Karen Tani Appointed a Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor
President Amy Gutmann and Provost Wendell Pritchett are pleased to announce the appointment of Karen Tani as the University of Pennsylvania’s twenty-fourth Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor, effective July 1, 2020.
Tani, a renowned legal historian, will be the Seaman Family University Professor, with faculty appointments in the Department of History in Arts and Sciences and in the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.
Tani, the inaugural graduate of Penn’s JD/PhD Program in American Legal History, is currently Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, where she has taught since 2011. Her landmark book, States of Dependency: Welfare, Rights, and American Governance, 1935-1972 (Cambridge University Press, 2016), which was awarded the 2017 Cromwell Book Prize from the American Society for Legal History, examines the evolution of welfare programs, across four decades beginning from the New Deal, as central to the logic of modern American governance.
Her award-winning scholarship also assesses such critical aspects of the American legal landscape as federalism, constitutional equal protection, and Title IX enforcement. Most recently, she has focused on the dramatic transformations in legal approaches to disability in the late twentieth century.