The Potentials of Legal Sources for the Humanities: An Interdisciplinary Discussion Seminar

In this discussion seminar an Islamic Art Historian, a historian of political thought and an EU lawyer will discuss the potential of legal sources for historical research.

We will zoom into three kinds of legal sources: Ḥisba Manuals from the premodern Islamic world, correspondence from the slave trade on the eighteenth century Guinea Coast, and the 1957 Treaty of Rome establishing what is today the European Union – covering a time frame of almost a millennium.

Coming from very different disciplines, we nevertheless encounter similar methodological difficulties when working with legal sources. What makes a legal source? How does it reflect and/or influence society? By raising these questions, we want to productively discuss the potentials of legal sources. For this, we invite all researchers interested in historical legal sources to participate in our methodological discussion.


  • Hanna Eklund, Assistant Professor (Faculty of Law), and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow (Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen)
  • Mads Langballe Jensen, Carlsberg Reintegration Fellow (Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen)
  • Corinne Mühlemann, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow (Centre for Textile Research, University of Copenhagen)