seven years in reserve. He requested the former but his request was rejected. Part of active duty that appealed to him was travel abroad and the efforts to defend against the USSR. His request was rejected because of a disclosure on his application that he, as a journalist, had attended a concert by Pete Seeger sponsored by the Labor Youth League, a Communist group. A while later, after no response from the government regarding where he would serve in the military, DT was called to the U.S. Post Office where he met two military intelligence personnel; they interrogated him for five hours, asking questions regarding any and all of DT’s political activities. He was given commission in the Army for six months with no reason given. As far as he knew, no one else in the ROTC was given such peculiar orders.
DT points out that many views that nowadays are not considered threatening were then seriously considered threats to national security. DT was part of the senior honors society called “Iron Cross.” In the Union, above the entrance, there used to be an Iron Cross plaque with DT’s name, among those of other members.
Keywords: Army; Germany; Iron Cross; Louise Trubek; Milwaukee Journal; New York City; New York University; Pete Seeger; ROTC; Russia; The Nation Magazine; United States Army; military police
Partial Transcript: You thought that you started as a poor student--not poor but you didn't do so well.
Segment Synopsis: DT admits that he did very well in very advanced courses that caught his interest; some classes he did little work but aced no less thanks to his writing skills. When DT went to law school he became very disciplined.
While serving his six months in the Army Reserve, DT befriended a man named Roger Bomant whose father had served in the British army, and with whom DT romanticized about serving in the British Army. They practiced shooting at Fort Gording in Georgia in the summer of 1957. They took classes, teaching the basics for officers. On weekends, they practiced firing .45’s and .38’s at the pistol range. The real, American Army, however, did not match their romanticizing.
Training was very boring overall. DT got engaged with Louise at this time and needed training in Jewish practices to prepare for the wedding. All of DT’s siblings married Christians, so this introduced his family and him to new territory. DT met with a rabbi at a desolate Army post near tobacco road, in Augusta, Georgia. Louise’s parents were largely secular at this time but she wanted to bring up their kids under Jewish traditions. DT recalls having to decide what religion he’d have put on his dog tag; he chose Judaism despite is non-religiousness. Nonetheless, DT began to identify as a Jew under the given circumstances. He had attended processes of several faiths, including Catholicism, Protestantism, and Episcopalian.
Louise was attending law school. De jure segregation was in effect but there was one black colleague of DT’s in the Army. DT recalls him not being served lunch because of his race; also toilets were divided accordingly. These were the few exposures DT had to overt institutional racism.
Keywords: Army; Augusta, Georgia; Bugles and the Tiger; Catholicism; Communism; Episcopalian; Fort Dicks; Fort Gordon; Georgia; Judaism; Latvia; Louisville, Kentucky; New Jersey; New York; Protestantism; Roger Bomant?; South Carolina; Tobacco Road; United States Army
Partial Transcript: Okay, we're just coming from a break on July 23rd.
Segment Synopsis: DT discusses “Upper Bohemians,” referring to a socioeconomic class that diverted from the mainstream but had elements of the upper-middle class. DT aspired to be a part of it to some degree, impressed by its members’ combination of elite values and commonsensical mentality. DT’s parents were wealthy but lacked class. His father was extremely smart and his mother was very culturally conscious. His father traveled a lot and often brought DT gifts from where he was.
DT’s Jewish background did not come to conscious until he joined the Army; still he regrets lacking a religious vocation. While applying to law school, DT toyed with the idea of entering his father’s business. He had worked several summers in the company’s factory. His father intentionally dissuaded him from entering the family business, fearing it would hurt his relationship with his son and lead to a conflict of interests. Thus he deliberately proposed very poor circumstances under which DT would begin working under him.
DT scored nearly perfectly on the LSAT. He was admitted to Harvard Law School but awaited Yale’s response. When he visited Yale, DT told the dean that he preferred Yale because his girlfriend was attending; the dean admitted him right then and there.
DT recalls an experience while he served in the Army. He was appointed to be a duty officer—in charge of a battalion—during a weekend when a bad snowstorm hit. At Fort Dix, he mobilized his battalion to handle the problems at his post during the blizzard. He never called the commanding officer but chose to handle the problem entirely on his own. Despite such independence he was ironically disciplined for not contacting the commanding officer.
Keywords: Amsterdam, Netherlands; Fort Dix; Harvard Law School; Jefferson Medical School; Judaism; LSAT; Phi Beta Kappa; Philadelphia; Putney; Upper Bohemianism; Yale Law School; law school admission test
Partial Transcript: So okay, so I'm back now and I'm, I'm, and I, and I decide to go to law school.
Segment Synopsis: Upon entering law school, DT decided he would take his work very seriously, unlike in college when he focused more on extracurricular matters such as the school paper; consequently he worked like a dog. He worked on the Yale Law Review as the notes and comments editor, just below editor-in-chief. He ranked near the top of his class. He got the best circuit court clerkship available.
DT was glad to attend Yale Law because it was more progressive than Harvard, which was experiencing a particularly conservative period at the time.
DT decided to look into international law, inspired perhaps by his time abroad while in the army. International law was not highly regarded in academia at the time, shadowed by domestic corporate law; hence DT did not get the best help from his peers and faculty. DT thus compromised and sought to begin his career in corporate law then move onto higher statesmanship; corporate law in international business was his ultimate goal.
DT worked for some professors in New Haven after he finished law school. Law school, per se, was typically difficult and largely conventional, focusing on corporate law. Yale had gained a reputation for interest in social justice issues, though its reputation preceded it. Nonetheless, interdisciplinary interests grew among faculty there. DT was exposed to various ideas and perspectives despite the conventionality of the law program. The academic ideal was that students would work in corporate law. When the Kennedy administration arrived, however, moods changed and shifted to aspirations to work for the government and for broader sociopolitical purposes. DT explored such jobs while also applying for corporate positions.
Keywords: Connecticut; Dean Acheson; John F. Kennedy; New Haven; New York; United States Army; Vermont; Yale Law School
Partial Transcript: In the clerkship Wisconsin trained you on what kind of work?
Segment Synopsis: During his clerkship, DT wrote memos on various sorts of cases: civil procedure, maritime law, and patent law, among others. He once wrote a memo on a patent law case regarding an electronic device; he consulted a peer who was studying physics with a focus on electronics; the judge ultimately used DT’s original draft despite revisions he made in light of his peer’s advice. DT met Thurgood Marshall when Marshall joined the circuit court before moving onto the SCOTUS. DT also met Irving Kaufman, a federal judge remembered for his notorious decision to impose the death penalty on Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Soviets who had been tried and convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage.
DT applied to several corporate firms; the top two in the country offered him jobs. Nonetheless, DT was not sure it was what he wanted to do. He was excited by the prospect of working in the State Department to help efforts against the threat of Communism; the Kennedy administration had recently entered D.C. and persuaded many young adults to serve their country by working in the public sphere. DT had no friends or family who could advise him on such a difficult decision. The judge for whom he clerked advised him to start on Wall Street. William Rogers, who was part of a Wall Street firm and had clerked for the same judge as DT, offered DT a job. DT points out that taking the job would have been inconsistent with the cursis honrum, i.e., the traditional procedure a law graduate went through to move up in the ranks.
DT was torn between taking the safe, traditional route working for a corporate firm, working for Rogers on Wall Street, and working for the Kennedy administration. Rogers tried to persuade him that he could have it all if he started working for him. A former mathematics professor of DT had a brother who had been involved in student politics and worked for a “white shoe” law firm (i.e., a leading professional services firm in the country); he told DT that if he felt strongly enough about it, he should work for the government. Thus DT took the public services route and began to work for the State Department. Though he didn’t know it at the time, this decision effectively ended his prospects of work in corporate law. During his work for the state, he traveled around Latin America and learned Portuguese.
Keywords: Air Force; Alliance for Progress; Brazil; CIA; Central Intelligence Agency; Communism; Covington & Burling; Department of State; Irvin Kaufman; John F. Kennedy; Kennedy Administration; Latin America; Louise Trubek; Thurgood Marshall; Wall Street; Washington, D.C.; William Rogers
Partial Transcript: Well what was your mission? Let's start there.
Segment Synopsis: When DT began working for the State Department he was sent to Latin America, where he served as a liaison for the United States to loan money to countries for their efforts to fight Communism. The mission was to promote social reform and to counter oligarchies and military coups. DT began to see that it was not exactly what he wanted to do after he moved to Brazil, where a military coup took place. He was sent there to expand the embassy and increase investment in the state. The average investment was fifty million dollars but increased to three hundred million within a year. DT oversaw the loans to be sure they were used in accordance with their appropriation. The military took over, claiming their intent was to prevent Communist takeover. Surprisingly it still permitted some elections; the party of the state lost several governor seats and reactively shut down the electoral process.
DT remembers having a very large office and a couple of secretaries when he worked in Foreign Service. He felt very powerful and enjoyed his time a great deal. He managed a lot of resources and held a very prominent position for a person of his age (about 30). Unfortunately he also realized that his work was under the mere guise of democratic progress; the United States was not genuinely interested in promoting democracy as much as countering Communism. Hence DT was jaded and looked for other jobs in legal practice (he did not want to remain in administration). He briefly looked into Foreign Service, but Louise had made a lot of sacrifices while DT travelled on the job and they had two kids by this time. These facts persuaded DT to look for a job more conducive to family life.
Thus DT looked back into corporate law, applying to several firms but to no avail; he learned that corporate firms weren’t interested in someone with experience in foreign aid law, seeing little use of it. Then he looked into teaching and research and was first approached by UC-Berkeley. He also received offers from NYU and Yale; the latter offer surprised him a lot because he presumed he hadn’t the right experience or standards to get into Yale. The transition to academia was peculiar, going from a professional position with luxurious benefits to an assistant professorship that returned him to the political conflict on and off campus.
Keywords: Brazil; Foreign Service Institute; Latin America; Mozambique; NYU; New York University; Portugal; UC-Berkeley; Washington, D.C.; Yale University
Partial Transcript: Well let's move back to where we were here.
Segment Synopsis: DT studied at Yale at a time of “burgeoning studies”; law began intersecting with the various social sciences, which interested DT a lot. He was especially interested in the role law played in international developmental studies. This was a new field so DT had no models to use, scholarship to refer to, or faculty to consult; he was entering unchartered territory. He was advised against trying to publish such work because of its very lack of references.
He requested a grant for his studies from the U.S. federal government, which had previously expressed interest in similar, interdisciplinary fields. Much to everyone’s surprise, DT and his colleagues who wrote the grant received a substantial amount of money. This was an impressive accomplishment in and of itself, never mind by an untenured assistant professor. Other faculty did not appreciate this fact, which alienated DT.
Since DT decided against publishing in a more conventional field, he had little support and no safety net. His comfortable grant, however, obscured his judgment and consequently he learned the hard way, finding no one willing to publish his work. Yale Law School did not want to publish work in an emerging field by a novice faculty member. DT’s interest headed toward socio-legal studies (i.e., sociology of law), the study of the intersection of law and society and its implications.
DT notes that law school did not prepare him for academia. As a junior faculty member at Yale, DT had no tenure and eventually needed to look for work elsewhere. At the time he attended, law school was very focused on training for legal practice and little else. University of Buffalo and UW-Madison were the two schools that had any faculty studying in socio-legal areas. Willard Hurst, who initiated the discipline of legal economic history, was researching at the UW at the time; his work attracted DT and eventually drew him to UW as a faculty member.
Keywords: Bob Hudec; Brazil; Jim Edwards; Laura Kalman; Max Weber; University of Buffalo; University of Wisconsin; Willard Hurst; Yale Law School; Yale Law School and the 1960’s; “Max Weber on Law and the Rise of Capitalism”
Partial Transcript: This is Betsy Draine, recording an interview with David Trubek and the date is July 24th, 2008.
Segment Synopsis: Beginning of the second interview session. Betsy Drain recaps the interview, asking DT for clarification as needed. She asks several follow-up questions on DT’s summer camp experience, the American Legion’s attempt to force UW organizations to disclose their membership listings, and James Crow. DT clarifies for Draine that Wilkins’ influence was later in his life than suggested earlier in the interview. He states that Grove’s co-op overlapped with the Ford Scholars Program and the ILS, which created a little world of its own, comprising leftists, Ford students, and members of other political groups.
Dt recalls that his informal education—writing and editing several school magazines and newspapers, attending protests, and speaking out against McCarthyism—played just as important a role in his early life as did his formal education. Especially influential was his work against political actors attempting to force academic organizations to disclose their membership lists. The student government fought the effort in the name of free speech (including anonymous speech), know wing that such disclosure was, at best, unnecessary; at worst, potentially harmful to many students’ and faculty members’ reputations.
DT was not aware of his father’s contact with Robert Maynard Hutchins; the connection pertained to a common effort to protect civil liberties and counter McCarthyism. DT came to know people such as Meade, Estes Kefauver, and Karen Horn through his father.
When DT met Thurgood Marshall he anticipated him being an influential member of the Supreme Court. DT recalls Marshall “being groomed” for the high court with high-profile cases. DT himself never wanted to be a judge, finding it too passive a role for him. He aspired to become a statesman shortly after Yale, so taking the judicial route appealed to him all the less.
Keywords: Burleigh Taylor Wilkins; Englewood, New Jersey; Estez Kefauver; Henry Adams; James Crowe; Joseph McCarthy; Karen Horn (?); Lake Michigan; Margaret Meade; Robert Hutcheons; Thurgood Marshall; University of Wisconsin; Vermont; Willard Hurst
Partial Transcript: Uh, then that left you looking for a place to go
Segment Synopsis: DT did not anticipate an academic career when he began law school. He had planned to enter corporate law and then to become a “statesman.” He recalls Yale’s law school traditional program, focusing on common law in the United States. This involved studying judicial decisions and abstracting from them the essential legal reasoning. They were taught how to argue in a courtroom and to remain very skeptical thinkers.
At about this time, however, some law faculty began looking outside the ivory tower, seeing where law intersects with other disciplines, especially the social sciences. This encouraged some faculty to introduce more pragmatic dimensions to the law program, looking where law intersected with other disciplines. Not all faculty were receptive to this broadening of the program; hence the law school’s focus remained largely traditional and interdisciplinary work remained secondary. Nonetheless, the expansion of the law school’s curriculum began at the time DT attended, which encouraged him to push the scholastic envelope. This did not sit well with many of the faculty.
DT recalls the Black Panther movement and the new affirmative action policies at Yale, both of which increased tension within the school. Such events furthered DT’s effort to pursue a new legal field, entering unchartered territory. Again, some faculty did not approve of this effort, and disagreement over the proper scope of the law school’s program persisted.
UW-Madison led the effort to extend the law school curriculum outside its traditional boundaries with such programs as Law and Society. This new enterprise drew DT’s attention, especially after Willard Hurst received funding to found and develop UW’s new interdisciplinary legal studies. The Law & Society Association resulted and has enabled many students—DT among them—to pursue socio-legal interests that the law school otherwise might not have supported.
Keywords: Black Panther; Law and Society; McCarthyism; Old Turks; UW-Madison; Willard Hurst; Yale Law School
Partial Transcript: Okay. Alright, now we're starting up again, talking about the law and society as a rubric that had developed at the University of Wisconsin already, before your arrival.
Segment Synopsis: The signature project of UW-Law, the Law and Society program, had started a few years before DT moved there. There was mutual interest between the law school and him because of his interdisciplinary interests. There was already a professor who taught law in Latin America, so DT had to teach in other areas while continuing his own studies in law and development.
DT found that only about a fifth of the faculty was seriously interested in interdisciplinary legal studies. There was a palpable division between faculty interested only in clinical work and faculty interested only in academic work. Few exceptions, such as Frank Remington, balanced well between the two. Clinical professors saw little value in publishing and were more concerned with balancing their work between teaching at the law school and practicing in firms. The integration of law schools with the universities was a new phenomenon in the 1970’s; until then, law schools functioned independently of the larger campus. This absorption of the law school incidentally increased tension between faculty with conflicting interests, whether clinical or academic. Coming from a hard-nosed school such as Yale, DT fell on the side of faculty emphasizing academic work.
DT initially was disappointed in his students at UW-Madison, finding a striking difference between their interests and accomplishments and those of his former students at Yale. Students of his at Yale went on to create prestigious firms, become judges, and serve in academia. He recalls none of his UW students taking similar routes.
Keywords: Frank Remington; General Electric; Harvard Law School; Law and Society; UW Law School; Yale Law School
Partial Transcript: Well it’s interesting; when I was asking as I spoke to Stewart Macaulay and I spoke to David Kennedy about your work and David Kennedy at Harvard.
Segment Synopsis: Stewart Macaulay and Dave Kennedy spoke highly of DT’s work, especially of his mentorship to young students. DT tended to encourage students with new ideas to submit their work for publishing. Many of those students have obtained very respectable jobs here in Wisconsin and elsewhere. Unfortunately, UW Law School tends not to retain students on track to teach and research, losing potential faculty to schools with greater prestige and higher salary offers. On the national scale, the school gives surprisingly low salaries and consequently loses faculty it might otherwise retain. DT mentored many of these students, which is a bittersweet fact for DT: he’s glad to see them obtain highly-respected and well-paid positions but sad to see that they have to leave UW in order to get them.
While DT developed his interest in socio-legal studies, he collaborated with peers to request facilities for a separate program for legal studies, serving as a link between the law school and the university as a whole. The administration found the request laughable and rejected it immediately. Despite this rejection, DT sought to create an interdisciplinary program focusing on the costs of litigation of various demographics. Several faculty and administrators continued to resist the idea for financial and other reasons. DT had to persuade them that the program could obtain outside funding. This placed additional obstacles before DT.
While Associate Dean of the UW Law School, DT obtained funding for visiting professorships for the legal studies program and the law school more generally. He was invited to teach at Harvard Law in 1986, an invitation he accepted partly to raise the legal studies profile for more funding. He was offered tenure while at Harvard but the offer was vetoed by the president. This effectively ended DT’s career in the ILS since shortly thereafter he became dean for the international studies program.
Keywords: Critical Legal Studies; David Kennedy; David Ward; Ford Fellowship; Greg Schafer; Harvard University; Institute for Legal Studies; Richard Able; SOAS University of London; Stuart Macaulay; UCLA; Yale University
Partial Transcript: Well Stewart Macaulay called you one of the founding members of Critical Legal Studies.
Segment Synopsis: DT was one of the founding members of Critical Legal Studies, a movement that had started at Yale Law School during the last year DT spent there. It illuminated the ambiguity of law and its biased sociopolitical underpinnings. Initially it was purely an academic, not a political, movement, but it gained political attention quickly. It drew from several modes of thought, including Marxism, the Frankfurt school, and postmodernism, integrating them with American legal studies.
It seemed that Critical Legal Studies and the Law and Society movement overlapped in two areas, according to DT: one in applying social science methods to the law; another in progressive politics, which sought to extend legal studies to contemporary issues, including law and poverty and the civil rights movement.
Despite the overlap, there remained tension between Critical Studies students and Law and Society students, since the content of their studies differed: while the former broadened its scholarship to include the work of modern European thinkers such as Foucault, the latter remained focused on traditional American writings.
These differences became all the more palpable when the students of both movements convened for the first time, seeing just how much their intentions differed despite the apparent commonalities aforementioned. Some faculty and students saw critical studies as an elitist, non-empirical, academic threat. DT tried to find common ground between these academic ideologies but to little avail.
One of the ways in which DT tried to show the common ground was with an article entitled "Back to the Future: The Short, Happy Life of the Law and Society Movement." The Law and Society movement took offense from the title (though it was not DT's intention to insinuate that the movement was dead), so DT's effort backfired.
Keywords: "Back to the Future: The Short, Happy Life of the Law and Society Movement"; Critical Legal Studies; Duncan Kennedy; Harvard Law School; Karl Clair; Karl Marx; Kathy Stone; Law and Society; Marc Galanter; Mark Tushnet; Marxism; Max Weber; Michel Foucault; New College; Northeastern University; Peter Gable; Richard Able; Robert Merton; San Francisco; Stanford; Stuart Macaulay; Talcott Parsons; Tom Heller; UCLA; Willard Hurst; Yale Law School
Partial Transcript: Well is this too simple a question to ask you to try to identify what you think some of the most important ideas are?
Segment Synopsis: DT summarizes the essential ideas behind Critical Legal Studies. He recalls giving a speech in China summarizing the movement: though the speech was “canned,” the students bombarded him with intellectual questions that he did not anticipate.
One idea was the indeterminacy of legal doctrine, which originated with legal realism. The point was that legal texts were unavoidably ambivalent and contextual; thus, there was always room for debate. Legal realists attempted to counter this ambiguity by approaching law and legal studies from a social science perspective. Critical theorists, however, extended indeterminacy to social science itself; consequently, the problem of ambiguity only persisted. This skepticism stemmed in part from political engagement and in part from European scholarship—work from the likes of Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida—which put into doubt the very pursuit of knowledge itself, at least in the social science context. Another idea central to critical legal studies was that law constitutes society, i.e., that law creates social relationships. This, in turn, caused another idea, that law is not socially or culturally neutral; rather, it creates and reinforces socioeconomic hierarchies and inequalities. The general idea was to highlight the supposed fact that academia is not an objective observer of society but another part of it. CLS students criticized members of law and society for holding a naïve view of impartiality.
CLS gained some respect as a school of thought, but many thought it needed to go further and establish itself as a political movement. Political action against inequality thus became important for CLS students. Duncan Kennedy, a legal scholar and currently the Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence, Emeritus, wrote a famous book entitled “Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy,” arguing that conventional law schools reinforced socioeconomic hierarchies. Such an argument was very controversial at the time, since it criticized legal academia from within.
Keywords: China; Critical Legal Studies; Duncan Kennedy; Jacques Derrida; Law and Society; Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy; Legal Realism; Michel Foucault
Partial Transcript: Now here at Wisconsin, what--was there pressure from a Critical Legal Studies cohort beyond you?
Segment Synopsis: DT was the only faculty member of the UW law school active in Critical Legal Studies shortly after its first meeting; his CLS colleagues went on to get jobs elsewhere, including UCLA and Stanford University. CLS extended to feminism and racial studies, which drew students who were interested in critical studies academically but not so much politically; DT called them “soft” CLS students. The UW Law School administration feared the political implications of the movement and tended to avoid CLS-sympathizers, whether as potential students or faculty members. Since it denied all forms of determinism, including historical determinism (which was essential to Marxist thought), CLS was very anti-Marxist; nonetheless, the U.S. government—McCarthyism, specifically—treated it as a Communist threat.
When DT worked at Harvard, the faculty voted to give him a tenured job, much to the surprise of DT and his colleagues. The President, however, created an ad hoc committee and vetoed the faculty decision. DT could tell that the President made the Committee deliberately to deny him the job offer; he strategically selected Committee members who would agree with him. Between the tenure offer and the President’s veto, DT attended a wedding where he ran into a Harvard alumnus who worked in law and politics. Very interestingly, the man told DT that he had just visited Harvard and told the President that the school needed to stop Communist sympathizers because they were hurting the Law School’s efforts to spread liberal democracy. This remark, of course, hit close to home for DT, but he did not rebuke the remark.
DT had a similar experience while he was the Dean of International Studies for UW: he visited Russia with a team of scholars to write a report for the prospects of the rule of law there. While sitting at a dinner party in Moscow, a man of the Embassy said to Shirley Abrahamson and DT that he worried about legal education in the United States and its takeover by the communists. DT paid little mind to it at the time; later however, this incident combined with that at Harvard struck DT with the poor reputation CLS had gained.
Keywords: Amnesty International; Bob Gordon; Duncan Kennedy; Georgetown University; Harvard University; Kathy Hendley; Libya; Mark Tushnet; Marxism; McCarthyism; Moscow; Russia; Shirley Abrahamson; Stanford University; TIME magazine; Tom Heller; UCLA; University of Wisconsin
Partial Transcript: I'd just like to ask you about Critical Legal Studies in terms of its viability now.
Segment Synopsis: Critical Legal Studies ended as a movement about 15-20 years ago (late 80’s-early 90’s) but its backdrop—critical theory—remains a school of thought, especially in racial and feminine legal studies today. The former is especially visible in academia as it continues to hold regular conferences. CLS persists insofar as faculty take stock of where they are in legal studies in the context of society as a whole: the role law plays in social dynamics; the implicit biases in the development of law; and effects these biases tend to have on certain demographics. DT’s experience in CLS gave him a role in New Approaches to International Law (NAIL), developed by David Kennedy as a critical methodology of international law. DT found this to be a nice fit given his founding role in CLS and his interest in international law.
Keywords: Critical Legal Studies; David Kennedy; Institute for Legal Studies; NAIL; New Approaches to International Law; critical feminist studies; critical race studies
Partial Transcript: So, had you already begun to think about moving in that direction when you returned to Wisconsin from Harvard?
Segment Synopsis: DT believed he had served his time as director of CLS. He sensed funding was running low and that he needed to defer to a younger replacement. Louise, his wife, was worried that he’d have too much time on his hands. DT received a call, however, regarding an opening for the Director of International Legal Studies (ILS). Prior to this, Fred Hayward had served briefly as Acting Director but came under administrative fire due to several counts of sexual harassment. Donna Shalala, Chancellor at the time, butted heads with him when she fired him without due process. Fred Hayward had gained a poor reputation for illicit behavior.
Thus an opening was left to direct the ILS. The purpose of the ILS was to use grant money from the Ford Foundation to conduct long-term area studies in foreign countries. A central administrative position was needed; hence the directorship. The grant was very generous and increased budgets for the departments involved. DT suspects that once the grant ended L&S wanted to take the ILS over, denying any other department a central administrative position. An interim from Agricultural Economics served very briefly and focused on technical assistance, sending people to developing countries to help build academic programs, improve economic status, and reform legal systems.
The Chair of the Selection Committee, who was familiar with DT through Latin American Studies, called DT to ask about his interest in the directorship. DT was averse to the idea initially because he knew funding for the position was running dry. A friend of DT’s, Tom Heller, held a comparable position at Stanford and told DT about it. The job involved creating a Research Institute and setting up many satellite campuses across the world where faculty could conduct case studies; this appealed to DT especially because the Cold War had just ended, giving people a new outlook on global politics. DT was assured that the position would be funded.
There were several candidates for the directorship, including three finalists. DT accepted the job on the condition that he’d be granted one million dollars to initiate studies for the program. This seemed brash on DT’s part; however, it just so happened that though the Study Abroad programs Silvano had accumulated a million dollars in surplus from tuition and program costs.
Keywords: AID; Barbara Stallings; Cold War; Donna Shalala; Ellen Asfelt; Ford Foundation; Fred Hayward; Harvard University; Louise Trubek; Pete Dorner; Stanford University; Tom Heller
Partial Transcript: Was Silvano Garafalo, was he interim dean or was he still head of Study Abroad?
Segment Synopsis: DT was offered a position to head the International Studies program. He said he'd take the position on two conditions: one million dollars in funding and a job for Kathy Mishevitz (sp?). The initial personnel for the program included outreach staff, technical services, and faculty; the staff grew over the years to follow.
DT oversaw the project and wanted to extend its reach beyond U.S. borders, establishing a global studies program. He wanted to emphasize the significance of international law and make UW-Madison a key player in sending that message. DT agreed with this and many other points David Ward made throughout the course of the program. Their collaboration facilitated funding for the program for several years.
DT took charge of the MacArthur grant, which was designed to fund students studying international issues in an interdisciplinary framework--especially for dissertations on third-world countries. They came from a variety of disciplines, mostly in the humanities and social sciences, including political science, anthropology, sociology, history, and agricultural sciences.
A particular course had been designed just for students funded by this grant; the initial person selected to teach the course via Fellowship did not appeal to DT in the least; alas, the person had already been hired. Nonetheless, DT refused to let him teach and chose to teach the course himself. He focused the course on globalization with assistance from a graduate student in geology. The course was rather successful, involving very focused, serious students who reminded DT of his days at Yale. He continued teaching in the program for several years. He focused on the academic and pedagogical aspects of the program, including graduate student training and faculty research, while colleagues of his oversaw the study abroad aspects.
When funding ran dry from the MacArthur grant, the program sought money from a Title VI grant, which made up for some but not all the funding once provided for the program. The funding has been renewed, enabling the program to continue and to retain its staff.
Keywords: Cathy Meschievitz; Donna Shalala; Global Studies; Joan Raduca; MacArthur Foundation; MacArthur grant; Paul Beckett; Silvano Garafalo
Partial Transcript: Give me a, sort of overview of what your, what is your vision for the International Institute.
Segment Synopsis: Despite the Title VI funding for the various Area Studies programs, each program felt no more related to another than prior to the Global Studies program. DT wanted to change this to enable more interaction and to reflect the rising political awareness of global affairs. He sought to prevent the government from defunding Title VI programs.
The arbitrary boundaries drawn by the Federal government for Area Studies bothered DT. The geographic definitions of places such as Southeast Asia, East Asia, Eastern Europe, etc., did not always help research, since many such factors as culture and religion crossed said boundaries. DT wanted to blur these lines to reflect aforementioned global awareness. Many faculty members of the area studies programs resisted this effort, afraid that they would lose funding to other area studies if their geographic focal points were erased. DT had to do a lot of persuading among them. Once the fear of the loss of Title VI funding arose, faculty gave in and signed onto the new program.
David Ward provided DT with money to begin the program, impressed with DT’s persuasion efforts. Eventually the University formally recognized the program as a distinct Institute. Research circles for the Institute formed shortly afterward; they comprised faculty who wanted to supplement Area Studies programs not funded sufficiently by the MacArthur grant.
Keywords: China; Crawford Young; Don Crawford; East Asian Studies; Eastern Europe; Helen C. White Hall; India; MacArthur Foundation; MacArthur grant; Michael Carter; Russia; Southeast Asian Studies; Steve Bunker; Tibet; Title VI
Partial Transcript: Today is August 1st, 2008 and this is Betsy Draine, and I am interviewing David Trubek for the third time.
Segment Synopsis: Betsy Draine summarizes the previous day's interview. She asks DT to elaborate on financing the International Studies program, and on his effort to integrate the many departments involved in it. Many individual departments—especially those in L&S—were initially hostile to the idea of sharing funding because they were afraid it would undermine each of their departments’ studies. DT needed to persuade them toward a collective effort to raise public awareness of global affairs. He recalls points he made the previous day, including taking over the deanship of International Studies and becoming familiar with international studies. Most of the Ford funding had been put toward hiring faculty via contract for Area Studies. Once this money was spent and hiring was done, L&S would reassert its control over the International Studies program, providing little oversight and initiating few if any collaborative projects. DT tried to counter this approach and to ease tension between the L&S departments and the International Studies program.
Keywords: Barbara Stallings; Cathy Meschievitz; Civil Litigation Research Project; Cold War; College of Letters and Science; David Ward; Don Crawford; Ford Foundation; Global Studies Program; International Studies; L&S; Madison; McArthur program; Mike Hinden; Russia; Title VI; U.S. Agency for International Development; U.S. Department of Justice; UW Law School; World Bank; globalization
Subjects: Betsy Draine summarizes the previous day's interview.
Partial Transcript: Betsy Draine: And do you know the story of the financing of those positions?
Segment Synopsis: DT recaps the International Studies program. He does not know exactly how L&S continued to fund the program, whether by its own funding or by requesting it from Central Administration. He decided to create a joint venture of L&S and the Division of International Studies; part of his aim was shared governance with L&S to appease faculty in its many departments, who initially resisted the idea due to fears of losing funding.
Hitherto the L&S departments involved in Area Studies had been largely independent of one another, each having exclusive staff and funding. DT wanted to change this and called for a Faculty meeting to persuade them to join the International Studies program. His main tactic was to lure them with benefits, including decent housing, extra funding, upgraded technology, and enhanced staff services. Initially DT wanted to centralize staff services but faculty resisted, insistent on keeping their respective departmental staff.
Another tactic was fear: Congress had recently defunded Title VI, a major funding source for the area studies programs; hence, faculty grudgingly conceded and joined the program to ensure continued funding. Lawrence Eagleburger, who had served as an American diplomat in several different capacities over the years, including U.S. Secretary of State, spoke to the faculty and persuaded them to get on board for the sake of cross-regional studies, which was becoming the mainstay in academia, politics, and elsewhere. The deans of both L&S and International Studies took joint charge of the program.
DT believes that this program helped reboot Title Vi funding. When DT took charge of the program; there were four Area Studies programs; by the time of this interview, there were eight, thanks to DT’s efforts and the belated willingness of faculty to cooperate. The Title VI money allowed the global studies program to continue also. After ensuring further funding, DT shifted focus to building the interdisciplinary research side of things; which had received substantial funding from the MacArthur grant, but the Ford Foundation also provided money. Crossing Borders emphasized cross-regional activity.
Keywords: Area Studies; Cathy Meschievitz; Division of International Studies; Donna Shalala; Florida International University; Ford Foundation; Helen C. White Hall; Lawrence Eagleburger; Letters & Sciences; MacArthur grant; Republicans; Secretary of State; Title VI; U.S. Congress; UW Law School
Partial Transcript: Well you know, eh, speaking about this resistance, one of the things that Cathy talked to me about.
Segment Synopsis: The interviewer relays to DT compliments from Cathy Meschievitz for his outstanding work initiating the International Studies program. Cathy wanted DT to discuss his time and interaction with Crawford Young. DT is not sure exactly what she was talking about but he recalls an incident when a delegation arrived in Madison to see a famous Belgian poet who was visiting the University. Crawford Young sought the opportunity to greet them. DT discovered a fundraising agenda in Flemish studies that may have pertained to the upcoming dinner giving an award to the Belgian poet. DT was surprised to find the number of colleagues excited about the visit; he knew little about Flemish studies and never expected it to be such a big deal. He attended the dinner, finding himself seated with Flemish Ministry of Press Relations officer, further suggesting the poet’s significance. It turned out that the visitors were only stopping along their way to Disneyland. The students were from Flanders, Belgium, where there was a lot of unemployment. They wanted to create a theme park to try to boost the economy and thought they would research Disneyland's business strategy.
DT and Crawford did not always see eye-to-eye; Crawford initially was not crazy about the International studies program. Despite his scholarship and administrative work, DT had comparatively little experience in the field. He found himself attacked by a colleague in European studies who thought that he was too preoccupied with Latin America and not enough with Europe. DT pointed out that the UW receives more financial support for European studies than any other American university, thanks to his own International Studies deanship.
Keywords: Belgium; Cathy Meschievitz; Crawford Young; Disneyland; Flanders studies; Flanders, Belgium
Partial Transcript: Let me go back to the Crawford Young thing.
Segment Synopsis: Crawford Young, who worked with DT on several occasions, once advised DT that he needed to try to mitigate his skepticism when dealing with administrative (rather than academic) matters; otherwise, he would alienate staff and faculty. This advice was very counterintuitive for DT, coming from an academic background, but he learned that academic principles do not always translate well into bureaucratic priorities. Combative questioning did not sit well with people, faculty or otherwise, who were very concerned with funding.
DT appreciated Crawford Young’s support, which pushed DT to write and publish even as he served in administrative positions. He really enjoyed administrative work, despite stereotypes of it as little more than a boring, necessary evil. DT realized that he could “get away” at some points to read and write. He obtained various grants to do research abroad, including France, Italy, and England. He dove into many projects involved in law and international studies.
DT co-wrote a book with two graduate students about Brazilian law published in 1971. The dean of a law school in Brazil wants to republish it; DT is not sure why they would want to do that since the book is so outdated. When DT began working at Yale, he wanted to learn the sociopolitics of development in order to understand further the law behind it. Along the way, he read, wrote, and published on Max Weber’s theory of law and society. He learned Portuguese and French, although he remembers little of the latter.
Keywords: Crawford Young; Florence, Italy; Institute for Legal Studies; International Studies; London, England; Max Weber; Paris, France; Richard Cooper; White House; Yale University
Partial Transcript: Let's continue a bit with, uh, the Dean of International Studies work in terms of the practical finances.
Segment Synopsis: DT elaborates on financing the many educational programs in International Studies. Despite a lack of permanent funding, DT kept things up and running pretty well. There was very little endowment from the UW Foundation and little 101 money available when DT took over as Dean. Peter Dorner, who preceded DT as head of the international studies program, had used little money since he functioned largely as in interim.
DT sought internal money from the university first by demonstrating he could get outside funding (which ideally would persuade the university to provide some funds itself). He obtained funds from various sources, including AID, World Bank, and numerous grants. He sought money from various institutions for three main purposes: USAID for technical assistance; Ford, Rockefeller, Loose, and Mellon grants for foundation money; and MacArthur and the US govt for Title VI money. They created staff specifically for fundraising and received some development assistance. Funding was difficult because many international programs were shifting their money away from U.S. programs to foreign institutions; plus UW faculty was less interested in foreign studies than other schools abroad. After some struggle, the ILS had to close its technical assistance office due to dried up funding.
Over his eleven years as Dean of International Studies, DT managed to pull in $100,000 from private donations and over $30 million from other sources, thanks to his persuasiveness and the talents and hard work of staff. Funding had proved especially difficult because there were no alumni of int'l studies (since it was a new program) and it was risky to ask other departments for money from their own treasuries. The UW Foundation revolved around these departmental funds and thus was inside the same funding silo insulated to the int'l studies program.
David Ward was a reliable donator for DT. The general funding structure resulted in a constant flow of soft money. Foundation money became difficult to get after DT stepped down as dean. Kathy mentioned that DT tripled 101 money thanks to Ward, who provided $600 million for several programs. However, the money did not go to salaries, which posed a problem for sustaining the program. DT notes that faculty typically does not like to raise money except for its own programs.
Keywords: David Ward; Ford Foundation; Fred (?); Hewlett Grant; Kathy (?); Loose Foundation (?); MacArthur Grant; Mellon Foundation; Peter Dorner; Rockefeller; Sandy Wilcox; Title VI; USAID; UW Foundation; World Bank
Partial Transcript: Well the last financial question I have is about study abroad.
Segment Synopsis: Study abroad depended on 128 funds—program revenue—and 101 money. The programs collected tuition but did not need to pay it out overseas. This fact combine with the favorable exchange rate at the time led to a million dollar surplus at the time dt took over as Dean. The mix of students included a majority of out-of-state students, which provided out-of-state tuition funding.
As the student enrollment increased, the programs’ staff numbers remained the same, allowing the programs to transfer would-be staff costs to the general revenue, defraying tuition increases. European universities continued to provide free study sites for international programs. This kept study abroad feasible for students. Scholarship money also briefly went up. The general financial structure of the study abroad programs remained stable in terms of raw numbers; however, the budget still largely depended on soft money. Nowadays, as study abroad becomes increasingly expensive, soft money dependency becomes riskier. Title VI provides a large portion, but its viability depends a lot on the ideological sway of state legislature.
Moreover, L&S has lost many faculty members over the recent years due to this lack of hard money, which prevents a raise in salaries. Retention thus has been very poor. DT worries a great deal about this problem, unsure how the International Studies program and university will handle it. He is sure, however, that the programs need to be no par with L&S to remain above financial waters. The then-dean of social sciences voiced his apathy for interdisciplinary studies, which exacerbated things. L&S has all but abandoned the programs.
Keywords: 128 funds; Brown University; Brussels; CUNY; City University of New York; College of Letters and Science; Europe; ILS; Institute for Legal Studies; International Legal Studies; L&S; Queens; Spain; Study abroad; U of M; UW Foundation; University of Minnesota; Watson Institute; Yale Law School
Partial Transcript: Well that connects with something that, uh, Kathy wanted me to raise.
Segment Synopsis: Kathy mentions that DT won the “Charlie Halper” award, a humorous recognition of people who leave their appointments just in time, i.e., before things like program funding go downhill. The college of L&S and the chancellor became less enthusiastic about international studies. Virtually all external funding save Title VI was gone. Enthusiasm from the end of Cold War had waned, especially in light of the rise of international terrorism.
DT did leave the international studies program intact, financially and otherwise, but it seemed to be on the wane. He left the institute for legal studies also because there seemed to be hard financial times approaching. After visiting the Watson Institute at Brown University, DT became more worried about the poor $1 million endowment for the ILS program. (Brown had a $100 million endowment.) The future of international studies, DT says, depends on three factors: first, a change in L&S’s apathy for the program, which DT believes is even more important than the identity of the program’s dean; second, more hard money, whether from 101 funds or endowment or some other source; third, new leadership— the program needs fresh new minds for the ever-changing sociopolitical landscape. Globalization and internationalization call for minds more familiar with interdisciplinary and multicultural work.
DT highlights that the university has lost faculty not only to Ivy League schools but to public counterparts such as the University of Minnesota because the salaries at UW are so low. Several faculty are on the market. Many of them are people whom DT spent much time and energy mentoring. Three of them whom DT especially highly regarded are leaving the state for jobs that are more lucrative. This has depressed DT a great deal; losing key people to the likes of the U of M, he says, is a serious sign of academic and financial trouble. Despite the favorable, incoming chancellor, DT believes that the funding problems go beyond personnel; inherent, structural problems and academic politics are to blame. State politics and anti-intellectualism have caused or exacerbated many of these problems. The state has failed the university, not the other way around, DT asserts.
Keywords: Brown University; CUNY; Charlie Helpurn award; City University of New York; Cold War; College of Letters and Science; Institute for Legal Studies; L&S; UW-Madison; Watson Institute; Yale University
Partial Transcript: Well for the Charlie Hepburn Award one of the things you did was to make sure your personal career wasn't dying.
Segment Synopsis: DT had two major projects in mind, the first of which—creating a human rights program—did not pan out well. He thought that he had a niche for socioeconomic rights, an area of study that many law schools overlooked. DT had some knowledge in it, having published a few articles on the topic years prior. He sought funding from the MacArthur grant but it had radically changed its orientation and had no interest.
The Center for World Affairs in the Global Economy, which DT oversaw for three years, was the second and more successful project. DT got initial funding for the program and oversaw it for three years before deferring to a new director. He had no staff with the exception of a graduate student. He recruited a new director so that he could shift all his attention to scholarship.
He focused on international studies in three major areas: (1) new forms of governance, especially in the EU; (2) law and development (an area of study DT helped create, and which has experienced some revival recently); and (3) globalization and labor rights, for which DT has published a few articles, including one with a former student of his from the sixties. Transnational regulation of labor is the latest area of scholarly interest for DT, especially where it intersects with EU governance. Law and the new developmental state is a recent project of DT’s.
Keywords: Argentina, Venezuela, Berlin, Germany; Brazil; Canada; Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy; Chile; China; Egypt; European Union; Japan; MacArthur Foundation; globalization; human rights; labor rights; law and development; law and the new developmental state
Partial Transcript: An then of course one of my--one of the biggest things I did in the last five years was the, uh run the big international meeting in Berlin.
Segment Synopsis: DT oversaw the International Socio-legal Conference held in Berlin, July 25-27, 2007. DT has been a member of the Law and Society Association for forty years, serving on the board of directors and in other capacities throughout. The LSA comprises people from various countries who convene every five years with other socio-legal institutions. Meetings are held in Europe because there are many European members but no European LSA satellites.
DT was appointed to be in charge of international affairs; he took it upon himself to oversee arranging the meeting in Berlin in 2007. Normally 1200 to 1500 people attend, but DT aimed for bigger numbers. He travelled various countries to invite potential attendants, using much of his own research funds to cover costs and to pay his project assistant for the next two years. He put together a 25-person committee to set things up. Louise and he spent a lot of their own money on travel and miscellaneous expenses.
The conference included 2400 people from 72 countries: several hundred were from developing countries, over 900 were from the European Union, and another 900 were from North America. They set up 21 research circles that were funded for a year and a half in advance; the money largely went toward student projects, which produced over 2800 drafts for publication in international law journals. The International Socio-Legal Conference in Berlin was a huge success, sponsored by institutions in Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States and held in Humboldt University and the Free University of Berlin. There was a huge reception hosted by the German Prime Minister. The weather was ideal and turned bad only the day after the meeting ended, when it began to pour.
Keywords: Africa; Amsterdam; Asia; Baltimore; Berlin; Budapest; Germany; Glasgow; Humboldt; International Socio-legal Conference in Berlin; International Sociological Association; Latin America; Louise Trubek; Max Weber; Milan; Second World War; UCLA; United States; World War II
Partial Transcript: Now that you, you are officially retired from your position at the University, will you be able to keep an office here in the law school to work from?
Segment Synopsis: Now retired, DT continues researching. He chose to become a professor emeritus because he did not want to teach full-time during his remaining time at UW Law. He chose to serve as a professor emeritus for five years at 33% time (he did not want to teach large classes; only seminars). At the time of the interview, he had two years remaining.
DT has an office in the law building but does not really need it, thanks to his home accommodations and the Internet. Moreover, DT smokes, which the Dean had recently banned from the law building; so given all these circumstances, DT works entirely at home. He recalls that he had an office at the Harvard Law School but never used it; rather, he subleased from a professor at Wellesley College. He recalls fighting to get offices as a visiting professor but then ironically never using them. He especially found little use in a physical space given the rise of the Internet, which allowed him to conduct virtually all his research at home. He has no need for his current office but likes having it anyway. He downloads all journals from the library—only one journal he uses is not online available. He has a research assistant who conducts much of the online work.
The law school continues to fund DT’s research. He works with only a couple other faculty members regularly, meeting with them at a coffee shop adjacent to his house. He recalls a colleague who never worked outside his office and was stubborn to give it up. DT also hesitates to give up his office because it has become a personal art gallery, including family photos, paintings by friends and family, and a collage of DT’s work over the years that his mother made. Essentially, DT needs a computer, a printer, a research assistant, and journal access). Louise and he have an apartment in New York where he can do research.
DT has two years remaining at UW Law. He is paid 25% plus research funding (this was a slight adjustment from the initial 33% he took, in order to lessen taxes) and has enough money saved to go another year or so. His research on law and development will continue through colleagues and graduate students with various forms of funding. Louise has applied for money from the medical school for joint ventures.
DT is not sure what he will do three years from now, when he expects his funding to run dry. He travels mainly to attend conferences rather than for research, most of which is theoretical and thus he can do at home. Nonetheless, he depends on travelling to meet with colleagues to help him keep up his writing. This mode of production, he realizes, relies on a lot of stress, which is not ideal at his age. He thinks he can stretch his funds over four years, knowing all the tricks of getting money here and there. UW has many little pockets of money; however, UW has failed in the area of salaries, DT claims, recalling a colleague of his who moved to U of M for a significantly higher salary, which, for DT, demonstrates just how poorly UW is maintaining staff and faculty.
Keywords: Brazil; Brooklyn; Florence; Harvard University; Internet; Latin America; London School of Economics; UW Law School; Wellesley College
Partial Transcript: Well, you were talking about, uh, teaching with Louise.
Segment Synopsis: DT recalls his collaborative work with his wife, Louise, both in research and teaching. They first worked together as seniors in college. They were a year apart in law school (because DT served in the Army briefly beforehand), which made a difference and, in DT’s opinion, was for the better. While DT was a law clerk, they lived in Connecticut; DT had to commute to New York. Then DT went to Washington, D.C., while Louise stayed home with the kids, working on some part-time projects. Then they went to Yale, where Louise did volunteer work for a public interests and a private practice. She started a law firm when they moved to Madison. They set up a research program within the law practice to conduct policy research in public interest. Louise ran the firm while DT ran research.
A long time followed before Louise moved in to the UW law school. DT helped her begin writing, as she initially had bad writer’s block. She had a breakthrough when she adapted to the computer to do her work (DT mentions she had horrible handwriting). DT and she began working more closely shortly thereafter. In the 70s, DT was invited to a conference in Florence discussing public interest law. He gave a presentation on topics that Louise researched; hence, he was given credit for her work, which angered Louise.
DT checks his resume to list off work he did with Louise. He presented a paper he co-authored with Louise in Berlin. They were commissioned to do a book comparing consumer law in the U.S. and Europe; Louise had been practicing consumer law for years. Their publications include several titles: New Governance and Constitutionalism in the U.S and the EU; New Governance and Legal Regulation; a a conference entitled “Transnational Conference on New Governance and the Transformation of Law.” They are both very busy and have no plan to stop any time soon. DT reflects on his advanced age, noticing the youth of his newest colleagues in his field.
Keywords: Berlin; Brussels; Cambridge; Center for European Governance; Connecticut; Florence; Fordham Law School; Law and Society; London; Louise Trubek; New Kersey; New York; Spain; U.S. Army; Washington, D.C.; Yale University
Partial Transcript: Well, let me ask you sort of a final question.
Segment Synopsis: DT discusses his academic legacy, mentioning three things of greatest importance to him: Law and Development, Critical Legal Studies, and Law and Society. He was weary of L&S’s future initially, but saw it flourish across many schools, so he is confident it will persist. While Critical Legal Studies is over as an intellectual movement, it will persist historically with his signature on it. He believes the Berlin conference marks the beginning of global academic interest in law and society. He mentions new governance as an emerging field of study that also has his mark, though not as significant as his other contributions. He also helped extend research to alternative forms of law. DT has looked into international labor rights and written on it from time to time, but it is not a major interest of his.
As for administrative accomplishments, DT highlights the Berlin conference and the deanship. He is skeptical of the future of the Institute for Legal Studies, given its recent stagnation, but hopes it will continue despite recent faculty losses. He hopes the international institute will revive itself under the new chancellor. He is very disappointed in the law school noting its downturn since it prospered in the 60s and 70s. It has lost many faculty members due to poor salary structure, the two-career problem, and the fact that it does not pay for family college attendance. He mentions a colleague who recently moved to Columbia which doubled her salary and paid for her children’s way through college and law school.
DT fears that once he leaves, there will be no intellectual leadership in the law school. He had always been an outsider to his colleagues, who never could figure out how he could be a both an intellectual and an administrator. DT notes that the only administrative positions he held he had to make for himself. He believes that, had he become dean of the law school, it would not be in as much trouble as it is now, which frustrates him greatly. The law school’s intellectual leadership migrated to international studies.
DT has never aspired to write a great book; he found better suited to a mix of scholarship and administrative work. He is disappointed in UW for not giving him the leadership position he wanted. He speculates why UW never appreciated him: too east coast, too ambitious, too intellectual; he’ll never know for sure. Despite this situation, he has no regrets about his career in hindsight. UW treated him very well overall; it was not kind to Louise, however, which DT really begrudges.
Keywords: Critical Legal Studies; David Duncan Kennedy; Europe; Harvard University; ILS; Institute for Legal Studies; Law and Development; Law and Society; Louise Trubek; New Jersey; New York; Stanford University; UW Law School; Yale University