Susan Hirsch

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Susan F. Hirsch is a legal anthropologist whose work has specialized in the study of legal language. She is a professor of conflict resolution and anthropology at George Mason University. Her first book, Pronouncing and Persevering,[1] focused on men's and women's language in coastal Kenyan courts. She demonstrated how women's language in court was influencing social change there, because the courts allowed prototypical women's stories to be heard in a new way. She uses detailed language analysis to show this, drawing on linguistic anthropology. Her second book In Moment of Greatest Calamity,[2] uses linguistic anthropological analysis but also first-person experience to describe her experience as the widow of a victim of the bombing of the U.S. embassy in Tanzania -- and as a participant and observer of the subsequent trial of the suspected bombers. She has served as editor of the Political and Legal Anthropology Review[3] and as President of the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology.[4]


  1. ^ Susan Hirsch, Pronouncing and Persevering: Gender and the Discourses of Disputing in an African Islamic Court. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998
  2. ^ In the Moment of Greatest Calamity: Terrorism, Grief, and a Victim’s Quest for Justice. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006.
  3. ^ Hirsch, Susan-Eve; Coutin, Susan (1999). "From The Editors". PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review. 22 (2): vii–viii. doi:10.1525/pol.1999.22.2.vii. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  4. ^ ""Election Results"". American Anthropological Association. 2007. Retrieved 2014-08-05. 

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