Kunal Parker

Professor of Law & Dean's Distinguished Scholar

Ph.D. 2007, Princeton University
M.A. 2003, Princeton University
J.D. 1994, Harvard Law School
B.A. 1990, Harvard University

Phone: 305-284-9788
Office: G384

Kunal Parker is a Professor and Dean's Distinguished Scholar with a PhD in History from Princeton University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a B.A. from Harvard University.

Kunal Parker has recently completed Making Foreigners: Immigration and Citizenship Law in America (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015).  His first book, Common Law, History, and Democracy in America, 1790 - 1900: Legal Thought Before Modernism was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011. 

Professor Parker's teaching areas and interests include American Legal History, Estates and Trusts, Immigration and Nationality Law, and Property.



Making Foreigners: Immigration and Citizenship Law in America, 1600 - 2000 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015)

Common Law, History, and Democracy in America, 1790 - 1900: Legal Thought Before Modernism (Cambridge University Press: 2011)


Symposium with Contributions from Marianne Constable, Shai Lavi, and Renisa Mawani, 40 LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY 238 – 263 (2015).

Penelope Pether, 26 LAW AND LITERATURE 249 – 54 (2014)

Dorothy Ross, A New Look At Nineteenth Century Historical Consciousness from Across the Modern/Postmodern Divide, 9 MODERN INTELLECTUAL HISTORY 451- 462 (2012)

Stephen Siegel, 30 LAW AND HISTORY REVIEW 639 – 40 (2012)

Polly Price, 98 JOURNAL OF AMERICAN HISTORY 1152 – 53 (2012)

Peter Hoffer, 116, AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW 1117 – 1118 (2011)


How Law Should Avoid Mistakes: Alexander Bickel’s Modernist Jurisprudence of Mood in Austin Sarat ed. LAW’S MISTAKES (University of Massachusetts Press, forthcoming 2015)

Representing Interdisciplinarity, VILLANOVA LAW REVIEW (forthcoming 2015)

Approaches to the Study of Law as a Social Phenomenon: Legal History in Austin Sarat and Patricia Ewick eds., THE WILEY HANDBOOK OF LAW AND SOCIETY (Wiley Blackwell, 2015)

Response: The Politeness of History in Symposium on Kunal Parker, Common Law, History, and Democracy in America, 1790 – 1900: Legal Thought Before Modernism, 40 LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY 264 (2015)

Repetition in History: Anglo-American Legal Debates and the Writings of Walter Bagehot, 4 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA IRVINE LAW REVIEW 121 (2014)

The Constitution, Citizenship, and Immigration in American History, 1790 - 2000 (Washington, D.C.: American Historical Association, 2013) (self-standing publication)

Historicizing Blackstone’s ‘Commentaries on the Laws of England’: Difference and Sameness in Historical Time in Angela Fernandez & Markus Dubber eds., LAW BOOKS IN ACTION: ESSAYS ON THE ANGLO-AMERICAN LEGAL TREATISE (Hart Publishing, 2012)

Law In and As History: The Common Law in the American Polity, 1790 – 1900, 1 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA IRVINE LAW REVIEW 587 (2011)

Reprinted in Maksymilian del Mar and Michael Lobban eds., Legal Theory and Legal History (London: Ashgate, 2014)

“Progressive Era Immigration and Naturalization,” in David Tanenhaus et al. eds, ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES (Garland Publishing: 2008).

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration law (1800 – 1924): Resolutions of Membership and Territory in Michael Grossberg and Christopher Tomlins eds., THE CAMBRIDGE HISTORY OF LAW IN AMERICA, Vol. II (Cambridge University Press, 2008).

Context in Law and History: The Late Nineteenth Century American Jurisprudence of Custom, 24 LAW AND HISTORY REVIEW 473 (2006)

The Historiography of Difference, 23 LAW AND HISTORY REVIEW 685 (2005)

Thinking Space, Thinking Community: Lessons from Early American “Immigration” History in Marc Rodriguez ed., REPOSITIONING NORTH AMERICAN HISTORY: NEW DIRECTIONS IN CONTINENTAL MIGRATION, CITIZENSHIP, AND COMMUNITY (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2004)

Ejecting an Inside: An Essay on the Politics of the Contemporary American Immigration State in Patricia Tuitt and Peter Fitzpatrick eds., CRITICAL BEINGS: LAW, NATION AND THE GLOBAL SUBJECT (London: Ashgate, 2004)

Thinking Inside the Box: A Historian Among the Anthropologists: A Review of Sally Engle Merry, Colonizing Hawai’i: The Cultural Power of Law, 38 LAW AND SOCIETY REVIEW 851 (2004)

The History of Experience: On the Historical Imagination of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., 26 PoLAR: POLITICAL AND LEGAL ANTHROPOLOGY REVIEW 60 (2003)

History, Law and Regime Change, 26 PoLAR: POLITICAL AND LEGAL ANTHROPOLOGY REVIEW 43 (2003)

The “Law”/”Politics” Distinction in the Colonial/Postcolonial Context, 10 AMERICAN UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF GENDER, SOCIAL POLICY, AND THE LAW 581 (2002)

Making Blacks Foreigners: The Legal Construction of Former Slaves in Post-Revolutionary  Massachusetts, 2001 UTAH LAW REVIEW 75 (2001)

Colonialism, Nationalism and Gendered Legal Subjectivities: Historical Observations on the Destruction of Separate Legal Regimes in Gerald J. Larson ed. RELIGION AND PERSONAL LAW IN SECULAR INDIA: A CALL TO JUDGMENT  (Bloomington, IN.: Indiana University Press, 2001/New Delhi: Social Science Press, 2001)

State, Citizenship, and Territory: The Legal Construction of Immigration in Antebellum Massachusetts, 19 LAW AND HISTORY REVIEW 583 (2001) (FORUM ARTICLE)

Disaggregating Citizenship: A Response to Robert Steinfeld, 19 LAW AND HISTORY REVIEW 655 (2001)

From Poor Law to Immigration Law: Changing Visions of Territorial Community in Antebellum Massachusetts, 28 HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY 61 (2000)

“A Corporation of Superior Prostitutes”: Anglo-Indian Legal Conceptions of Temple Dancing Girls, 1800 - 1914, 32 MODERN ASIAN STUDIES 55 (1998)

Official Imaginations: Globalization, Difference, and State-Sponsored Immigration Discourses, 76 OREGON LAW REVIEW 691 (1997)

Interpreting Oriental Cases: The Law of Alterity in the Colonial Courtroom, 107 HARVARD LAW REVIEW 1711 (1994)

Co-author, Human Rights as Rhetoric: The Persian Gulf War and United States Policy Towards Iraq, HARVARD HUMAN RIGHTS JOURNAL (Spring 1991)


Lauren Benton & Richard J. Ross (eds.), Legal Pluralism and Empires, 1500 – 1850, 89 NEW WEST INDIAN GUIDE 3/4 (forthcoming 2015)

William E. Nelson, The Common Law in Colonial America, Volume II: The Middle Colonies and the Carolinas, 1660 – 1730, 81 JOURNAL OF SOUTHERN HISTORY 160 (2015)

Deirdre M. Moloney, National Insecurities: Immigrants and U.S. Deportation Policy Since 1882, 119 AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW 188 (2014)

Christian Samito, Becoming American Under Fire: Irish Americans, African Americans, and the Politics of Citizenship During the Civil War Era, 52 AMERICAN JOURNAL OF LEGAL HISTORY 533 (2012)

M.H. Hoeflich, Legal Publishing in Antebellum America, 99 JOURNAL OF AMERICAN HISTORY 304 (2012)

Roger Berkowitz, The Gift of Science: Leibniz and the Modern Legal Tradition, 3 JOURNAL OF LAW, CULTURE AND THE HUMANITIES 347 - 49 (2007)

Daniel J. Tichenor, Dividing Lines: The Politics of Immigration Control in America, 23 LAW AND HISTORY REVIEW 226 (2005)

Radhika Singha, A Despotism of Law: Crime and Justice in Early Colonial India, 13 GENDER AND HISTORY 182 (2001)

Kanishka Jayasuriya ed., Law, Capitalism and Power in Asia, 59 JOURNAL OF ASIAN STUDIES 136 (2000)

Book Note, Rehabilitating Nineteenth-Century Law, 105 HARVARD LAW REVIEW 785 (1992)


Guestworkers in Postwar America: A New History:  A Review of Cindy Hahamovitch’s No Man’s Land: Jamaican Guestworkers in America and the Global History of Deportable Labor, JOTWELL (May 2014)

Colonizing Humanity: A Review of Samera Esmeir’s Juridical Humanity: A Colonial History, JOTWELL (July 2013)

A Forgotten Episode in the History of American Immigration Law, MIAMI LAW MAGAZINE (2012)

Law’s Materials: A Review of Cornelia Vismann’s Files: Law and Media Technology, JOTWELL (May 2011)

 News / Media

Professor Kunal Parker discusses immigration enforcement on CCTV NEWS, the English language news channel of China Central Television (CCTV).

Phone: 305-284-9788
Office: G384
Faculty Assistant

Gonzalez, Ana

Phone: 305-284-2052
Office: G387