Cynthia Herrup

Professor Emerita of History and John R. Hubbard Chair in British History Emerita

Center, Institute & Lab Affiliations

  • Center for Law, History and Culture,
  • Early Modern Studies Institute, member
  • Institute for British and Irish Studies,


  • Ph.D. History, Northwestern University, 1/1982
  • M.A. History, Loyola University of Chicago, 1/1975
  • B.S. Journalism, Northwestern University, 1/1972
  • Tenure Track Appointments

    • John R. Hubbard Professor of British History and Professor of History and Law, University of Southern California, 05/17/2010 –
    • Professor of History and Law, University of Southern California, 07/01/2005 –
    • Associate Professor of History and Law to William Kenneth Boyd Professor of History and Law, Duke University, 01/01/1988 – 01/01/2005
    • Assistant Professor of History, Duke University, 01/01/1984 – 01/01/1988
    • Assistant Professor of History, University of Michigan, 01/01/1981 – 01/01/1984

    Visiting and Temporary Appointments

    • Professor of History, Birkbeck College, University of London, 1999-2010
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    Cynthia Herrup writes on the relationship of law (particularly criminal law) and culture in early modern English societies; she is also interested in the history of gender and sexuality. Her first book explored how communities in early modern England working without lawyers made decisions about law enforcement; her second used a notorious trial to explore how law reflected tensions between genders and generations. She is currently completing a manuscript on the relationship between pardoning and the early modern English constitution. Her next project will study how in early modern England, legal categories shaped ideas about (among other things) salvation, responsibility, and community relations.

  • Conference Presentations

    • Legal histories, British histories, imperial histories , North American Conference on British StudiesRoundtable/Panel, Invited, Louisville, KY, 2009-2010
    • Crime and the law in early modern England , North American Conference on British StudiesCommentator, Invited, San Francisco, CA, 2007-2008
    • Mutualities and Obligations , North American Conference on British StudiesRound table, Invited, San Francisco, CA, 2007-2008
    • Transformation or equilibrium? Legal patriarchy in England and America 1550-1830 , Berkshire Conference of Women’s HistoriansCommentator, Invited, Minneapolis, MN, 2007-2008

    Other Presentations

    • The power of uncertainty?, Yale University legal history workshop, New Haven, CT, 2007-2008
    • The power of uncertainty, Huntington-USC Early Modern British History Seminar, Pasadena, CA, 2006-2007
    • The qualities of mercy, CLHC workshop, Los Angeles, CA, 2006-2007
  • Book

    • Herrup, C. B.When Mercy Seasons Justice: pardons in the constitution of 17thc England.
    • Herrup, C. B. (1999). A House in Gross Disorder: Sex, Law and the Trial of the 2nd Earl of Castlehaven; ppb 2001; Notable Trials Book Club, 2001). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    • Herrup, C. B. (1987). The Common Peace: Participation and the Criminal Law in Seventeenth-Century England; ppbk 1989). Cambridge University Press.

    Book Chapters

    • Herrup, C. B. (2004). ‘The Punishing Pardon: some thoughts on penal transportation’ in Paul Griffiths and Simon Devereux, Penal practice and culture: punishing the English 1500-1700. pp. 121-138. Palgrave Macmillan.
    • Herrup, C. B. (2002). ‘Negotiating Grace’ in Tom Cogswell, Richard Cust, and Peter Lake, eds, Politics, Religion and Popularity. pp. 124-140. Cambridge University Press.

    Journal Article

    • Herrup, C. B. (2006). The King’s two genders. Journal of British Studies/University of Chicago. pp. p. 45.
    • Herrup, C. B. (2003). ‘Re-reading politics’. Shakespeare Studies. Vol. 31, pp. 288-295.
    • Herrup, C. B. (1999). ‘Finding the Bodies’. GLQ. Vol. 5 (3), pp. 255-265.


    • Herrup, C. B. (2009). Masters at the Movies #10: “The hot dynasty: Tudors on film and on TV”. Perspectives on History: Newsmagazine of the American Historical Association.
    • Fellow (or Equivalent) of National Society in Discipline, Royal Historical Society, 1987
    • USC Endowed Chair, John R. Hubbard Chair in British History, 2011/05/16-2016/05/15
    • Rockefeller Fellowship Recipient, Reisdency, Bellagio Study Center, 2012/05-2012/06
    • Early Modern Studies Institute Faculty Fellowship, Spring 2009
    • National Humanities Center Fellow, 2006
    • President, North American Conference on British Studies, 2003-2005
    • Fletcher Jones Foundation Fellow, Henry E. Huntington Library, 2000-2001
    • British Academy/Huntington Library Exchange Fellow, 1997
    • Folger Shakespeare Library NEH Fellow, 1996-1997
    • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, 1989-1990
    • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship Recipient, For University Teachers, 1988-1989
    • Distinguished Visitor, Centre for British Studies, University of Adelaide, 1988
    • Walter D. Love Article Prize, North American Conference on British Studies (for ‘Law & Morality in Seventeenth-Century England’), 1986
    • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship Recipient, Fellowship for Recent Recipients of the PhD, 1984
  • Committees

    • Member, University grievance committee, 2008 –
    • Chair, Institute for British and Irish Studies, 2007 – 2010
    • Co-Chair, USC History seminar, 2008-2009
    • Member, Center for Law, History and Culture Steering Committee, 2007-2008
  • Committees

    • Co-Chair, Huntington Library-USC Early Modern British Studies Seminar, 2008 –
    • Member, American Society for Legal History Publications Committee, 2008 –
    • Member, American Historical Association, Maurice Forkosch Prize commmittee, 2007 – 2010
    • Member, Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies, Program Committee, 2009-2010
    • Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies, program committee, 2006-2007

    Editorships and Editorial Boards

    • Board member, Huntington Library Quarterly, 2007 –
    • Board member, Cultural and Social History, 2003 –
    • Board member, Compass, 2002 –
    • Board Member, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 1998 – 2005
    • Associate Editor, New Dictionary of National Biography, 2002 – 2004
    • Board Member, Cultural and Social History: The Journal of the Social History Society, 2003
    • Board Member, Compass, 2002
    • Board Member, Huntington Library Quarterly, 1997
    • Board Member, Journal of Modern History, 1995 – 1997
    • Editor, Journal of British Studies, 1991 – 1996
    • Board Member, Law and History Review, 1993 – 1995

    Professional Offices

    • Publications Committee Member, American Society for Legal History, 2006 –
    • Vice-President; President; Immediate Past President, North American Conference on British Studies, 1999 – 2007

    Professional Memberships

    • Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies, 2005 –
    • American Historical Association, 1980 –
    • American Society of Legal History, 1980 –
    • North American Conference on British Studies, 1980 –