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Professor Mark Weiner photo

J.D., Yale
Ph.D., Yale
A.B., Stanford


Constitutional Law, History of the Common Law, Free Speech, Church-State Relations, State Constitutional Law


www.worldsoflaw.com and Professor Weiner’s blog from Iceland where he spent the fall 2009 semester as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Akureyri

Faculty Profile (Back to Menu)

Mark S. Weiner

Professor of Law and Sidney I. Reitman Scholar
(on leave 2015-2016 academic year)

Professor Weiner holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University, where he was awarded a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education, a Samuel I. Golieb Fellowship in Legal History from New York University School of Law, and a dissertation fellowship from the Whiting Foundation. He received his A.B. from Stanford University, where he graduated with honors and distinction and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. 

Professor Weiner is the author of The Rule of the Clan: What an Ancient Form of Social Organization Reveals about the Future of Individual Freedom (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013). The book received the 2015 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. The book also was the subject of a month-long symposium in Cato Unbound, the online magazine of the Cato Institute, and a week-long symposium on the blog Concurring Opinions. 

Professor Weiner’s first book, Black Trials: Citizenship From the Beginnings of Slavery to the End of Caste (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), was selected a 2005 Silver Gavel Award winner by the American Bar Association for its contribution to the public understanding of law. Professor Weiner also received a year-long fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for Black Trials. His second book, Americans without Law: The Racial Boundaries of Citizenship (NYU Press, 2006), was awarded the President’s Book Award from the Social Science History Association.

Professor Weiner was the 2009/2010 Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Scholar at Rutgers University–Newark. In the fall of 2009, he was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Akureyri, Iceland.

Professor Weiner is currently producing an exhibition about illustrated law books with co-curator Mike Widener, the rare book librarian at Yale Law School, for the Grollier Club in New York. The exhibition, “Law’s Picture Books,” is scheduled to open in February 2018. He also produces video essays about legal history, comparative law, and rare books. His latest video is “On Looking into Coke’s Reports.” 

In the spring of 2015, Professor Weiner was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Salzburg, Austria. 



The Rule of the Clan: What an Ancient Form of Social Organization Can Teach Us About Modern Law and Culture (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013). 

Americans Without Law: The Racial Boundaries of Citizenship (New York University Press, 2006; paperback, 2009). 

Black Trials: Citizenship from the Beginnings of Slavery to the End of Caste (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004; Vintage Paperback, 2006). 

Academic Articles, Blog Posts, and Other Writings 

Love’s Empire,” review of Paul W. Kahn, Political Theology: Four New Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty and Finding Ourselves at the Movies: Philosophy for a New Generation, Telos (Spring 2014), 181-87.

“The Legal Foundations of Individualism,” TELOSscope (April 2014).

“Imagining the Rule of Law in Nineteenth-Century Britain: The Story of the Clan,” Erasmus Law Review (The Netherlands) 6 (3-4) (December 2013) (special issue on legal pluralism, eds. Sanne Taekema and Wibo van Rossum), 158-166. 

“The Call of the Clan: Why Ancient Kinship Matters in a World of Global Geopolitics,” Foreign Policy, 15 May 2013. .

“Individualism’s Paradox,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 29, 2013. 

“Verbraucherkulture und die Amerikanische Bürgerrechstbewegung: Rasse, Rechstwissenschaft und die bürgerliche Bedeutung der Nahrung” (Consumer Culture and the American Civil Rights Movement: Race, Jurisprudence, and the Civic Meaning of Food) (Johanna Timm, trans.), Verfassungsvoraussetzungen: Gedaechtnisschrift für Winfried Brugger (Prerequisites of Constitutional Law and Constitutional Theory: Commemorative Studies for Winfried Brugger), Heidelberger Rechtswissenschaftliche Abhandlungen 9, eds. Michael Anderheiden, Rainer Keil, and Stephan Kirste, and Jan Phillip Schaefer (Tübingen, Germany: Mohr-Siebeck, 2013), 63-85.

“Foreword: The Importance of Historical Sensibility,” Rutgers Law Review 64 (3) (2012). 

A History of the Common Law,Rethinking History 16 (1) (2012) (Special Issue: History as Creative Writing 3).

“Die Amerikanische Bürgerrechtsbewegung und die Kulturgeschichte des Rechts” (The American Civil Rights Movement and the Cultural History of Law) (Johanna Timm, trans.), forthcoming in Michael Anderheiden and Stephen Kirste, Interdisziplinarität in den Rechtswissenschaften – Innen- und Außenperspektiven (Interdisciplinary in Legal Studies: Inside and Outside Perspectives). Manuscript available upon request.

“Domingo Sarmiento and the Cultural History of Law in the Americas,” Rutgers Law Review 63(3), 101-115 (festschrift volume for Prof. John Payne).

“Constitutional amendments need to solve today’s political problems,” Star-Ledger, August 5, 2011

“Rule of the Clan a Challenge to Progress in the Middle East, North Africa” (with John J. Farmer, Jr.), Star-Ledger, July 17, 2011

“Religious Freedom and the Rule of the Clan in Muslim Societies,” The Review of Faith and International Affairs, Summer 2011, 39-45. 

“Liberal History and Historical Style After Virtue,” in “Questioning the Assumptions of Academic History: A Forum,” in Historically Speaking: Bulletin of the Historical Society 12 (1) (January 2011), 15-17. Other forum participants: Christopher Shannon (“From Histories to Traditions: A New Paradigm for the Study of the Past”), Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn, Daniel Wickberg. 

“Public Memory and the Rule of Law in an Age of Globalization and the Internet: Lessons from Iceland,” Lögfræðingur 1 (4) (2010), 59-74 (law journal of the University of Akureyri, Iceland)

“Teachable Trials in the Social Studies Classroom,” Social Education 74 (3) (May/June 2010) (flagship journal of National Council for Social Studies) (essay for high school social studies teachers).

“Professor Mark Weiner on Life in Iceland as a Fulbright Scholar,” Rutgers School of Law web page, February 2010

Legal History Blog, posts about the transformation of Icelandic legal memory, August-September 2009