• The Sovereign Market and Sex Difference:  Human Rights in America

    Fall 2017 Legal History Workshop

  • Featuring

    • Amy Dru Stanley

      Associate Professor of History and Law

      University of Chicago
  • When

    Thursday, October 12, 2017
    4:00 pm to 6:00 pm



    University of Minnesota Law School
    229 19th Ave. South
    Minneapolis, MN 55455

This essay explores the legal and moral perplexities posed by acts of Congress that connect vindications of the rights of persons to the free flow of commerce, tracing how the American nation-state has made human wellbeing commensurate with the exchange of goods across state borders.  It focuses on wrongs of sex, addressing both statutory and case law, and illuminating the relationship between the limits of the Thirteenth Amendment and the reach of the Commerce Clause.  For a century, Congress has invoked the commerce power in legislating against women’s subjection—from the ban on white slave trafficking to the ban on violence against women—making the flow of trade a source of protection against violations of free will and invasions of the body.   As a consequence, the essay argues, rules of the market economy have come to penetrate ever more deeply into social existence, and the antislavery distinction between persons and things has eroded.

Note: This is a discussion based workshop of work-in-progress with the expectation that those attending have read the workshop materials. Please contact Jacquelyn E. Burt at for a copy of the materials.

Contact Information

Jacquelyn E. Burt
(612) 626-5984

Contact Information

University of Minnesota Law School

Walter F. Mondale Hall | 229 19th Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-625-5000

Email Us

Connect on Social Media