Jane Larson

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Jane Larson (1958 - 2011) was the Voss-Bascom Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin Law School.[1]

Life and work[edit]

Born in Omaha, Nebraska,[2] Larson was a Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude graduate of Macalester College and a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and Articles Editor of the Journal of Law and Inequality.[1] After working as a law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, Larson worked as an associate for a Washington DC law firm.[1] In 1990 Larson joined the faculty of Northwestern University Law School, where she twice won the Robert Childs award for excellence in teaching.[3] While at Northwestern, Larson developed her theory of “sexual fraud” – “intentional lies made for the express purpose of gaining sexual consent that would otherwise have been withheld,” in Larson’s words [4] – as a tort for which people could sue if they suffered damages such as sexually transmitted diseases.[5] Her Columbia Law Review article, “Women Understand So Little, They Call My Good Nature 'Deceit'": A Feminist Rethinking of Seduction” ”[6] was widely acclaimed within the fields of legal theory [7][8] and feminist thought.[9] Larson joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1996.[1] In 1999, Oxford University Press published her book, “Hard Bargains: The Politics of Sex,”,[10] co-authored with Linda Hirshman. The book offered a critical analysis of the power dynamics involved in heterosexual sex, a theme echoed in Larson’s scholarly work on the legal histories of prostitution, rape and sexual harassment.[11] Other notable areas of scholarship included her participation in amicus briefs for Webster v. Reproductive Health Services and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, supporting reproductive rights[12] and her analysis of the legal rights of residents of the colonia settlements on the U.S. Mexico border.[13] Larson died at her home in Madison, Wisconsin.[14]

[15] Larson taught law in an unorthodox way, stressing the social, cultural, historical, and philosophical dimensions of legal outcomes[16] She was active in the Association of American Law Schools.[17]


Larson influenced her students to rethink concepts such as property, free speech, and gender,[18] and she had an international following.[19]


  1. ^ a b c d "University of Wisconsin - Faculty Profile". Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Larson Jane E". Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Robert Childres Award List". Northwestern Law School. Archived from the original on 12 May 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Larson, Jane (5 October 1993). "Sex, Lies and The Right to Sue". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  5. ^ Pollock, Ellen Joan (4 July 1993). "Broken Eros: Suing For `Sexual Fraud'". Seattle Times. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  6. ^ Larson, Jane E. (March 1993). ""Women Understand So Little, They Call My Good Nature 'Deceit'": A Feminist Rethinking of Seduction". Columbia Law Review. 93 (2): 374–472. doi:10.2307/1123051. JSTOR 1123051?. 
  7. ^ Brophy, Alfred. "Jane Larson (1958-2011)". The Faculty Lounge. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  8. ^ Doniger, Wendy. "Carnal Ignorance". Fathom. University of Chicago. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  9. ^ Hirshman, Linda & Jane E. Larson (1999). Hard Bargains: The Politics of Sex. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195134209. 
  10. ^ McLean, Sara (1999). "Confided to His Care or Protection". Columbia Journal of Gender & Law. 9 (47). Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  11. ^ Hirshman, Linda. "In Memory of Jane Larson 1958-2011". Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  12. ^ Johnson, Kevin. "Professor Jane Larson RIP". Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  13. ^ "University of Wisconsin Law School Mourns the Loss of Professor Jane Larson". Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  14. ^ http://vimeo.com/34415858
  15. ^ http://althouse.blogspot.com/2011/12/university-of-wisconsin-law-school-is.html
  16. ^ http://www.law.umn.edu/news/remembering-scholar-and-teacher-jane-larson-1-3-2012.html
  17. ^ http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2011/12/rip-jane-larson.html
  18. ^ http://www.intlawgrrls.com/2011/12/in-passing-jane-larson.html