Skip to main content area Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to search Skip to section navigation

Serena Mayeri

Professor of Law and History

Serena Mayeri

Serena Mayeri’s scholarship focuses on the historical impact of progressive and conservative social movements on legal and constitutional change. Her book, Reasoning from Race: Feminism, Law, and the Civil Rights Revolution (Harvard University Press, 2011) received the Littleton-Griswold Prize from the American Historical Association and the Darlene Clark Hine Award from the Organization of American Historians. Continue reading…


  • American Legal History
  • Employment Discrimination Law
  • Family Law


REASONING FROM RACE: FEMINISM, LAW, AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS REVOLUTION (Harvard University Press, 2011; paperback edition, 2014).
[Available Here]

Articles and Book Chapters

Marital Supremacy and the Constitution of the Non-Marital Family, 103 CALIF. L. REV. (forthcoming 2015). (forthcoming)

Intersectionality and Title VII: A Brief (Pre-)History, 95 B. U. L. REV. 713 (2015) (Symposium: The Civil Rights Act at 50).

The Functions of Family Law, 163 U. PA. L. REV. ONLINE 377 (2015).

Queering the History of Sex Discrimination, Book Review of Phil Tiemeyer, PLANE QUEER: LABOR, SEXUALITY, AND AIDS IN THE HISTORY OF MALE FLIGHT ATTENDANTS, Jotwell, February 2015.

Pauli Murray and the Twentieth-Century Quest for Legal and Social Equality, 2 IND. J. L. & SOC. EQUALITY 85 (2014).

Historicizing ‘The End of Men’: The Politics of Reaction(s), 93 B.U. L. REV 729 (2013).

A New ERA or an New Era? Amendment Advocacy and the Reconstitution of Feminism, 103 NW. U. L. REV. 1223 (2009), reprinted in WOMEN AND THE LAW (Jane Campbell Moriarty ed., 2010).

Reconstructing the Race-Sex Analogy, 49 WM. & MARY L. REV. 1789 (2008).

The Strange Career of Jane Crow: Sex Segregation and the Transformation of Anti-Discrimination Discourse, 18 YALE J. L. & HUM 187 (2006).

Constitutional Choices: Legal Feminism and the Historical Dynamics of Change, 92 CAL. L. REV. 755 (2004).

“When the Trouble Started”: Frontiero v. Richardson, in WOMEN AND THE LAW STORIES (Elizabeth M. Schneider & Stephanie M. Wildman, eds., 2011).

Civil Rights on Both Sides: Reproductive Rights and Free Speech in Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network of Western New York, in CIVIL RIGHTS STORIES (Foundation Press, 2008).

Filling in the (Gender) Gaps: A Response to Patricia Seith, Congressional Power to Effect Sex Equality, 36 HARV. J.L. & GENDER 1 (Feb. 2013).

Family Matters: The Sexual Revolution in American Politics, Jotwell: Legal History, Feb. 18, 2013 (reviewing ROBERT O. SELF, ALL IN THE FAMILY: THE REALIGNMENT OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY SINCE THE 1960S (2012)).

The U.S. Women’s Jury Movements and Strategic Adaptation: A More Just Verdict. By Holly J. McCammon (2012), 100:1 J. AM. HIST. 247 (June 2013) (book review).


How Can the Marriage Equality Movement Reason from Race?, ACSBLOG (Sept. 8, 2011),

Women: United States Law, in OXFORD INTERNATIONAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF LEGAL HISTORY (Stanley N. Katz, ed., 2009).

Pauli Murray, in ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES (David Spinoza Tanenhaus, ed., 2008).

Gender Equality (with Nathaniel Persily, et al.), in PUBLIC OPINION AND CONSTITUTIONAL CONTROVERSY (Nathaniel Persily et al., eds., Oxford University Press, 2008).

How and Why Was Feminist Legal Strategy Transformed, 1960-1973? Women and Social Movements, 1600-2000 (website: Alexander Street Press, 2007).

Note, “A Common Fate of Discrimination”: Race/Gender Analogies in Legal and Historical Perspective, 110 YALE L. J. 1045 (2001).

More publications can be found here.

Working Papers

The Status of Marriage: Marital Supremacy Challenged and Remade, 1960-2000 (work-in-progress). (forthcoming)

Research Areas

  • Legal and constitutional history
  • Antidiscrimination law and policy
  • Family law and history
  • Civil Rights and Feminism
  • Marriage and its alternatives


Penn Law – Professor of Law and History (2011-); Assistant Professor (2006-11)

Law Clerk to the Hon. Guido Calabresi, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit (2003-04)

New York University School of Law – Samuel I. Golieb Fellow (2004-06)

Professional Activities

Planning Committee, AALS Workshop on Women Rethinking Equality

Secretary, Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities

Contributing Editor, Jotwell Legal History Section., 2010-present.

Peer Reviewer, Law and History Review, 2008-present; Oxford University Press, 2009- present.


  • Family Law
  • Law and Social Movements in Twentieth-Century America
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Gender and the Law in Recent American History
  • Feminist Legal Advocacy in the Twentieth-Century United States
  • Marriage: History and Law

⇱ Return to Top