Amalia D. Kessler Awarded Guggenheim Fellowship
Amalia D. Kessler is the Lewis Talbot and Nadine Hearn Shelton Professor in International Legal Studies at Stanford Law School. Kessler’s research focuses on the evolution of commercial law and civil procedure, particularly the roots of modern market culture and present-day process norms.
“I’m deeply honored to have received a Guggenheim Fellowship and am very grateful to the Foundation for its support,” Kessler said.
As a fellow, Kessler will work on a new book project that reconceptualizes the origins of modern American arbitration.
As she described: “The United States is alone today in forcing millions of workers and consumers into binding, mandatory arbitration that prevents them from filing suit to vindicate their rights, often enabling large corporate interests to escape liability. Underlying this legal framework is the view that arbitration is necessarily a matter of private contract in which the government has no business interfering. I challenge this myth of private ordering, arguing that the turn to arbitration in the early 20th century was tied to state-building efforts designed to respond to the myriad challenges posed by the rise of modern industrial society, many of which – including a vast inequality gap – parallel those we confront today.”
Kessler is also the associate dean for advanced degree programs at the Law School and the founding director of the Stanford Center for Law and History. She will be a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences next academic year.