Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Michigan Law School
Website URL
Law & Legal History, Rural Communities, Midwest, Gender & Sexuality, Lawyers, Schools, Local Governance, Rural Zoning, Property Law
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan Law School and hold an appointment by courtesy in the History Department. My primary fields of interest are in social and legal history and include the study of place, local governance, property, gender and sexuality, and race.

My current book project is transforming my dissertation, “Cows, Cars, and Criminals: The Legal Landscape of the Rural Midwest, 1920-1975,” into a monograph. I argue that the legal remaking of rural communities was a central feature of twentieth-century America. The project utilizes case studies to examine critical topics that historians and legal scholars have framed as quintessentially urban issues—land use and zoning, policing and prosecution, education equality, labor and economic opportunity, local community organizing and advocacy, and infrastructure and mobility—and reveals their manifestations in rural geographies, economies, and social norms. The result is a new legal history that tells not a story of rural decline but a story of the rural Midwest in a constant process of transformation along lines of class, race, and gender. Learn more about the book project here, and other current research projects here.

In addition to my academic research, I serve on the Advisory Board of Women Also Know History and am a member of the founding team.  In the past, I have served as an associate blogger for the Legal History Blog, and I continue to tweet @EmilyAPrifogle.

I received my BA in history and art history from Indiana University, a MSc in comparative social policy from Oxford, a JD from the University of California, Berkeley, and a PhD in history at Princeton University. I also clerked for Judge David Hamilton on the Seventh Circuit. My interdisciplinary background continues to inform my scholarship and interest in public history, as well as other research that is focused on recovering marginalized voices within twentieth century social movements.

Recent Publications
Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
20th century
Expertise by Topic
Family, Gender, Indigenous Peoples, Law, Local & Regional, Migration & Immigration, Pedagogy, Politics, Public History, Race, Rural & Agrarian History, Sexuality, Urban History, Women