Faculty Book Talk: Felony and the Guilty Mind in Medieval England, Wednesday, November 13, at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of the recent publication of Felony and the Guilty Mind in Medieval England by Elizabeth Papp Kamali (Cambridge Univ. Press, Oct. 31, 2019).

Wednesday, November 13, 2019, at noon
Harvard Law School Milstein East B/C
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA
No RSVP required

This book talk is co-sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library, The Program in Law and History, and The Standing Committee on Medieval Studies.

Elizabeth Papp Kamali is Assistant Professor of Law, Harvard Law. She will be joined in discussion with commentators:

Charles Donahue, Jr., Paul A. Freund Professor Law, Harvard Law School.

Intisar A. Rabb, Professor of Law, a Professor of History, and the faculty director of the Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School

Nicholas Watson, Henry B. and Anne M. Cabot Professor of English Literature, Harvard University.

About Felony and the Guilty Mind in Medieval England

“This book explores the role of mens rea, broadly defined as a factor in jury assessments of guilt and innocence from the early thirteenth through the fourteenth century – the first two centuries of the English criminal trial jury. Drawing upon evidence from the plea rolls, but also relying heavily upon non-legal textual sources such as popular literature and guides for confessors, Elizabeth Papp Kamali argues that issues of mind were central to jurors’ determinations of whether a particular defendant should be convicted, pardoned, or acquitted outright. Demonstrating that the word ‘felony’ itself connoted a guilty state of mind, she explores the interplay between social conceptions of guilt and innocence and jury behavior. Furthermore, she reveals a medieval understanding of felony that involved, in its paradigmatic form, three essential elements: an act that was reasoned, was willed in a way not constrained by necessity, and was evil or wicked in its essence.” — Cambridge University Press

About Elizabeth Papp Kamali

Elizabeth Papp Kamali

Elizabeth Papp Kamali is an Assistant Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where she teaches criminal law and English legal history. Professor Kamali’s research focuses on the medieval English common law and the history of criminal law, with a particular interest in the early criminal trial jury. Her current projects include studies of the role of criminal intent in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century English felony cases, medieval understandings of anger’s operation in felony adjudication, conflict between urban customary law and the English common law in the early fourteenth century, and the influence of Roman law on the early development of the common law.

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