English Legal History

Professor Eben Moglen
Columbia Law School
Fall 2017


The first draft of the second essay will be due December 22nd. Please see SecondPaper for assignment and instructions.


My office hours in fall 2017 will be Tuesdays, 10:45am-noon, and Thursdays, 10:45am-12:30pm and 3:45pm to 5:45pm. If you need to see me but cannot make office hours, please email moglen@columbia.edu or contact my assistant, Michael Weholt, mrw@softwarefreedom.org, 212-461-1905.


A Word on Technology Old and New About the Word

This course is an attempt to learn about, understand and comment on legal materials generated by people living in a society very different from our own. We must assemble the field of knowledge relevant to our questions even as we begin trying to answer them. Wiki technology is an ideal match for the work we have in hand. Below you will find an introduction to this particular wiki, or TWiki, where you can learn as much or as little about how this technology works as you want.

For now, the most important thing is just that any page of the wiki has an edit button, and your work in the course consists of writings that we will collaboratively produce here. You can make new pages, edit existing pages, attach files to any page, add links, leave comments in the comment boxes--whatever in your opinion adds to a richer dialog. During the semester I will assign writing exercises, which will also be posted here. All of everyone's work contributes to a larger and more informative whole, which is what our conversation is informed by, and helps us to understand.

Please begin by registering. I look forward to seeing you at our first meeting on the 2nd.

Introduction to the EngLegalHist Web

The EngLegalHist site is a collaborative class space built on Twiki [twiki.org], a free software wiki system. If this is your first time using a wiki for a long term project, or first time using a wiki at all, you might want to take a minute and look around this site. If you see something on the page that you don't know how to create in a wiki, take a look at the text that produced it using the "Edit" button at the top of each page, and feel free to try anything out in the Sandbox.

All of the Twiki documentation is also right at hand. Follow the TWiki link in the sidebar. There are a number of good tutorials and helpful FAQs there explaining the basics of what a wiki does, how to use Twiki, and how to format text.

From TWiki's point of view, this course, English Legal History, is one "web." There are other webs here: the sandbox for trying wiki experiments, for example, and my other courses, etc. You're welcome to look around in those webs too, of course. Below are some useful tools for dealing with this particular web of ours. You can see the list of recent changes, and you can arrange to be notified of changes, either by email or by RSS feed. I would strongly recommend that you sign up for one or another form of notification; if not, it is your responsibility to keep abreast of the changes yourself.

















EngLegalHist Web Utilities