Emily Prifogle is a Ph.D. candidate in history at Princeton University studying twentieth-century legal history. Her primary fields of interest in social and legal history include the study of place including local governance, gender and sexuality, and race. Prifogle received her undergraduate degree in history and art history from Indiana University, a master’s degree in comparative social policy from Oxford, and a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Her interdisciplinary background continues to inform her scholarship and interest in public history.
Cows, Cars, and Criminals: Rural Communities, Law, and Nation in the Twentieth Century
Emily Prifogle’s dissertation, “Cows, Cars, and Criminals: Rural Communities, Law, and Nation in the Twentieth Century,” applies the methods of urban history to investigate rural communities as unique social and legal spaces. Using a series of case studies from several Midwestern states, including Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, the dissertation argues that while national legal and political culture shifted away from rural communities in the twentieth century, rural Americans continued to express rural-based values and social norms through their use, manipulation, resistance, and understanding of the law, making the process of legally constituting the rural a central feature of twentieth-century America.