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Joanna Grisinger

Associate Professor of Instruction | Director of Undergraduate Studies

J.D., The University of Chicago; Ph.D., The University of Chicago
Curriculum Vitae

Joanna Grisinger is Associate Professor of Instruction at the Center for Legal Studies at Northwestern University, where she teaches a variety of undergraduate courses including Legal and Constitutional History of the United States, Constitutional Law, Gender and the Law, Law and Society, and Law & the Civil Rights Movement. She received her J.D. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Chicago; her research focuses on the modern administrative state in twentieth-century U.S. legal and political history. Her first book, The Unwieldy American State: Administrative Politics Since the New Deal (Cambridge University Press, 2012), offers a political history of administrative law reform. Her current research examines the relationship between administrative agencies and the civil rights movement and explores public interest participation in administrative decision making; she is currently completing two articles that examine different strategies anti-apartheid activists used to seek reform through administrative agencies.

Prof. Grisinger is a co-founder and co-organizer (with Kimberly Welch, Kathryn Schumaker, and Logan Sawyer) of the Law & History Collaborative Research Network (established 2013) within the Law and Society Association, co-edits (with Deborah Dinner) the Legal History section of, and is the advisory editor on Law and Criminology for the American National Biography Online. She is a member of the American Society for Legal History’s board of directors and is chair of the ASLH Standing Committee on the Annual Meeting.    

Courses Taught

  • Legal_St 101 Law & the Civil Rights Movement
  • Legal_St/Hist 318-1,2 Legal and Constitutional History of the United States – to 1850/since 1850
  • Legal_St/Poli_Sci 332/333 Constitutional Law I & II
  • Legal_St 340 Gender and the Law
  • Legal_St 376 Legal History of the Colonies and Constitution
  • Legal_St 398-1,2 Advanced Research Seminar

Selected Publications

  • The Unwieldy American State: Administrative Politics Since the New Deal (Cambridge University Press, 2012)
  • “The Administrative Procedure Act and the Hearing Examiners,” Journal of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary 34, no. 1 (2014): 1-46.
  • “Law and the Administrative State,” in Sally Hadden and Alfred L. Brophy, eds., A Companion to American Legal History (in the Blackwell Companions to American History series) (2013).
  • “Law in Action: The Attorney General’s Committee on Administrative Procedure,” Journal of Policy History 20, no. 3 (2008): 379-41
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