University of Minnesota
American Studies

American Studies' Home Page

Fall 2015

Scott Hall 316

Office Hours: Tuesday 10am to 3pm or by appointment

Barbara Welke

Barbara Y Welke

Department of History 1039 HellerH 271 19th Ave S

Department Affiliations

University Affiliations

  • Law School


  • American Legal and Constitutional History
  • U. S. Women's History
  • Modern U. S. History

Educational Background

  • Ph.D: History, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL,, 1995.
  • J.D.: Law, University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, MI, 1983.


  • Law and the Borders of Belonging in the Long Nineteenth Century United States. Welke, Barbara, Cambridge University Press, Author, 2010.
  • Recasting American Liberty: Gender, Race, Law, and the Railroad Revolution, 1865-1920. Welke, Barbara, Cambridge University Press, 2001.
  • "Owning Hazard A Tragedy": Welke, Barbara, University of California - Irvine Law Review , (forthcoming Summer.
  • "Law, Personhood and Citizenship in the Long Nineteenth Century: The Borders of Belonging" in Cambridge History of Law in America. Welke, Barbara, eds. Michael Grossberg and Christopher Tomlins, Cambridge University Press, Author, forthcoming 2007.
  • "'Glimmers of Life': A Conversation with Hendrik Hartog : Welke, Barbara, Law and History Review, 27:3 , (Fall 2009).
  • Beyond Plessy: Space, Status, and Race in the Era of Jim Crow. Welke, Barbara, 2000.
  • "When All the Women Were White, and All the Blacks Were Men: Gender, Class, Race, and the Road to Plessy, 1855-1914,". Welke, Barbara, Law and History Review 13 261-316., Author, Fall 1995.
  • "Unreasonable Women: Gender and the Law of Accidental Injury, 1870-1920,". Welke, Barbara, Law & Social Inquiry 19 369-403., Author, Spring 1994.

Research Activities

  • No One Thought Children Might Die: Owning Hazard in the Twentieth Century U. S. Consumer Economy (book)
  • A Consuming Passion: Product Liability and the Rights Revolution in 20th Century America (book)

Creative Activities

  • "Owning Hazard": play

Professional Activities

  • Chair, Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2007, 2009, 2011
  • Conference Co-Organizer: "We Must First Take Account": A Conference on Race, Law, and History in the Americas, The Legal History Consortium, April 2011
  • American Society for Legal History Annual Meeting Program Co-Chair: 2010
  • Conference Co-Organizer: "Ab Initio: Law in Early America," The Legal History Consortium, June 2010
  • Chair, Program Committee, American Historical Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA,: 2007 - 2007
  • Prize Committee, The William Nelson Cromwell Foundation, for excellence in scholarship in legal history by a junior scholar: 2004 - 2006
  • Prize Committee, Law & Society Dissertation Prize: 2003 - 2004
  • Editorial Board, American Society for Legal History: 2002 - 2005
  • Editorial Board, Law & Social Inquiry: 2004 - 2006
  • Editorial Board, Law and History Review: 1995 - Present
  • Prize Committee, AHA Littleton-Griswold Prize: (Chair, 2004) , 2003 - 2004

Outreach Activities

  • Jordan Park School - 5th Grade Outreach Project: Partnership between University of Minnesota/Minneapolis Public Schools, 2000 - 2001
  • Osher Life-Long Learning Institute: "U. S. History Since 1865" Video & Course Teacher and Consultant, 2004 - 2005
  • "Bridge for American History": Teaching American History Federal Grant in partnership with the MHS and the Minneapolis/St. Paul Public Schools, Political History Instructor, 2001 - 2004


  • Scholar of the College, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, 2011 - 2014
  • Horace T. Morse University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching, advising, academic program development and educational leadership, 2006
  • Member, Academy of Distinguished Teachers, University of Minnesota, 2006
  • William Nelson Cromwell Foundation Grant, 2005
  • McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, University of Minnesota, 2001 - 2003
  • AHA Littleton-Griswold Prize, 2002
  • Erwin C. Surrency Prize, American Society for Legal History, 1996
  • OAH Lerner-Scott Dissertation Prize, 1996
  • Divisional Dissertation Prize, University of Chicago, 1996

Courses Taught

  • Hist. 1302 Global America, 1865 - Present
  • Hist. 3821 20th Century U. S. History, 1900-1945
  • Hist. 3822 20th Century U. S. History, 1945-Present
  • Hist. 3834 Law in American Life, Colonial Era to the Civil War
  • Hist. 3835 Law in American Life Since the Civil War
  • Hist. 3349/5910 U. S. Women’s Legal History
  • Hist. 5910 U. S. Legal and Constitutional History
  • Hist. 5802 Readings in Modern American History, 1848-Present
  • Hist. 8640 Law, Citizenship and State-Building
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